Sunday, October 27, 2013

6 Months!

Transfer Week!!!! It has been probably the craziest week I've had in a long time! And I do have to say, I don´t think I've laughed as hard as I have this last week in a very very long time. Needless to say, it´s going to be a good transfer.
Zusters Elting and Packer

Zr. Aston is my companion! I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out seeing as we have known each other for years, but never really hung out. I can honestly say I think she is one of the funniest people I know. I am so incredibly blessed to have her here as my companion. We haven´t really had anything exciting happen this week since we have spent most of it just finding. We gave most of our investigators over to the Elders, so we are taking a step back and starting from square 1 again. These people just react so funny to us, it kills me. We had one lady open the door while we were doing bell ups to tell us she wasn't interested, and then proceeded to tell us we need to go outside and close the door before we ring any more bells.. Well no duh.. We aren't sure if she heard or not but as we were walking out Zr. Aston just exclaims `What are we, Animals?!` I lost it. It´s going to be hard finding people if I can´t keep it together for longer than ten minutes.

I don't think they're starving.
The Elders are SO wonderful! Elder Mower is training Elder Rauma. When Elder Rauma introduced himself I heard it wrong, so I've been calling him Elder Ramen all week... He doesn't really appreciate that, but it´s the only name I remember. He is a fresh out of the water greenie. He FREQUENTLY... asks if I know were we are or where we are going. On our way to a members house he just yells, "Sisters! Are you sure this is still in our area??" It will be good though. All of the sudden we have appointments with Members though! Just because Elders are here.. 

We had an appointment with an inactive this week who is really hard to get in contact with. She told us she is ready to come back to the church for her 2 sons, which is SO cool! Her whole family are members, and she has just had a few rough patches in her life that made her want to go inactive. What is so cool is that she totally knows it´s true! And We are pretty sure she doesn't want to do it JUST for her kids, we are positive she wants it back in her life herself. So cool. Also, her children are NUTS. I cried laughing for a good 20 minutes because they were all over the place being little terrorizers. She said if she doesn't get them to church they might turn out to be thiefs... One of them also proposed to us... I´m very excited for our next appointment. She is a funny lady! That´s about it! Just lots of contacting and me trying to introduce these 3 new missionaries to the beautiful land of Dordrecht! The work is slow, but I think we are going to see some amazing things this transfer.
Ik houd van jullie!
Liefs, Zr Packer
What's a mission if you aren't having a little fun!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

2 for 1 blog posts

The Vikings are Taking Over Dordrecht!
Guess what! another transfer has come and gone... You know what that means? Well a few things.
1. I´m staying here in Dordrecht
2. Zr. Elting is going away.
3. My new companion is going to be Zr. A
4. Dordrecht is getting Elders (It´s about time...)
5. Elder M and his greenie will be said elders.
WE ARE ALL FROM PG!!!!! Yes, the vikings are definitely going to tear apart Dordrecht. The Dutch should probably be afraid, oh wait, they already are. :)

This week has been full of all sorts of fun things like transfer calls and our phone breaking day off! It´s fall in full effect here, so it´s a whole lot of hurricane like storms and cold... I´m not a fan of wet skirts just fyi. 

Tuesday was a wonderful day. Why? well because we got an answer to our prayers. One day a couple weeks back Zr. Elting felt prompted to play basketball with this group of kids, and we didn't because she wasn't sure if it was really a prompting, or just her wanting to play. A few weeks later we passed another group, and Both of us felt like we needed to play.. And ignored it because once again, weren't sure if it was real or not... We flipped around after a few minutes to go play and literally approached as they were leaving the court. We were SO upset! Well.. We have repented and said a few prayers. We were early to our appointment with P Tuesday, so Zr. Elting said a prayer to herself telling Heavenly Father that if someone was there we would play. Low and behold as we rounded the corner there was a boy playing by himself! So she yells to me we are playing!!!` I knew immediately what she meant, and we went over to play. His name was D, 17 years old, doesn't normally play basketball, but happened to have a free day and decided to go play... by himself.. ANSWER! So we played with him for a bit, talked about why we are here and such, because people are amazed with 2 American 20 year old girls who can speak Dutch. It´s great. And then K came walking by! He is the roommate of one of our kind of investigators, hard core muslim, but LOVES talking to us, so he joined us. I think we got some good respect points that day.

