So this letter will be so short but I have two minutes to tell you all that I know that Jesus Lives. I know Him and I love my mission because I can get to know Him every day even more. I know that because of Him I can change. I am a different person now than I was a year ago when I started this crazy mission, and I love that I am different. I know that God answers our prayers. He doesn´t need us to pray, He already knows everything. But we need to pray to to be close to Him and know His will for us. Remember the church is true stay true to the church. Love sister packer
This weekend was the greatest…. want to know why?
Well I prayed ALL week long that I would be able to understand Conference in Português because last time was so sad… 8 hours of not understanding anything at all. So with a little more português under my belt I´ve been praying so hard I would understand enough to recieve the revelation I need.
So I got to the church and some Elders were like ´´ sister packer let´s all watch conference in english! ´´ And so my prayers were answered! All the american missionaries (we have like 7 in our zone) watched all 4 sessions in english. And I was so so happy and wrote down so much stuff haha. I am so thankful for prophets.
I don´t have much time but a great story about how God really does love us… So everyone knows I have a thing with crows… Or at least some of you do. And so in Virginia when I was serving there when I would see a crow I knew God was looking out for me. And needless to say in Rio it is nothing like the Rio movie with all the cute dancing birds. THERE ARE ONLY PIDGIONS HERE. I don´t think I spelt that right cause in português it´s pomba. But anyway so one morning I was doing my hair out where we have this little courtyard thing and using the glass door for my mirror (in a house with many sisters you learn these things) and suddenly a piece of the neighbors house fell and almost hit me. So I naturally looked up and I saw on their roof a parrot 🙂 the greenest little thing I´ve seen in a long time. And then I saw another, and another, and realized there was a family of parrots on the roof! They all were looking down at me and I whistled with them till they flew away. I know God knows me. Silly Sister Packer who was feeling a little low and needed 10 happy parrots to cheer her up. And he even got my attention by sending the neighbors wall down! haha
Scripture of the week D&C 14:5-9
I love you all and thank you for your prayers and support. Have a wonderful week and look for all green parrots God is sending to you 🙂
Com amor e fé, Sister Packer
Let´s see what happened this week…
1) It´s not so so so hot anymore! Well it´s still hot, but at least I´m not melting like a popsicle (by the way the popsicles here are so much better, they´re made with real fruit)
2) We taught 28 lessons o.O yeah I´ve never done that before in a week.
3) We have two baptisms marced for the 12th of April! (man I am having a really hard time typing in ingles how embarrasing) they´re names are _____ and ______ and they are both single men who are also in my english class 🙂 (all our miracles are because of our ingles class I swear!) They are both so great and honestly I am so so happy to know them.
YESTERDAY WAS THE BEST DOMINGO OF MY LIFE. Domingo is Sunday btw. And It was the neatest thing my friends. We had this activity called the sunday when no one was missing (in rough translation) and ALL the members brought people to church and so many investigators came to church that I just kept greeting people and crying a little, and greeting more people, and crying some more. Oh my heavens I have a testimony about faith and how it leads to miracles. We set up all these chairs and set a goal for how many people we wanted at church. and It was a goal so big that even lots of members were like… really? You think that setting up all these chairs will mean that they´ll be filled with people? YES. I believe in a God of faith. He wants us to show our faith, and He will provide the miracles. Just like my mission president tells us every week, the Lord is hastening the work. For all you missionaries if you think that more results aren´t possible for you or your area, think again. Don´t ever limit yourself because that means you´re actually just limiting God´s power in your life. Just to show that miracles are real, every week our frequency at church here is usually 180. But this week was almost 400. Now tell me that miracles don´t exist!
4)Conference is coming! Invite everyone to come! I know we have a prophet and what an incredible, undescribable (I know I spelt that wrong but that word is just perfect to describe what I feel) opportunity and we need to invite others to hear his words. By the way, if you only watch one or two sessions, this is me telling you to repent and watch them all and pay attention. I was awful about this before the mission and it´s still hard to pay attention when you´re tired and the apostles nice voice could put you to sleep… I know haha… but just try your very best and be ready to write down your personal revelation. It will and should be a spiritual experience that you´ve never had before.
I love you all and I love my mission that is so hard and so great. I´ve never been so beaten down, but I´ve never been so uplifted, so strengthened, healed, changed, and never felt so personally close to Jesus Christ. Have a great week preparing for conference with me!
Com amor e fé, Sister Packer
I feel like for the first time in my life I´m cold! What a glorious feeling! I think I spelt glorious wrong? English just looks all wrong now. Anyway, bear with me friends as I can´t speak either english or português haha.
But it´s raining here and summer has officially ended… I don´t know if that means that it will actually keep cooling down or if it will return to melt your shoes off hot. Because like Idaho, just because winter officially ends doesn´t mean it stops snowing! 🙂
My ward here in Andaraí is the best. Seriously I am learning how to be a real member of the church. I want to help a lot more with missionary work when I go home. Leaders in the church are always needed and always are just so helpful! Thank you leaders and teachers in the church for what you do. If you ever feel like no one appreciates your calling, here is Sister Packer thanking you personally for what you do.
