Monday, July 22, 2013

Transfer Week

Hey guys guess what!

So crazy right? Now that I am finally getting used to this darn keyboard I'm going up to the Netherlands! I am so excited! But I'm also way sad, because all 3 of us are getting split up. Zr Israelsen is getting a new greenie, as well as Zr Brown. I will be with Zr Elting from my MTC group! It is going to be madness getting us all moved though, first off because we are out in the stinkin boonies. We each have 3 things of luggage, and Zr I has a bike... Even though she is finally walking again I don't think this is going to be anywhere close to easy. Trains and luggage don't exactly mix well. It'll be good though! Our gemeente is SO sad we are leaving. Elders are replacing us, so it will be interesting to see how that all goes.

I think I am most upset to leave our investigators! K is working SO hard to get an apartment. He told us he knows he shouldn't get baptized until after he is moved out and has control over his life again. (that made it easier to tell him we would have to postpone it for that reason anyway...) But he has been going to appointments to find apartments, and I have confidence he will find one soon. A is finally progressing!!! Not only will he pray for us now, but we got him to come to church!!! I taught him what a pinky promise was and said if he broke his pinky promise to come to church I'd be pretty upset because of how important it is. He was dead tired because he had been at a party the whole night before, but he came! I pray that he will continue progressing without us pestering him every 15 minutes. I love how much they have become like family to us. Its their culture that everyone is family, but it's funny how much they take that to heart. One of our investigators - G - Loves talking to us. We have appointments with him wherever he takes us. One day it was super hot and sunny so I was walking in the shade, he turns to me and says "I see you hide from the sun!" Yes G... Have you seen how pale I am? "Oh, I will give you some of my color! The sun doesn't hurt me!" HAHA!  If only George, if only. I love them so much! I did show off my awesome mary jane tan line to them though, have to say 'Im pretty proud of it.

Z (the one who had a crush on her companion) is back, he has been hanging out at the bar just a few blocks from our apartment. We have had to take a whole bunch of different ways to get home to avoid running into him again. Its kind of a pain, he is pretty mad we dropped him... And changed our number. But he just wasn't ready to receive the gospel.

I would like pictures if at all possible? Printed ones. Oh and I'll send my address in Dordrecht when I get there... If anyone feels the need to write :) I'd love for everyone to read Ether 12 this week! I felt impressed to share it, it definitely built up my faith this week!
Ik houd van jullie!!!
Liefs, Zr Packer

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hectic week


It has been a hectic week! If only I could explain! We will start out with approximately 7 hours after I sent my last email, when Zr Israelsen messed up her ankle, needless to say she has been stuck here in the apartment for the last week and is totally hating it.  Zr Brown and I, the two greenies, have had to go out on our own while sweet Helen stays here with Zr I. Oh it has been an adventure!!!!

We have had a few appointments with K this week, and every one of them A has come to, like out of his own will. because he wants to see the sisters! We are going to have to postpone K again, we found out there is a little more to his coffee problem than we thought. Apparently he is living with a woman who is threatening to kick him out if he stops drinking it. She is not very positive about the church at all. He doesn't have anywhere else to go, and it is super hard for him to find an apartment when he has no money... :( We keep praying for him, but we are kind of stuck for the time being. The miracle has been that A has started praying with us!!!! Its in french because that is the only way he is comfortable praying, but the spirit is just as strong. I think with a little more pestering he will finally come to church! He keeps saying he will, but has yet to actually do so... Darn him! 

I think our plan for the gemeente (ward?) is going super well. We have spent part of the week heart attacking the members doors, and leaving thank you cards. But as my life goes, we've almost gotten caught every stinking time. It has gotten to the point where little kids see us outside and ask if they can come help. So, we have been utilizing their help. Its pretty hilarious they just wave and laugh as we run from each house, their dutch is probably the cutest thing in the world. 

We had a lesson with a guy named F the other day, basically he is a Mormon and doesn't know it. We went through the restoration, and he totally believes all of it and wants to hear more. He said that God saved his life so he can become a doctor. I believe it, so my prayers are with him that he can find somewhere to go and get back to school. It was hilarious, he basically taught us the law of chastity at the end of the lesson, because he loves how modestly we dress. 
That has been my week so far! Hope that is enough details mom... I figure you read my collegas blogs anyway! I'm so excited that you guys went to Haiti!!! Its weird that I will come back and have sisters! Oh but 'IM so excited and praying for it continually, love each of you.
Liefs, Zr Packer 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Genkster Squad

Good Morning from the Genksters!

I forgot to mention that is our nickname out here, and ironically enough we have been finding "genk-ster squad" stickers all over Genk! I'm so glad to hear everyone is doing just great, and that so much is going on at home! The 4th here was super boring. Probably because its not a holiday.