Everything is kind of falling apart with our investigators, because we are just the sweet nice sisters.... So we are handing most of them over to the Elders. I´m very excited to see how this all goes. We found B on the street one day and he told us he doesn't feel anything when he reads the Book of Mormon... :( And that we can still talk to him about Jesus Christ, but he doesn't feel good about the book anymore.. HOW?! So we went by a few days later to explain why we wouldn't be coming around much anymore and when he answered the door we were entirely shocked! His whole face was swollen, and red, and bruised. He got in this crazy bike accident.. And it was REALLY bad... It´s hard to break up with someone when they are already hurt... We are going to take him a treat and tell him to read more sincerely in the Book of Mormon...

We had a baking contest with our District, and made carrot cake! It was a hit, and the Elders informed us later that they really only agreed to it because that meant the sisters would be making treats, both sets of elders made practically the same thing. It was hilarious! I think most of our District is staying, but I guess we will find out by next week then won't we?!

We did service with Zr. H again this week, and got a picture with her, because she is hilarious. She wanted to know our first names in case we leave, and could not for her life figure out Zr. Eltings, she is convinced it is Chantry. When she prayed it was difficult not to giggle. She is a sweet lady.

M has crazy questions, I don´t know why anyone would want to think so deeply on anything, it just hurts your head. We had a discussion about the Godhead to help her understand the roles, and the fact that God has a body... He is not a blob that is just in all of us... That is weird. I think we really got her thinking when we got to the Holy Ghost, but I guess we will see in time.

Stake conference was also this week, and good news, the Stake president is on team missionary! He was going to town on how important member missionary work is! I felt so pumped after listening to him, and I hope that the members felt it too! This work is truly inspired! That´s about all I can think of for this week. I´m reading right now about Alma and Amulek. Those men know how to testify! And wonderful examples of diligence! I´d encourage you all to read it!
 Ik houd van jullie!!!

Liefs,Zr Packer

Guys! General Conference is probably my most favorite thing in the entire wide world!!! I can't even explain how grateful and blessed I feel that WE all have the opportunity to hear the words of our loving Heavenly Father through his faithful servants. I got to watch all of the sessions except Sunday afternoon because, well, we were sleeping. That's a weird thought isn't it? The spirit you can feel when the prophet and apostles and other general authorities speak is truly amazing. I'd have to say though, that my favorites were from President Monson. At the Relief Society broadcast, and Sunday morning. I bawled like a baby.

This week was pretty good as well. I was just so excited for conference I can hardly remember anything else! We made tortillas on Monday and served tacos to our district on Tuesday. Needless to say, we are the favorite cooks in the district. That's what macaroni and tacos will do for ya! :D 

Also, a lot of people are planning on being sick for the next 2 weeks. What a strange plan right? We got in contact with a few of our investigators this week and they said they were sick or feeling sick and probably won't be better for 2 more weeks. Silly people think we are going to forget them! Oh no no, we will be back in 2 weeks no problem. Wednesday we had our random service project with F and the man in the gross house.... That was pure madness. She goes crazy when she is cleaning, and his house definitely needed it, you could see some progress when we left (after 2 hours because that was our limit), but it still wasn't completely done. F was RAGING when we said we needed to go. She just started yelling and I don't know if it was in Dutch or Russian, but she was not happy with us. Hey lady, it's not even your house, he was very understanding that we needed to go, and accepted a book of Mormon. He also invited us back another time. So all in all we were successful. We saw F today and she approached us to apologize for flipping. Glad to see we haven't been dropped :)

We also got to do some service with one of our less active members! She needed her windows and curtains cleaned (because Nederland is ALL about clean windows) and so we had to take her curtains down and clean everything up. This lady has the biggest collection of random statues and things I've ever seen sitting on her windowsill.  And It was my job to put them back.. I asked if she wanted it a specific way and she told me just to make it look good.. So I would go to set something down and hear "NO NO NO! That can't go there! The clown has to have is arm around the gnome and they have to face out the window because they are friends!" I'm pretty sure that's what she said anyway, because her Dutch is nearly impossible to follow. She likes our company and that is what counts I guess.

