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, November 30, 2015

Tis the Season

Feliz Navidad mis gueritos!!
The Christmas season is starting!!:) Christmas music, lights, candy, food, tamales, presents, enchiladas, tamales, Santa, decorations...Christmas has just thrown up all over south Texas. 
Thanksgiving was really fun, we had a good time and we ate a LOT! We spent it with some of our favorite families, as well as some that we had just met the day  before hahaha (missionary perk: you can show up to anyone's house and they're down to feed you). 

This week had a tremendous ending though; Riley got baptized!!!:) Riley was a serious miracle, we had just found her not too long ago and she had been coming to church with her family who were recently returning less-actives, and she wanted to know when she could be baptized. So we went over, taught her, and she was baptized yesterday:) She's got some of the purest faith I've ever seen, in fact, I have not seen such great faith among all the Utahnites. ;) jk haha but she's got a really strong, pure faith, she just knows the Lord is there and that she made the right decision. 

Outside of that, this week was good, tough, exciting, and fun:) I really hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and look forward to Christmas!:) I love you guys a lot, have a great week!:)

Elder Packer

Monday, November 23, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving!!
This week on Thursday is Thanksgiving as most people know, so I wanted to talk about some of the things I am grateful for this week. 
This week I am grateful for my companion and district members, they're super cool people, and they've made my mission more of an experience haha. As well I'm grateful for the members in this ward, and all the wards I've served in, the families that regularly feed us, the ones that want to feed us, the ones that help us out, the ones that sacrifice so much to come to church, the ones that are consistant in coming, really just all the members, they've been such a blessing in my mission.
Along with them I'm grateful for the wonderful support I've gotten from everyone, my wonderful parents and siblings, my aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, other extended family, ward family, friends, previous mission-homies, and everyone else that has contributed to what my mission has been like these past 13 months. 

More than anything, I want to give thanks to the Lord. Thanks for the opportunity to serve a mission, for all the wonderful people I've met, the relationships I've made, for the experiences I've had, for the opportunity to learn Spanish, for the food I've eaten and learned to make;) and especially for the Atonement, and the opportunity I have every day to repent and become better, so that one day I can have a family of my own and live with them forever. I'm thankful for the scriptures that allow us to learn and grow and receive revelation for ourselves and others we are helping, I'm grateful for prophets and apostles and their words of guidance and counsel which are modern day scriptures, I'm grateful for the trials He has given me to help me grow stronger, and I'm grateful that He loves me so much, and I hope to share that love with others. 
I could go on, but this letter is already looking pretty long hahaha so I'm going to leave it there. But this week I wanted the challenge to be to write down at least 15 things you are grateful for, and then to write a letter to one or 2 people that have been an influence in your life, and to thank them for that. Then at the end, write a letter to God, thanking Him for what He has done for you in your life specifically, and say a prayer to really solidify that. I know that as you do those things, the spirit of Thanksgiving will fill your heart, and this will be a Thanksgiving you won't easily forget. 
I love you all, and hope you can have a great Thanksgiving!! 
Elder Packer
1. Me and Elder Prieto 
2. A random house we found abandoned in the middle of absolutely nowhere
3. Texan Santa Hat:)
4. Paloma (dove) meat we ate last night

Monday, November 16, 2015

I laughed. I cried. I ate chile.

Buenas tardes a todos!

