Basically Dead!

Dear Family,
WOW – this is insane!
I’ve been wondering for like the past three hours what to say for my last email home. The truth is, no words can or ever will be able to describe how I currently feel.  It has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but it has been worth it.  I do feel like I’m literally dying – you might need to prepare a recovery room for me to sleep in for about 5 days. My mission means everything to me.  I would never change a day, moment or hour.

There have been a lot of these bittersweet moments this week.  It breaks my heart to leave Arizona.  It breaks my heart to leave these people.  I’m so full of gratitude to my Heavenly Father.  He really means it when He says how great will our joy be if we can bring save it be one soul unto Christ.  Oh my goodness JOY is the only word to describe the feeling.  I’m grateful that the Lord allowed me to serve in this way.

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Sadly, everything is changing.  I don’t know if I will really be stepping off a plane in a few days, but the transfer board says I am, so it must be true.  We got a new mission president- President Browning.  And good news mom – people really do read my blog of my emails- Sister Browning told me she completely stalked it when they got their mission call here, lol!  If she is reading this right now – hi Sis Browning!

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God has been raining down tender mercies for the past 18 months.  A big one this week- I got to see Nicolette again!!!!  She drove down to the Gila Valley to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead and we joined her!  I was so happy to see her again and hear about how she and the rest of the Gardner family is doing.  It was such a bittersweet moment! Sweet because what is sweeter than seeing someone progress in the gospel and LOVE IT. And bitter because my time to help people like Nicolette is coming to an end.  Well, as a missionary that is.

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During this week I began to feel a little anxious and wonder did I do enough? Did I do all the work He sent me here to do?  How well did I love people?  At first, I was desperately trying to seek out an affirmation from my Heavenly Father.  After a few days I was reminded that is not what matters.  Serving a mission was never about me so why would it be now?  It is about those we serve.  And as I realized that God reached out to me and he said-
D&C 124:
15 And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith (Sister Packer); for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord.17 And for his love he shall be great, for he shall be mine if he do this, saith the Lord. I have seen the work which he hath done, which I accept if he continue, and will crown him with blessings and great glory.

And then to even further helped me feel His love- Heavenly Father send me a monsoon last night!   I have been hoping to see the beginning of the monsoon season and guess what- GOD LOVES ME!

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I no longer think or just believe, I KNOW this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth.  I know that Christ has truly borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, and we are healed through His stripes.  He is the prince of peace, and He brings me peace everytime I cry out to him.  I know I never walked out in this desert alone.  He was and is always there, carrying me.  He is my strength and I know that I need him every moment of every day.  No matter what pain, shame, or guilt I have felt, he has lifted it from me as I have tried my best to follow Him.  I know that repentance is so much more than saying I’m sorry, but changing myself every day to become what He wants me to be.  And I want to be like Mormon in saying- “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare his word among His people that they might have everlasting life.” I know the name tag I’m wearing will be removed but the call to be his disciple will never be removed.

I know that the full measure of our Father’s love is seen through His son and the restoration of His gospel.  I know that they want us to return to them and we can through making and living the necessary covenants.  We can all gain that knowledge as we read the Book of Mormon.  IT’S TRUE! READ IT!  Nothing brings me more joy than feeling loved as I read the Book of Mormon.

Alright!  Thank you all for the support and love you have given me over the past year and a half.  I cannot wait to see you all again!   Signing off for the last time as Sister Packer.

Love, Sister Packer!
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