Glad to hear you guys are doing well this week! Well, mostly well. I feel for you, Jessica, if that was a kidney stone you experienced, I know how you feel. They really suck! Hopefully that’s all done and dusted and you won’t have to experience any more of that on your mission!
I thought your story about the guy who fired you at work was pretty funny, Dad. It reminded me of a guy who came into the St. Alban’s chapel during church one day. He said he just needed Jesus in his life, so me and Elder Helisto began teaching him what our purpose as missionaries is and how he would be able to come to know what we teach is true, but as we talked we realised the guy just wanted £20. We basically had the same experience you had, he even tried to guilt trip us and say he’d have to go out and rob a shop now because he had no choice. People addicted to drugs will say just about anything to get what they need.
Make sure you guys take pictures and maybe a video of Sam playing lacrosse, I don’t know it very well. Hopefully I’ll be able to go to a few lacrosse and baseball games when I’m back! I’m excited to meet Davette. From what I know you guys have said she sounds like a good friend to have next door. I will definitely pray for her and for you guys to continue having great experiences together!
As far as my daily diet goes, for the last couple months I’ve actually been trying to cook with less meat and more fruit and vegetables. I’m not bragging or anything, but I’ve gotten mighty creative with my veggies every now and again. 😉 Elder Meier likes to eat healthy too, and he actually cooks way better than me, so I’m doing good with that! Yesterday we chopped up 2 peppers, 2 carrots, a bit of garlic, some mushrooms and a small chicken breast into the slow cooker with 2 cans of tomato soup and let that puppy cook for the afternoon. SO GOOD!
We had a great experience with Natasha on Friday! We were supposed to have a lesson with Veronica, the lady we invited to be baptised, but it fell through. We made sure to set a good backup plan though, because we were bringing Brother Evans with us. So we knocked at Natasha’s door to see how she was doing and went in. We usually just teach the kids really simple things because Natasha says she doesn’t want to know anything about it, but she wants her children to know so they can choose for themselves. Remarkably, most of the kids were gone, and then the ones that were left ran outside to play and wouldn’t listen to her to sit down, so it was just us and her. We talked about the progress the kids were making and somehow brought the conversation around to why she doesn’t believe in God. She strongly feels that God would not love any of those bad men out in the world who hurt little children and if he were real he would take them instead of innocent children. We talked about God’s love for us, the gift of agency and tried to help her with her concerns, but the kids kept running in and out and she was too distracted by dealing with all of them to get much out of what we were saying, so we left her with Moroni 8 to read and set a time to see her out of the house on Tuesday. Hopefully that will go much better, but at least she’s a little bit more open and participating!
This last Tuesday we had a few appointments that never showed and the whole day was one of those where you just wind up finding pretty much all day. Wednesday we went into Hyde Park for the 3-week missionary meeting, which was spiritual and good, as always. One thing I took from the meeting was to focus more on the doctrine of the lessons and teaching from the scriptures more. That night when we got back to our area, I had a chance to practice more and as we talked to a woman on her doorstep, the answer to her question came from the Book of Mormon which we left with her to read and think about. Tried to get an appointment but she wasn’t ready for it yet. Someday soon, though. Thursday and Friday we were out of our area pretty much the whole time, due to my final exchange with the zone leaders and then zone meeting the next day. In zone meeting, they usually have testimonies from new missionaries and then departing missionaries, (I’m convinced we do this because they are the most emotionally vulnerable and we like to see tears!), so after Elder Meier got up and bore his greenie testimony, I got to hobble up with my walking stick as an old timer. Hahaha, in the mission when people go home we say they “died”, so I guess you could say it was my final words!
– One way I’ve been changed by my mission is I’ve gained a knowledge of and relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. I didn’t quite see what the big deal was about Him before, but now I see how it’s all about Him!
– I’ve come to love and enjoy the scriptures so much!
– Sometimes our two years is looked at or explained as a “tithing” of our life so far, but I could never look at it that way. My mission has been a gift, and I’m so grateful that He gave it to me. I will never be the same.
I won’t be sending too many more e-mails home doesn’t that sound so strange? But I love you guys and I’ll talk to you next week! Elder Packer