Monday, September 29, 2014


Once upon a time I like to pretend I'm a genius and make up my own recipes. And conveniently it usually works out! This week I created my own banana pancake recipe (it was quite healthy mind you!) and they were delicious. And then today an American made us real pancakes. :)
That is a pretty good way to sum up our week! Just a whole lot of random. We had a zone training, Zr. Thomas's first and it was really good! We went right back to the basics of teaching, which was nice, because that is what we are focusing on this week in our 12 week training.
If any of you are feeling bored and need something hilarious to do go on youtube and search "tsjoe tsjoe wa" and do accordingly. That is what we do when we visit less actives babysitting their granddaughters. We do the Tsjoe Tsjoe wa. hahahahaha It's even funnier when the member is the one excited about it.
Now that I think about it we did a lot of American related activities this week! A half American family had us over Wednesday and we made Chicken pot pie! IT"S BEEN SOOOOO LOOOOONG!!!!!!! And it was so incredibly delicious. This is why I like these people, they keep surprising me with things I forgot I love!
This email is starting look like a whole lot of nonsense... I apologize. It's the timer in the corner that is stressing me out... Libraries do that to ya when the elders blow up the computer in the church... (it's ok, it was already broken...)
We did have another miracle today! So we spend a lot of time with the JoVo's, right? well one of them I may have mentioned, she is recently re-activated and on fire over missionary work!!! She texted us today saying one of her good friends would like to start the lessons with us this week! Which was super cool because just yesterday she told me that ANOTHER of her friends is coming to church in a few weeks, and ANOTHER is coming to conference. Are we kidding? This girl is a dream. We are excited to start helping her in teaching her friends the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's my favorite part of being a missionary. Teaching :)
This week Zr. Thomas asked me:  Is most of our service yard work...?"" Yes... These people are very particular about their yards, so that is usually where the missionaries come in. We are also the "go to" friends when people are feeling lonely. And people wonder why I love it so much here! haha
I feel like I am just rambling now, and pictures won't be possible this week, but I love you all! Thanks for the love and support. I hope you all have a wonderfultastic week! :)
Liefs, Z Packer

Monday, September 22, 2014

I have a blog

So remember that part where I didn't know I had a blog till a couple months into
Zr. Packer and Zr. Thomas
my mission? Well.. Zr. Thomas has kindly let me know that it's one of the top results when people are looking up this mission. Needless to say.. My greenie read my blog before she knew me.

I'm famous! haha.
This week has been quite a bit of fun! A lot of adjusting and re-adjusting and well... Missionary work! Zr. Thomas came fresh into the land Tuesday and has the Dutch of someone on their 3rd transfer. It's ridiculous how pre-trained she is. She doesn't even need me around. I'm just like the tour guide. haha Since someone (me) dropped the ball last week and didn't call anyone we had a total of no appointments planned, so we spent most of the week contacting, knocking, and looking up any investigator kind of person. Then I picked up the ball again and made sure to make appointments for the next coming 2 weeks... Can you blame me? I may have been in freak out mode. 
Zr. Brown and Zr. Packer
Thursday I got to see Zr. Brown one last time before she leaves the land of nether for a while! She and her parents ate dinner with a member who conveniently likes us too so we came along. It was really nice and definitely a night of flashbacks. It's a little strange being at the end of your mission and working with someone who just barely got here. However, there is also so much more that I can learn. I look forward to it!
Mini miracles from the week include the spur of the moment talk that bishop had us give in church. It was like teaching a lesson, but to the whole ward at once from the pulpit. I actually quite enjoyed it! And it was nice because we have been wanting to teach the restoration to the members, and well.. A lot of the ones we are working with happened to be there so it worked out perfectly! Also, we spent our evening looking up some potentials that have been on the list since before I got here, and ALL of them were super positive. (remember when I picked up the ball again? Tender mercy.) We have a lot of great things planned for the coming week. I'm loving it. I look forward to it. I love you all! Have a wonderful week! 
Liefs, Z Packer
The week of: Miracles, the Flu, Ballard, Fulfillment, a Pregnancy, and a Cold Blooded Murder
You might be wondering why I have such a strange subject heading. I will have you all know I've been planning this for weeks.
Zr. Larson and Zr. Packer
This week was full of miracles! Mostly from the inactives we have been working with! not only did most of them have the opportunity to go to the Elder Ballard fireside for our stake, but a TON of them showed up to church on Sunday! Woohoo! It was super cool to see, and working with them this week was so  much fun. I have heard so many great testimonies and stories that have really just motivated me. 
the FLU:
I don't actually know if it's the flu, but Zr. Larson was sick all last week and decided to get me sick as well. yay.
Elder M. Russell Ballard (quorum of the 12) came to not only speak to our mission, but there was also a women's conference broadcast to all of Europe, and a fireside for our stake personally!!! It was probably one of the best weeks I've had in a while. He talked a lot to us about just keeping it simple. Starting with the basics! Our testimonies need a sure foundation of the restoration and the plan of salvation. It was just a really cool experience. 
Zr. Spencer and Zr. Packer
You might remember that in the MTC Zr. Spencer and I made a pact that we would some time in our missions work together. Well.. She, being my sister training leader, gets to go on exchanges with me! And we did just that this week! It was so much fun, we talked about all the fun times in the MTC. Oh, speaking of.. The Ballard conference was with our ENTIRE mission. Meaning... I saw my ENTIRE MTC GROUP!!! Talk about reunion? IT was so much fun to see and we even took a picture to show how great it was. 
I'm killing Zr. Larson. She is going home Thursday. I am pretty sad about it.. .But uh... I guess that brings me to the part of my title that I skipped...
The Whole MTC group.
Zr. Packer, Elder Loorbach, and Zr. Western
Yes, I am going to be a mother. You are reading that correct... 
I'm training. 
I will admit I am excited and nervous all at the same time. It will be super fun to train someone my very last transfer. Oh can you believe that? It's my LAST transfer! And I'm getting a baby greenie! So.. I guess we will see how things are going this next week! 
I hope this is long enough.. I realize they are getting shorter. Sorry? 6 more weeks. :) I love you all!
Liefs, Z Packer
(photo of the 3 amigos re-united!)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Transferred again!

