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 14, 2016

Signing out

Thank you all to those who have written and supported me through these past 24+months haha. I love you all and I love the Lord. We'll see you soon

Elder Packer

Monday, November 7, 2016

La Ultima Semana

Good afternoon! 

I hope you all have had a wonderful week, mine has been great and pretty crazy. 

I don't want to go through and have a recap of this week, but I do want to say that I love the mission. This is the last full week of my mission, and I can't describe how much it has changed me. I love the mission, I love the Savior, and I love all of His children. There are so many things you learn in the service of the Lord, and I can't tell you how much these last two years have meant to me. I've met amazing people, I've seen amazing things, and I've come to know for myself that the Lord truly does live and aid us in doing His work. My mission still isn't over, because I will be a missionary throughout my life. People will always need the Gospel, and there will always be something I or you can do to help someone grow closer to Christ. I love you all, have a great week

Elder Packer 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween everyone!!:) 

I hope yall had just as good a week as I did, we had a lot of fun this week and it was a blast! 

Most of the week we were inviting people to a halloween party we were having as combined branch activity on Saturday. On Wednesday we ended up doing service for like 3 hours while we helped out a recent convert family move (not out of the branch thankfully) and then helped an investigator clean her yard and move a ton of bricks. 

Friday we had interviews/zone conference, and it was all about the Restoration, which was amazing. I can't even describe a lot of the things that were said and felt, but it was really an awesome training and a great testimony builder. 

Saturday was the Trunk or Treat, and it was awesome!! Lots of food and fun, we had a few people show up and almost everyone was dressed up somehow! They played a lot of songs I didn't know and kids did a lot of dances that I didn't know haha but it was really fun and the spirit of love was definitely there. 

That's about it for this week, I hope yall have an excellent Halloween and rest of the week!! I love yall!!:) 

Elder Packer 

Monday, October 24, 2016

2 Years Down

Good afternoon!!

I hope yall have had a great week, it's been fantastic here in Laredo. The weather has gotten down to the 80s and high 70s this week and that has been amazing!! And one morning it was even in the 60s, and we wore jackets because we were freezing...welcome to Texas. 

This week on Saturday was really interesting. We had a family history event in the morning and a lot of people showed up and we had an awesome time. Something else that made that day interesting was that it marked 2 years since I left to Mexico City. I made it two years! Haha and I'm still really excited to have almost another month to go. Being a missionary is the best thing in this world. Not just being on a mission, but being a missionary. The best thing ever is to participate in the conversion of another person, to witness their change, and to see them grow closer to the Lord, and in witnessing that you grow closer yourself. 

I love yall a lot and hope you have a great next week!! 

Elder Packer 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Elder Kopischke


I hope yall had a grand week, here in Texas it was quite the week!! The biggest event that happened was that we had a zone conference in Corpus with Elder Kopischke of the 70, and it was amazing!! We learned so much about how we can do better in the work, as well as how we can grow our love for other people, which will help us the most as we strive to become better missionaries. 

Even though I won't have a lot of time in the mission to apply and perfect the techniques that he taught us, I have it set in my mind that I'm not going to stop being a missionary when I get home. Every member is called as a missionary, and even in Utah there are lots of missionary opportunities. Which is my challenge today. 

Everyone knows someone that is not a member of the church, whether it be at school, work or otherwise, they are there. A lot of times we don't know if that person is even a member or not, but we have to be assertive and open with our own faith in order to find out. It's really not that hard to have a gospel/faith related conversation in everyday life, and by doing so we can find those who need to hear the message of the Gospel, who have been prepared by angels to accept it, and who desperately need and want salvation and eternal life with their families. It is an expression of love towards God, and also to that person, who is a child of God, our brother or sister, and a soul whose worth is great in the sight of God (D&C 18). So my challenge for today is, as you are continuing to go over and set goals to apply the things you've learned in conference, set a goal to be a missionary. Give yourself a deadline. Act with faith. Further your conversion and eternal progression by giving someone else the chance. 

I love yall a lot and hope that you can see of the happiness that come from missionary work. Until next week!

Elder Packer 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Nuevo Laredo

Good day!!

I hope yall had a great week, mine definitely was wonderful. 
We got 2 new sisters in the district, Sister Luna and Sister Wagstaff, the latter of which dies with me (goes home). We also got a new roommate, Elder Juarez, who is from Guatemala and is really good at the guitar, baritone, Uke, and rapping haha. So it's like a whole Nuevo Laredo, hence the subject. But it has been really good, we've got things kicked into gear and we're looking and finding and teaching a lot of people. 

