Chocolate People Like Chocolate on the Inside

Letter from March 20, 2017

Hey Fam,

SO… this week we met a guy named Ben, who is generally homeless but has a storage shed.  He totally contacted us. He told us how he thinks some of his memory was stolen by the government, that he was born in the Garden of Eden and, oh, that there are certain truths about the universe he cannot reveal to us all quite yet.  So we still went ahead and had a lesson with him in the park and it went great!  Honestly, we will never see him again, but we still tried to share what we could with him.

Kevin, our recent convert came out to church and I was SO proud of him.  HE THREW DOWN.  His testimony is just bright and shiny and I’m proud of him.

We also met a guy named OKongo who is from Kenya.  The Nielsen’s invited him over to dinner and we bonded because I let him steal off my plate.  He also had me throw biscuits at him which he caught in his mouth.  He told us he had been in Tucson for 16  years and that’s why he was SO tan, hahaha.  He is pretty dope and travels all over the world spreading Christianity.   Sadly, he is not too interested in “the mormon book”.

We have just had a lot of weird lessons this week!  One day Nicolette texted us and told us to come to the park asap and teach her mom, so we went!  Everything has just been on the fly and its been weird, but a good weird.

Another miracle is that Sister Blackwell took us to Costco today.  She spoils us and even bought us a cookie for being good!  I love her so much. The other miracle is our weather. Spring has arrived and I think this is my favorite time of year!  It’s not too hot and not too cold.

On the spiritual side- I want you all to know how much I love this gospel.  It is crazy that we can say that we have ALL truth.  We have a way to receive answers to EVERY question.  That is so baffling to people and so many people don’t believe that it’s possible. We have such a great blessing, the Book of Mormon, to find these truths in!  And greater than that, we have prayer and the gift of the holy ghost through which we can receive all answers and knowledge.  I love the feeling of safety and security that comes from these truths.

Well Fam I love you!  Have a good week!  Sister Packer

District Picture

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Book of Mormon Selfie

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Entry for Quadruple Chin, Bad Selfie Contest

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Fullfilling Our Purpose to Bring Others Closer to Christ

Letter from April 25, 2016

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been one of the longest weeks. EVER. Not because of anything bad really, just some long situations and also the anticipation of Elder Holland coming.

 So do you remember H- & M-? They were two homeless people we met at the park about a month ago. Well we got a call from H- this week, and lets just say this was the second reason it was a long week.  She was kicked out of M-‘s place, the boyfriend, and had literally no one else to call so she called us. Her parents are in jail, and her younger siblings are in foster care so she really has no one. We spent a lot of time with her Wednesday afternoon helping her figure out a place to go for the night. And then we were with her again Thursday morning. Thursday morning we got the Brinkerhoff’s to take her over to the employment center so she can try and get a job and start to be independent. And after that pretty sure she ended up getting a hold of a friend where she is going to stay until she finds her own apartment. Man it was stressful trying to help her! We have limits as missionaries and we can only do so much. We can’t be social workers for people, so that was another challenge with the situation. Trying to figure out what help we can give. Its hard to not do all we could, because that’s our first instinct. As missionaries, we are just supposed to uplift them, give them spiritual strength and point them in the direction of good shelters or the employment center. 

One thing I read in Elder Holland’s talk, ‘The Cost and Blessing of Discipleship’ was this- “In addition to teaching, encouraging, and cheering people on (that is the pleasant part of discipleship), from time to time these same messengers are called upon to worry, to warn and sometimes just to weep.” It really stuck out to me because I felt like that’s all we could do with H-. Encourage her, but also worry for her and weep with her. Well, we didn’t literally weep, but she sure did. And she needed a shoulder to cry on.  Before we parted ways with her we gave her a Book of Mormon with our favorite verses highlighted that could help her get through rough times. We also left a note in the front and a poem called The Touch of The Masters Hand. We haven’t heard from her since Thursday so things must be going okay. In the end, I felt like we were able to fulfill our purpose of bringing her closer to Christ as well as pointing her towards the people who could help her temporally. 