Well. I am here, in Almere. It is a beautiful little place... and...
I LOVE IT!!!! I don't know what it is, but I just really love this place already. Which is funny, because I still haven't met half the ward, and we have very few people to teach! (empty schedules...) I am really excited to work here too. Zr. Larson is a killer missionary. I feel pretty blessed to work with her. She is a hard worker, and even though she goes home in 5 weeks, she is probably the least trunky missionary I've ever met. It is going to be a real good transfer.
Apeldoorn missionaries
Wednesday was nonsense. Pretty much my birthday was celebrated Monday-Wednesday. We ate WAY too much sugar, and then burned that sugar off by trying to pack everything by Wednesday. It is nonsense when 2 companions have to leave at the same time.. what's even worse is that the Zone Leaders arranged it so we had to be at the train station at 6 AM.... Jokes. At least they picked our stuff up for us. Zr. Frandsen and I did this awkward panicked walk/run/jog? to the station because we were so sleep deprived and well.. sick from all the sugar. (future missionares.. or current.. do NOT follow my example :P) So I was pretty exhausted Wednesday. We got here alright though, I met our "black mama" she is probably one of the funniest people I've ever met. Oh this city also has elders in it! Elder Denny and Hunt! So that has been pretty fun. And well.. Yeah, that's really all we did. We are going to really start working with the young adults, so I'm excited to see where that takes us.. and we are doing a LOT of finding.. As in yesterday we knocked at least 80 doors.. I didn't really count... It also rained a lot.. haha! But I love it! It's a wonderful place. I am excited for what this transfer holds!
Love you all!
Liefs, Z Packer

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Go Nederland!

Hey there people! Happy Birthday 'Merica!!!! We have had a super fantastical week. It all started when we went to the Apenheul! or in other words.. A park full of monkeys! It was probably the coolest thing I have ever seen. a lot of the monkeys are just loose throughout the park and if you hold still they climb on you! (usually searching for something to eat...) While a monkey climbed on Zr. Frandsens head one climbed on my arm and bit me.... No worries though, they have no freaky diseases, and it wasn't a big bite at all. A nice worker lady cleaned it for me and gave me a letter to take to the hospital in case it gets infected. No side effects yet, so I say well worth it. We definitely were spoiled this 4th of July! A member here really wanted us to feel at home, so she is the one who took us to Apenheul. She also threw together a BBQ for us. -Delicious!- and we played soccer, and she made a Jello flag for us! How sweet is that? It was a lot of fun. The members here are really good to us.
Speaking of Soccer.. World Cup anyone? Guess who has permission to watch the game Wednesday now that Nederland is going to the semi-finals? That's right. It is HUGE here!!!! What a cool time to be in Holland, these people go CRAZY over the World Cup.Oh yeah, I guess you guys want to hear about missionary stuff too eh?
We have some really cool investigators we are working with. Mainly a guy named S. He has been taught all of the lessons, and is builing his faith, but won't get baptized until he stands %100 behind the church. Well, we had probably one of the most powerful lessons I've seen with him the other day. We talked to him about the Godhead and really just built it up to a film about Christ (Because of Him- look it up) And the spirit ATTACKED! You could see it. It was amazing, and I think it was a nudge he needed.
It is really fun having so many missionaries in one city. We are like this big family. I am, in fact, enjoying working in a trio. It is different for sure and takes a little extra work, but I love both of my companions which makes it worth it! We have also become the wards wedding planning committee... I say that because 2 couples are getting married this week, and who better to ask for decorating help than the missionaries? Volunteer work right? We are enjoying ourselves, and it is way nice to see the members actually asking for our help!
That's about it for this week... I will send pictures. Oh. And a shout out to miss Flan-flan. I miss you! And I miss everyone else. Ok. Love you all :)
Liefs, Z Packer

