Hello new mission area!

So guess what?? I have now been in three missions (kinda). My first area of virginia beach was split off and turned into chesapeake mission. Then my second area was the richmond mission. And now my third is the brand new addition to the richmond mission, woodbridge. It’s the tippy toppy part of the area because it used to be DC South and now they got added into our mission. Crazy huh? So this is how transfer meeting went…
No one knew where they were going, or who they would be with as we all sat there jammed into the chapel. The new mission pres started reading off names ONE BY ONE and said who they would be with, and then everyone watched silently as they came together and hugged and sat down. Of course I’m freaking out because I don’t want to have to do that, and I’m just pleading to heaven that I don’t trip, and it’s taking forever for my name to get called. My two old companions get their new companion called and she takes my seat so I move up a bench. Eventually I remember him saying my name and I stand and see a sister coming towards me that must be my companion. So I frantically make room for her on my little bench and hug her and we sit. Phew. I turn and say “So are you training me?” Back up info: The new mission president made it so that all visa waiters are now trained in their temporarily assigned areas instead of having us wait till our final destination, so I was expecting to be trained this transfer.
Anyway, once I whisper that to my companion, she looks at me all confused and says, “No, you’re training ME.” waaaahhhhhh :O so I tried to stay calm and collected but I don’t think I did a good job. My poor poor companion, getting a trainer that could leave any day on a plane, and one that’s never been trained before. But I am doing my best and praying so very hard that I don’t say anything too stupid and that I do all that God wants me to do in this new area. It’s only through Him that I can do anything, and I just love Him so much it hurts because He never lets me down and is always there to calm my heart and tell me where to go and what to say.
 
And speaking of that, an update on L. (crazy awesome lady who’s had me brushing my hair for the past few months). I heard today that she’s stopped progressing… and she won’t meet with sweet sister misdom and forsyth anymore… it breaks my heart. Tomorrow is the last day of the bet, but she is no where close to baptism. I’ll just keep praying that her heart will change and she will come back.
Sister George is my new companion and she has been out for 6 weeks here in woodbridge so she thankfully knows a lot about the area and what to do. She’s actually the designated driver too cause I don’t think I’m allowed to drive here… ha. But things are moving along… slower than my last area for sure… but I have a lot of hope for this place and know that miracles are happening and big things are coming. I can feel it 🙂
I love you all and will send pics next week (my camera ran out of batteries just now… mahh.).
Love, Sister Packer
 
(If anyone would like Logan’s new address, let me know!)
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What’s up this week…

Well this week was unexpected you could say. We had lessons planned and we wanted to get five new investigators. So what did we get? 0 lessons, 0 new investigators, and 9 whole Less Active lessons. What? Yep 🙂 we sure did that. Don’t ask me how or why, but the Lord wanted us to focus on some lost sheep this week, and we sure did. We found a lot of people that no body talks to anymore, or no body else can get inside except us. That happens a lot to us. I think that’s why we have Elders and Sisters in the same ward here (did I mention we have 8 missionaries in our ward? three elders, three sisters, and a senior couple). The Elders teach the people who are scared of us, we teach the people who are scared of them, and the senior couple visits everyone cause they’re awesome like that 🙂 Anyway… So we met a lot of very lonely people and filled them up with love, and set up weekly appointments because they need a LOT of love. Two of the men are super down about life because they feel like they’ve tried so hard, but nothing seems to go right. They both want to be married and have families. One of them struggles with addictions, a few of them actually. And the other’s weakness is laziness I think. So we give them assignments and follow up to keep them accountable. They give us looks like “really? three teenagers are here telling me what to do?” but secretly they like us 🙂 I just know it. We’re persistent, but we smile so much that they can’t really hate us. Not when we tell them how awesome they are and how much God loves them all the time. Unfortunetly, none of them came to church last sunday, which tells me just how much work they need to get back up. All we can do is keep inviting and loving, eventually they have to choose. I just hope it’s the right choice! 

One of the Elders in my ward is named Winston Young. He says he knows the Packers in Kirtland so pass the word along. He said Adam is great and I agree! What a great missionary he is! 
Scripture of the week: 
Romans 8:31 “If God be for us, who can be against us?” 
Quote of the week:
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” Pope John XXIII
This week I was reminded of how important repentance is. Everybody always talks about it… almost to a point where if we hear someone start to say it, we only listen half heartedly. But I’ve come to see it different than some gruesome thing that hurts and is embarrassing and awkward. Repentance means changing. Looking back I know I never want to be the girl I was five years ago, three years ago, or even right before I left for my mission. Not that I hated myself, but I can see now what I couldn’t. THings make sense that didn’t. I love my Savior like I never thought I could. I love PEOPLE like I didn’t think was humanly possible. All because of the Atonement that allows me to shed the old and replace it with something better. Sins only block us from that. And sometimes it IS painful to let them go because you feel like real repentance is holding onto them, punishing yourself as if it makes it better. Nothing is better until you give them up. I don’t want to ever be afraid or ashamed to repent, because that means I’m afraid to change. And what good does that do? You’re right, Nothing 🙂 
I love you all xx Sorry for the lengthiness.. I had more time today. Have a great week and remember God loves you. 
Sister Packer 
PS Most of my MTC district is in Brazil now. #hopefulmissionary 
haha

More changes!