This week's message is developing your talents. Everyone has a talent, just find what it is! Yesterday's lesson in Gospel Principles was developing your talents, and it was really cool. Everyone has talents, they've been born with them, whether it's playing an instrument or being athletic, or even being a good listener, patience, or always being cheerful. Personality characteristics can be developed just like talents.

That's all I have for yall this week, I hope you have a wonderful week! I love yall!!

Elder Packer 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Conferencia General


I hope you all had a great week and especially conference weekend!! My week was awesome and topped off with the amazing conference! I loved it, I learned so much. 

To be a little brief I just wanted to talk about some of the cool things I thought about during conference. During President Nelson's talk about joy, the scripture D&C 18:15-16 came to mind, that says if we labor to brings souls to Christ we shall have joy. So I meshed that one and 2 Nephi 2:25 to come up with the statement: "Men are that they might bring souls to Christ." Missionary work!!! Then at the closing talk of the conference, Elder Renlund made the statement that repentance brings great joy. So then "Men are that they might repent." 

I like those two statements a lot, but if you use them together, you come unto Christ when you repent, and you are saving your own soul. So "Men are that they might come unto Christ." It reminds me of one interpretation of D&C 18:15, that if you bring "save it be one soul," that one soul better be your own haha. We grow and become more converted as we help others to come unto Christ, thereby pushing ourselves farther along on the pathway of discipleship.

 "After all is said and done, the most important duty is to preach the Gospel."  So my challenge to yall is to pray and plan for missionary opportunities. Follow the counsel of Elder Oaks and see the great joy that comes from doing missionary work. It doesn't matter if you think you don't know anyone that's not a member, or that you don't know if you have any opportunities, I promise you that you know at least one person who is ready and needing of the Gospel, so go out and find them. 

I love you all so much and hope that you have a great day and week!! 

Monday, September 26, 2016

General Conference Prep

Hey y'all,

I hope you've all had a good week! This week was also super quick, but we had a lot of good things happen in it. The Cuevas got confirmed which was awesome and we had an amazing conference of zone, it was great! Presidente Torres is a really inspired man, very in tune with the spirit and very intelligent. We learned a lot of things from him this last week, but for this letter I just focus on one major one.

He talked about studying. We study every day as missionaries, but some studies are more effective than others. He told us that the key to having a good study is to have a question. Go in to every gospel study with a question, because that's when you will receive the revelation. It's not a bad thing to read through the scriptures cover to cover; you still receive revelation and are in tune with the spirit. However it is better to study with a question and a purpose. So my purpose recently has been to learn more about Jesus Christ and the ways that I need to improve to become more like Him.

Likewise with General Conference coming up, it is much better to have a question than just to listen. This is a time for Apostles and Prophets to tell us what God wants the whole world to hear, and in such a time we can receive the answers to any question that we have, as long as we ask it first. John 16:24 says: "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: askand ye shalreceive.." So, we need to ask!! 

I love you guys a lot, and hope that you have a wonderful week and wonderful general conference!! 

Elder Packer 

1. Gold Plates BOM that a member down here has
2. Visitor we had on our car

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Alex Family


I hope yall are having a spectacular week, I've really enjoyed mine. I don't have a lot of time, but there are two main events from this last week. 

The first one, we had a "Noche Mexicana" on Friday for the Mexican day of independence. It was a lot of fun, my district and two other elders sang at it and it was a blast. 

The second and more important was that two sisters in my district had a baptism this week!! It was awesome, the Cuevas family took the dive and entered into the covenant of baptism, aided by Elder Fielding and myself. We call them the Alex family as a nickname because the Dad's name is Alejandro and the Mom's name is Alejandra, and they both go by Alex, and they have an older son named Alex that lives in Idaho, another named Danny, a younger son named Alex that was baptized with them, a daughter named Alcestis, a son named Aaron who was also baptized with them, and then Alexandra who is 2, and their 2 week old, Axle. It was a really spiritual baptism, they've been preparing for 2 years with the sisters, and it was amazing to see them finally take the leap. 

That was really it for this week, I love you guys a lot, have a wonderful week!!

Elder Packer 

1. Baptism
2-3. The party 
4. Homies in the branch

Monday, September 12, 2016

Con Valor Marchemos

Querridos hermanos y hermanas,

I hope you all had a great week, this week was really fun and awesome here in Laredo. My companion and I have been teaching a lot of people, the members are awesome, and we're having a lot of progress as an area and as a district. The sisters are hoping to baptize a family they have been working with for a really long time this sunday, so please pray for the Cuevas family! They were supposed to get baptized two weeks ago on Saturday, but she ended up going into labor hahaha so it was postponed. But they're looking really set to be baptized this week, so keep that in your prayers.

