Thuggery!

Dear Fam,

Here is the scoop on Valentine’s Day.  We met a guy named Leonard who was drinking away his sorrows.  We shared a scripture with him about God’s love and it brightened his day so he told us to be careful and not to go out past dark.  He said, “the whole city is a bunch of crooks!” Turns out, Leornard was RIGHT!

Wednesday, February 15th 2017. 1:00pm. Scene of the crime, Taco Bell.

This week my bag got stolen at taco bell! it was…terrible. We had slung our bags across the backs of our chairs and some sneaky crook grabbed it- I was with my whole district and no one noticed! The Elder’s saw who was sitting behind us so they knew what he looked like.  Kudos to him for being so talented; dang crook.  Next, panic mode just for two seconds.  I drove that day and had everything in there.  My wallet with ID and debit card, my ipad, our car keys, apartment keys, church keys, and my back-up USB’s were all GONE.  A lot to be concerned about but then I realized my personal copy of the Book of Mormon was in there too. That broke my heart.  A years worth of notes and personal thoughts and inspirations were just suddenly gone.  

1:30 PM – We checked the surrounding garbage cans in the plaza, looked for the couple, called the police and President Passey, and got debit cards frozen.   Knowing we’d be stranded at taco bell for sometime, we decided not to BE stranded.  We were able to pass out a couple copies of the Book of Mormon (say whaaaa?)- before we were rescued by Elder Anderson with spare keys to everything.  We also searched through more dumpsters than I’d like to admit hoping the thief dumped it after taking the money; nope.

February 16th – 10:00am –  The story doesn’t end there!  My whole district had seen what this guy looked like and saw him walking around the next day.  Thug Sighting!  Unfortunately, did they bother to talk to him then? no. They called us instead so we booked it down there.  He was gone at that point but we started asking people at the bus stop and then the donut man and they all knew him!  Donut man didn’t know his name but became very quiet and then said he would keep his eye out because he felt moved by how important it was to me to get my Book of Mormon back.  Then he gave us free donuts, haha!

Friday, February 17th –  Elder Arnold and Witzel called us and said they were bringing over Starbucks, which made NO sense.  They brought something wonderful with them. MY BAG!  A lady had found it outside of her apartment and called the number on the pass along card in the bag.   As you can guess, most everything was gone from my bag.  There were a few things left though.   My USBs were still there, temple names I had printed out and the keys. Most importantly and beautifully, my Book of Mormon!!!!! HUGE answer to my prayers. (What up, Heavenly Father!  Thanks for helping us prioritize.)  Extended happy dance because the word of God was returned.

At 11:00 am we went back to see George, the donut man and showed it to him. Because he saw how important it was to me, he decided he wanted one!  Good thing because we had one for him anyway, haha… He gave us more free donuts!   Well, I don’t know why my bag got stolen, besides someone just choosing to make a bad decision at my expense.  Maybe it was so I could be more aware of my belongings, maybe so we could have the opportunity to pass out more copies of the Book of Mormon because of these circumstances.  Maybe it was so we could meet George the donut man!  I am grateful that God allows us to fulfill our calling wherever we are and in whatever circumstances we are in!  I probably will never see my wallet or ipad again and I am okay with that!  Those things can be replaced… at a price.  We have learned that missionaries can make quite the detectives!  To finish the story, two other elders from our district saw our thief again and decided to contact him.  Turns out he was kicked out of highschool and is currently homeless. Poor kid needs the gospel in his life.  The saddest part was that he had another woman’s bag on him this time. We had a slight moral dilemma deciding if we should turn all of this info in to the police. I imagine his legal problems coming up will be a trial for him but I hope God can use it to give him the help he needs.  Keep Daniel in your prayers.   Sister Squire says if you ever need FBI-type investigation, just ask the missionaries!

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We had a distracted week due to the thuggery.  However, Saturday Kevin was baptized!  It was a very happy day for him.  He bore his testimony at the end and he just shone!  This man has come such a long way and has a great testimony of the atonement!  We are proud of him for all that he has left behind.   The biggest thing I learned this week was that faith does not just apply to missionary work, as we teach it – it applies to all aspects of our lives, it applies to MY life.  Faith is trusting God that no matter what happens everything will be okay, and it will be according to his will.  We prayed and prayed to get back my Book of Mormon.  We searched through dumpsters and were willing to chase this guy down to get it back.  Looking back I see now how those actions were an exercise of faith. Our actions were not able to produce a miracle.  Only God can produce miracles, and God only works through miracles.  The Book of Mormon is a miracle in itself.  Getting mine back was one too.

Kevin’s baptism

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This week we had an family home evening with the Gardner’s and Jimmy was teaching the lesson.  He had decided to teach about the restoration and the Book of Mormon.  He talked about how he prayed and studied and for the first time he began to understand what he was reading.  He grabbed the Book of Mormon and waved it and said- “This book is SO good.” There are so many times where we have seen the Book of Mormon change hearts.  It is a miracle that life is an open book and we have THE book.  We can get the answers to all the questions we need, if we just use the book!

Thanks for your prayers and helping me get the details straightened out – love you all!

Sister Packer

This is a family Sister Squire got to teach in a previous area.  Ryan, the 17 year old was baptized at that time.  This week,we got to be there to see him baptize his parents, Wally and Regina. Pretty cool!

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Yes we built a fort.  Did our planning in it, and slept the night in it.  Good times!

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