So this week we found a ton of menos ativos that no one knew existed! It was just miracle after miracle people. You know those days when you are walking all day, but finding all the people that you just know God is putting right where you are. And you almost want to just stop and look at the sky and sing praises to God because you know He is so much closer than it might sometimes seem. For example, we were buying toilet paper just now at the store and we found a man who asked US if we could visit him. WHO DOES THAT? No one. And then we asked him who he lives with, and he casually responds `with my wife and two kids`and my face was like 😀 and now we have a family to baptize because God is so so good.
Well folks it´s time to end. There are a lot of emails I have never responded and I am so sorry! I promise one day we can talk on the phone or in person and it´ll be great 🙂 Also I want you to know that I am happy where I am because I know the Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church with authority and the power to get us back to our Heavenly Father. WITH OUR FAMILIES FOR ETERNITY. Like Elder Holland says ´´it wouldn´t be heaven without my wife and kids.´´ I feel the same about you my wonderful family. I also know that Jesus Christ lives and He is our forever friend. I love Him so much and sometimes I look around to see if I can see Him because I feel Him so close. Or wait to see if I will feel the touch of His hand on my shoulder. I am who I am today because of repentance through the Atonement of my Savior. Right now writing this I am grateful beyond words for everything that He has done for me, and continues to do. Don´t ever feel like He is not there! Our God will NEVER us forsake! I testify of this with all my heart and with the authority of a servant of the Lord that we will never be truly happy without the church and the pérfect gospel.
OH MY GOODNESS I´M SO OLD!
I can´t believe I hit a year this week. I never thought this day would come. Seriously. Because I always had a vision of what a missionary was before the mission, but now that I AM one it´s a whole lot different. I have SO much more to learn! But that is the miracle of it all. I finally understand that yes, I am not a perfect missionary. But I actually don´t need to focus on PERFECTION. I need to focus on one attribute of Christ at a time. One thing I can do. Things that are in my control. And it´s not just about the mission. Not at all. My work towards progression will be for the rest of my existance. It will never end! We have the wonderful opportunity to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ for forever. I am so glad that I can keep increasing my faith, keep repenting, keep renewing my covenants, keep following the Holy Ghost, and keep keeping the commandments and learning and striving and doing my best until the end 🙂 How great is that?
This week I realized something. Baptisms are sacred opportunities to bring people to the gospel. And this isn´t just about baptisms of converts, but children baptisms as well. The baptism of ______ we had 14 investigators out of about 25 people. And yesterday was a baptism for an angel named ______ who is 8. Her family are members so it was a ward baptism, but I counted more than 20 investigators at her baptism. TWENTY. How cool is that? They are a really shy family, but they invited EVERYONE they know. Family, friends from work. Everyone. And you know what, I realized I need to repent because I didn´t invite anyone like that to my baptism. At least not that I remember. So I will start with my own kids. because Baptism is the gate to salvation, so everyone who watches one WILL feel the spirit and will grow in desire to do the same thing. It´s a automatic response.
Transfers were this week and I will stay in Andadaí with sister B 🙂 I LOVE my area so much so I´m grateful. We have a lot of great goals in our ward and activities coming up that will bring a lot of people to come to know more about the church.
I want you all to know that I love this gospel. Saturday night I started to cry in the middle of the road (not the best place to cry) because I was overwhelmed with the fact that I have the truth. I know that this church has the authority of God. And no body else has it. No matter how spiritual anybody is, they can´t be saved. and can´t have the blessings of eternal life, without the priesthood. The people in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are not perfect. BUT THE GOSPEL WE LIVE HAS ALWAYS BEEN AND WILL ALWAYS BE PERFECT. I am still overwhelmed with this blessing in my life. Because I am slowing realizing just how few people know. So it´s our job to help them know. Don´t be scared to share your light my friends 🙂 if you really love your friends, you´ll share your greatest gift with them. The restoured gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love you and I love my Savior and I am working my hardest to do what He wants of me.
Love, Sister Packer
So let´s start with the apologies for everyone that I haven´t responded to basically anybody in a few weeks… my excuse is that… I have no excuse. But I love you all more than you know and even if I never say anything I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR LETTERS AND EMAILS! Every little one! I promise I read them and laugh and cry and sometimes read them like 10 times 🙂 So thank you.
This week is weird because it´s carnaval and so we have to be in our house 6 at night starting last friday until tuesday. But don´t think we get to take a break kids. Our mission President really has a vision about the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. It´s EVERYWHERE. The more we live it the better we´ll be at everything we do. And so for three hours every night I get to study about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the steps we learned in Primary that I never thought were of such critical importance as I do now)..
RECIEVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST
ENDURING TO THE END
And oh my heavens to betsy have I learned so much more about my role as a servant of God, and as a person, and as a daughter of Zion. So I know it might sound like I´m a phanatic (I have no idea how to spell that word anymore) and a bible hugger lover who wants to preach to the world (because I am) But I really have something I want everyone to do. STUDY THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. Not for me, and if you don´t want to do it even for you, then do it for HIM, Christ your brother who loves you.
Quote of the week. My companion Sister B said this as we were watching a group of drunk people in costumes for carnaval ´´take off those crazy clothes and come with me to eternal life people!´´
Love, Sister Packer
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!)
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
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.
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