Holland in England

Dearest fambily,

We finished our 3 hours of work in the morning with a couple lessons, and then we got my new companion’s haircut and went to the library.  We spent about 2 hours on the computers there so I could practice for my driver’s theory test tomorrow. Ugh, I hate studying. After that we had to get groceries and long story short, it is now a quarter after 6 here, and I just sat down to type this up on my iPad. Sorry it took so long.

My Beautiful Bouncing Baby Boy (fresh from the MTC)  is a Beautiful Bouncing Black South African Baby Boy! Yeeeeuh! His name is Elder Mthombeni, and he’s from Johannesburg, South Africa! Man, I just love having companions from different parts of the world! I’ve gotten to know their different cultures and small bits of their languages and it’s flipping cool to see how they’re different, but alike in so many other ways. This is my second comp. from South Africa – I’m looking forward to becoming good friends with him too.  Plus also I’m probably going to have to visit each and every one of them in their homelands in the future, which means I shall probably need to get a good job to pay for all that travel someday. Elder Mthombeni is already a great missionary, he is confident and not afraid to speak with people. His English is pretty good, I think he’ll be awesome.   I’ll include some photos so you can see the little tyke!

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In other news, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland came to the Hyde Park chapel and addressed both ours and the England London South Mission on Friday!  He served his mission here too. What a cool experience it was and we took another huge mission picture! So anyway, the meeting started with us all forming a line and getting to each shake his hand! He was quite pumped up as well, it was so powerful! For a good portion towards the beginning he talked quite a lot about how our missions are supposed to change the rest of our lives. We cannot go back once we start down the road of discipleship. His words were actually pretty cutting and blunt. (I probably think that because there is always an area inside of me that needs more work and resolve to repent about!)  I’ll tell you what, if I’d ever even thought about turning away from the truth after my mission, I wouldn’t now!  We all need a call to repentance, a motivation to do and be better and boy did he give it to us straight.  He also went on to expound on our calling for these two years. We have power and authority given to us from Almighty God! Our authority came with the laying on of hands, but our power comes from our obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. That sounds like a pretty good reason to be an obedient missionary to me! But probably my favorite part was when he told us why he wanted to shake each of our hands:  to personally interview each and every one of us,  He said to look in your eyes tells a lot about your soul. So long story short, that’s how I got to have a good, one-on-one conversation with an Apostle. I could really feel the Spirit, I wish I could describe it better to you! 

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Mission Home and Hyde Chapel

Donna, the woman who came to church with us last week, was ill towards the end of the week, but we were able to see her this morning and teach her a bit more. She’s definitely feeling the spirit and is reading the Book of Mormon!  I’m excited to get to know her better.  Keep praying for us!  It’s awesome, because from my experience, just about everyone who has sincerely read the book of mormon has felt a difference in their lives, felt the truth of it, and have come to a knowledge of the truth of our message! She’s going to be baptized Fo Sho! 

Well, I think that’s all for this week! It’s been pretty dope, pretty challenging, but hey, that’s how we grow, right? I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.  I’ve seen a lot of personal growth in just this short amount of time.  I’ve really had to be diligent, but I have had some amazing companions and surrounded by so many great people here in this mission – that it motivates and helps me always try to do my best.

Mom, I have not gotten the Plan of Salvation package yet, but the zone leaders might’ve picked up the mail lately and we’ll be seeing them at district meeting on Thursday, so fingers crossed!

I happen to love all of you, and yes, the blue is quite clear and sky this week, even with all the hectic running around that’s been picking up lately! Spring/Summer here in England is so green.  Lots of trees and flowers. Lots of daffodils – it’s suppose to be the flower of Britain.

P.S. Wish me luck on my theory test tomorrow!

Love, Elder Packer

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