Turning 20 in England

Well, hello!

This has actually been a lovely week, dearest family of mine. Busy, yes, but lovely! The sun was shining down pretty hot the latter end of the week, and it is now raining on and off today. I consider that a birthday present to me. The classic, picturesque drizzle that is English weather! Hey, it keeps me from overheating, and it keeps the bugs down, so I’m all for it!

Oddly enough, after Grandpa’s passing on Monday, I actually feel like I’ve been super optimistic this whole week! I knew exactly what you were all feeling on Friday, though I wasn’t able to be at the funeral. It was good to be able to talk to you and hear about the neat experiences and the “goodbye’s” you were able to have with Grandpa. I actually feel so blessed that this occurred whilst I was on my mission, because I’ve gotten to bear my testimony throughout every day that I know where my Grandpa is. The most common reaction we get is, “You believe, you don’t know.” Dead wrong. I can, and I do know where he is. Many people cannot understand how you can know something without seeing it yourself. Understandable, because that’s how we’re brought up to learn. The world says you can’t trust your feelings, only what you can see. But take it from a guy who needs glasses as thick as a small novel, our eyes can be deceived. It’s our feelings that we should trust more than anything, especially those of us who have the Gift of the Holy Ghost! And the only way for you to test that God is there, or that you can know something without seeing it, is for you to seek after your own experiences with feeling. This is not only basic doctrine of the Church, but common sense as well. It’s just good reasoning.

I absolutely LOVED the fedoras! That was honestly the greatest thing I never thought of! The pallbearers all looked very smart! Including that honorary pallbearer! (Yes, the one in England, he’s a right gem.)

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Love that they all are wearing Grandpa’s special hats!

I want to update you all on our friend, Djamila!  She’s the Portuguese woman we have a hard time communicating with. She’s going to be baptized! We’ve been meeting with her for a while now, almost since the beginnings of July, and only in the last two weeks have we been able to get Portuguese speakers to come teach with us. She’s really liking the Book of Mormon and is reading it everyday. She loves the church, is unable to come every week but we’ll sort her out. She’s such a happy person, and has such great questions for us. She’s been prepared for the gospel by the Lord, and is looking forward to her baptism on the 12th of September! I’ll have to get a picture with her and her family next time we see them!

Chancho!!! Sometimes, when you are a man, you have to go interview other missionaries’ investigators for baptism. In their room. Just for fun! …But occasionally you’ll make plans to use your time there wisely, but then that morning they will postpone. When that happens, you pray that your backup plans are solid… Because ours weren’t on Friday when that exact thing happened! But the Lord took pity on us, and Brother Senior called later and invited us over for a barbecue at his house at the same time! Glory, glory, hallelujah! What a great BBQ it was, too! Great day.

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Brother Senior let me do the grilling! You have no idea how happy that made me! I was over the moon!

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Elder Mthombeni had a go at it too! Classy gent.

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From the right: Me, Brother Senior, and Brother Parsons. Chillin.

Good luck with college, Jessica! Hope USU treats you well! And your roommates, and your Singles Ward! Don’t date any less-actives named Jonathan, ok? Love you all, and the sky is surely blue, somewhere past this shower!

Love, Elder Packer

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Interviewed a young boy the sister’s are teaching. He’s ready to be dunked

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I saw a wild FOX! It was just moseying along in the neighborhood one day. Apparently they’re everywhere here!

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