Thursday, June 27, 2013

Genk Belgium

We were so happy to hear from Taylor!  This is the first email we have received since she arrived in Belgium/Netherlands.  She was navigating her way on a French keyboard, so I left the letter as is, punctuation errors and all. (For those of you who know me, yes, I'm dying to fix it.)  Also, at the request of Taylor's mission president, the names of investigators have been removed to protect their privacy. We love her so much and are so proud of her!

"So, this might be a super short choppy letter. I have NO idea how to use a French keyboard...
IM IN BELGIE (Belgium)!!! my very first area is Genk, basically its in the middle of nowhere (kinda) where everyone speaks flams. No, that is not what they taught me in the MTC...   I have 2 collegas! my trainer is zr. israelsen, and my other collega is zr. brown. My first day here was exhausting, i did get a short nap at the mission home (because i had been up for... 20 or so hours) and they fed me great food and all was dandy. I met my collegas that evening and took a 5 hr train ride to genk. The next day we got up and left for exchanges in Breda, I was there for 2 days, and then we had Zone Conference thursday night-friday back in Leiden. We left too late friday so had to stay again in Breda till saturdaysunday was my first full day in Genk. Im exhausted. I met our investigator, he is from Ghana and is probably one of the coolest people ive ever met. He already has a baptismal date set and is taking the lessons fantastically. His friend hasnt been coming to appointments, so thats kind of sad. we can tell it makes our investigator pretty upset. :( I also met another man, who should probably be an investigator, but he told me yesterday he doesnt feel worthy to go to church with his hair.. (he is from Kenya and has pretty awesome dreadlocks). I told him his hair is great.
I might not come home, Im already in love with the food. Shoarma, waffels, doners, fries SO GOOD! and this place is absolutely beautiful. I didnt have to be taught the words "im not interested" though, we hear that enough. im not letting it discourage me though!
ik houd van jullie!

love, Zuster Packer

Monday, June 17, 2013

She headed out today!

Taylor called us last Friday to let us know she was approved to leave Monday.  She left the MTC at 5 this morning and called us from the airport at 7 am.  We loved talking to her. She was the only Dutch sister Mon-Wed because her companion and district left last Monday.  She was watched over by the Elders going to Suriname (also Dutch speaking...who knew??) and her teachers.  New Dutch sisters scheduled to go to the same mission in 6 weeks arrived Wednesday, so she's had some company. She said there were 4 from Pleasant Grove.  That would be a total of 6 sisters in the same mission from Pleasant Grove High!

The stress fracture in Taylor's foot has healed and the cyst is still there, but does not hurt. Last week, Taylor's Grandma Stubbert did not feel we were getting enough answers about her foot and called her nephew, who happens to be the Dr. at the MTC.  He called Taylor in (she did not know they were cousins) and told her he needed to get her cleared to leave because his Aunt Lorna wanted answers.  Thank heavens for Grandma's and miracles!

During our conversation with Taylor, she talked excitedly about her experiences in the MTC.  She is so happy to finally be traveling to her mission.  Taylor flew solo since her group left last week.  She traveled to Minneapolis and then on to Amsterdam.  The trip was supposed to take about 13 hours.  I assume she is already in the country and has been met by the President.  Amsterdam/Belgium is 8 hours ahead.
She will probably email us when she arrives and has received her assignment and companion.  I will keep you posted.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Departure Postponed

Taylor called home yesterday to let us know she will not be leaving with her group on Monday.  She has a cyst in her foot and her foot is swollen.  The Dr. is concerned about the foot and wants to look at it again on Monday to decide if she needs surgery.  They are considering draining the cyst or removing it.  Right now she is delayed 1-2 weeks and will stay at the MTC.  We will know more Monday.  Taylor's foot has hurt for quite a while and she visited a Dr. before she went into the MTC and has met with one several times since she's been in the MTC.  The diagnosis was different from this one. Understandably, she was emotional when she called.  She is close to her group and disappointed she won't be traveling with them. She is also anxious to get to the Netherlands to start working.  She was told she would get to meet with the incoming groups and was excited about that.  She is making the best of the situation.  Our prayers are that the Dr. will be able to figure out the problem and that she will be about to get out there as soon as possible.  We will keep you posted. She might appreciate notes of encouragement, her MTC address is:
                                         Zuster Taylor Packer
                                         MTC mailbox #78
                                         Bel-Neth 0610
                                         2005 N. 900 E.
                                         Provo, Utah   84604-1793

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

She's heading out!

Everyone. I'm going to the Netherlands on Monday.
I am so stinking excited you wouldn't believe it. Cross our fingers that everyone's Visa's went through ok!
Our flight is around 11 am so expect a call from the airport before that!!! Like between 8 and 11. Our flight is straight to Amsterdam, we get there 8 am. woof.
 I did go to the doctor yesterday. I had to go off campus because the foot specialist isn't coming back to the MTC till after I leave. Basically the "stress fracture" doesn't hurt any more. My foot is still swollen though, and I have a weird bump on the tendon that previously had tendonitis. The doctor said it's probably a cyst... However, it is too small for him to really try and drain it, and we are too pressed on time for any kind of surgery. So we aren't doing anything. I got a refill on anti inflamatories and another incredible blessing from my sweet Elders. I know I'll be ok. I actually am not worried about it at all anymore. The Lord is taking care of his missionaries.
Language is coming so well! We are supposed to only speak in Dutch from here out, especially since we are the example for the new missionaries. It is difficult at times, but you wouldn't believe how good we are getting. (For being Americans...) I know we are in for a major humbling once we get there, but it is super exciting right now. I have found this amazing love for the Book of Mormon that I never thought I could have. I am so eager for study time just so I can read inside of it. The spirit is teaching me so much here! Mijn collega and I are finally figuring out how to give good lessons where we both speak and the spirit is truly testifying! (only took 5 weeks...). Our last full week with our amazing teachers and tiny classroom?! But I don't even know how to explain how excited I am to get out there!
Ik houd van jullie!
Jullie zijn de beste!
Love, Zuster Packer