 July 1, 2014
This week has been a week of new! Everything is new to me! I'll be honest it is a little bit overwhelming! Go figure....
It all started with Monday while we were at the carnival. You see... It's been a while since I have been to a carnival, and forgot that even when you sit on your pockets on a ride, that doesn't necessarily mean everything will stay in them. Including your camera... So as our ride takes a turn upside down I felt my lovely camera slide up my back and watched it crash to the ground...
Don't worry the pictures are fine, and I was able to get a nice new camera within a few hours. {New}
Now I am in Apeldoorn!!! {New} with 2 companions! {New} in a city with 9 missionaries!!! {New} in a HOUSE {New} So... I guess you could say I am enjoying it. Apeldoorn is a cute place, and I feel pretty excited to be working here. Zr. Taylor and Zr. Frandsen are pretty great. We are getting along nicely and since Zr. Frandsen has only been here one transfer, we are all figuring things out together.
Sunday was pretty overwhelming seeing as this is the first "big" ward I have served in! That's pretty sad seeing as most people don't even consdier Apeldoorn to be big. It is bigger than my 30-40 people branches I've been serving in! There are definitely a lot of people to work with and get to know here, so I am excited to see the miracles that will come. Cool things about this ward are that we serve with the Zone Leaders, the Chinese elders, and the Senior couple! Get this, Zr. Kleijn (senior sister) reminds me exactly of Grandma Packer! It is so funny. And makes me feel a little bit closer to home.
We have some cool investigators here, one of which we are all positive is going to be baptized this transfer. He is ready he just needs to see it for himself.
The miracles I mentioned last week? Well, my last day in Assen we taught C (wonder referral) and the lesson was INCREDIBLE! The spirit was so strong, and it was just like an attack of spiritualness with every point. By the end Zr. Western felt the need to share the Mormon Channel with her, and that is what really hit her! She said the closing prayer for us and cried! I haven't heard such a strong prayer like that in a really long time. It was incredible. I am so blessed to have been able to experience that.
Well... Sorry mom, trying to make it longer  but I don't have much else to say :D Other than that we are going to a monkey zoo friday (for the 4th of july) and monkeys will climb on us! Wish us luck!
Liefs, Zr Packer

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 21
Happy Easter everyone! It's still Easter here because they celebrate 2 of every holiday here... Yay!
We had a really good and busy week this week! full of lots of appointments and more than our fair share of miracles. Our investigator F (the one who basically taught us last week) now has a baptismal date. Flip we are so excited! He even has ASKED US for commitments. Who does that? Really cool people that want to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is who. So cool! 

We also went to our Mormon BBQ this week in the middle of a forest! We brought the sister to Leeuwaarden with us because we had been on exchanges the night before and still needed a "joint teach" conveniently the guy who invited us had last minute invited 2 of his friends who happen to live within Leeuwaardens boundaries. One of which was super interested in what we had to say. So not only did they pick up a new investigator. We got to eat a lot of yummy meat in the middle of the woods. By some miracle we also all made it back to our areas in time for our other appointments. 

To be honest I think most of our miracles happened yesterday when an inactive boy in our ward came to church by himself. We have been visiting his mom and him together and started practicing our lessons on them. He is just eating it all right up! His mom doesn't seem too thrilled to come back to church but  like I said.. He came by himself. And you could tell he loved it. He also invited us to his little sisters birthday party later that afternoon which we went to. There was a whole lot of beer and smoking going on, but we were well respected and I think he was looking for a good atmosphere (which we could provide) He even looked to us for our reactions to inappropriate jokes or comments. He is so ready for the gospel it is amazing. 

Other news for the week? Zr. Andersen let me cut her hair. It was a lot of fun. She said she likes it, I think it looks great on her. If you have opinions let me know, I'm not entirely convinced she isn't lying ;) I hope you all have a great week! And remember why we celebrate Easter :) What a blessing!
Liefs, Z packer
P.S. When you live in an old elders apartment, you find things like Pokemon cards.. :)

