Good morning family, (and friends),
I am thoroughly enjoying myself in Colchester so far! Pretty much the minute Elder De Beer and I met we got on pretty dang well. I haven’t got any pictures of us yet, but that can come later. He is the oldest of five children, like me! And he’s from a farm in Praetoria, South Africa. His accent is pretty cool, hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a bit of it! Yes, I am in a new zone, the Colchester zone. It’s one of the smallest in the mission, so that’s fun. Wanna hear how we spent New Year’s Eve? We went to bed like normal. We were tired, what can I say?
I love my new area/district/zone. We live literally a 2 minute walk from the Dutch Quarter, which is a bunch of really old churches and stuff. Walking up the street looks like you’re legitly in ye olde England of the 16-1700’s. Until you get to the corner, turn and see McDonald’s! Ha! My new address is 29 Charles House, CO1 1BY, Colchester, England.
One way that I have changed as a missionary is my attitude towards the scriptures. Prior to the call, I could sometimes get into them if I was at an interesting part or something, but I mostly just read them because that’s what you’re supposed to do. These days, I have not only come to realize that it is essential, but now I know why. As I read the Book of Mormon and cross-referenced some stuff in the Bible, I drilled into my mind the basic principles of the gospel. That’s awesome, and really important, but as I was reading, I got distracted by a question that a verse would bring to my mind. What does Nephi mean by that? That phrase is confusing, what is Alma trying to say here? Is there a difference between this term and that term? I’ve been going through cross-references, scripture-study guides, True to the Faith, etc. to find the answer until I feel like I understand that. This is the fun part of studying our scriptures! In them, we can answer any question we have. Elder De Beer recently showed me a huge 20-page longsection of notes that is a study he did on the Plan of Salvation. I’ve decided to break down a subject into smaller ones and study each one until I understand more fully every part of whatever topic I study. It’ll take awhile, but it’s ok because it’s so fascinating that I am seriously annoyed when study time has to end, because I want to keep going! I think this is what Nephi meant when he said to “feast upon the words of Christ”. Find a way of studying your scriptures that helps you LOVE them! It may not be the same way I do. When you literally don’t want to put them down, you are truly feasting!
Also, take notes on everything you study. Writing things down makes them more meaningful and helps it stick.
Well, I’m super excited for this transfer, I know me and Elder De Beer are going to work well together. We’re going to baptize this transfer!
I love you guys, and the Colchester blue is looking very sky!
Love, Elder Packer
P.S. Can you believe that by the end of this transfer I’ll be 6 months out?! Where does time go??