If anyone is feeling sad, stop. Forget about yourself. The only times we really are sad are when we're thinking about ourselves.
When we focus on others, that's when happiness comes. Everything is a choice. Literally. Everything.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Hey everyone!

First off, thank you to everyone who sent me things for Christmas, it was so appreciated and it made my Christmas so much better. Secondly, my Christmas was awesome!! We had lunch at a members house (super good tacos and cookies for desert) and then went over to Skype our families, and the lady whose house we were using also fed us some spicy turkey and stuffing, that was really good too. And then we had another meal appointment with a family in the English ward who has a huge house and some pretty nice cars (especially for what is around here.) I ate so much that day, it was nuts.

So Christmas was super great, and the days following were also pretty awesome as well. We talked to a lot of people, and have three progressing investigators who all seem pretty solid to get baptized in January. Our zone goal for December was 13, and as of today we have 12 baptisms, we just need to get one more before Thursday! It's gonna be a struggle tho, hopefully everything works out.

Outside of that, nothing super special happened. This week we have to be in by 6:00 for New Years Eve, but we get to watch Frozen!! A bunch of missionaries are super excited about that because a ton of them still haven't seen it. So that should be a pretty fun night as well.

I'm super grateful for those who have supported me thus far, please know that I appreciate it so much. One thing I'd like to challenge everyone to do with this new year coming up is make at least 3 resolutions that you will actually try to work on. We have a lot of goals as missionaries, broken down into things we can do every single day. So find three things you want to improve on in your life, with at least one of them being centered in Christ. Then at least once a week, assess how you've been doing with that goal, and make plans and smaller goals to accomplish during the week. Do this, and don't forget to ask the Lord for help. He can do all things, so why not help one of his children reach a goal?

 I hope you all have a great year, this is the only one where you won't see me in person throughout the entire year! Strange....but anyways, make it a great one, and I hope that you all can accomplish something you want to do this year.

Elder Packer

Monday, December 22, 2014

¡¡Merry Navidad!!

Merry Christmas everyone!! I am so grateful for all the people who have sent me letters and packages and who have been supporting me, it is so appreciated, you really don't even know. Thank you all so so much.

This week has been really cool. We had a zone Christmas conference and that was really cool, we got our packages and some other random presents from the mission home and it was really fun and I had a blast. Then the day after that we had a zone exchange and I was paired with Elder Latu. He's a Tongan beast and is planning on playing college football when he goes home in 6 months, and he's freaking hilarious. I was laughing so much with him, he's great. 

That day was pretty good, we had a lot of fun, and saw miracles happen in our work. It was great. We had a zone breakfast that was super awesome and I took a picture by the border fence that happens to be about five minutes from where we live. It was a super fun week.

I can't wait to hear from my family and more of you guys this Christmas, it's gonna be a great week coming up, I'm super stoked. I hope you all remember Christ this Christ más and that you never forget what the reason for his birth was. (hint: THE ATONEMENT). I love you all, have a very Happy Navidad!! #texmex
Elder Packer
(our zone leaders took those signs and stood downtown for a couple hours passing out cards, it was super funny)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Greenie Week 2

Thank you to everyone who have written me letters and supported me, I appreciate it so much. I love you all.

So, this week has been a freaking awesome week.

We talked to a lot of people, met some really cool ones and a lot of people are wanting to learn and hear more about Jesus Christ. It's amazing.

I went on my first exchange this week, and we went to lunch with the Castillo's and guess where they took us....RUDY'S!!! I was so excited, I ate so much and it was amazing. I love Rudy's. 

Other than that there wasn't really a whole lot of other important things that went on. Except that I had my first Baptism, I guess that was pretty cool. I baptized two twin 9-year-old girls who's mom is less active, but my comp has been teaching them for a couple months and we finally got them to be baptized, and I got to perform the ordinance. And it was in Spanish, which makes it just a little bit cooler. I love baptism, it's great.

Other than that it's really just been fun I guess. It's work, but the people down here are super nice and friendly, they feed you whenever they're having dinner and you come by, and there has been a lot of good stuff down here, including some things I didn't like or want to try before I left. It's been great.

I hope everyone back home is doing good, S.O. to my broseph who went to the Christmas Dance, I bet the ladies were all over you. #killin'em

Anyways, I love you all, remember that Christ is always there for you and that He will help you in every trial or situation you have in your life. Just remember to pray and ask for revelation to know what you need to do. Love you guys!

