Óla todo mundo :)

So this week was super fast. I think part of the reason is my watch broke… Can I just say that I thought I would never join the `watch lovers´ group… but here I am. Mourning the loss of my watch because I feel so disoriented! And my great tan line is the constant reminder that I am without a watch.

 
My aula de ingles is so great 🙂 Funny because I say a prayer in ingles to start it off every week, and it is so hard to pray in ingles! Oh my goodness I talk SOOO SLOWWW during the prayer, and I constantly stutter over words. How embarrassing. Sorry btw if this letter is all misspelled because like I´ve said before, on MY computer it shows that EVERY word is misspelled so I have no clue 🙂 And it doesn’t help that I´m forgetting English. This week I had to ask sister Lewis (an american sister) how to say batata in ingles. It´s Potato. Oh my heavens, the Idahoan forgot how to say potato… 
 
I have some good scriptures for you all to look up ok?
D&C 60:12; 75:2-5; 112:28; 12:8 
 
This week I´ve been studying about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) because I´m giving a talk about it in Zone Conference o.O and as missionaries we study and teach about it all the time but I am still learning how really it is what we need to live for the rest of our lives. I´ll give more insights about this next week but if anyone wants to read a wonderful story about the Gospel of Jesus Christ you can read Mosiah chapter 4. It changed my perspective on our baptismal covenants and how important it is to keep them forever. 
 
And one last happy note. We had rain yesterday for the first time in over a month…. oh my goodness what a relief for everyone. I had to sleep with a sheet on top of me for the first time in so long cause usually I don´t have a sheet over me cause it´s so hot! Side note for anyone serving where it´s hot. Get your pajamas wet before you go to sleep 🙂 you sleep a lot better. 
 
This week I was reminded of how great God´s plan is for us. I know it´s true and that we are living it because we chose the right in the pre-existance. Now we need to choose the right for the rest of forever and have the atonement always with us to take our sins and give us strength to do whatever God asks. 
I love you all 🙂 OH!! HAPPY VALENTINES!! (I forgot cause valentines here is in june!)
Sister Packer 

Óla :)

One of the most simple happy moments of my life was when I figured out how to type an accent in portuguese on these keyboards. Now I can type words like Já and Olá and others that I can´t think about right now 🙂 hah. 

 
This week was… interesting. YES I am finding my way around. THANK YOU FOR THE PRAYERS. God is very good to me and no matter how I try I never deserve all the good things that happen. A neat story about getting lost was that last night we were walking to a menos ativo ( less active) family as our last appointment that night and without looking at the map I had the distinct thought that they lived on a certain road that i know. So we started walking that way. We passed by an apartment complex and my comp and I both had the feeling to talk to this man who was standing inside the gate of the complex (apartments have gates here and you have to beep this thing to get in). So my comp started talking and she ended up teaching the entire restoration in the middle of the road, with him on one side of the gate. During the first vision he was so captivated that he didn´t realize someone was trying to leave through the gate. We are going back there to teach him this week. When we left we kept walking to that family and I had the impression to check the map. THan´ts when I realized that they lived on a different road…. and I realized then that God used my weakness of directions to find that man who was hungry for the truth. I feel very small and humbled by this little experience that shows just how much our Creator knows, and how little we do. 
 
The neatest thing this week was that we had 57 people at our ingles class. 😀 YES!!! we split the class in two and I teach the larger class full of the people who know very little (sister lewis is also american and she teaches the more experienced, speaking to them only in English haha. She said she feels like the MTC in that class cause there´s a lot of blank stares when they don´t understand). And so my group (about 40 pessoas) is great 🙂 and huge! And I taught them ALL how to say a prayer in ingles 🙂 haha man while I was standing in front of them all, I just kept thinking how cool it is that I can talk to them in their language, and that I´m living my childhood dream of teaching an ingles class on my mission. We´re hoping to have lots of positive results in our area with this class 🙂 (by the way, out of 57 there´s like 54 nonmembers).
 
Quotes of the week:
`I know I need to give 2 years of my life to the Man who gave His life for me.`a young man named Mateus in my ward here. 
 
´the Lord doesn´t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.`Elder Perez my District leader.
 
I know that we have the same gospel here on the earth that Jesus established for us. I know that we need a prophet and apostles  and authority to have this gospel. And I know that the only church that has this gospel is a Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias.  
 
