Richmond, Virginia

So here I am… in Virginia :] specifically in the city of Virginia Beach. It’s so beautiful here! It’s a lot like Ireland, but warmer haha. It’s raining today and I’m in heaven. I have two companions, Sister Misdom and Sister Forsythe (sound like wisdom and foresight to anyone else? I think yes). They are sweet girls and I love learning from them. I kinda feel like their pet and I follow them around, observing all they do. One of our favorite things is going to the “hood.” Don’t worry mom, it’s not even bad. I really like it because the people there are humble and will actually listen to us. We’ve made some good friends down there. These sisters have only been here a transfer so we’re all new to this area and are trying to earn the trust of the members and find people to teach. Our ward is mostly made up of army and navy based families who live on base. It’s pretty much 70% toddlers, which is an interesting turn of events from Weiser. 90% Elderly people :]
So some funny things that happened.
The things I’ve been called:
Brazilian, Italian (this african american woman didn’t believe I was from america. She says I speak with lisp and I role my “r’s” like I’m Italian or something. My only guess is that I either picked up a speech impediment, or I have a slight accent from all the portuguese in the MTC), a pioneer mother (from saying “mercy sweet heaven”), a hipster (my nickname in the MTC), and Jackie from that 70’s show (my zone leaders swear I’m her twin). Oh and aparently I’m also the twin to a famous Russian actrice. Forgot her name though…
We met with a less active woman Sister on my first day here. Guess where she’s from… yep. Brazil ūüėÄ WHAT?? So I talked to her for a long time in Portuguese and felt bad my companions were just sitting there cause they don’t know what we’re saying, but she really liked me and I bore my testimony of coming back to church and when we left, the sisters told me that was the most she had opened up about out of any of their lessons. They tell me I’m like an answer to prayer. All I know is that God knows all, and it’s amazing to see how He plans everything so perfectly, and if we’re obedient, He will guide us where He needs us and will let us be apart of His grand picture. It’s an understatement to say I’m so blessed to have been apart of this work thus far, and it’s only my fifth day in the field. Still very much a greenie, but very eager to learn from this place God has put me.
Spiritual thought of the week. We learn in the Bible how to show love to other people through the example of Jesus Christ. He also showed us how to recieve love from God in return. “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:14. Feeling the love of God is conditional on our obedience. Why? Because when we sin, the natural consequence is a seperation from us and God. He doesn’t pull away. We do. He will always love us, but being able to feel that love is conditional on US. That was from a talk by Russel M Nelson called “The mission and ministry of Jesus Christ.”
I hope all is well with you and that you’re feeling the love God and Christ have for you personally. There’s always more, it will never run out. This gospel is true, because Jesus Christ is the center. I love you all.
Sister Logan Packer

Last Week in the MTC!

Ola Amigos!
So this is my last week in the dear old MTC. Today my dear sister friend, Sister Cozzins, and I went to the Mall! haha… I know. We got special permission to go and get a couple things that we need for the new places we got called so a cute little lady took us around the Provo Mall this afternoon. It was quite the experience to step out of the issolation here and out where I look different from everybody else. I’m so so excited to go! I can’t express that enough in email but I really am. Jarom, I’m going to write you about what to expect and all that stuff soon so don’t fret bud :] I am so proud of you and imagine you here all the time. Ashley, I went to your kiosk today and you weren’t there! They told me you don’t work there anymore.. which maybe is best.. because otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten any shopping done because I would have just sat there with you all day. Some guy said he’d pass on the message that I was there. I wish I could be there for your wedding! I am so happy for you Ash! And I have my re-assingment, but I’m calling home tomorrow at 3pm to give the news so I’ll wait till next email to tell the rest of you… sorry. Anyway, I love you all, and am so glad for the possitive influences you’ve been in getting me here. I don’t have anything that great to say this week because of time, but I have some things I’m including in a hand-written letter for you (family) with lots of good things to say. It might not get sent till next week.
Eu ama voces!
Sister Logan Packer

General Conference

Hello again!
Wow. Has it really only been a week since Conference?? So much has happened. And I’ve learned so much as well.
First, I’d like to follow up on my last email. In Conference I learned a LOT about myself, about the gospel, and about faith. The things that stood out most to me, all pertained to my previous email about real testimonies and how the church is so small. I hope this isn’t confusing but I’m just going to write so bear with me…
Faith has changed for me. In Helamen 5? I think that’s where it is… Anyway he’s talking to his sons about faith in Jesus. How it’s the rock of our salvation. If I had my phone I’d look it up to make sure, but someone with tech freedom will have to do that for me. A man used this scripture in his Conference talk, and for the first time it really made sense. Faith in Jesus Christ is more than just a nice phrase. It’s an action, and it works. Faith is an action word, meaning when we have faith we act on it and hope for the best, trust in it even. So faith in Jesus Christ is like that too. It means we trust in Him. In His words and His actions. The things He did in the Bible (baptism, Holy Ghost, using the priesthood, teaching the higher law than just the 10 commandments) and following all He did with that faith. Faith in Him means that we believe He’s telling us the truth. He’s not lying to us when He says He is the only way to be happy. Faith in Him means that we give up anything that He wouldn’t do, that He wouldn’t be, because we trust that His way is better.
This means that no matter what, no matter if our whole family leaves the church, or an apostle falls away, it won’t matter to us. Our testimonies aren’t based on men. Our rock is the Savior, the only perfect person, the only one who we can be absolutely sure that He will never lead us wrong. I know now what I didn’t know four weeks ago, that I will never forsake this gospel, because my faith is in Christ, my Redeemer and my friend. I know He loves me. I can feel it everyday as I am better using the atonement in my life. He would never do anything that wouldn’t be in my best interest. Is there any other person we can be that sure about?
I also want to inform anyone who’s interested that I get my temporary re-assignment this Thursday since my visa has yet to come. But it will come, so I’m not worried. I just hope I go somewhere warm :] haha. I’ll try and¬†get my¬†new address¬†on here sometime (once I know it) but email is a safe way to send things as always. ¬†
The language is coming along. Slowly. But I have about a week 1/2 left and I’m determined to learn as much as possible before being sent out into the real world again.
I’d also like to say that I do know this work is real, and that it’s the right side to be on. Being here is great, but I can feel this fluttering excitement in me when I think about leaving the MTC. Out there where there are real souls who need the message I have. The good word that¬†I’ve been blessed with¬†my whole life, one that I will never be worthy¬†to have, is the one I will share to all who will listen. And then some. I will never repay my debt to¬†my¬†God and my¬†Savior, but I will¬†not rest¬†until I meet them again, because I know¬†we will.¬†That is what gets me through some days, imagining how it will¬†be¬†on that great day when I kneel at His feet and He knows¬†ME, because I did everything to know HIM. What greater gift than to know you’ve done¬†your best. As Paul¬†said in the Bible “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” No wordly, temporal pleasure¬†will¬†EVER measure up.
I love you all, and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray for you all the time! Never forget it :] 
Love, Sister Logan Packer