Our district meeting this week was all about preparing to receive an apostle. We have been studying his talks and looking at the way he teaches and how he uses scriptures. Its been really cool. And we have also been trying as a mission to follow the morning schedule to the tee for the month of April to help us prepare to receive him. That might sound weird, like how can the morning schedule help?  Well I think it has to do with obedience. And the quality of our morning studies. It has been So hard to do this month. Discussing it as a district we found out we weren’t the only ones struggling with it. It seems that as soon as we received the challenge, everyone’s mornings suddenly became that much harder. Almost impossibly hard! What the?! But it has helped a lot too. When we get up and have a good workout it really wakes us up for morning studies. And I feel like I have been able to have some really good personal studies that have helped me feel more prepared for lessons throughout the day. Another thing we have been doing to prepare is to just pray for specific revelation. And pray that our hearts will be open to receive it. 

Speaking of revelation. This week Sister Smith and I were able to act on a couple promptings that we didn’t really recognize as promptings at first. 

1st, We went to meet with our African family ( I apologize they all have a different last name so we don’t know what to call them) on Friday night. We got there about the same time the mom got home from work and we could tell she was so exhausted. We knew our plan to talk about Joseph Smith probably wouldn’t go very far or be very well understood. So we randomly decided to show the kids the “I am a Child of God” mormon message. They absolutely loved it. We ended up teaching them the whole song, and probably sang it ten times that night!  Then we were also able to tie in the principles of family prayer and scripture study with the song.  We taught them how to say prayers. It was so cute because after we taught them how, using the hamburger analogy, they all wanted to try saying a prayer.  It was a great lesson and we have never had those kids so involved and at our attention! 

Another small thought we followed was to go visit a woman in our ward, H-.  She is less active member and had expressed a desire to come back to church but never actually came. We had about forty minutes before dinner and were on our way up north when we decided to make a quick u-turn and go visit her. And we chatted for a bit and then her sister who just moved in with her came home. We shared a short message about “Come What may and Love it” and the sister began to cry. She said it was exactly what she needed to hear right then because of what she was going through. She even said that she and H-  would come to church Sunday. 

Those two lessons just really got us amped up to follow any prompting we got. This all happened Friday. Also on friday we stopped by A-‘s house to see how he was doing and make sure he still wanted to come to church, which he said he was planning on it. 

Saturday night rolled around and we were pretty excited. We had A- a ride to church and we found M- a ride to church and we were waiting to hear if our african family was going to come.

Of course despite some of these great lessons things don’t turn out like an Ensign magazine article!  None of them came to church on Sunday. Everybody cancelled, or something came up. BUT… Suddenly… There was a guy who came walking in the doors looking for a church. ???? what the what???? so we were like yeah come on in! Haha the funny part is that after the opening prayer this guy leans over and he says, “I’m in the wrong church.”  He stayed for the whole meeting but when it was over he wanted to go find the one he had been originally looking for. So we didn’t get a new investigator but we still had a non member at church, hahaha!

So Mia, concerning the new hamster, I am going to have to say, I think I like the name Ducky the best. But I am also going to say, I hope that hamster is gone by the time I get home… and also the smell of it is gone by the time I get home… can you make sure that happens Dad? I know I can count on you to agree with me on that one:) Hope Mia had a good birthday and that everyone is doing well. Congrats to Benny for finally getting that Eagle award! Also, Sam how do you take care of your shin splints?! Because I am getting them AGAIN. And I don’t want to stop running because I just started again. And seriously I can’t stop or I start to gain weight cause they feed me so much! So I need to know what to do for shin splints!!! 

Special Newscast:  Happy birthday and earth day to Mia!