Love Sister Packer 

 

Some Crazy Changes…

Dear Everyone that I know (and some that I don´t because this will be sent to everyone my mom knows),
I hope this week in the snow was good for you, and that you aren´t freezing to death. You don´t know how many times I´ve wished to have a box of snow dumped on my head haha. But honestly I hope you guys are alright. People here say that it´s really really cold up there right now.
Ok so today we got a call telling us that my dear companion is leaving me…. in our area… and that I will be the senior companion for a brazilian sister who just got done being trained so she´s super new. I just have one thing to say about this. For those who know me, you know how I am with directions. Unfortunetly, this curse of getting lost hasn´t left me on the mission. I was lucky enough to have a GPS when I was senior in Virginia. So I need help! PRAY FOR ME! I have never asked this in an email to everyone before, but this time it´s really serious. Being lost in a country and a language that I know (USA) is very VERY different than being lost in a language and place that is not your own haha :/ (that laugh was more of a desperate nervous laugh than a funny one).
But this last week was a really really good one. My favorite lesson that we had this week was like this…
My comp and I had just climbed the biggest hill in our area to meet with two of our investigators to realize that they weren´t home. But on that hill there are a bunch of little girls who love to talk to us. They always call out to me ´say something in english!´ needless to say I love them to death 🙂 they are so beautiful and little and love to call me `tia´(aunt). But this day one of them was asking what we do (as missionaries) and she wanted us to teach her a lesson. So we all sat down on some steps (me and sister Almeida and 4 kids) and we taught the restoration using the pamphlet and pictures. Then I said a prayer really slow so that I would say a part and they all repeated what I said. It was the sweetest chorus of little voices. Goodness gracious. Jesus must have had little lessons like that a whole lot because they are so refreshing. I can´t tell you how many times adults will turn us away, but the children will beg us to stay, or ask if they can come with us. Why do we have to grow up and forget the things most important?
I don´t have much more to say this week. I won´t lie and say that a mission is easy. It´s hard. It´s the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life. By a long shot. But the things I´m learning here are changing my life, they´re changing me as a person, not just a missionary. Now I understand why my dear mother always says that the two best decisions she ever made were her mission and who she married. Thank you parents for giving me that example 🙂
Keep the faith and remember the important things in life 🙂 I love you all.
Sister Packer

Letter for the whole world

Time just goes faster and faster!
Ok some things that have happened…
I drank my first coconut and it was the best thing of my life. Coconut water is so NOT overrated. We buy little cups of it from booths on the corners of the streets when we have change to spare. How it soothes my flaming body. By the way… IT IS SO HOT HERE.
We are going to have an English class in our chapel! And I will be the teacher! Do I know what I´m doing, No way. Am I excited, Heck yes 🙂 I have always wanted to teach an English class ever since I learned that Dad taught them on his mission. We already have about 20 people, and all of them are none members. Let the fun begin! 🙂 (if I get transferred this next week before it starts I will cry oh so very much).
The Christ Statue here got hit by lightning and lost a few fingers. It´s good to know that the REAL and LIVING Christ has a perfect body and it will never happen to Him.
Look up Exodus 4:10-12
And also 3 Nephi 9:18 – Enduring to the end of our lives, and even past that, means becoming like Christ. He is everything, He is the final mark, the goal that we are reaching for.
I have no more time 🙂 shocker. But this week was crazy and amazing as usual. I honestly don´t know who will believe all the crazy stories I have to tell when I get back home because i don´t believe they really happen myself. But I am so happy to be here. It is something I have never once regreted, and I know I will never regret for the rest of my life. The Church is True, stay True to the Church.
Love, Sister Packer

Óla Gente!

Well here is the time to let my fingers fly. Apologies for the mispellings and what not, maybe the ocassional portuguese word since I do that a lot now with ingles.
Look up D&C 90:11. I´ll admit I don´t remember right now what it´s about but I know it was revelation at the moment 🙂
Yesterday was a day of milagres (miracles). We had 6 investigators at church. One just kept coming after the other. And every time I saw one my heart just filled with even more joy than I thought was possible. THEN, the last hour came about (sacrament meeting here is last hour) and I saw one of the sons of the family we are working with to reactivate (special insight, the word we use here to reactivate is resgatar, which means to redeem, how incredible is that?). And I asked him if his family was there. He pointed behind him and who did I see?? The father came to church!!! 😀 ahhhh!!! There they were like shining ducks in a row, the youngest son, the dad, and the mom. Oh my goodness was that a special moment. Something I am trying to improve is remembering the sacredness of the sacrament. That´s why we have church! To renew our covenants. No need to say `man if I could just get baptized again it would be great to start over…`you can! come to church! The mom of this family to redeem didn´t know that taking of the sacrament with a broken, willing heart, means that you become totally clean again. When she learned that she came to church the very next sunday.
I love how the gospel changes people here. How it´s changing ME. Sometimes I just have to take a moment and shake my head and look up at the sky and ask `how am I so blessed to know about the gospel of Jesus Christ?`I don´t know what I did to deserve it. I know there is no way I ever could. But I want to work my hardest to show my gratitude, because honestly that´s all we can do.
I know that the only thing God doesn´t already have is our free agency. That´s why it´s so important to want the same things that God wants. If He already has everything, already knows everything, and the only thing falting is our desire and decision to take His hand in trust, then what are we waiting for. We are creatures of progression. This is what we are made to do. Grow and learn and change and become better. But who can ever help us do that better than He who created us. I know that this is why we have commandments. THings like praying and reading scriptures (bible, book of mormon, ensign) DAILY are not things to overlook. If you don´t do these things, maybe it´s time to use the gift of repentance and start now 🙂 that´s what we teach our investigators. I think we ALL fall under the same catagory.
I know God and Jesus Christ live, have bodies, and know us. Never forget the role of the Atonement and repentance. If you feel a little like the religion thing isn´t for you right now, that no body understands, that you´re tired of it all and need a break, remember that there is one who lived EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE. The Atonement was not just a moment in a garden. It can change your life.
I love you all, And I love my Savior, who has redeemed ME.
Sister Packer