I think B is avoiding us, or we are just really bad at finding him... S says he will come to things and never does, so that's annoying. But P came to conference and even though he got up every 10 minutes because he can't sit for long, I think it was a REALLY good experience for him, and the other missionaries were SO good to him. He is still trying to stop drinking, and is progressing!

While we were in Rotterdam for conference we decided to go outside and find some people for the Elders in Rotterdam, we had a pretty fun experience. We found a man that actually lives in our area, and we can't exactly speak with him... But he gave us his address and told us to bring the Book of Mormon in Arabic to him! This will be fun! We also got stopped by a group outside a bar because one of the men recognized us as missionaries. He loves the Mormons! knows all about us too! And wanted a picture with us and introduced us to his friends and we talked about what we do, so that was fun! He also wrote us a license to preach about Jesus in Nederland. So I guess you could say we are legit. That's about it for this week! I encourage you all if you haven't to watch conference! It is amazing and I am so grateful for it! Ik houd van jullie!
Liefs, Zr Packer

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Land of Deception

This place can be so decieving. Somedays it looks horribly cold outside so we bundle up like crazy, then within an hour of being outside we are dying of heat. More often it looks like a BEAUTIFUL day outside, but no. It is colder than ice cold. Deception I tell you!

This week was a fun week! We had Zone Conference! Which is probably my favorite thing in the entire world. It is amazing the friendships I have already made in my short time out here, I love everyone who was there! And of course the spiritual enlightenment that comes with such inspired teachers. Sometimes you just need that extra dose of spirit to get re-motivated to do the work!

We had an appointment with a member who lives pretty far out in our area (actually that was every appointment this week), but this one in particular lives in a place where you have to take a tunnel to get there. It is named the "Kiltunnel" I'm not even lying. It makes you feel like you are going to die. And it is SO much fun! The video is too big to send, so everyone will just have to wait to see that, but I did attach a picture of the sign right before you enter. Basically, you get going so fast down hill that you can't pedal anymore.. But then you have to get back uphill. And that is killer on your legs. The appointment was so worth it though! We are gaining more trust from the members I think! And it is wonderful! Oh- should probably mention we got Zr. Eltings bike fixed. Luckily. There is no way we would have done that together. But we used a rented bike for that day... Anyway.

We had exchanges the day before Zone Conference, so that was exciting. I got to work in Gouda again, which is a beautiful city. And I got to eat delicious Finnish food at a members house. Hoorah! 
However, while I was there, Zr Elting was here in Dordrecht with our investigators...S Smoked.  3 of them.
Yeah, he said it was because he was mad at Nederland, like that is a valid reason. I was super annoyed when I heard that... So... We have to wait at least another month now, and hopefully we can help him see that it is between him and the Lord. We aren't going to visit him as often, because at this point we are just babying him. 

P seems to be doing alright. He bought a super expensive bike, which I think is super ridiculous. But he is happy for now, and really working on stopping drinking. He wanted to come with us to the Zorg to visit the Older women who can't come to church... That was interesting to say the least, but he behaved. Luckily Zr. A is a fiery woman and was in a good mood, so she handled it well.
M is our main progresser right now! She takes our challenges seriously! She has a lot of really deep questions, and we are just doing our best to direct her to the Book of Mormon for her answers. She likes meeting with us, and I think if she can learn to trust the book.  Then she will be able to progress in her faith! woohoo!
B is doing ok, I think we are having to backtrack a bit with him, but he is still a great friend and Always willing to serve us.  

Here are just a few pictures of the things we have seen this week, and a little taste of home, we found construction :) Oh, and Mexican food. 
Zr. Packer