April 14
This week was... Interesting to say the least! Secretly I want more weeks like this one though...
We have 2 new investigators! Both with very interesting stories! The first is F. He has kept pretty consistent contact with us for the last few weeks, but we haven't ever had an actual lesson. Until Tuesday! He had come to a session of conference and loved it! And we began teaching the first half of the restoration.. Pretty much, he taught us. It was unbelievable to see how prepared this guy is! We are really excited for him because he just wants to do what the Lord wants of him. He has been baptized 2 times already but said if he feels this is Gods true church then he is willing to get baptized again! Cool guy!
The second is a man that lives literally in the middle of no where... We thought he was kidding when he said that he lived in a forest...
He wasn't.
So we took this sketchy bus out to a little itty bitty city called Norg and then we were on our own. No phone service, and no map. So we wandered around till we found a little map of the city. and then walked in the direction of his house.. Where we then came to a legitimate forest. There was a map outside of the forest with all of the homes in there and his was waaaaay out there. But we found it and had a really great lesson! He told us he isn't going to be converted, but wants to keep talking. What I love is that you can tell just how prepared his is. He may say he doesn't need what we have, but I think there will be some part of the gospel that will touch his heart.
Random pictures
Zr. Andersen went to Brussels this week also so we had lots of companion exchange/ travel nonsense going on. I spent Thursday/Friday/Saturday traveling back and forth between Assen and Leuwaarden. It was pretty fun though and I had a great time with Zr. Hoff. Other great news is that we had a TON of less actives in church this week! It was SO cool to see! We are so happy to see them coming back and taking the steps to strengthen their testimonies. I just love it!
I hope you all have a great week! And enjoy the lovely spring! Ik hou van jullie!
Liefs, Z Packer

April 7
General Conference weekend is the best weekend of all eternity. The spirit was so strong, and those talks are no doubt given through inspiration. How blessed we are to have a living prophet on the earth today along with apostles and other leaders who can teach us through inspiration and revelation. I. Love. Conference! We had a few pretty great miracles this week and one included one of our investigators coming to conference! This is the second time I've met the guy, because we haven't actually been able to have a lesson with him yet. He is the one who texts us though and makes appointments or lets us know if he can't come. He came to the Saturday morning (but it was really 6 pm here) session and watched with us. He LOVED it. at least I think that's what laughing with all of the jokes and intently listening means. ;) It was so cool and hopefully our appointment this Tuesday will go through with him.

More randomness
Other miracle? We set a baptismal date with a jovo! (young adult) Way cool. This girl is looking to be baptized in a Christian church (hey! We are Christian!) and was willing to pick a date so we can work with her to learn more and gain a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are pretty excited about it and I look forward to working with her and watching her faith grow!

That's about the most exciting stuff that has happened this week. We painted some walls for a member, went to a 60+ birthday party because the older people love us, and participated in a high tea before watching the sister conference. It was just a really great, spiritual, and blessed week. I couldn't be happier with where I am.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Liefs, Z Packer

Sunday, March 30, 2014

February 24
Greetings from the beautiful land of Assen! Or as I've been told to call it. Awesome. :) I'm down.
I have had a pretty interesting week to say the least! I'd love to share all of the details, but moving to a new place is a bit overwhelming so I don't remember really anything.
Monday and Tuesday I said my goodbyes to everyone in Dordrecht. It was pretty sad, but I think I was finally ready to go. Our days were actually full with how many people wanted to meet with us before I left, so that was really nice. It also prepared me for this place, where our schedules are full with people wanting to hear the gospel! WOO! I am really excited to be working here. I left Dordrecht about 9:30 Wednesday morning, and didn't get to Assen till about... 4:30, so it was a pretty long day of trains and over stops.. But I got here and loved it immediately. The members love having us over, and are really just super excited about mission work. It is super cool to see! Friday actually one of the members was celebrating his retirement and invited us along with a bunch of people from the branch, and the work to this super fancy Chinese buffet place! Oh man it was the most delicious thing i've eaten in my life. We probably could have fasted this whole week with how much we ate though. Oh man.
Pretty much... That is all that has happened. I've met a few of the investigators, and continue to meet them as the week will go. I've met our most recently baptized member, who actually recieved the Priesthood yesterday! So that was way cool! Really, I'm just excited to be here!
Oh. I do have a story from yesterday though... Well... pretty much if you want companionship unity, get one of you locked in the bathroom. I'll have to tell you something about dutch "water closets" They are litterally closets. With room for a toilet and a sink your hands don't fit in... And I got locked in it. Because the dead bolt is stuck. And might have been locked in there for over an hour and a half... Luckily after calling 6 people our mission leader came to the rescue. So. Welcome to Assen! I'm going to go see the Olympic team now. :)
Ik hou van jullie!
Liefs, Z Packer