Last week I actually sent my email pretty early because we were on our way to Antwerpen for a distric Pday! Elder Ombach (one of our district leaders) loves planning district pdays. So, he took us on a tour of Antwerpen to see the old castles and cathedrals, it was so cool! We even got to go through this MASSIVE tunnel that goes under the river. So it pretty much was one of the coolest and most exhausting days ever.

K is progressing still, but we did have to bump his baptism because he still has a bit of an issue with coffee. I have never seen someone with that much faith though, so I know he can do it. What is truly amazing is I think we are finally getting through to his friend A! I have no doubt he felt the spirit in our last lesson. He hasn't kept any commitments yet, but I know he at least feels something. Speaking of our Africans... The other day we were headed to an appointment with G and J. We walked past the African Coffee Bar, and H (our tiny english member joint-teacher) was hanging out there... With basically ALL of our investigators. What? So G and J were there and took us to this super random back room behind the bar for our lesson, and K and A joined us for the lesson, it was actually super cool! Definitely quite the experience. When we were done, this Jamacian man stopped us because we are Jesus's people, and wanted to make us these wicker rings, he talked forEVER about how society is corrupt and such, it was kind of hilarious.

Things with Z had to end abruptly, he proposed to Zr Israelsen... He wasn't in this with the right intentions, and wasn't exactly happy when we sent elders to him. So, we are having to get our number changed so he will leave us alone. Speaking of, you wouldn't believe how necessary phones are for missionary work. Ours was shut off for a day because the company was freaking out, and we were honestly stuck, because we couldn't follow up, or find the people we were teaching. I have a testimony of technology. We have 2 super cool new investigators. One was a street contact J, and he brought his friend S to our lesson yesterday, we committed them to baptism when they know it is true, and both said they are willing to do their best! I'm very excited about it!
So glad you got in contact with Zr Browns mom, actually its hilarious. And I chewed out Zr Israelsen for putting that darn picture online! I couldn't help how jet lagged I was! but since you asked, I am doing much better. Public transportation just makes me tired. Be safe on your trip to Haiti! I want to hear all about it!!!
Ik houd van jullie!
Love, Zr Packer

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mobsters and Africans

Agh, what a week!!!

Taylor and Zuster Israelsen, her trainer.
I have to start out with how much I love the Africans here. Not what you're expecting right? Well I'll explain why.
So K, our main investigator brings his friend A, who my companions met at an African Coffee bar when they were teaching a man named C. We also have a new investigator, G who I am pretty sure they just contacted on the street. Well, in our first appointment with G he brought his 2 other Kenyan friends J and J. That was fantastic, and we really learned a lot about them. Well the next day we were contacting in the Centrum and on our way there we passed said African Coffee Bar, where C and G were hanging out outside with a big ole group of friends. C saw us and invited us into the bar to talk about the word of God. Low and behold the rest of his friends were interested, so we met F! The gospel is seriously like a virus to them! They just share it with everyone they meet! which makes referrals super easy for us.

Zuster Israelsen, Zuster Packer, and Zuster Brown.
We got a new investigator this week named Z. Hes a kind of lonely older man who looks like a mobster, that may or may not be why we contacted him. He's from Italy, so on our first appointment he made us real Italian spaghetti. SO GOOD! We didn't get far in the lesson though because he asked a lot of questions, and his dutch is hard for me to understand. BUT he came to church yesterday, and I know he loved it. I think he has a hard time leaving though, because he texts us about being lonely, which unfortunately we can't do too much about except keep inviting him.

I have learned talking to the weird people helps!  We were in a park the other day, and saw a man doing weird kung fu something with a stick.. Meditating? I don't know. But we talked to him for seriously at least an hour, that was on exchanges, so I don't know if they have contacted him again. I think he definitely will progress though. He asked us to sing for him... in the middle of the park, so we did.  He asked for a way to contact us! So cool!
That about sums up my week! K is preparing for baptism, he is so ready, I love it! And my collegas are teaching me so much!
Taylor with her collegas,Zuster Israelsen and Zuster Brown. 
tot volgende week!
Ik houd van jullie!

Love, Zuster Packer

( From Taylor's mom:  I love Taylor's companions and their Moms!  Without them I wouldn't any have pictures of Taylor. Thank you!
I don't know if she's still figuring out the French keyboard, but we aren't getting as much info. as this mother wants.) 

The only Dutch sister in the MTC.  She looks miserable.

 On exchanges with Zuster Hoff in Breda with Zuster Brown.
Breakfast or Dinner?

Haha, apparently her trainer has a sense of humor.  This is one of my favorites! :-)

With a family in the Branch.

They spend a lot of time on buses and trains.

Sleepover with Breda Sisters.

Zuster Brown loves ice cream and peanut butter.  A companionship made in heaven!