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Oh also fun news! I met Elder Judy! The one you guys told me to look out for! He came and played basketball and volleyball with our zone last Pday. Also Do you guys know a David Packer? His mom is Deanne Packer and her parents were Dean and Dotty Packer. Met him this week as well and he is related like 2nd or 3rd cousins.  He actually has been up to Idaho a few times and even spent like two or three weeks with Aunt Margaret and her kids! Small world right? 

Alright, love you all,  Sister Packer out, peace✌ 

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Lots of big bugs in Arizona!
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We had a stake BBQ Saturday and these football players from the UofA did the Hakka.
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Flint Avenue

Temple Trip this Week

Letter from April 20, 2016

“Yo, you can try an read these verse off my book before I lay ’em, But you won’t take this BOM, so listen as I say ’em. You can’t stop me from causin mayhem, cause when I read’em I convert ’em, I don’t give the devil time to think. I’m doing this for God so stop the world feedin beans, its gassed up. Imma convert who I set out to get and all those who look down on me I’m tearin down your balcony, No ifs ands or buts or asking why or how can we, From infinite baptisms to temple trips, we aren’t paid hourly and have no salary.  Our gift ain’t a curse. Its straight from heaven and for the whole universe.  Don’t be afraid. to take a chance. Everybody, come take this book. It can help you for forever.  Through life’s storms, whatever trial cold or warm, then ya know, your not alone. Holla if you want to feel his love in your life.”

That was some missionary fire for my lil bro, hope ya know I haven’t forgotten our Eminem rappin’. This week went by pretty fast. I’ve been keeping Jace in my prayers all week and so glad to hear he is doing better. Get outta the doctor’s office man! 

Aight so I have some REALLY FREAKING EXCITING NEWS. are you ready? there is an apostle coming to our mission in two weeks. and guess who is coming?! You are gonna be so jealous.   ELDER HOLLAND IS COMING TO THE ATM BABBBBYYYY!! I jumped out of my seat when I saw the email from Prez. We are all SO stoked up right now. 

Alright here are some fun facts about Arizona:  Cockroaches are huge and slightly terrifying.  It feels like a hot July day in the middle of April.  As a general rule about Arizona, if its not dead- it wants you dead. 

We went on our Temple trip this week Lovely experience that was. I learned what riding in the transfer van for 2 and a half hours is like with no movies or music.  We spent the whole time playing What are the Odds, Would you Rather, and deciding who would play what character in different movies. The temple was great though. We went to the one in the Gila Valley. Its pretty small. The session was awesome, as usual when you go to the temple. There is just no greater feeling than sitting in the temple and feeling so close to your Heavenly Father. I really felt his love for me as I went through this time and I kept thinking of the words to the primary song, I am a Child of God. Those words are so applicable to me! He sent me here, to a family kind and dear (thanks mom and dad!) and I still, now more than ever maybe, need him to lead me and guide me. I am just so grateful to have the knowledge that my heavenly father loves me no matter what I do. He will always have his arms open wide to all of us. 

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Temple Trip to the Gila Valley Temple

This week we got a new investigator. Her name is Yo-. We didn’t get to chat long with her but she loves learning about Jesus Christ so she told us to come back. AWESOME:) Things are about the same with our Swahili family (thats what we call them because they all have a different last name, cultural thing) the problem is we don’t know how the daughter is explaining things to Elizabeth so we aren’t sure if anybody is understanding much. And we went over last night and Elizabeth was gone, but she went to church…. lol cool whatever church she went to! Come to our church dude! hahaha. 

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This is Bryce from our little African Family.  He loves our car!

There is some good news about Alex. Despite the slow progress with him, we were able to set a baptism date! We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and talked about how our purpose on earth is to gain a body and gain experiences so we can become like our Heavenly Father. After we had gone through the whole plan we talked about how following the saviors example we can be with God again. We read 2 Nephi 31:5,10 and then invited him to be baptized and he said yes! Sweeeeet. we set a date for May 21st. We are hoping we can keep this date, but he still has a lot to learn and a couple things he will have to give up before we reach baptism. 