February 17
I´m not sure how I feel about this week.
It was a week of goodbyes. I´ve known for the last month or  so that I´m leaving Dordrecht... So... I said a lot of goodbyes.
Zuster Packer and Brown
So where am I going? To Assen! Litterally on the other side of Nederland! No idea how I feel about it since I´ve been here so stinkin long! But I am excited to see something new! And I´ll be working with Zr. Anderson! (The woman who saved my life in the MTC... Ok a little dramatic, but she definitely helped.) So I have to say I´m pretty excited for that. This email really is probably going to be a description of all the pictures I´m going to send. Because I took a lot this week. Starting with when Family A invited us over for N´s birthday. That was pretty fun. Africans definitely know how to cater a party. N has been like my temporary Jason/Colie/Dayana. He is the same age, and hilarious as can be. I like the kid. I will definitely miss my Ghanian family.
Wednesday we had Zone conference! You know what that means?! Spiritual feeding. Definitely needed. Oh, I also got to see a lot of my good friends! like Zr. Spencer! and Zr. Rosenlof, an Zr Brown.. Basically it was just a really good day! I really lucked out on this mission. The people here are hilarious.
Zuster Packer and Rosenlof
Valentines day was pretty fun. M got us Stroopwafles and we had a nice talk, and the C invited us over for an anti-valentines dinner! Probably the yummiest pizza I´ve had in my entire life. And a whole lot of fun if I do say so myself.
The miracle for this week was M again! He cancelled several things for the church. Saturday night he came to a fireside we had at the church on Positive thinking, and LOVED it. Of course. And then skipped his political party whatever to come to church again! He is really loving it. We are still working on him recognizing the spirit, but I know it´s coming. He told me yesterday that even though I´m moving he would like me to come back WHEN he gets baptized. Boo Yeah.
There were a lot of really great moments yesterday, but my favorite was probably as I was leading the music in sacrament to a Dutch hymn I´ve never heard in my life and a very familiar voice comes out over the congretation saying Àston?! Aston?`.. Yes, it was T. M's oldest son. SHE CAME AGAIN!!! It was so amazing. Definitely a great way to leave this place. I´ll miss it a lot, but it´s the Lords will. P might die, but he says that every time sisters get transferred. so. That´s it for this week! I love you all!
Liefs, Z Packer

February 10
Life as a missionary... Is pretty awkward.
I have become one of the most awkward people I know... In reference to my social life. Yesterday at dinner with a member, her nonmember husband, and inactive son (who is also a chef, and R&B artist with his 3rd CD that just came out...) We were talking to the son about his music.. He bailed as soon as the food was done, and the kitchen was clean. Wished us luck on our missions and my last comment was Ì´ll look up your music!` .... No regrets.
This week was pretty interesting. I finally got over what ever the heck I had on Friday, so the rest of the week is a bit blury. Let´s just say I would go out for a bit and need an hour nap in between each appointment. It kicked my butt, but with lots of prayers, rest, and herbal tea with honey and lemon.. I got better. Thank heavens. We had 2 really great appointments with M this week! He is REALLY progressing. Like.. I don´t think I can say up until this point that i´ve actually SEEN someone progress. But man, his faith is growing like a wildfire. He also came to church for the second time this week, and LOVES it! It´s the craziest thing! We frequently lose him in the building because he talks to EVERYONE! And what is even better? They all love him! We were a little worried yesterday about teaching the Word of Wisdom, because in his words: "I´m addicted to coffee, but that´s just a Dutch thing, if you are Dutch you have to drink coffee. So I can´t go without". Well. We taught the WOW, and had a killer joint teach, and he talked about how he knows it´s just logical, and healthy, and his doctor would probably agree... And then he said he is going to follow it and get off Coffee!!!!! What I love even more, is we always set up a follow up appointment (this weeks happens to be right after a fire side he wants to come to!) And he told us this week that he will call us if he can any earlier! Who does that? Cool people. I´m really excited for him!

We had another pretty interesting appointment this week. I´m not sure if I mentioned our super cool contact about a week or so ago or not.. But pretty much I contacted him, he was real nice and went on his way, and then RAN back to us to get more contact information to talk to us. Super cool! Well he emailed us, and then we called and set up an appointment. He wanted to walk around the city with us and just talk. We basically taught the restoration, but more in conversational form. He is currently going through a pretty rough time in life, and picked 2 random American girls to talk to.  But it was really cool, and he wants to take us on a tour of Amsterdam... We will see if that ever happens. He is really strong Catholic, so we are taking it slow, but he was a cool man.

Thanks for the love, and updates, and other great things I hear every week! I love all of you and am so grateful for the support you give me!
Veel Liefs, Z Packer
Hello everyone! Has it really been a week already? Time is seriously messed up on missions...
We had a super great week! You are probably curious about the subject as well.. Well I'll explain! This week was the NL Doet or pretty much a Nederland wide service day. So our little branch signed up to fix up the Kinderboederij or in English, the child farm. I was confused too. It's really just a petting zoo! It was way fun too! We painted and the men built things, and then we painted those! They have these GIANT bunnies that were running around while we painted and other cool animals. I guess some news people came too and interviewed some of the branch leaders about who we were and what we were doing. Way cool! We will supposedly be in the newspaper this week.. now I just need to find one.

