Dear Dad, Mum, Benson, Jessie, Sam and Mia,
Happy Father’s Day Dad! The question was raised to us by some members yesterday, “Why do missionaries get to Skype home on Mother’s Day, but not on Father’s Day?” I can’t really say for sure, but I figured it’s probably because if we didn’t do Mother’s Day, the mission office would be flooded by e-mails and phone calls, and the airlines from Utah and Idaho to Heathrow would mysteriously be completely booked over-night! Haha.
This week the weather has been a bit off and on between gray and blue skies, hot and cold, and rain or not rain. You can trust that if the sky seems to have given itself heart and soul to flooding the earth again, it will change its mind in a few minutes! That was odd this week though, because usually when it rains it can’t be bothered to work too hard and just lazily drizzles/mists on everything. But enough about the weather! I’ll be honest, this week was rough, but let’s make like Mulan, and get down to business! Thankfully, I had an awesome trainer, bless him, who helped me when I felt overwhelmed this way in the first few weeks of my mission. We’re given a booklet about Adjusting to Missionary Life, and there’s a self-evaluation part where you check if you’re feeling stressed about such and such things, and then you can choose one and go see the reference to what it says about that particular type of stress, etc. I was led to some good scriptures that really comforted me and helped me feel better as I studied and prayed.
You know, Jesus made his disciples “fishers of men”. We who have been set apart as missionaries have the calling to fish as well, but sometimes we have to fulfil the rest of the scripture from Jeremiah 16:16 and HUNT them! “From every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” Sometimes they don’t swim into our nets or bite on our lines, so we’ve got to look everywhere! In short, no, we didn’t have a lot of luck finding new friends who are interested. But what’s interesting to notice is that we grow a lot during weeks and periods like these. They make us hungrier, more diligent, and will hopefully help us learn to be more efficient as the weeks goes on.
Before I forget Mum, Elder Mthombeni’s mum’s e-mail address is included. He’s really doing great. He speaks many (and I mean a bunch!) of African languages, but Zulu is his main one. His Africanuity is too funny! If he’s describing something super awesome from home, or singing a hymn that sounds really good, instead of exclaiming “ooh” or “aah” like we do in the states, his eyes get wide and he goes “yo! Yo! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” He’s a really good missionary and learns so fast. He’s willing and ready to jump right into anything asked of him. I know I’m the “trainer” but I think I’ll be learning more from him that I can teach to him! This letter is shorter than usual, but this week has been somewhat short.
Love, Elder Packer