We found another potential this week. He goes by Doctor B. The APs were in our area, because they are YSA, and he found them and talked to them. So they told us that he was crazy but wanted to learn more and to talk to him. So we were a little weary going in cause they said he was crazy! Well, I think over the past two and a half months my definition of crazy has changed. He was a little different but not crazy. Our area is very interesting with some interesting people and I’m starting to wonder if I have gotten to the point where I have talked to enough crazy people it doesn’t even phase me anymore. 

Sister Smith hit her one year mark this past Friday. It was exciting. We had a little bonfire at the Anzak’s house and roasted starbursts, Elder Silverwood brought his guitar and sister Smith burnt her skirt! It was a fun little celebration! 

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This is Tristan Anzak, one of our member families little boys.  We switched glasses!

I’ve been getting excited to see you all on Mothers Day, not gonna lie I am counting down on the calendar but trying not too. In the words of a wise old man- “All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us.” Thanks Gandalf. Peace out.

Love you all,  Sister Packer

What if Their Story Was Your Story?

Letter from April 4, 2016

YO fam!

It sounds like a busy busy week back home! Missin’ that Neilsen’s custard right now!  It has been a pretty good week here. Nothing too out of the ordinary happened.  Okay it’s kinda funny the new investigators we gained this week. There was a big push to help the refugees in conference. And I was wondering how I could help the refugees as a missionary… Well turns out this guy we contacted in the street about two weeks-ish ago is a refugee.  We have been trying to get in with them to teach he and his family and finally did!  And holy crap they are SOLID. Well mostly the mom, Elizabeth. She really loves us teaching her and wants her family to know about God. There is one hold up though- they speak Swahili…. And Kinyarwanda. No French or English. Except the older two kids, who have been translating for us. It’s been hard!  But we are seeing progress which we are really excited about. We’ve met with them about three times now. We gave them a Swahili Book of Mormon and guess what?! SHE READ THE FIRST CHAPTER!  I was so stoked.  So Tucson is actually the sixth in the country for where refugees have been sent.  Probably because the climate is so similar. But the push for helping them is a BIG thing out here. We are working with all the ward missionaries to figure out what more the ward can do too.  I loved the part in Women’s Conference when the speaker said, “what if their story was your story?”  This family we are teaching is an awesome family.  Mom, dad and five kids. What if that was my family? That’s what I kept thinking. SO GET INVOLVED GUYS. I’m not sure what the opportunities there are in IF to help right now but I know they are there:)

 I guess you could say I am getting more comfortable teaching lessons.  I feel really comfortable with the first lesson because of our March challenge to teach the restoration lesson once a day but also because we teach if the most. The third and fourth lessons I’m not comfortable with yet but I’ve learned  I can definitely rely on the Lord.  The hardest thing this week was probably not having much to do. We are still doing a ton of finding because we don’t have appointments and we’ve made some but a lot of the times they bail. (FYI that’s what happened at the park the other day)

 The most spiritual thing this week was probably when we had our extra zone meeting. So we had our zone conference and then the ZLs told us we were meeting Saturday night to go over the zone focus. And we were all thinking,  “seriously ANOTHER meeting”. But it ended up being really cool.  They had this fake fire set up and chairs and pillows all around it. We all sat around it like we were camping and then we all went around and gave a brief testimony of why we came out, that sorta thing. Then they talked about re-igniting our “greenies fire”. And then the fire in the middle changed to green😱 super cool.  So our zone focus for the month is to do something that puts you out of your comfort zone at least once everyday so we can stay as stoked about missionary work as we were when we first came out. I’m still a greenie… But I’m still excited for this challenge and to push myself!

Saturday we got to volunteer at the Special Olympics ALL DAY.  It was a lot of fun!  They are such sweet kids! We loved it, but Sister Smith got such a bad sunburn.  We did one exchange last transfer, but now we have a new sister training leader, so we might do more than that I’m not really sure!