Other cool things we did included Zr. Andersens and my combo service which is that she gives massages while I play music on the piano. It is a lot of fun! We waited a lot for trains to go on exchanges because every time the weather changes the trains break down. We made mississippi mud pie for the branch potluck. And made a lot of appointments! We looked up a few former investigators as well as a few inactives this week and made appointments with most of them which is super exciting! It is amazing to see that they are still open and willing to learn about the gospel. And personally, I just love talking about it! There was one pretty sad moment this week... If you think getting dropped by an investigator is frustrating, get dropped by a member. It was heart breaking, but one of our members (who goes back and forth between us and the Jehovahs witnesses often) Told us that she doesn't want any contact anymore. I guess this isn't the first time it has happened. So hopefully she will come back.. again. We still love her though :) 
We had a lot of other really amazing appointments this week, and if I were to talk about all of them I'd be here for the rest of the day. But pretty much, it's amazing to watch people develop faith. And I've noticed my faith develop a ton out here. Miracles do still happen, every day. And this work wouldn't be possible withouth the hand of the Lord. It is HIS work.
Have a super great week everyone! Ik hou van jullie!
Liefs, Z Packer
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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hump Day

She might be having too much fun!
Guess who has been out 9 months of the 18 month mission?
Zr. Aston.
Oh, Zr Packer too...
We might be freaking out a lot. It is crazy how fast time has gone by! And as everyone has told us... "It's only down hill from here.." Yikes!

This week was fairly good, but I have to admit I've been pretty sick. It's looking pretty bronchitis-y but the cough hasn't really hit yet. More of a cold and whole lot of annoyance when I try to breathe. I've been sleeping a lot, and doing everything Zr Robinson and the Doctor in Germany tell me to, so hopefully it goes away soon. Definitely makes it annoying to do missionary work.

This week we got stranded out in the middle of nowhere trying to look up a few inactive members. We found both of them, and they were home and open to our visit. Just not right then... So it was good and tiring because that meant a lot of train/bus time. We will have to find time to look them up again soon.

We had a really good lesson with M this week! We talked about scripture study, prayer, and church attendance. And the spirit was SO strong! We read through most of Alma 32 with him and talked about how it applies to him, and it was truly just incredible to see the spirit teach him personally. What was even cooler? He made it to church yesterday, and LOVED it. Not only that, but the ward ate him right up! So it was a really exciting day! He is excited for our appointment tonight. Hopefully it still goes well, because this one is word of wisdom :P

Another miracle of the week was M. Our favorite less active :) She was surprised to see that I was here one more transfer! And we had a really great dinner with her and her boys. She was so sweet and open with us as usual, and we shared some mormon messages with her. That invited the spirit really strong and we asked if she would come to church. She wants to but kept talking herself out of it... Well during sacrament meeting, right as the bishop began testimonies, she walked in. I have never been so excited in my life! She and her boys squished in next to me and she just grabbed right on to my hand. I was so excited to see her there, and her boys loved church! It was truly a blessing and as she was leaving she said she will be seeing us again. Hopefully next week!

All this mom can say is WHAT?!?!?!?
P is getting better and made it to church this week! And S got to pass the sacrament this week as well!!! So over all a lot of miracles. Made for a really great "hump day" despite being sick as a dog :)
That is all for this week! I have lots of pictures though, from kinderdijk, M's boys,... And since we have been out 9 months, pregnancy photos are a must. Geniet ervan!
Ik hou van jullie!
Liefs, Z Packer

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Humpday!

Jan 27, 2014

Hey guys, Í might be in freak out mode this week... Why? Well.. It´s almost hump day.
This Saturday to be exact.

In other news, this week has been pretty uneventful! We have had a lot of time with the members which is really nice. I really like the relationships we are building with these people. Last week, I forgot to mention a few things to add to the drama. Like that a member told me my hair looked like a rats nest the week before, and he is glad I finally did something about it.. .Ouch? And then my bag just fell apart as we were walking up the stairs. So Monday we had an appointment with this super sweek old lady who is pretty alone, and we love her a lot. I mentioned how my bag had broken, and she conveniently had one she was planning on giving away! What?? So she let me have it. It was super sweet of her.

Tuesday I went on exchanges to Gouda and that was pretty interesting. But then we met up again the next day for Zone conference!
Space Themed...
We have decided that in order to be called to the Belgium/Netherlands mission, you have to be weird. Why? Well, we are all just a little odd... But the space theme did make for a good time. There were "viruses" and everything! (Meaning videos of our Zone Leaders with mustaches doing strange things...) I like it a lot here :)

We had 2 appointments with M this week, because he likes to talk a lot and that´s how long it takes to get through simple concepts. He keeps saying he wants to come to church, but never actually does it... So this week that is what we will be attacking. He is on date though! Which is kind of exciting! We set a date so he can see the progress and have a legitimate goal. I think this might actually work!

Other random news, S got the priesthood this week! I wasn't there for it, but we talked to him right before and he seemed really excited! I love watching his testimony grow! It is pretty much one of the greatest blessings. Also, Br. D is right on track for quitting smoking! In fact, he is ahead of the schedule we set with him! I love it! P is having a pretty rough time right now, and could use some extra prayers. It´ll work out, the government just needs to cooperate and let him pay his darn bills off.

