I’M IN BRASIL!!!

Ola Amigos!

I want you all to know that I am alive and I finally made it 🙂 (to those who told me I never would.. I will let your own consciences do the punishing haha). Oh and I apologize right now for how crazy this letter will be because of time and that every other word I type is wrong according to this Portuguese speaking computer. 
My companion is Sister Krelling 🙂 she is Brazilian although she has a German name. Actually her dad is German and her mom is from Spain but she says she is Brazilian haha. She has light brownish hair so it´s funny cause sometimes I think I look more Brazilian than she does. That´s another thing, there is a WIDE spectrum of Brazilians. Some are white, some black, some in the middle. It’s really interesting for sure. And the Portuguese is different when certain people speak it as well. Lisps are the worst!! I can barely understand as it is!! haha but something that is awesome and just honestly makes me want to cry with happiness is that I can understand A LOT more than I thought I would be able to. I have been here exactly 7 days, and every single day I can feel myself getting better at the language. It is a visible progression that amazes me. Don’t think for a second that it’s anything to do with me either. My loving Heavenly Father is truly blessing me when I don´t deserve it. He is quickening my mind to comprehend these people. I still don’t know how to say very much at all. I can understand a LOT more than I can speak. But because my sweet companion doesn’t speak more than 20 or so simple words in English.. (haha woo hoo!) I am literally forced into Portuguese. I consider this a blessing. 
Yes mom I would LOVE an English Ensign! I was thinking about it all 8 hours of Portuguese droning on and on and on.. and on. and me not understanding much at all. The worst was that they would start speaking in English and then the Portuguese translator would start the voice over. So I got a small taste of what I could be hearing but couldn’t. But guess what?? For the first session on Sunday, a very nice man in the ward was able to connect his computer and have a silent English one playing with English subtitles so I could read along while the Portuguese continued. OH I WAS SO HAPPY! There’s an American elder in my area and we sat on the front row and watched it. Don’t worry, there was enough space between us to fit the entire mission library, and all my Portuguese books, and maybe all my other stuff too haha 😉 
Oh I’m out of time. Ok I will organize my thoughts better and be able to say more next time. I want to send pictures home so I’ll figure out something with that.. 
I love you all! Family of mine… you are the faces I see when I close my eyes and need a moment of peace. Thank you for being such a good foundation for me! I know this gospel is true. I know Jesus Christ is real, He loves us, and He knows us. And I want more than anything to know Him back. John 7:29 look it up 🙂
Until next week. 
Love, SIster Packer
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Weekly Letter

Ola!
I figured since in a few weeks I will be speaking a language I don’t know, I might as well use it a little 😉 and when I say a few weeks, I mean I AM LEAVING FOR RIO IN 13 DAYS!!!
Funny story about that..
So Sister Sauer-Davis (my sweet companion I am training) checked the phone and saw a text from our mission president (kinda a big deal) that said simply: 7:28 on 9/30.
How cryptic is that?
So we asked if he meant to send that to us. A few hours later he said: Yes. So then we asked what it meant… And joking around, my comp says “I’ll bet it’s your flight to Brazil sister packer.” HA! Funny joke 🙂
A few hours later.. we are driving to a dinner apt when all of a sudden she starts screaming at the top of her lungs. (no we did not crash. by the way, I’m driving now for the first time in 6 months. #watchout). So I then ask her what the heck is going on and she tells me we got a text back from president that says: Flight to Rio! Please Call.
So of course, we did 🙂 and our speaker phone doesn’t work so I waited patiently till Sister Sauer-Davis got off the phone and she told me he’s just so excited and that’s the day I fly out and they’ve already bought the ticket… And all I’m doing is trying to drive and not be sick with all the butterflies banging around like a mosh pit in my stomach.
But I am feeling much more at peace about the whole thing now (perhaps it’s because I’m in denial that it’s really happening? who knows). All I want to do is prepare this area and my companion for the next 13 days. So we are working hard and planning a lot and organizing EVERYTHING. The map, the area book, our white board of information, because Sister Sauer-Davis might not even stay here next transfer. And we have a family getting baptized in like four weeks!!! I’m not panicking! haha
*stops to take a deep breath*
It will all be okay 🙂 that is my spiritual thought today. The Lord knows. He knows me, He knows our investigators, He knows it will all be ok. All I have to do is trust him.
I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior. They are the reason I am here now, and they are the reason for all I do. That might not have been the case when I came out here, but it is now. I love them, and they are real to me. As if they are standing by me, telling me what to do, what to say, how to act. They are my best friends. And all I want is for the people I meet to know that for themselves. I am in the business of recovering identities. That’s all it is, helping people remember what they used to know. And HOLD ON to truth when we receive it! Don’t ever let go! Don’t you dare let go of that truth.
God loves you all 🙂 have a great week. And pray that I don’t lose my sanity as my heart is being torn two different ways.
Love, Sister Packer

 

 

Unexpected Changes!