In conference the talks that really stood out to me were Elder Stevenson’s about keys of the priesthood and Elder Holland’s.  Stevenson’s was just such a good analogy that I had never thought of before. Without the priesthood this church would not run smoothly and we would not be able to get to where we want to go. We NEED the priesthood power. It’s what makes all of the ordinances here on earth count and meaningful. There is one faith, one Lord, one baptism. And that ONE is the one with the priesthood (us!).  Holland’s talk just made me feel like I could handle the scary looking tomorrow. And it was comforting too to know that as long as I am trying and I have the desire to improve that is enough for my Heavenly Father!

Love you all, Sister Packer

Our apartment and a view from our road.

 

We were stood up in the park, so we played.  The other picture is of the senior office missionaries that we love dearly!

My poor companion Sister Smith had to have a hangnail removed.  She was incredibly calm throughout the procedure.

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Knocking, Parks and Druggies, Oh My!

Yo yo yo how’s IF town?! 

Because Mathew and precious got baptized we don’t have any progressing investigators currently.  Meredith’s mom isn’t a fan of her coming to church or joining the church so that’s a big obstacle. We are hoping to get both of them to a session of conference though. 

A lot of our former investigator’s have moved or is in prison now… Awkward… We are really close to activating a less active lady in our ward which is something we are excited about. She has come twice in a row and met with the bishop so she is doing awesome! So our finding techniques have brought some interesting stories for the week… I will share a couple with you. 

It was Wednesday or Thursday and we had run out of people to try on our list of formers and we were sitting there like okay what should we do now. And I had no ideas coming to mind so I said a small prayer that we might have some inspiration. Sister Smith said, “Let’s go to the park.  So we did.   We had some candy in our back seat. Like a bunch of nerds that we never eat. So I pulled them out and went to give away candy at a park.  Yes that’s what we did. People actually accepted candy from strangers at the park, haha. But the first guy we gave candy to,  we ended up talking to, sharing a message, and getting his number! Success! We couldn’t believe it worked it was so funny.

So this happened last night.  Anyway, once again we decided to go to the park. It was a different park though. This one is near the bottom of our area and we had passed it and seen some homeless people there before so we thought okay we will just go drop off some food and do a nice deed. We keep this bag of grapefruit, cuties and granola bars in the car for such instances. We ran into these two people in the park. A couple, 18 and 19 years old. They had just been kicked out of their Nana’s house because she is on crack and went nuts. They had a pretty sad story and both of them have had really hard lives. It’s sad what drugs do to families. They tear them apart. These two are the only clean ones in either of their families. But they were so thankful for the food. We ended up giving them what we had left of the food.  We honestly just couldn’t leave them there in the park for the night. That’s where they were planning on staying but that place is so unsafe. A lot of druggies and creeps hang there and it wouldn’t have been safe for the girl to be there at night. So we exchanged numbers and gave them the employment service number as well. They really appreciated it and after we had shared a short message hey said they felt like things could get better and that they might be okay. I hope they will start to feel that hope the Spirit brings. 

Yep been a fun week and met some cool people, some crazy people, been offered drugs twice, been real great. To be real honest I have a lot of stories from this week, but most of them Will have to be saved for when I get home. One day I’ll refer to my journal and tell you them all!

Oh also yesterday was a great Easter. I actually had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. My talk was based off of Elder Oak’s talk “strengthened by the atonement of Jesus Christ”. Read it! It’s awesome. And it actually was less scary giving a talk this time, maybe I’m getting used to talking in front of people haha.

Now for the question of the week:  who is better? ! batman or superman… First of all who is better like in a fight or just like as a person? Let’s be real here- I’m way better and cooler than both of them so why even waste time talking about them when you could be talking about me?😏

 Hope I answered all of your questions!  Haha it’s been a really interesting week like so many funny things have happened.  But I guess that’s what happens when you try to talk to just about everyone! We were able to have a small Easter celebration last night actually. We went to the church with some of the Elders and we all dyed eggs together and then had a big game of hand and foot. It was a fun activity and made it feel a little special and different from every other day!