That´s about it for this week! I love hearing about the girls back home! And how everything is going so good! I´m praying all the time for you guys, so it better be working! Ik hou van jullie!
Have a wonderful week!
Liefs, Z Packer

Jan 20, 2014

So, you might be wondering as to why the subject this week is "A bunch of bad jokes." Well, you are about to find out.
This whole week was a joke.
We wanted to climb the Grote Kerk this week during one of our lunch times (or Big Church) and well apparently it's closed during the winter. Make sense? No, not at all. That same day our dinner and service appointment got cancelled. And it started to rain before the day was even half over... We made the mistake of wishing we could just randomly get sick and go in, because well...

Zr Aston was sick the next day. She had a really nasty cold so I made her sleep a lot. (thank heavens I worked in a pharmacy!) We did go to a few appointments that day. One with our favorite old man inactive... He planned an entire introductory sequence for the elders.. We didn´t really need to know the kind of women he was into.. (if you are wondering they are slim and educated women like Nicole Kidman...) Funny guy though, I think we are BFFs.

S is preparing to receive the Priesthood, so we talked with him a bit about that. And he is meeting regularly with the bishop! Woohoo!
The next day Zr. Aston was still pretty sick so we stayed in and did our weekly planning session. Pretty simple.. Every time she took a nap I felt the urge to cook. So, we have been eating pretty good lately. 

We met with another inactive who likes to take us on crazy tangents about his volunteer work. This week it was about how people only steal the butter, Why the butter? Just wait, that part is important for later. The real joke came on Saturday... Be prepared to laugh.
So we were asked to prepare a little lesson for primary which involved cookies. So we bought some simple ingredients for cookies (flour, sugar, butter) And made our way to the church. We planned to just leave our bikes there because we needed to take a bus to our appointment. So we did that. The appointment was good, I learned there are movies like Ice Age 4? and Red 2? Anyway, we then had the most awkward car ride home of my life. 1 of the elders was squished in the back with us, and it is a pretty tiny car... So he was being super awkward the whole ride back... We get back and someone had raided Zr. Astons Fiets taas. ( bike bag..?) And stolen everything EXCEPT THE BUTTER.... You´re kidding right? Well. We hop on our bikes to find one last open store and find.... I have another flat tire.. Good gravy.
P fixed it for me yesterday, and it is flat again. Kill me.

On the bright side though, we do have heat finally! The guy came and fixed it today! Woo, and we are meeting with M again today! So hopefully all continues to go well! I love you all, and have a dandy week!
Liefs, Z Packer

Jan 13, 2014

I´ll be honest, I don´t know what happened to time since I've come on my mission. It´s all over the place.
This week was pretty good! It was transfer week, and even though we aren't going anywhere we definitely got pulled into the madness of it! There was some fire going on between Rotterdam and Dordrecht, so some missionaries got stuck here, we went to "help"and didn't really do a whole lot. 

We have elders again! So that is pretty nice. They are both a couple transfers behind us, and frankly a little awkward. But what can you expect? The ward is super excited to have them here! Everyone was pretty surprised to see that I am still here. HAHA! sorry Dordrecht, you aren't getting rid of me that easily.

This week we had 2 lessons with our new investigator M! Both on the plan of salvation, and I´ll tell you it was pretty interesting. The first one was Monday night, and well, we spent a lot of time discussing dimensions, and evolution, and other sciency things I couldn't care less about... So that was a little frustrating. However, last night we had another one, with a bit of a review from Monday, and the rest of the plan. We had a killer joint teach with us, and the lesson went super well! He is definitely a talker! So that makes it hard sometimes, but I know he is feeling something! He has even started trying to pray. He says he doesn't know if there is a God, but he asks us to pray for his parents... I think he is figuring it out ;)

We also had an appointment this week with a family of `dry members` meaning they have been in the church for about 5 years... But won´t get baptized. They invited us over for dinner and a family home evening, and it was one of the most spiritual appointments I think I´ve ever had. They have an amazing spirit in their home... I just can´t figure out why they aren´t baptized yet... But an amazing family none the less.
That´s about it that happened this week. S is getting ready to receive the Priesthood, and P is getting back up on his feet. Just needs to make it another month!
I´m glad everything is going well at home, Ik hou van jullie allemaal.
Liefs, Zr Packer

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Testimony of Prayer

I have a testimony of prayer.
Would anyone like to know why?
Because it works!!!!