Elder Packer

Monday, December 8, 2014

Alive and Well in Texas!!


Texas is awesome. I love the US. The last week at the CCM was so amazing, but the first day in the Dallas Airport was great, because I got my first McDonalds in forever, and a random Brother from North Carolina bought all three of us lunch. It was awesome.

Anyways, this week has been so great!! I got my first area (Los Ebanos, Brownsville) and I'm living with my companion and the zone leaders in one of the only 4 houses in the mission. My bike is freaking awesome, even though I haven't gotten a chance to ride it yet because we're in a car area, but I still love it. 

My first day we had a lesson with James Piña, and my comp told me he had a baptismal date for next Sunday, and we needed to teach him the word of wisdom because he had a drinking problem. So we went over there and taught him some stuff about the word of wisdom and asked him to quit drinking, and he said he would only if we have one last drink with him. 

My comp and I looked at each other not really knowing what to say, and he went and pulled out three glasses of what he said was tequila and pineapple juice, with salt around the top. He handed us the glasses and before we said anything he said cheers and started drinking. I looked at my comp and he looked at me, shrugged, and started drinking too. I had no idea what to do, so I just sat there and looked at the glass, until the two of them busted up laughing. 

Apparently James was a member for ten years and went on a mission, and the drink was really just Pineapple soda...it was pretty funny, even for me.  So that was the day one prank they played on me. 

I've already gotten about 40 ties from people that don't want any more ties because they're sick of ties. Did I mention ties? They are pretty huge down here, they know brand names and stuff and trade and all sorts of things that I have no idea about, but it's cool. 

I've been doing really well (according to my comp and zone leaders) managing my money and eating, and they've stuffed me full at a bunch of members houses. We went shopping for groceries my first day, and I got a 3 liter of Dr. Pepper...I love Texas... It's been great. 

I can't wait for the rest of my mission, it's gonna be great.
Elder Packer

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Hey everyone!!

I'm so grateful today for so many things. First of all, big thank you to those of you who have supported me, it's been so wonderful. Thank you grandma and grandpa for the donuts, Becca for the dr. pepper, and mom and dad for the pie and pep. It has been such a great week for me, I am so blessed. 

I've heard devotionals from three different apostles this week, two of which were broadcast live from Provo. Elder Holland spoke about being a preach my gospel missionary, and he got pretty fiery. I learned so much from all of these devotionals, but I'm just gonna give you a couple main points for sake of time. Elder Holland said that we need to be converted before we can hope that our investigators will be converted, and he boiled everything we do down to "Do we love Christ?" If we truly love Christ, then we will feed his sheep, and do everything we can in our power to do so. He then asked us to decide tonight if we are on a course that leads to Christ, and if we are not, CHANGE COURSE. I challenge you all to do the same. 

The first live devo from Provo was Elder Oaks, and he talked missions and expectations. We can't expect anything except to serve Christ. We do not think we are better than others who belong to other churches, but our church is the only one that can bring salvation. Then to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord, we need to be in working condition (healthy) and willing to do his work, not our own. It was a great talk.

Then today we had a Thanksgiving Devotional by Elder Bednar, and he seriously is amazing. It was the coolest thing ever. Him and his wife basically did a Q&A session with all the MTC's around the world through email and texting. People would ask questions and he would answer them or have his wife talk a bit about it, it was seriously one of the most spiritual meetings of my life, and I am so thankful for it. 

One of the two main points I learned though is that agency isn't the ability to choose disobedience to our covenants or to follow them, it's to choose whether or not we accept the gospel, and once we have we have to obey our covenants, otherwise we're just breaking a covenant when we disobey. Sin is selfish, and looks inward toward you, not towards others. We need to learn to love others more than ourselves. The other point was that you don't receive a witness until after the trial of your faith. I don't know if that has happened for me or not, but I guess we'll find out over the next couple years. 

Another cool thing is that I learned how to meditate for reals this week. An elder in my zone used to be Buddhist, so he taught a bunch of us how to meditate the proper way. It was pretty cool. 