Hello everyone 🙂 If you didn’t already get my crazy screaming message…. MY VISA IS DONE!! 😀 I think it’s coming soon… I can’t believe it! I’m reminded of my sweet mother and how her mission experience was so similar.. Her visa didn’t come to go to France, she got reassigned to Philadelphia, and 6 months into her mission, she went to France. Crazy to think that not only is that happening to me, but that I’ve even been out that long!!
On that note, I almost don’t want to go! I love Virginia! I remember asking my mom is she loved Philadelphia or France better looking back, and she said she loved them both the same. I never thought I would be able to say the same for myself, but I love these people here. I have served with them, taught them, seen them change, cried with them, prayed with them, and come to value their lives above my own. It’s not crazy anymore to think about the sons of Mosiah and how they were so determined to help their brothers come unto Christ that they were willing to give their lives for it. Ammon promised King Lamoni that he would be his servant, perhaps “even till the day I die.”
Two miracles that happened this week. One, Angel, H and M are getting baptized!! 🙂 on the 12th of October is the date we set. Oh how I want to be here for that! They are progressing so fast and I know they are a God send to us humble sisters. They plopped right in our laps when we needed a miracle. What’s crazy is that like so many others I meet, they end up blessing my life way more than I could ever bless theirs. The only reason they feel blessed by us is because of who we represent, the Master teacher and all He gives to us.
And then there’s MB. I don’t know if I ever wrote about him, but he goes by Pappy, and he and his wife S are like Mr and Mrs Clause. They make toys in their basement for a living and are so so nice. Well the elders have been teaching them for a couple years now but haven’t seen much progression. We went there a couple times, but I was almost decided on dropping them. For more reasons than I’ll share on here, I just didn’t feel good about it. I didn’t want to teach them. It was three weeks after our last appointment that I was sitting with my new companion that I have now (Sister Sauer-Davis) and I looked at our board of investigators, and I said “we need to see Pappy and Sue today.” While I still didn’t want to, I knew it was what the Lord wanted, so we did it. We had a wonderful member come with us because Sue wouldn’t be home during the day, and we went and taught Pappy the Restoration. I knew he’d been taught it many times before, but i didn’t know what else to do to re-kindle any testimony he might have had. My companion’s turn ended, and I began to teach the part that talks about Joseph Smith and the vision he saw. I quoted the first vision as I looked him right in the eyes. His face has never looked that still, that reverent. When I finished I asked if he thought this could be true, and without any sarcasm he answered “I don’t know why it wouldn’t be.” He then explained how his testimony had come over the years, how he knew it when the elders taught it, and how it had to be right. I asked him if he would be baptized and he said he would, but not without Sue. She was the one who was unsure about it all. Then he said something that really startled me, he said that he’s never heard story as perfectly as I told it right then. He said it needs to come from the heart, not a paper you read from. He said he’s seen a difference in the kind of missionary I am than others, and that I’m a really good one. Then, the member we brought started saying the same thing. She started to cry and say that in other lessons she’s been in with me (she comes to teach a catholic man we teach every week) that she sees how much I love the people and serve from the heart. At this point I was speechless.. almost crying too because I knew that God had given me what I’ve always wanted, the gift to be able to speak to people, to teach, and to love. And not be afraid. I didn’t realize how much I’ve grown in that until this week. And it’s all from Him, the one who is the giver of all good things. Heavenly Father has blessed me more than I can ever say. I am so humbled by His majesty, and how I could ever be important in His eyes. But I AM. We ALL are GREAT in His sight. Never forget that my dear friends! Never forget the goodness of the Creator of beautiful YOU.
I love you all. I love my God, and His perfect Son who saves me every day.
Love, Sister Packer.

I’M IN BRASIL!!

Ola Amigos!

I want you all to know that I am alive and I finally made it 🙂 (to those who told me I never would.. I will let your own consciences do the punishing haha). Oh and I apologize right now for how crazy this letter will be because of time and that every other word I type is wrong according to this Portuguese speaking computer.
My companion is Sister Krelling 🙂 She is Brazilian although she has a German name. Actually her dad is German and her mom is from Spain but she says she is Brazilian haha. She has light brownish hair so it´s funny cause sometimes I think I look more Brazilian than she does. That’s another thing, there is a WIDE spectrum of Brazilians. Some are white, some black, some in the middle. It’s really interesting for sure. And the Portuguese is different when certain people speak it as well. Lisps are the worst!! I can barely understand as it is!! haha but something that is awesome and just honestly makes me want to cry with happiness is that I can understand A LOT more than I thought I would be able to. I have been here exactly 7 days, and every single day I can feel myself getting better at the language. It is a visible progression that amazes me. Don’t think for a second that it’s anything to do with me either. My loving Heavenly Father is truly blessing me when I don´t deserve it. He is quickening my mind to comprehend these people. I still don’t know how to say very much at all. I can understand a LOT more than I can speak. But because my sweet companion doesn’t speak more than 20 or so simple words in English.. (haha woo hoo!) I am literally forced into Portuguese. I consider this a blessing.
Umm lets see what else. Well I hope mom and dad you get my letter I sent or emailed I´m not sure which that I wrote from the mission home. And that Jarom got my letter for his birthday:) Wow bud we are getting old!!
Yes mom I would LOVE an English ensign! I was thinking about it all 8 hours of Portuguese droning on and on and on.. and on. and me not understanding much at all. The worst was that they would start speaking in English and then the Portuguese translator would start the voice over. So I got a small taste of what I could be hearing but couldn’t. But guess what?? for the first session on Sunday, a very nice man in the ward was able to connect his computer and have a silent English one playing with English subtitles so I could read along while the Portuguese continued. OH I WAS SO HAPPY! There’s an American Elder in my area and we sat on the front row and watched it. Don’t worry, there was enough space between us to fit the entire mission library, and all my Portuguese books, and maybe all my other stuff too haha 😉
Oh I´m out of time. Okay I will organize my thoughts better and be able to say more next time. I want to send pictures home so I´ll figure out something with that..
I love you all! Family of mine… you are the faces I see when I close my eyes and need a moment of peace. Thank you for being such a good foundation for me! I know this gospel is true. I know Jesus Christ is real, He loves us, and He knows us. And I want more than anything to know Him back. John 7:29 look it up 🙂
Until next week.
Love, SIster Packer