That is right everyone! Zr. Aston and I get a 3rd transfer together here in Dordrecht and we are going to tear it apart! I enlisted the prayers of some of my dear friends here who said they didn't want me to leave. I also prayed very intently for just one more, and here I am! Prayers are answered everyone. Here is your proof!
This week has been pretty interesting. It was New Years, so we spent most of new years eve indoors.. Why? Because their fireworks here are litterally bombs....
Probably the sketchiest thing of my life. I didn't sleep that night because it sounded like world war 3 had broken out. I love this place, but these people are crazy.
I also finally got my legallity for the Netherlands! It only took like 7 months, but I got it! So we spent some time doing that as well..

Our miracle this week is our new investigator M! We contacted him on the street a couple weeks ago and he was very interested in how we managed to learn Dutch in such a short time. (I'm not sure if I've mentioned this but people live here for 10-20 years and still don't know a word in Dutch.) So he was very impressed and wanted to hear what we had to say. We had the first lesson with him and he was VERY interested. Turns out he has beens searching for something to believe in, and wants to hear all of the lessons we have to share. He is a really cool man and we are very excited for him! :D

Other than that, we have just spent a lot of time with the members. One of my favorite people in this ward (C) has us over a lot, because we are all really good friends now! I love it so much, she has the greatest testimony and it's just inspiring to talk to her! What a blessing that I get to stay here just a little longer! OH! We are also getting elders again! I have no idea who they are, but it should be great! Well, that's about it everyone! I hope everything is going well. I am glad to hear the girls are doing well, and that everyone is adjusting! Ik hou van jullie!!!
Liefs, Z Packer

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I Have Sisters!

Hey guess what guys!!!!
S GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pretty much it was the greatest thing of my life. It was SO good to see him so happy and ready to take this step. The ward was there supporting him the whole way. I had to give a talk... That was stressful, because well.. I forgot. And it was in Dutch. But the spirit was totally there guiding me the whole way. And The most important thing was that Sana was feeling the spirit. I am so happy for him!

I'll be totally honest I don't have a whole lot to say today since our whole week was focused on getting every last minute thing together for the baptism. We have spent a TON of time contacting people, just on the street or langs the door... wow uh. along the door? anyway. We have a district goal of 3000 this transfer, and we are truly seeing miracles there! I am getting excited about contacting for the first time in my life, no matter how many "not interested's I have to go through to get a yes. Finally.

We went ice skating today! It was SO fun! They have an outdoor rink set up in the middle of the centrum, and it was pretty cheap so we decided to do that today. Our district bailed on us, so Zr Aston and I had our own date. There was also a Christmas Concert yesterday night, with some crazy famous Russian people... We as missionaries had to sing a song, so that was interesting. But fun none the less. T came and loved it! So that was really great to see.

Sorry it's short, but uh... I'll be talking to you in a few days so.. I don't feel that bad. :) Not a lot happened anyway. I love you all so very much! Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! And remember who it is all about this year.
Liefs, Z Packer

I have never been so excited in my life! I am so glad to hear everyone traveled safely and that the girls are getting settled in! GOD IS GOOD!

In other news. This week has been super random! It was Christmas and that was pretty amazing! I loved getting to talk you my family! I miss you guys, so it was good to see your smiling faces. For Christmas Eve! We got invited to Family S's house. They invited a few inactives and we just had kind of a party. Ate amazing food, played some cool Dutch games, and just had a really good evening. S came, and we are pretty sure he liked it....

Christmas we went to a service at our church. Just a short one and it was really sweet. Zr Aston and I had to sing something, and hadn't picked the song till that morning. So that was kind of embarrassing, but what can you do? Afterward we got Chinese food. Why? Because we wanted to be like on a Christmas Story. I needed my Chinese. and it was SO good. They even gave us a free calendar with it. And then we spent our afternoon with the women in the uh... zorg... Old folks home? anyway. We were there, and my favorite lady of all time - Zr. A LOVED our visit. We chatted away and she is just the sweetest. We are so glad we decided to go because she actually hadn't had any visitors the whole day! It was so worth it. And then of course we made our American Dinner at the A's. I love them so much! We are just like family and I couldn't ask for anything more.

Here, they have 2 Christmases... So we got to celebrate again! We had lunch at family D's and played some games there with them as well. They are a wonderful family.

Other than that we didn't do a whole lot this week. See, on Christmas people don't want you knocking on their door when they are having family time.. So we avoided that and talked to the loners on the street in our down time. Actually everything this weekend went wrong so we have had to talk to a few people outside. But that is ok. We need investigators pretty bad!

We did have one other dinner with a girl in our ward. I have Always thought of her as the "cool kid" Because well, she is. And she LOVES us! Cool right? we are all getting super tight and she wants to make a trip to Utah when we are back! I think it would be so fun! Anyway. This is a whole lot of random, so I hope everyone had a great Christmas! And is ready to start up the New Year!!!

Ik hou van Jullie!!!!!!
Liefs, Z Packer
Oh, And congrats to Miss Kelli on getting married!
Also, I'd send pictures, but something is going on with my card reader, so I'll get that fixed by next week. Sorry!