My testimony of my Savior, where do I even begin. Jesus Christ is truly the life and light of the world. Because of him we are not only made clean of sin but we are comforted in every trial, pain and affliction we ever encounter. He suffered for each one of us individually. And he did it so that we can all live in heaven with our Father again. The atonement works in so many ways. It cleanses us from sin, eases guilt, and strengthens us. I know my Savior understands how I feel physically, mentally and emotionally. He understands so perfectly. The greatest thing he did was overcome all of those pains. He lives and because of that I know I can overcome and I can live again. I want to follow his example. While Easter is an important day, it’s not the only day we should remember this. We need to keep him with us always. I know that He brings hope to the world and that’s what so many people need right now. So many are searching for something better but they don’t know how to get it. This gospel, His gospel, is the way they can. They can end their search and be happy. That’s why we missionaries are out here. We want to help people realize their full potential and the eternal happiness they can have. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. How great is our call? My call!

 Love you all. Peace out.

Sister Packer

We had an investigator call on us!

Two Bottles of Wine

Letter from Maech 21, 2016

Well a few interesting things happened this week. First of all we went to Yvette’s and John’s for dinner. We planned on the Elder’s coming over around 8:30 because they wanted a blessing. John is not a member and was investigating, he’s the one that dropped us a few weeks ago.  So the Elder’s came and we had a spiritual thought. And it was great I felt like we really got to understand him and where’s he at better and his blessing was beautiful. We had a great spirit there. So we left but Yvette had wanted a blessing on the house too and the Elder’s forgot to do it. So Wednesday we all went back and after the elders gave the blessing, somehow we ended up talking about keeping the spirit in our homes and that led to the word of wisdom… Long story short we left with John’s two bottles of wine. I somehow ended up asking if we could take them… Not sure how the question came out of my mouth. But Sister Smith bore her testimony and It was a powerful moment. John felt ready for that, but not the cigarettes. Hey- baby steps. And as of yesterday at church he has been sober. Right on!

So The fireside was great. Fireside around here are different than ones at home just because you really have to work hard to get a lot of participation. But anyway we had people come so it was awesome. Someone told us it was the turnout they usually get for stake activities so thanks to our ward for the support. There were about 8 investigators present (including John) and they all enjoyed the program and the social afterwards- probably cause of the brownies. Anyway all the musical numbers went great. Mom I’ll send you a copy of our program cause I don’t think I could give you a play by play right now haha. We did a hike this morning for pday. Sister Smith accidentally grabbed a cactus which of course hurt her but was also pretty funny.

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Oh yeah we had a baptism this week. Probably shouldn’t forget to tell you that! Mathew and Precious got baptized. We were super excited for them. Haha but now that they are baptized we have zero progressing investigators and could be dropping or dropped by the other three this week. Gonna be doing a lot of finding this week. We can’t do a lot of knocking in this area so maybe we will hit up the parks again.  We don’t have a real solid plan right now but hopefully we can get creative.  We have done chalk pictures of the plan of salvation in the park and then the fireside. Oh yeah and I made a song about the plan of salvation. I sent it to you. It’s not the greatest but kids enjoy it ,haha.

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Love you guys so much!  Sister Jessica

PS:  So their are a lot of people in my zone. My zone leader’s are Elder Farnworth and Elder Cousin’s. District leader is Elder Dillworth and Elder Day. Then there is Elder Reyes and Elder Degrange, Elder Cunningham and Ames, Elder Taylor and Elder Young, Sister Handy and Sister Reed, Sister Harrop, Sister Tanner, Elder Arnold, Elder Pattenson, Elder Christensen, and I can’t remember all of them sorry!

