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, February 29, 2016

Pics on Pics on Pics

Good afternoon!!
I hope yall had a splendid week, my week was pretty crazy but pretty fun. 
On Tuesday we had an exchange with our DL, and I was with Elder Sanchez for most of Tuesday and all of Wednesday. It was pretty fun, we got a lot of stuff done, and got to know each other pretty well. As well, since he's a Subaru guy as well, we stopped to take pics of an STI and talked to the guy who owned it. It was pretty fun haha beautiful car. 
Along with that, we have a bit of a competition as a zone to see if we can reach 100 pictures taken by the end of the transfer. So I've taken a LOT of pictures! I won't send them all because theres not enough room, but you should get a few the next couple of weeks. 
To be short in writing, the highlight of this week was probably personal study. Not that the rest of the week was bad, but I had a lot of studies this week that were really amazing. The scriptures really are awesome tools, truly gifts from God. I have fallen in love with the scriptures over the course of my mission. So that's my invitation this week. I'm not saying fall in love with them this week, but read for at least 30 mins sometime this week. And think about how wonderful it is to have guidance from God in these last days. 
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!! 
Elder Packer

Monday, February 22, 2016

Emergency Meetings

Buenas Tardes mis amados!
I hope you all had a wonderful week! Mine was very busy and very good.
We had exchanges early on in the week and I was with my ZL Elder Davis. He's a real cool guy, we had a lot of fun together, and I learned a lot. That was I think Wednesday, and then Thursday we had a zone meeting and it was great! ThenFriday at the end of weekly planning we got a call from our ZLs, who told us that we had to be in McAllen the next day at 8:30 AM. At first we thought it was a joke, but turns out it wasn't! So because I drive the minivan, we ended up waking up at 3 AM to get ready to pick people up and then drive the 2.5-3 hours down to McAllen. It was a long drive, especially without food in the car, but the meeting was well worth it. Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy was there and spoke to us for about 2 hours on "Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts." It was a fantastic meeting in which there were a lot of really good guidelines. One of the things I remember most is the Teaching Model (Caleb and Lys, pay attention and apply this on Wednesday night): 1. Destination. Explain Why. 2. Route. Explain How. 3. Conclusion. Invite to do What. 
To expand on that, the first thing we need to teach investigators is the "why" behind all that we do. Why are we baptized, why do we keep this commandment, why we go to church, whatever the lesson is. The next thing we do is explain how it is done, and then we invite them to do that. For example, we keep the Sabbath Day holy because it's how we show God that we love Him and remember Him on His day, we do that by going to church, partaking of the sacrament, and refraining from any unholy activities for the remainder of that day, and we're promised that when we do this the "fullness of the earth" is ours (D&C 59). The blessing attached to the Sabbath is joy and temporal help, and that's an important part of extending the invitation. So those that are being missionaries this Wednesday, make sure that you follow that pattern! It helps bring the spirit and ensure effective teaching/learning. And most of all, bear testimony. 

That was the majority of the week, I'm still recovering from a 19hour day on Saturday, 6 of which were driving, so I hope this letter made sense and that I didn't ramble too much! (My family knows, I ramble when I'm tired) I hope you all have a great week and that you can continue to grow in your faith and love toward our Savior, Jesus Christ. Les quiero!

Elder Packer

1. Elder Davis and I
2. Sanchez and me on the drive back
3. A trailer we saw on the drive back. #viveNuevoLeon!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope all of you had a great Valentine's Day! I for sure had a really fun week.

Monday-Thursday we had an exchange with Elder Russell because his comp was in McAllen, so we had a lot of fun going around Portland and Rockport as a trio. Trio's are a unique experience hahaha:) but that was a lot of fun, and then on Friday we had a ward cake auction to raise money for the Boy Scouts, and that was nuts! A few members gave us some money to spend on cakes, and me and my companion ended up walking out with a tres leches, a carrot cake, a huge chocolate cake, a half dozen Red Velvet cupcakes, a few boxes of cookies/brownies, some oreo truffles, chocolate dipped oreos, and a bag of caramels. My comp (who has diabetes) was thrilled!! His insulin pump stopped working for a few hours, so he couldn't really eat too much, but when we got home he pounded hahaha. 

That was really the major part of the week. We're finally getting settled here and know what the work is like in Portland, so we're planning on coming down hard this week. I want to thank everyone who has supported us in their prayers and ask that you keep doing it. I attached a link to a video that I think is awesome, and I hope you all can learn from it. Remember that no matter where you live, there are always missionary opportunities. Just keep you eyes and ears open and in tune with the spirit. I love you all, have a great week!!:)

Elder Packer

1. Chester!
2-3. Texan Cars

Monday, February 8, 2016

Los que aman

Hey Everyone!!
I hope you guys all had a wonderful week, mine was very busy and very full of fun. 
We had a fairly regular schedule for the first couple of days, and on Thursday we had a zone exchange! It was really fun, I got to work with another greenie named Elder Lopez, he's from Bolivia and is a great missionary. We found a bunch of people in those couple of days, and did a lot of moving people around, and then we met up as a zone for the trade back at a moving service project and then at the church. 
Victor and Marissa got confirmed yesterday, they're still spiritually on fire, it's amazing. I'm super glad I had the chance to be a part of this great couple's conversion story and witness the changes in their lives. 

Today until Thursday I'm in a trio with my compa Elder Harker and Elder Russell, the comp of our DL while he is down at 3-Day in McAllen. We've got a lot of fun things planned, it'll be a great week.

So yesterday we had the chance to teach relief society, and the lesson we were asked to teach was Ch. 6 of PMG, Christlike Attributes. I did a little study on it and then we went in and had a discussion about it, it was really awesome. I've done a lot of studying about that chapter, it's been great, I would love to invite all to give it a read. Do the attribute activity at the end and find out what one or two of the attributes you'd like to work on are. My personal favorites are Charity and Love, Faith, and Humility. All are important, but those are what has helped me a lot.  

I love you all, thank you guys for all your support, and I hope you have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Packer

1-2: #Rudy's!!!!
3. Elder Russell
4. Sisters got a hold of my camera during zone meeting....

Monday, February 1, 2016

Welcome to Portland!

Hey Everyone!

This week has been super long, but sooo much stuff has happened this week!
First of all, I got transferred to Portland in Corpus Zone! It's a nice little town, reminds me a lot of home in the springtime actually. The ward is really involved, lots of active members, and we're the only missionaries in the ward so we go the everyone to ourselves! It's pretty great. I'm whitewashing with my companion, who only has one transfer in the mission, so he's still a greenie (whitewash training again!) But it's been really fun, Elder Harker is a cool guy. Unfortunately, I'm stuck driving a minivan. Again. -_- But at least I'm in a car area!:)
One of the biggest things that happened this week is that we had an investigator couple get married and baptized!! It was super awesome, they got marriedon Friday, took us to Corpus to eat at Longhorn Steakhouse, and then baptized Sunday. They are so awesome, and the ward has them super fellowshipped, they're great. Awesome gente. 

Elder Harker and I both are really excited to work in this area. The members are awesome, the people are friendly, and even though it's only been a week, it's been a really great week!
For this week, I just wanna say I love you guys a lot. Whenever I meet people they always ask how long I've been on my mission and it's really weird to say that I've been out for over a year and go home in October. I thank you guys for all the support you've given me and I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you!
Elder Packer
1. Welcome to the Great White North
2. Mi and mi compa
3. Victor and Marissa getting married
4. Victor and Marissa getting baptized
5. :)