Welp… I’m being transferred again! This time I don’t know where, or who my companions are, but that’s okay. 

       I was NOT expecting it at all though and so it’s going to be rough leaving our investigators and less actives. Especially K.  (she’s the young mother of two boys. husband is very less active and we still haven’t met him). She just keeps coming to church and meeting with us and reading her scriptures and doing anything we ask her to except pray in front of us (yet). I love her so much because she wants this for HER. She wants to do what is good for her family, even if that means doing it without the support of her husband. That to me is an example of putting the Lord first, even if it’s before people you love sometimes. I know that as she continues on this path, her husband will have a change of heart and follow her example. It’s great because the bishop in this ward is a Catholic convert just like she will be, and he didn’t want to join the church till his wife said she was going to, so he is a great example to K. of being that example for her spouse. 
     And then there’s A. (red headed 30 year old with fun piercings all over). Holy Smokes is she something. The first time we went over she told us her life story, how she’s been in jail and killed her friend in an accident, and can’t afford to have custody of her two daughters (both with different father’s). Anyway, she’s in a very dark place and I was surprised when she said she’d meet with us again. She told us religion isn’t something she really cares about, and argued that we have no proof God exists and all that. So then we went back a few days later and when she opens the door the first thing she does is hug me and tell me she was so worried about us because we were late. We went in and she was just so happy and when we brought up God she listened and even admitted that she never felt closer to God than in her jail cell. She said “why did I pray to something I didn’t think existed?” And then I told her that sometimes God eliminates all the distractions from us so the only option we have is to turn to Him. Her face lit up and she was like “yeah, He does do that doesn’t He.” What a change! I was flipping around inside 🙂 Man I will miss her too. 
        And one more person I will miss so much is J, the LA who is into some addictive things but needs a lot of love. Well, I’m pleased to announce that he came to church!!!! :DDD AHAHHHHHH!! YES! He was so smiley and shaking everyone’s hands. He just needs to come back for heavens sake and he just puts up such a stink about it because he lets the devil sink him down. I told him that this week, but in a nicer way. He didn’t really have anything to say about that. I might never see him again cause we don’t have time for many visits between now and thursday (transfer day) but he looks like Luigi pretty much. tall with the stache. 
        On that note, if anyone sends me something after tuesday of this week, it probably won’t reach me. Hopefully my new area won’t be far and my comps here can just give me anything that comes. Thank you for all the love and support. I loved the letter about camping with all the little notes! And the granola of course 🙂 one of my comps was having a rough day when the package came so I let her eat my granola and read Emma’s letter with the cat on it while I went on splits with our awesome relief society leader to see an old lady who needs lots of love 🙂 that was a good experience too. Everyone cried. 
I love you all so very much. Keep smiling and being happy and enjoying this awesome sunshine. I love it! 
Sister Packer 

The song of the heart is a prayer unto me…

Hello tan lines!
I know you all just wanted to see a blown up picture of my feet so bad.. but I just had to share how ridiculous they look haha. That’s one thing I won’t miss about Virginia, having to wear church shoes every day. The same ones. But sandals will come soon enough. 

