I Love St. Albans

Hiddy Ho, 

Guess what? It’s Monday! That means I get to hear all about Sam’s mile-high hurdles and Mia’s volleyball team and Benson even sends me a sick rap. I have no idea what tune it goes to or anything, but the lyrics seem to rhyme. Man, I hope things have gotten a lot warmer in Idaho over this past month, cause they sure haven’t over here!!!  Man, it still feels like flippin’ February most of the time for some reason! 

Pictures of the obliterated side mirror on our car.

This week we had some cool things happen, like seeing R- again! It’s been about  3 or 4 weeks since visiting with him,  we just decided to try his buzzer again, and he was home.  When we went up to his flat, I was amazed at his progress! He’d shaved, cleaned himself up, put on clean clothes, and even done his hair! He’s cut down to 2-3 cans of alcohol a day now, and he was so happy to see us!  Seeing how sober he was, we took the opportunity to explain further about the Book of Mormon and taught him the whole Restoration lesson. I think he understood it better now. He was supposed to come to church on Sunday, but he didn’t come, I hope he’s taking care of himself. Oh well, I really hope we see him sometime this next week.

We also had a work-over with the AP’s this Thursday, which went really good. We mostly just did some finding in Russel Square, which is right where the University College of London is.  It was cool to do a bit of work right in London.  That’s always cool.

We also contacted someone who requested missionaries this week, which is pretty rare here! He’s a Muslim guy named O-, who loves the Qur’an and Islam and wants to learn about Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon so that he can be his Savior! One thing we’ll definitely need to clear up with him though, is what a savior is.  I think his belief is that when Moses was teaching the people, he was their savior and people came to God through him;  likewise with Abraham, Jesus Christ and Mohammed. So that’s something I didn’t know about the Islamic religion. He’s a great guy, studying interior design in university, and seems pretty sincere.  Also, this is really cool, I commented that it would be awesome to someday get a copy of the Qur’an for myself, so I could understand Islam a bit better, and he goes, “Sure, you can have this one right here!” Turns around and grabs a huge book the size of our big family Book of Mormon that we read together back home, and plops it right in my lap. “It’s yours!” So that’s the story of how I got a flippin’ nice Qur’an as a keepsake for my mission from a fellow seeker of truth!  I can’t read it right now on my mission, but I’ll bring it home for sure. 

The reason I said I love St. Albans, is after spending nigh on 6 months here, I have so many good friends that I need to keep in touch with! Silvia, Andrew Young and his fiancé Hazel, Seth, the Connolly family, the Vega family, Brother Stimpson, Nadz, the Blanchard family, and holy cow the list just doesn’t end! I was just thinking about that last night, because this is likely to be my last full week here. Transfers will be next week, and you usually don’t stay in an area longer than 6 months, so we’ll see what happens next Monday. I’ll be fine to go somewhere new, but man, I’ll miss these people, my friends.

Stake Conference

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As far as skyping, I’m fine with what dad said about having Jess Skype half way through so we could have a bit of individual time and together time as well. So excited to hear how she sounds as a missionary! 

As I thought about Mum’s question of putting God first, number one in everything, there’s a few things that come to my mind that I’ve learned. The first, is that you need to know where you stand. You can desire to have God as your number one priority, but when people start talking and real daily life starts happening, it’s easy to not even think about Him or His standards because you get caught up in whatever’s going on. Being busy is a good thing, but if I’m so busy I can’t think and talk to God about what to do, He can’t lead me. The other thing that I’ve learned is that in order to put God’s will first, you have to plan to put God’s will first. When we plan as missionaries, we use our knowledge as best as we can, but we also try to be led by the spirit to plan where we should go and who we should see. There have been times here when our planning was not on point, and though we went around doing smart things, we didn’t get much out of it. That’s when you can start getting discouraged and feel down, and you didn’t know it, but it’s because you’re not seeking his direction. When you do have him in the front of your mind though, you’re better able to respond to spiritual promptings and you feel God with you. When you feel that you are pleasing God, that is a peaceful confident feeling that you are doing exactly what you should, exactly how you should.  

Love ya’all, SEE you next Sunday and the blue is sky!

Love, Elder Packer

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