Anyways, thats most of it for me this week. One of the pictures is of me just about 15 mins ago with all the packages I've received this week on my bed, and the another was the Thanksgiving Lunch we had at the CCM. I seriously am so thankful for all of you. I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am thankful for my family and friends, and I am so very thankful to be serving a mission. Write again soon! 

Elder Packer

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Week Four

Hola everyone,

I have a lot to say this week! First off, thank you all so much for everything you have done to support me, I have been so grateful. Mom, thank you especially, and in answer to your question of pie or Pep, I would prefer the vanilla pep over the pie...so yeah:)
Anyways, one cool thing is that I was made district leader because our old district leaders are now the zone leaders. Our senior district is now gone, and it was so sad. We loved those guys so much, it's crazy how close we got in just a few weeks. Elder Harrop and Elder Trautman were my hero's, they were exactly the kind of person that I wish I could be and that I hope to become. 
Second, one of the Hermana's in my zone who has been called as Sister Training leader with her companion is Hermana Savannah Heywood, one of Kris's old soccer players. She said she was from heber when we introduced ourselves, then I said I had family that lived there, she asked who, I said the Golightly's, and she said "wait, so do you know Kris Thacker" and I said, "yeah, she's my aunt" and we both proceed to talk about how crazy and awesome Kris is. Shout out to you shorty. 
Another thing that was super awesome was our Sunday Devotional by Elder Bednar. It was amazing. I can't write everything that I learned from it but I'll just mention a few key points that apply to everyone. Overall, the talk was about humbling ourselves and becoming like Christ. He mentioned that even after he was let down by his three most trusted apostles, suffered the pains of the world, which agony was so great that it caused him to sweat drops of blood from every pore, and was betrayed by one of his apostles by a kiss, he still cared enough to heal the guard whose ear was cut off by Peter. He said that we need to be converted unto Christ, not just have a testimony of Him, but live as he lived, humble ourselves to care more about the welfare of others than ourselves, and study the His character and try to become more like Him.
That wasn't that great of a summary because it was such a good talk, but if you find it I definitely recommend it. I never really believed it when missionaries would write home and say that they feel the spirit so much more and so strongly because I thought  it was just to say that or that it couldn't happen, but I seriously do feel the spirit so strongly here. I love it. 
One more little tidbit of information, my maestro Hermano Guerrero proposed to his girlfriend this week. They had been dating for five years since they both went to school here, they've both served missions during those years, and they're both super cool. 
That's all for now, but for one of the pictures I need to explain something. We took pictures with our whole zone on Sunday because it was their last one, and Elder Harrop and Elder Trautman decided I looked like a gangster because of the way I posed in most of them. So in the one where they're all being serious and I am smiling, it's because I was laughing because they thought I was an O.G. So yeah, anyways, thank you all, I love you all, and remember to pray always that the Lord be with you.

Elder Packer

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Week Three

Hello friends and family. 

I am so thankful for all of you who have written me, and to those that have supported me as well. Thank you for the letters you guys have sent, Mom, thank you for the brownies, and please thank Sande and Danny for the package they sent me, it really helped and meant a lot to me. 

This week has been crazy good. On Saturday we watched a video on the Atonement (I don´t know it in English, but the version with Spanish subtitles is on youtube as "La Expiación y Obra Misional" (The Atonement and Missionary Work)) and I was crying like a baby. It seriously was the strongest I've felt the spirit probably in my entire life, and it gave me courage to endure any trial. I made a new motto for myself that I kinda wish I had a ring or a picture of Christ that said it, and it is "Do it for Him." For those of you that watch the video, you'll understand. 

Also, I've been reading the Book of Mormon a lot more lately because I have so much time to study. When I got here I was on Alma chapter 25, and now I'm hoping to have it finished by Monday. It really is such a blessing in our lives. I have a challenge for everyone that is willing to take it to really read and ponder about the Book of Mormon, but not just a verse or two. Read 2-5 pages a day, or for ten minutes a day, whichever you feel more comfortable with. I promise you that you will be blessed if you do so. 

There are two down parts about this week; it rained exceptionally hard on Tuesday and I got soaked while wearing my suit (don't worry, my suit is fine), and our senior district in our zone is leaving on Monday or Tuesday. Every Sunday here we watch a church movie and then afterwards there's a little video tribute to the districts that are leaving that week, and I almost cry every time because they play the EFY medley, in Spanish. It is one of the most beautiful things you'll ever hear, I'm tearing up just thinking about it. 