Today I just wanted to talk about music a little bit. There's a talk by Uncle Boyd called "Inspiring Music-Worthy Thoughts" and it talks about how we can acheive self-mastery by listening/singing uplifting and worthy music. It's something that I definitely struggled with before the mission, but it's something I intend to strive to do even after the mission. I encourage yall to look it up, its pretty good. 

That's about it for this week, I love you guys a lot, have a wonderful week!!

Elder Packer 

 1. Sister Kindall's 22nd birthday
2. A dog we ran terrified by walking up to the door
3. District noodles hahaha 
4. Drum off with me and Sister Castro
5. Wating for the next branch to start

Monday, August 29, 2016

Casi llega Septiembre

Good morning/afternoon!!

I hope you all had a wonderful week, this week for us has been super busy and super short. We had several meetings and appointments throughout the week, and then finished with a church-packed Sunday. We had a lot of fun, we ate a lot, had some good ice cream and then finished with Japanese pancake-type things with cabbage, beef and steak-sauce; super good! 

I don't have too much to say this week, it went by as kind of a blur. I have a new companion, Elder Johnson, and we've just been getting settled in, introducing him to the area and whatnot. He's really funny, he loves pandas, and he's super fun to be around. And, he's also from Farmington! What are the odds. 

Outside of that, the rest of the district stayed the same, and we didn't have too many other changes in the zone, but we're all super excited for another great transfer. One kinda funny thing that happened this week was that some of the sisters in the district were hoping to baptize a family on Saturday morning, but they had to postpone because the mom went into labor with their seventh child hahaha. Anyways, that's really about it for me this week! I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I love you tons!!

Elder Packer 

1. DP
2. Good advice from Chic-Fil-A
3-4. The pancakes! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Y seguimos adelante

Estimados amigos,

This last week has been super short and super fun. It's crazy how quickly time goes by! We've had a lot of fun as a district and as a zone, we had a few meetings, and there was a big back to school party on Saturday that we all helped out with, and it was a lot of fun!! 
What I wanted to focus on this week was goals. Having a vision. I like the quote Thomas S. Monson shared in General Conference a while ago: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." 

Having goals and making simple plans to reach those goals is something I love about the mission, and it really is a super important life skill. Many people make educational, marriage, career, and other life goals like that, but the goal I wanted to talk about was spiritual goals. Who are we going to be? Do I exemplify who I want to be? Can people tell that I am a disciple of Christ, or more importantly, can Christ tell that I want to be his disciple? 
All of us should have some type of goal. Us as members of the church have the goal of being exalted and living eternally with our families, and we strive to live in such a way that we will be worthy of that. In order to do so, we need to show our love for the Savior by obeying the commandments, diligently magnifying our callings,and serving others to the best of our ability.  
27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; (D&C 58:27)

I just wanted to challenge you all this week to think of something more you could be doing to show your willingness and desire to serve and love Christ. Whether that is to do better in your home teaching, taking your calling more seriously, or finding better ways to spend your time, like looking for service/missionary opportunities or going to the temple. It could possibly be spending more quality time as a family, or maybe simply being more diligent and honest in your nightly prayers. Whatever it is, plan to do it, and then carry it out!:) We all have the eternal end goal in mind, just focus on what you need to do now. Become a better disciple of Christ.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!!:)

Elder Packer 

1. The District
2. Harker and I
3. "Bring Your Own Cup" day at 711
4. Soup we made for the Herreras yesterday (souper good in case you were wondering)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Three is better than 2..?

Hello mundo!

This week was full of fun and surprises! One of the biggest things was that we had interviews with our Mission President, and that was awesome. He gave us all some really good counsel, he's a very inspired man. 

 One of the next big things that happened was that we had a meeting with him and all the leadership in Laredo District. It was one of the best leadership meetings I've ever attended. He showed them a video about priesthood keys that the church made about his Stake when he was stake president; they got 90% of the endowed members to have an active temple recommend, indexed 470,000 names as a stake in one month, and have been the number 5 indexing stake in the world in the 7 years since then. And since it was all in Honduras, most of the people don't even have internet, it was all done at libraries and church buildings haha. 

Anywho, for the meeting he talked about having a vision, that his vision isn't just for a stake in Laredo, but for a Laredo North and South stake, as well as a temple in McAllen. He then told us to get together and make a vision as the leadership and missionaries of the branch, and our branch president (who was just ordained 2 weeks ago) took the reins like a boss and we made an awesome vision, which we capitalized on in Branch Council yesterday with effective conversation and assignments given. The Laredo 1st branch is about to blow up, it's awesome. 

Last but definitely not least, Elder Harker and I are now in a trio!! We will be working with Elder Scott in both our areas for this next week until transfers come. Trio power!!!!! We're super excited haha the mission is so great, you never know what to expect, but you're never really surprised at anything after a while haha:) 

Anywho, that was the main stuff about the week, I hope you guys have a wonderful week, I love you all, have a great one!!

