Family of the Packer Clan, greetings! And to those friends whom we count as family, salutations as well!
This week has been crazy busy with meetings and such! On Wednesday we went to London for President and Sister Jordan’s farewell zone conference, which took most of the day, but was super fun and super spiritual! I can honestly say he’s my favorite Mission President! haha Then the next day, me and Elder Mthombeni went back into London for the 3-week Missionary meeting, which also took most of that day. But hey, it was fun, and I was able to cross some pictures off of that crazy checklist mum made for me!
Elder Mthombeni’s e-mails usually come later on Monday’s so we decided to do e-mailing in the afternoon so he could read them and respond. Just to help those of you who don’t speak Zulu, my companion’s name is pronounced (mm-Tom-bey-nee) Mthombeni. And also, my address so Sam can Google Earth it is:
124A Clarence Rd. Grays, Essex UK RM17 6RD
This week we struggled to get to meet with any of our current investigators. Some of them answered the phone and just have been too busy this week, and others have simply not answered. It makes it quite difficult and discouraging to help teach someone if you can’t ever come round even just to see them! I would say that is something that drives me crazier than ‘Luna Lovegood’, right thare! (Although, to be honest, I always thought she was more sane than everyone thought she was; she made a lot of sense at times!) As for something that made my day this week, I would have to say doing call-ins with my old companion, Elder Patterson. I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, but he’s my new zone leader here and I report to him after I call the district every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night! Man, I love this guy! It’s almost like being back in Ramsgate with him again! I’m really excited for our workover this week, needless to say!
So the question was put to me this week: “what is something I would write in a gratitude journal that I wouldn’t have included before my mission?” First I would have to say, plumbing – where I only have to use one tap to wash my hands instead of two. Whoever came up with the idea of having separate faucets for hot water and cold water was probably Inventing Under the Influence. (Don’t do it, kids!) Okay I know, I know I am spoiled – I’m grateful that I have hot water. Glad I have plumbing too. Other than that, I would definitely say the Atonement would be at the top of my gratitude journal. I might’ve had it on there before my mission, but probably just because it’s one of those “primary answers”. You have to be grateful for Jesus, right? But I would add it now because I think I’m starting to understand what that word really means in personal ways. Repentance is not just something we do every now and again, for the bigger stuff; although it’s for that too. We do it everyday for something as small as selfish thoughts, lazy habits and to be more than we know is possible on our own. And in the process of repenting we change. Christ allowing us to be forgiven of a sin helps us move on and get past that sin so we can work it out of our habits. This is the “Enabling Power of the Atonement”, as we hear it called so frequently. A good analogy that I heard President Jordan use at the 3-Week Missionary meeting was the Piano Player. How many mistakes does Jessica make in the process of learning a song? A lot. And how many mistakes did I make on the piano to get to where I’m at now? Yep, it was a whole bunch. But our ability to shake it off and do it over and over again until we get it right comes from the instant forgiveness from Jesus Christ and His power, if we really are willing to change and keep trying. So that’s something I’ve grown to appreciate more as I’ve seen it increasingly in my life now.
The 4th of July is coming up, and not a word of it is spoken here! No days of mourning or bitterness, or talk of Union Jack rebellions, just life as usual here in Great Britain. Thankfully, we’ve been invited to a Canadian family’s house to celebrate on the 5th! Canadia’s close enough, right? Oh, and we’re potentially having a zone BBQ on P-day next week at one of the Area Authority’s house! That is gonna be awesome!
I expect some good pictures of the 4th of July next week, from the neighborhood fireworks, to the 5K, to the Big Show, and everything in between! 🙂
This week is going to be a lot better, I can feel everyone’s committment to the goals we’ve set! This week, to welcome President and Sister Stevens to the mission, WE GON’ KILL IT!
With love and bluer skies,
1) The Amazing Grays elders in front of the Hyde Park chapel
2) Another one in front of Hyde Park
3) Me in front of the tube platform…the tube left
I try to be a good example most times. It seems I’ve been caught stealing the brownies!
Do I have any normal pictures of our awesome district… I guess this IS normal for us!