Last of all, today we got the opportunity to go to the Mexico city visitors center, and that was awesome. Mexico city is a dump, but has it's own kind of beauty. And the visitors center was incredible. I have some pictures of both the city and the center, hopefully they make it through ok. In all honesty, the first couple weeks sucked, but I am so happy to be here now. It is amazing, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord and share this amazing gospel. I love you all!

I don't really know what order the pictures are in, but just go ahead and look at them, I'm sure you'll figure it out for the most part;)

One picture I will explain is the airhead extremes, I thought it was funny because here they're called "Chupa Chups" which is almost my nickname. 

But anyways, I wish you all the best, stay strong and Love Jesus!! 

Elder Packer

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Week Two

Hey everyone!

So this week was really...well, it was good. For fast Sunday we started after lunch on saturday and were supposed to go until lunch on Sunday, but at about 8 o'clock, I got really sick, so i ate and took some meds, but I still stayed sick until about Monday night...it wasn't my favorite time at the CCM. But other than that it's been really good! 
Our first "investigator" we taught introduced herself as our teacher, and she's pretty awesome. I've learned a lot in the language, and it's been a really fun, spiritual, and...less stressful than week 1. 
We got a bunch of new people in, so we're really one of the senior districts even tho we're only in our third week, but its fun. I also got a haircut today, and it's really really short... Other than that, it's really been uneventful, it's like having a fourteen hour school day where its all gospel centered. It's not awful, but let's just say that I'm excited to get to Texas. 
OH! and I would like to thank my parents and g&g packer for the packages, they've been life savers. all my district members keep asking me what site you're using. its missionarypackagemx.com right? anyways, thank you!!!

Elder Packer 
Me in my suit

Mi Casa

Street outside my house

Before my haircut!
 Viewmont shirt in Mexico!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014



I'm so thankful to those of you that have written me, it's been great. And I'm especially thankful for you, mom and dad, for sending me the letter(got it on Tuesday), donuts (got it on Wednesday), and Dr. Pepper! My whole district is jealous, but it's ok because I love it and I share the love. 

This week has been great, but also the longest week of my life...in all honesty, the first few days were awful. I was kinda overwhelmed by the sudden change in schedule and things like that, my companion and I weren't getting along, and he's been slightly sick so he's super slow at everything(we missed breakfast the first few days because he couldn't get ready in time), and I kept thinking I was going to need to come home the first couple nights because I just couldn't handle it. But it all got better, there were a few talks that helped calm my anxiety a bit, and my companion and I are getting along great now. 

My district has four sisters and four elders, and we have the most fun out of anyone here. My companion, Elder Parisi, and I live with the other Elders in our district in a small room in a house with 12 other Elders. But it's all good, we make the best of it. Everyone in our district is going to Texas(3 to McAllen, including my companion, and 4 to Houston) and then there's one Elder going to Little Rock Arkansas. Random right?

On our THIRD day here, we had to teach an investigator in Spanish...it was so hard, but really cool and a great spiritual experience. But after our second lesson with her (which took place the following day) we were told by some other missionaries that she isn't a real investigator and will be our teacher next week. We weren't supposed to know that, but we still gave it our all in all of our lessons. They were some pretty spiritual experiences. Our investigators name is Lenina, and she is the nicest person you'll ever meet. I don't have a picture with her right now, but I'll try to get you one next week. 

Outside of that it's just been 14 hours of class and study time with breaks for meals. The food here actually hasn't been terrible, but I loved Tuesday, because apparently that's pizza night every week!! That, the packages I've received, and the food I brought (none of which exploded or got everywhere) have been my favorite parts of the day though. 

And just in case you were wondering, CCM stands for Centro de Capacitación Misional. 

Anyways, please email me back, and let me know how you are all doing! Love you all! 

Elder Packer

Me on the plane to Mexico

With my companion, Elder Parisi

District Elders at the CCM sign

Showing off my Missionary Tag

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Arrived in Mexico

I made it to Mexico! 
It is just like described, a tropical paradise enclosed by a 12 foot wall. but it's huge! 
It's basically a six week college where the only classes are religion and Spanish. 
Anyways, I'll write you next Thursday, that's my P-day. 
Elder Packer