Spring Comes to Essex

Oy there, mah wee little’uns! Hoo’s mah famly dooin?   ^Scottish Elder Packer

Spring has definitely come to Essex, and it happened much faster than it does in Idaho. It actually eases into spring here, and then gradually warms into summer; instead of keeping up the chilly winter facade until one day it decides to be July! I’ve been walking around without a jacket in April! What?! So that’s pretty cool. The only downside is that in Essex, when the sun comes out the clothes come off. Two words. Mental scarring. All I’m gonna say about that!

I’m getting excited to skype you guys again on Mother’s Day! You’ll have to remind me how to call you again, because I don’t remember any of the details, though I do have my account info written down.

Did you know you can tell how long a missionary has been serving by the dreams he has? It’s true. We talked all about it with the ZoneLeaders last P-day. During your first 6 months, you dream about home in some shape or form. After that you start dreaming about the mission. Example: Last night I dreamed I was driving the family boat from door to door, introducing myself and asking if they’d like to hear a message about my boat, the Joseph Smith. That’s not even the weirdest one I’ve had, but you get the idea. I’ve found it a great source of entertainment to discuss our dreams during morning exercise. And from what I’ve observed with Elder Hou and Elder Judy, in your last 6 months you find yourself dreaming again about home, but in the future. Elder Hou once dreamed that he came home to an arranged marriage his parents set up for him. That was funny! 

We had Interviews with President Jordan this week, which I always love. President and Sister Jordan are the best people ever. They’ve got 220 missionaries to look after, and they still know all of us by name, who our current companions are, where we’re serving, and the different situations we’re in. You can literally feel the love that they have for us whenever they look at you. 

On that topic, I want to share a bit about what they taught us during Interviews. Sister Jordan led a discussion on becoming “consecrated to the work” while President Jordan took us to the office to do individual interviews.  Later, he gave us a training on the same subject. What does it mean to be consecrated? Well, for a missionary, it means that we serve God with our whole heart, might, mind and strength. We don’t hold anything back from the work; our fears, doubts, lazy desires, and pride all go on “the altar of sacrifice”, as it were. President Jordan also took it a step further by comparing that to the first and great commandment, given by Jesus to the inquiring lawyer. In order to serve the Lord that way, we need to love Him with all our might, mind and strength.  I was really touched by this teaching, and took a look at myself. Do I hold anything back? Am I giving my all?

Then as I pondered this as the week went on, I was reminded that one main purpose of our missions is to help prepare us to be the best disciples of Christ as we can for the rest of our lives. Consecration does not end when I go home, and no member of Christ’s church is exempt from it. As members of the Restored church, we have a responsibility to sacrifice, give our all, to bring about God’s purpose, inconvenient as it may be at times, because as we do so we become more like Him. We have a finite amount of time granted to us on this earth to get as close to the example set for us as we can. We cannot hope to achieve this by ourselves, but in making our best attempt, we allow Him to shape us into something more. What He meant for us to be.

These are just some deep musings I’ve had this week that I wanted to share. I know they are true, and I’ve seen the Lord working in my life.  The skies are looking extra blue now that it’s springtime here, and I love all y’all!

love,  Elder Packer

P.S. Keep calm and carry on, Jessie, the senioritis will pass. Hopefully.

P.P.S. Way to go, Benson, for being consecrated to the baseball team! That attitude will get you places! Proud of you! 

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Another Church Beaute!

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Another selfie with a church. Look at the grounds around the church – cool

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Elder Hou was really tired this night…hahaha!

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I’ve been trying to find it for months now, turns out all I needed to do was hop on a bus…

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