What a Week

First of all, I´d like to tell my beautiful family thank you for this week! I am so glad I got to see your shining faces and that you are still my family 🙂 even more than that, you are still my family in the Gospel. Oh what incredible joy that brings to my heart to know that you know the same things I do! And that we are all working here to become more like our Savior, so that we can live together with Him. Heaven would not be any kind of heaven without all of you there.
One funny story: Sister Almeida my comp said something yesterday that almost made me wet my skirt a little I was laughing so hard 🙂 I will translate into english but I know it´s just funnier in portuguese for some reason.. She told me she had a new approach for talking to people. (read this imagining us walking along the street, literally dripping with sweat in the midday sun. I´ve never felt so hot in my whole life here). She would say something like this `It’s hot today huh? Just imagine hell… That’s a whole new kind of hot. I’m a missionary of Jesus Christ, and I have a message to share with you that will save you from experiencing that hell. Can we come by another day to share this message with you and your family?`
This last weekend was something else. I think this whole letter could be dedicated to the last three days of this week. And it´s all about a woman. I talked a little about her and how she is all ready for baptism, the only problem is she is afraid she won´t endure to the end. Well, Thursday, we went to her house determined that she would pray to know if the 28 (the day that we´ve been talking to her about for forever) is the day that God wants her to be baptized. It was one of those moments where she doesn´t want to pray, we´re waiting with our eyes closed until she does, and a lot of time passes in silence until she finally prayed. When she said the words `I want to know if I need to be baptiszed the 28,`the spirit dumped over the room like a bucket of water. So we told her as missionaries we would prepare everything for her baptism, and if by Saturday she had her answer, she could be baptized.
We left her house feeling so strong that the 28 was HER day. I have never felt that much of a confirmation about an investigator and a specific date, but I know that in that moment, it was not just the will of two girls, it was the will of the Lord. How powerful is that? That He who is master of all time, knows what DAY a person is ready to make a covenant with Him.
We went back the next day (Friday) and A. (Logan’s investigator) had a different look about her. She was more happy. I asked her how she was feeling about that prayer she gave, and she smiled and said she felt different. She kept thinking about it, and when she prayed she felt something very strange. (this is the part when the little sister missionaries sitting on the couch get very excited and try to compose themselves). We explained that this feeling was the spirit, that it was a special confirmation just for her that Saturday is the day she should be baptized. We left a card with her we had written that morning and explained everything we could. A. is a very stubborn woman, and I have never fought so hard to have someone be baptized. But it was so different because every time she said `can´t I just move it to the next week? I don´t feel ready to be baptized.` I wanted to say yes, of course. But my mouth felt like someone put a hand over it. God wanted her to be baptized the 28th, and it would not be changed. We made sure Antonia knew that, and bore our testimonies of obedience.
The next day (saturday, the day of the baptism) we show up to her house to prepare her for her baptismal interview, and she wasn´t home. My heart dropped, because she knew exactly what time we would be there. But I still felt like somehow it would be okay. The font was full, people were invited, her relatives even. We had done EVERYTHING to be ready for this. I have never put things on the line like that. My natural self fought it, saying that I shouldn´t plan things out without knowing if she would be baptized or not. But it wasn´t my will, or my companion´s will we were following, it was the Lord´s. We prayed for the faith to call people and invite them to a baptism that the baptizee said she wouldn´t attend. Man…. we prayed for faith almost every hour of the day. We fasted for her. We told her things that I´ve never told an investigator before. The spirit was guiding us like I have never experienced before.
Now I know you´re all wondering if she was actually baptized or not… after knowing she wasn´t home, we continued to follow the spirit, honestly having no clue what to do. We had her husband (who has some mental disabilites that makes him a little difficult) call her and tell her he loves her (was not easy). We had the zone leaders come to her house instead of meeting at the church for the interview. They brought icecream for everyone. We all prayed like our lives depended on it that Antonia would come home and want to be baptized.
She finally did, and we had the most spirit packed lesson of my entire life. My zone leaders are literally spiritual giants, some of the best Elders I´ve ever met. They said things, and we said things, that only God could have the right to say. We promised blessings, prophecied, and bore testimonies of doctrine. Many were crying. Finally A. went to have the interview with Elder Bennett (ZL). About 1:30 later she comes out, and her daughter askes her ´so are you going to get baptized today mom?`
Quickly she responded..´No.`
And all that we had built up for, all that we had done by the Lord´s will, came to a stop. We had done everything we could, but her heart was unwilling to comply to God´s will for her. For a fraction of a second I let myself think `but it was the will of God right? all that we have been doing that seemed so crazy and ´faith without sight´… was that God´s will really?`But I KNOW that it was.
I learned this weekend that sometimes we need to have faith in things that will happen, and sometimes we need to have faith in things that won´t. Not everything that we do for the Lord will make sense. Not everything will have a happy ending. But it´s not my will, But HIS be done.
This weeked has not only changed my perspective on my mission, but on my life. My goal for 2014 is to consecrate my heart to God. No matter what He needs of me, I want to be ready to do it for Him. I want to have the kind of faith to bring about miracles for other people, and like this last weekend, bring about miracles in ME.
I know these things are true, I can´t tell this story with justice because it was such an incredible experience, but I hope that it made some sense to all on the recieving end 🙂
Love, Sister Logan Packer