 

It’s Been a Good Week

Letter from March 15, 2016

We started the week off with lots of meetings.  Tuesday was a follow up training for all the greenies and their trainers. So we all met together with the Passey’s and the AP’s for three hours😐. It was alright and interesting to hear about everyone else’s first month on the mission. Then Wednesday we had a zone meeting and that was pretty long too. But they introduced us to the new Easter message, if you haven’t watched it yet- what are you waiting for?  We talked about ways to introduce it to people and also ways it can lead into the message of the restoration. I don’t know if I mentioned this before but as a mission we have a goal that each companionship will teach the restoration at least once everyday. So we have been trying to connect everything back to it. 

The week went by pretty fast. M- and P- had their baptism interviews. They are 8 and 9 year old kids we have been teaching. Their family are refugees from Africa. Anyway apparently in M-‘s  interview he told Elder Dillworth he was going to smoke, he was trying to give the Elder a hard time and thought it was pretty funny. He was.

The best day this week was definitely Thursday. We taught the restoration, or at least principles of the restoration, FIVE times. Two were in our lessons for De- and Ro- because both of those were trying to help them understand how the Book of Mormon is different from the bible and answer their questions about Joseph Smith. Another was a referral we got, I’ll tell ya about him, another was a dude in the park, and the last was our dinner message. We were on fire, it was a great day. 

So this referral was from some Elder’s who had contacted a guy on the street but didn’t live in their area. His name is J- and this dude is pretty dope. Super chill guy. It sounds like he has seen some pretty rough stuff- had a cousin killed by a gang last year. He raps too! He rapped with freaking Ludicrous before Benson!!!😱  He ready and wants to change his life though. He’s been trying to get over some addictions and he wants to provide a good life for his daughters. We have tried to meet with him again after he cancelled our next meeting so hopefully we can get him sometime this next week. 

We extended the baptism invite for Ro-. And the thing that she is hung up on is that she won’t be going to the church she’s at now. She has friends there and doesn’t want to leave them. Me and Sister Smith aren’t sure she has really gained a testimony of what we are teaching yet. She really likes the social aspect of us coming over and loves Yv- who we bring along. But she said she is going to think about. 

Friday and Saturday we’re supposed to be full days but all of our appointments cancelled both days. One fun thing we did Saturday with all the time was a picnic at the park with the Anzak family. The ones we went to the temple with. Anyway we met them in the park and then with chalk we drew out the plan of salvation. We ended up having like five other kids come help us draw. It covered a huge area.  We didn’t draw any new investigators like we were hoping for but it was still fun! And who knows maybe someone will see it, be curious and go to Mormon.org! We wrote that at the bottom of it. 

OH YEAH. I almost forgot. Guess who’s a bike mechanic. ME. Yep, me and Sister Smith knew we weren’t going to have enough miles for the month so we went to check out some bikes in storage. And Elder Wagoner showed us four bikes but there was something wrong with each. So after two hours we had made two working bikes! And so now we bike when we don’t have to go too far. So basically we can bike in the southern part of our area but if we head up north we have to take the car. 

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The fireside is coming along great, haha or so we hope. It will be this next Sunday and we are excited and we’ve been inviting everyone. I have not come across Elder Judy but Sister Inman from the MTC said she knew him. And she said he was a super awesome kid. The weather hasn’t gotten super hot yet and probably won’t for another month. Well sounds like you guys had a really fun week! Love you!

Sister Packer😜

Today (Monday) Maggie Taylor and Sister Huntington, the two loveliest most awesome people in the ward took us to the San Havier Mission.  It’s a big Catholic Mission about thirty minutes south of  Tucson and it’s SO cool! It’s one of those Catholic cathedrals built in the 1700s. The mission was started when the Spaniard’s came to Mexico way back in the day and came to or preach to the Indians in here. So it’s still on the Tohono O’odam Indian reservation. It was really cool to see the mix of the two cultures.