So this week has been the week of song. Our new mission president, Pres Wilson, told us this week that we should all start singing in our lessons, and using the pamphlets more too. So that day we had a lesson with an investigator. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned her before but she’s catholic, married to a less active member in the ward that no body’s really seen (if I didn’t see a pic of him in her house I wouldn’t know what he looked like or if he was even real). But we’ve been teaching her all transfer and she is just so wonderful. she’s come to church many times, bringing her two little boys with her. So she’s kinda got the dry sarcasm thing down to perfection, and I know she doesn’t really like singing or lovy dovey stuff like hugs, so I was wondering how she would take us just bursting into song this time. We start to sing and poor sister mondgomery looses it. Like really starts to just laugh so hard. and then we’re all laughing, and I’m pretty much the only one who finished the song. For those who have never heard me sing, it’s because I have no musical talent. So you can imagine how my solo went, with the chorus of hysterical laughter as harmony. Oh my lanta 🙂 haha
Anyway, the rest of the week we just kept singing. We sang for the old man who just lost his wife and doesn’t believe in God. We sang for the lady who wouldn’t hear our message because she was “comfortable in my Methodist faith.” We sang for the less active family we’re teaching the discussions to to re-activate them. And what happened you ask?? miracles. Miracles happened. Hearts were softened. Cold faces turned to smiles. And we got a lot of “thank you for coming” and “god bless” and “try to stay cool girls” instead of “no thanks” or “I’m not interested.” Like Sister Montgomery puts it, when they won’t listen to your testimony, sing it to them. 
I want to tell you one more story about another lady. It was my turn to knock the door as we were tracting, and she opened it. I felt like I should ask her if she’s doing okay, and she said she wasn’t. her health is bad and her husband had gone to get her medicine. She let us in and we told her about our missions. She’s roman catholic and loves Jesus so so much it’s amazing. She wants to be a missionary with us so bad. She went and got a BOM an old friend sent to her and had me read aloud the testimony her friend wrote inside. The spirit filled up that room like a pitcher of water. She was so glad when we said we live close and can come see her again. Before leaving we asked if we could pray and she said we should hold hands so we all sat in a little circle and Sister French prayed, and then She said a prayer right after that was so powerful. It melted my heart into a little puddle of joy. She blessed us with power and strength, and that people would open their doors for us because we had a light people need to have. She blessed us that we would be successful and conquer the challenges we face. She was squeezing my hand so tight and I know she was sent to us from God. She is a kindred spirit 🙂 she told me if Brazil takes me she will be so very mad. 
Well I hope you are all safe and happy and enjoying this wonderful life. I sure am. 3 Nephi 5:13 
Love, Sister Packer xxx

 

 

(In case anyone’s wondering why none of the people mentioned in the stories are named, Logan has asked for none of her investigator’s names to be mentioned in the blogs, just for their privacy.)

Update….

So I moved again!

The apartment we were living in had been lived in by Elders for 25 years. That means before I was born, missionaries were there! And yes, I know that’s the reason why I immediately got sick after moving in. And I got better after moving out. IT. WAS. SO. SICK. NASTY.
So we’re living in a new place that’s clean while we slowly deep clean the other place. Honestly I wish we could just burn it down, it would be doing the complex a favor. But we’ll get it clean 🙂 one day, one sticky wall, one dark cupboard at a time.
Funny story about cleaning… SO we asked some missionaries to help us out with it, and the only ones with time were the District leader and his comp. Elder Brown and Elder… I forget his greenies name. But they are both pretty new and super super sweet boys. So we were unloading stuff into our new apt and the DL’s were cleaning our old one until we got there to help. Little did we know that we can’t all clean together. SO we get there and are unlocking the door, and the greenie’s face comes into view on the other side, looking like he’s having a panic attack. Then Elder Brown comes around from the back room, running, actually running, to the door, hand outstretched like he’s going to project something from his palm to stop us, shouting “SISTERS, SISTERS STOPP!”
We of course obeyed, not really sure what to do other than stand outside the door, looking like we were in trouble but we were’nt sure why. When they explained we couldn’t be in the apt at the same time I tried and failed to hold back my smile. How righteous they are! How innocent and obedient! It made my whole day and we still quote them when we want a good laugh.
We got 4 new investigators this week, all from tracting. Which is pretty awesome. 3 are a family. They let us in and we didn’t have time for a lesson so we invited them to a church tour. We had it the next day, and they showed up looking all cute in their Sunday best. They’re all very beautiful women with dark skin and black hair. At the end we were sitting in front of the baptismal font, teaching the restoration, and Sister Montgomery asked them if they would be baptized if they knew this was true. My favorite immediately nodded her head and leaned forward in her chair with this excited look on her face. Her sister was less sure, but it was their mom who helped them commit, and she did too. BAAAHHH!!! THE  CHURCH IS TRRUUUEEE 😀
My companions and I spoke this Sunday about Hope in Christ. I had about 10 minutes to speak, and 30 minutes of talk. So I shared the story of you, mom, and your accident at the family reunion two years ago this month. I talked about how you and dad had the hope that because you kept your covenants, everything would be alright. You knew in whom you had trusted, and you knew God would keep us together forever if we kept our side of the promise. Thank you for being the perfect examples to me of that hope, that no matter what, in the end it will all be made right.
Some quotes I liked this week:
“we’re not asked to die for Christ, but we are asked to live for Him.” RS
“If we do our best, He will not let us fail.” Neal L Anderson
“The most effective missionaries always act out of Love.” Russell M Nelson
“What does the “re” in repent mean? It means you do it again. Repeat. Repent.” President Packer
I love you all and am so blessed to know you 🙂 I love this work, and I love my Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, who is my best friend and my healer. Remember the Lord is preparing people TODAY. Who do you know that needs Christ in their lives? Don’t wait till tomorrow to share the light we have. We don’t know how blessed we are to have it!
Love, Sister Logan Packer