Feliz Natal from Rio :)

Hello friends and family,

So I´ve been thinking and thinking of what I could write as my Christmas Email, seeing as it´s a very special time of year. I´ve decided I will just write whatever and everything on top because my letters are kinda on the short side sometimes, so maybe the best present is just anything (at least I know for my sweet parents that´s the truth, and if any of you think otherwise, sorry about that 😉 haha)
There is a place here called Mundo Verde (Green World) and if you know me, you know I like this place 🙂 it is a little piece of my home life in a store. There is everything healthy and delicious inside, including oils and things like that. The only problem is the translation for when I want something specific (usually I get something that just looks good to eat) but if I bring my dictionary I´m sure I will always be able to find what I want. So something that I want to take home with me from my mission is Cevada. If any of you know if it exists in the states please pass the word along before I fill up my siutcase. It´s a lot like coffee they say (never tried coffee so I don´t know) but it´s good for you, so we buy it for all the investigators and it´s great! 🙂
At a district meeting we were talking about helping our investigators find answers to their prayers, and one of the sisters said something that I think is very profound. She said we need to help them pray in the name of Jesus Christ, because if they just say ámen´, anyone can answer the prayer. Including the adversary. The only way to pray to God the Father is through the Son, because He is the mediator between us. I don´t let the prayers of our investigators end in just Amen anymore.
John 17:3 Eternal life means coming to know Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. How wonderful is that 🙂 that we not only have this life, but the eternities to get to know them perfectly.
We have been recieving SO MUCH FOOD this week. We didn´t even buy groceries this week haha. They have so many Brazilian goodies here.
We are teaching a woman and she is so close to baptism! Please pray for her this week as we have a date set for the 28, but she is so scared because she thinks she won´t be able to `perseverar ate o fim`or persevere to the end. We have gone over everything with her so many times but I have to admit she has a point. Baptism is very serious, and she takes is seriously. But at the same time, Fear is not having Faith in the Almighty God. I heard a sister say that one time. And it´s true! we don´t have to be perfect before baptism, and we don´t have to be perfect after. We sure do have to try our best, and we will be accountable for that. But Baptism is the DOOR. I sure hope that we can help her feel that her best present she could ever give to Christ this Christmas is offering up her fearful heart, and be willing to make the first covenant with Him.
I want to remember this more. That I have covenants to keep, and my willing heart is the best present to give our God who has given us everything. The only thing He doesn´t have is our agency. THAT is why it´s so critical that we give our will to Him. He already has everything else. But when we hand over our will, He makes us into the people we need to be. We ALL have a divine potential 🙂 never forget that. Anything otherwise is a lie.
Remember I love you all so much. And remember to pick out a spiritual gift to strengthen or develope this next year. If you don´t know what to choose, look up spiritual gifts on LDS.org and I´m sure you´ll find a talk. Then prayerfully choose what you want to develope, and pray for opportunities to develope it every day. Study it in the scriptures and ensigns. Set a vision for yourself. I know spiritual gifts are real, and that they´re not only a good idea, God wants us to have them. I think that makes them pretty important 🙂
Merry Christmas to all. I know our Savior came to this earth, and not only did He live here for us, but He Continues to Live In Us if We Let Him. He is a living being. Think about that for a minute, and then think about how we can get to know Him better. He is the Reason for the Season 🙂
Com amor e fé,
Sister Packer