June 20, 2016
Hey there, Familia!
Wow, I think this is the first week that I’ve beaten you at writing my e-mails first for my whole mission! That’s ok, you probably had a busy Father’s Day yesterday! Speaking of which, Happy Father’s Day, Dad! You’re my role model, and I want to be at least half the dad to my kids that you are to me! My parents are great!
Well, my new greenie is German, and his name is Elder Meier! (Pronounced My-er) He’s a fun, friendly guy who came out here with the right motives and we are having a blast! We decided that part of what we wanted to accomplish this transfer is to Become the Message! That means, we don’t just share the message of love, peace and happiness with people; we ARE that message! We want everyone to recognize from miles away that we are representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ! We’ve seen some blessings come already from that. Our area really needed some fresh people to teach last transfer, and just since Wednesday we found 3 new people to teach, two of them being a young couple with a 2 year old! I know Elder Meier is going to have a great start to his mission, and I will have a great ending to mine! I can’t believe that was the last transfer.
Speaking of my mission ending this transfer, (don’t worry, I’ve still got lots to do around here to keep me focused), I got an e-mail from President Steven’s this week. It was THE e-mail to all missionaries in their last transfer. It talks about making plans for home and what you’re going to do after the mish. I took President’s advice though, and earlier today I typed up a rough draft of what I want to do back home, according to the different categories he gave us: Education, Career, Daily scheduling and habits, Church activity and callings, fitting in with my family, dating and marriage.
An interesting experience from this week that I’d like to share: The Thetford Sisters in my district have an investigator who has been taught for months now. He has made so much growth and so much progress in giving up alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and he REALLY wants to be baptized. He was set to be baptized originally on the 18th, this last Saturday, but then a lot of ward members said they’d be gone but wanted to be there, they moved it to the next week on the 25th. Then Wednesday night he called the Sisters and told them he was going on holiday with some friends that had been planned for months and that he wouldn’t be in town on the 25th, so it looked like it was going to have to get pushed back yet another week! But nobody felt right about that, and Don wanted to be baptized ASAP. So Thursday morning after District Meeting they told me the situation and so we took the bus and train the two hours down to the Sisters’ area, and I got to interview him right there. About two weeks prior, I’d interviewed him for baptism and we had decided to give it a couple more weeks because of a smoking relapse a few days before that initial interview. This time when I interviewed him again, he told me he’d had another small smoking relapse the day before. I initially didn’t think I ought to pass him because of that, but while I finished the rest of the interview, I saw in him such sincere repentance. His struggle to get this far with his addiction had been enormous, and he just wants to have a different life. When the questions were finished, I asked him to wait a bit, and I went into another room and prayed to know if I could make the call to allow him to be baptized this Saturday with such a recent relapse. The answer to me was that he had demonstrated real repentance, and the Lord desired to give him the last push of strength he needed to get farther than he ever had with kicking his addiction. And for that he needed the Gift of the Holy Ghost! So long story short, we went and interviewed Don, he passed, it wound up taking all of our day to go do that but the experience with Don was worth it. The Sisters made the necessary arrangements and called everyone in the ward in a day, and then the next day he was baptized. Yesterday he was able to receive the Holy Ghost. The best part for me was Saturday evening when I called the Sisters to see how they were doing, and they were actually with Don then! They put him on the phone, and his words stuck in my soul forever: “I’m clean! I’m clean, Elder Packer, I’m clean!” What a miracle we saw!
Anyways, I’ll send some pictures after this, hopefully I’ll get thine epistles later, I can’t wait to hear how you’re week’s going! Did you enjoy Omaha? Are you getting ready for the annual Packer Family+Neighborhood Fourth of July Barbecue in a week or two? Have the Chukars won a game all season?? Give me all the juicy details.
Sam: How is life going for you? Tell me what you want to do when I get home, you’ll need to show me around town and help me remember where everything is!
Mia: I loved the pictures of the party you threw for Oliver last week! What else have you been up to?
Benson: You probably hear enough from Mom and Dad on any given day about your (shh – girlfriend), so I don’t think I need to ask you about that now. But are you doing anything besides baseball right now? And are you looking forward to being a Junior in high school in a couple months?
I love you, and the blue is sky! So is the water that falls from it quite frequently, but that’s ok too!
Love, Elder Packer
Last P-day Elder Williams and I went up to Hunstanton and saw the beachside there!
The King Lynn Minster!