This last week was super fun and super cool, lots of random miracles. We had a really good district meeting thanks to our DL, Elder Cannell, and then we went out and put in work. We worked super hard this week, and saw a lot of positive results. For example. one kid we had one lesson with decided he wanted to come to church, and he brought his friend, so that was a fun miracle. He's an interesting guy, but I'm sure he'll progress.
Some of the fun things we did this week are rib night and the Mullowneys, as well we helped a new family, the Tipton family, move in and they took us to Cracker Barrel. I've never been to Cracker Barrel so that was a pretty fun experience. 
The subject of this email comes from the story of the week. We visited a member named sister Serrato, and she had some chiles growing on her front porch that I'd never seen. I asked her if they were spicy and she told me and Elder Prieto to give them a shot, find out for ourselves. Elder Prieto goes for it, and eventually breaks into sweat and tears because it was so hot. Hahaha fun stuff. But I decide I don't wanna put myself through that, so I open it up to see whats inside, and it's just pure seeds, the hottest part of any chile. So I scrape the seeds out and put some of the pepper in my mouth, but spit it out because it was still super hot. I totally wimped out. But I paid for it in the end, because when I opened up the pepper and scraped out the seeds, I got it all over my fingers, so when I went to wipe sweat from my eye after climbing a papaya tree, it started to slowly burn. After we left the Serratos we started driving to the next place, but I had to pull over because it got worse, so I got out and poured a whole bottle of water on my eye on the side of the road, and then ended up touching the other eye on accident while trying to get the first one better. In the end, I was laying in the back of the van with a wet towel on my face for about twenty minutes while my comp was just cracking up. Hahaha such is life. 
Anywho, as for a spiritual thought for the week, my focus for this week was mainly on faith and getting things done. While studying, I stumbled upon Alma 56, which is a great chapter for hitting goals. We set a lot of goals as missionaries, and sometimes we get discouraged when it doesn't look like we're going to hit them. But this chapter is perfect for that, especially if you read verses 10, 12, 16, 19, 27, 29, and 45-48. There's a lot of good stuff in there, but mainly it's about staying focused on your goal and being determined to hit it. And at the very end, it gives credit to their mothers, because their mothers taught them to rely on the Lord. Real strong humility right there. 
That's about it for this week, I hope you all have a wonderful week, and don't forget to pray! Love you all!

Elder Packer

Monday, November 9, 2015


Buenos dias!!

So to start off this last week, we had transfers. I luckily stayed, but my son, Elder Mason, got one-and-doned and is now in Laredo hahaha. Him and my new companion, Elder Prieto, switched spots. I'm breaking Elder Prieto, meaning I'm his first comp since his dad, so it's been pretty fun. Seeing how much he loves the area and the members and things like that already just makes me really appreciate the members here and all the members I've had in my mission. They've been super great.
Anywho, since then I've been showing Elder Prieto around the area, he's enjoyed it a lot. The Mullowneys made a great first impression when they took us to Golden Corral for his first night here, and then the next day he met Missy, a recent convert who has a super cool story, and whose adoptive son plays for the Blue Jays. We had a lot of great appointments and met a lot of cool people, and had some pretty cool experiences in finding some new less actives and investigators. The area is really progressing!
This week I wanted to extend a challenge to everyone about their own personal relationship with God. Ponder the following questions: Who is God? What does it mean to be His son/daughter? How can I improve my prayers/communication with my Heavenly Father? 
These questions have been on my mind a lot the past few days, and I'd be very interested in hearing back from anyone on this subject. Let me know what you find out!
Well I love you guys a lot, I hope that everything goes well for yall this week, and I'll write you guys again next week!!
Elder Packer

Monday, November 2, 2015

End Of Transfer


First of all, shoutout to my brother, Happy Birthday tomorrow!!! Also shout out to Becca Baggett, congrats on the mission call, you're gonna rock it in Brazil!! And also, Happy Halloween to everyone! Sorry I'm a bit late haha.
This week was really good, really strange, and really fun. We had a lot of meetings with members because of the chance of one of us leaving, I don't think either me or my son are leaving, but our DL, Elder Gilliam, is going home, and his comp has already been here for 6 months, so he could be leaving too. 

We had a bunch of really cool lessons this week, a lot of really cool spiritual feelings. We've also had a few meeting with the zone and district, and we had 2 baptisms in the zone this week, both of which were 2 people. One was in our district, and the other was amazingly powerful because one of the people getting baptized didn't need it because he has Down Syndrome. It was amazing. His name is Aaron, he's about 25-30, and has been wanting to be baptized for like a year, and finally go permission. The guy baptizing him took like 2 dozen time to get the prayer right, but when he was finally baptized, as soon as he came up he looked and stared up at the ceiling for a few seconds, then burst into tears, and the man baptizing him started crying too and said "He just told me he saw his mother and father." It was really powerful. I can't really describe it. 

That was basically the highlight of this week. However, I did feel like I should extend this one challenge. This week I reread the talk called "Beware of Pride." It's an insanely good talk, and something that everyone can benefit from, as long as they read it with the right attitude. So my challenge or invitation to all of you is to read that talk, it's by Ezra Taft Benson I believe, and it's awesome. 

I hope everyone has a great week this week, and once again, congrats Becca, and Happy Birthday Caleb!!:) I love you all!!

Elder Packer