Elder Packer 

1. Our compas
2-3. The New Testament in Kriol
4. District bbq last Monday

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tacos por dias

Buenas tardes! 

This last week went by super quick! We had an Elder in our apartment go home early, and now we're living with Elder Powell, Elder Chamberlain's MTC companion and one of the assistants. He's super cool, it's been fun with him. 

This week we ate tacos. Lots of tacos. It was really fun because my comp and I love tacos haha. And for the first time we both tried horse tacos, which were surprisingly good haha. We also had a late birthday party thrown for me and Sister Villalobos by one of the members here, so that was a lot of fun as well. The members here in Laredo are few, but they are awesome haha. 

It's really been a blessing to serve here in Laredo, it's different than any other place in the mission. It's the only place in the mission where we have a district and branches instead of stakes and wards, which makes it one of the big focuses for the president and missionaries alike. We want to see this place become a stake, and we're working super hard to do so. The branches have been growing, but the activity rate hasn't. So another big focus is reactivating people that have been lost. To do so, our president told us to share Alma 32, where it talks about the seed of faith. If you have it planted in you once, you must nourish it or it will die. But if you do nourish it, it will grow to a tree with much fruit. 

The Lord wants to see the fruits of our faith, whether we be missionaries, less active members, or members trying to live good lives. So my question is, what are the fruits of your faith? For my parents, I would consider myself as a fruit of their faith. I know there were lots of prayers and fasting done in my behalf during less active times of my life, and I know that without the constant aid of my mom and dad, I wouldn't be out here today. Having a child serve a mission is a great fruit of ones faith. Now I am here showing the Lord my own faith, and the fruits have come in so many different ways. 

So I ask again, what are the fruits of your faith? I don't know what your situation is, but the way you can find out isn't by looking at what you've done in your own life, but what you've done in the lives of those around you. A great measurement of the fruits of your faith is how you have positively affected the lives of those with whom you associate. 

I love the TMM, and I love you all too! Have a wonderful day, and week! 

Elder Packer

Monday, August 1, 2016

Zone Conf.

Good mormon!!

Haha so this week was really good, it went by super quick because we had a lot of things to get done. Monday was super fun, we actually almost kinda relaxed for an hour or two! We had meetings every day for the rest of the week, and then weekly planning on Saturday because on Friday we had Zone Conference!!  

Zone conference was super cool, it was great to get Presidente Torres' vision for the mission, as well his vision especially for Laredo. Laredo is the only district in the mission and is extremely close to becoming a stake. The only thing lacking here is Melchizedek Priesthood and temple recommends. So for us here he is having us work especially on getting people back to church, baptizing families, and helping active members get temple recommends. When Laredo becomes a Stake, that's one step closer to having a temple in the Valley!! And that's something all the missionaries and members here want. 

We did a lot of service this week, and it's been a blast to serve so many people. Something I've really been taking into account recently is the blessings of diligent service. When we serve our fellow man we serve our Lord. When we do so diligently, the Lord blesses us exceedingly! I love a talk by Henry B. Eyring called Act In All Diligence. I would encourage you all to read it, it's super good. 

Anywho, that's it for my week, I love you all! Have a wonderful week!!

Elder Packer 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Birthday and Extension


First of all, thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, I loved it. As well as for all the awesome birthday cards, that was really awesome:) but I do have to say that my Mom takes the cake for best present, she had pizza delivered to my door from across the country!! Thanks for coming in clutch mom:)

Anywho, for those that don't already know, I have a story! Tuesday morning we were driving to District meeting, and I got a call from one of the sisters in the office. She first mentioned that my release date was in the computer as Oct. 22, and my mind immediately went to thinking that this was the 90-day call that missionaries get when it's 90 days until they go home. However, she told me that because it was in the middle of a transfer, President Torres said I could choose to either go home normally on October 5th, or extend until November 14th. At first I just told her October, because that was in the plan, I was just expecting on going home in October because that's when my 16th transfer ended. But after thinking and praying for a bit, I called her back and told her that I would like to extend until November 14th. I figured that if God wanted me to go home on time, he would have just made it so I would go home normal like every other missionary. So I'm excited to see what I need to learn and do for my extra 6 weeks in the Texas McAllen Mission!!

That's really about it for the week, that definitely was the main part haha. I love you guys so much, I hope that you have a wonderful week!! 

Elder Packer

1. Army of Helaman (bike edition)
2. The border of Mexico, a Mexican family, and Bro Richens
3. Harker and I on the Border
4. Pizza from Mommy😁