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, 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