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Rejection Seems to Be the Theme This Week

Letter from March 8, 2016

Well this week we have been rejected. A LOT. We just keep getting turned down by everyone. For what or why, I don’t know. We have been trying to visit all the less actives and part member families on our list. Anyway, we have been told so many times this week that they aren’t interested and not to come around anymore. sweet. One guy even peeked out his blinds to see who was at the door, saw me and wouldn’t answer. It was kinda funny actually. And on the same day we had one of the dry mormons in the ward tell us they don’t believe any of it (the gospel) and another less active tell us she doesn’t even believe in God or an afterlife. What the?! She got baptized for her son?? And then one of investigators, John broke up with us. And he did it through his wife. Yeah that was a heartbreaker right there. He still came to church with her and he even brought us extra bread (he works at panera bread and brings us bread to church) probably because he felt bad about not meeting with us anymore. You should feel bad John, you should!

The mission wide goal for the month of March is to teach the restoration at least once every. single. day. So far we have been able to do it! Sometimes it ends up being our dinner message, but that is our last resort. And its not bad either because everyone can benefit from hearing the restoration. 

 Sister Smith got sick Monday and we were doing exchanges that night for Tuesday. So Sister Jones is the STL, Sister Training Leader who I was supposed to go with and her comp was sick so our comps just stayed sick for Tuesday and tried to get feeling better and stop throwing up and I went with Sister Jones. It was interesting. It was fun to see how she did things differently than Sister Smith and what they did similarly.The fun part was they have bikes. Bikes and a car. I guess when they got into the area the car was already over miles so they found bikes. We biked for most of the day and I was a little red by the end of the day.  It was a hard but really good day. 

Another fun part of the week was Wednesday when I hit my One Month Mark! YAY!. I can now tell people I have been out a month instead of saying like two weeks or something. We celebrated with Costa Vida.

We taught Denise again this week. She has a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon. What she is mostly concerned about is wearing the “armor of God”. That was something Sister Smith felt she should talk to her about previously because her neighbor kept “casting” spells on her and demonic crap (Woohoo!!!) and so she was worried about that. She has had a priesthood blessing before about a month ago and she wanted another one so Friday we got some elders over there and they gave her a blessing and also blessed the house. Hopefully that helps her. #Gospel > Magical Mystic Crap

I finally met another one of our investigators- Meredith. It was actually supposed to be a drop lesson because she wasn’t keeping commitments and was always cancelling lessons but then she was all like this is the religion I want in my life so we didn’t drop her. 

We met with Rose again this week and taught the Plan of Salvation to her. I didn’t have the package you sent by then Mom, gosh dang it. But we will probably do a review lesson so I can use those then. Anyway she is still reading her BOM and was going to come to church but didn’t feel well on Sunday. She has  a lot of medical issues- most come from the addictions she has had in the past and still has currently. She still doesn’t understand the concept of priesthood power though. She still thinks her baptism in her other church was legit. Its a little frustrating because we know its not but she can only know by figuring it out herself.  We are praying to have some inspiration to effectively teach these principles to her.  Those were are only lessons this week with investigators this week!

Things have been good – I’m getting to run afterall. We live right next to a middle school and I got Sister Smith to come over to the track with me like four times this week in the mornings to run. She did really good. So I have been getting up at 6 every morning to go do that 🙂  Thank you for the package!! The visual aids are all super cute and are going to be very helpful and the clothes are awesome thank you mom!!!! It sounds like you all had a very entertaining weekend, what with the anniversary dinner at jaker’s and the wonderful redneck Hot tub night in the truck. Sounds like fun fam and I miss you guys! I am gonna send some pics of my cacti that I like. They are HUGE. I wish you could see the sunsets here because they are so awesome. The Fireside we have been planning is still on track. Crossing my fingers everything will workout okay. haha its gonna be DOPE. The missionaries in my district are all going to sing Come Unto Christ at it.  The elder’s aren’t too thrilled but we used our “great persuasive leadership skills” (AKA we got bossy)  and they agreed lol 😉 Love you,

Sister Packer