Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Leading the Zone in OYM's!

Busy, busy, busy.

Those are the three words I would use to describe Elder Packham. I was starting to worry that I wouldn't hear from him this week but alas- I got my email!  I will share it with you:

Life is crazy! Please bear with me, sorry I wasn't able to email on Monday! That was memorial day and everything was shut down. We email at the college library and that was closed. Yesterday and today have both been pretty hectic. Unfortunately today is like another p-day because we are emailing and shopping today because we weren't able to do that on Monday either. We are now in a car share and get the car 2 days out of the week. We're sharing it with the two rivers elders as well as the Great Falls 4 elders.
So feel free to send stamps! Lol I ran out the other day. I'll be buying more today though. I'll probably only buy one sheet. I got the package that was floating around the mission! I thought it was from you but it was actually from Tylan Mastaw! She sent me a letter and she also sent me a byu jacket! Hahaha I love that girl, she's an amazing friend. I've only been able to hang out with Tylan a few times but we have a great friendship. She told me that she was sorry I had to mourn the 1 year anniversary of Andrew's passing alone with no contact to friends. She's one of the most thoughtful people I know. HUGE shout out to her. She made my day. Then I proceeded to sleep with the jacket because it was so comfortable. 
We had a zone training yesterday. One thing that I really got out of the meeting was being accountable and what not.
Life is crazier than ever here in the mission. Training is awesome! I love elder cooper! We have so much fun together and get a lot of work done. We led the zone in OYM's last week. Just opening our mouth and talking to people. We are loving it here! Curt dropped us, but we will go back just to keep the friendship and to talk with him a little bit, try to make some ground. One of our potentials we did service for this morning. Her name is Jo Griffith, she's super amazing! She's a grandma but she's not that old. She loves the fact that we press families so much. She said she really doesn't have anything against our church and a lot of her great friends are lds. We invited her to church on Sunday so hopefully she'll come. She bought us lunch today and that was really nice of her! 

Elder Cooper is dying for his Visa! All the elders he came out with are in Brazil. They emailed him and wrote it in portuguese, he can't even read it! Lol i feel so bad for him. The people he came out with have only been in brazil for a week and some of them already have 3 baptisms. Crazy. 

He sounds good! He sounds busy! 

D & C 58:27 describes Jake very well~

 27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

In a talk by Russel M Ballard entitled, Anxiously Engaged', he says:

"The Savior taught that the first and great commandment is:

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. …

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37, 39–40).

The Savior’s words are simple, yet their meaning is profound and deeply significant. We are to love God and to love and care for our neighbors as ourselves. Imagine what good we can do in the world if we all join together, united as followers of Christ, anxiously and busily responding to the needs of others and serving those around us—our families, our friends, our neighbors, our fellow citizens."

Elder Packham is a wonderful example to each of us and for all of you who know Jake- you know that he has always lived like this. He loves everyone!

Sure do miss that boy!

Here is a picture of him and Elder Cooper:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Happy for my Jake!!

I am so proud of Elder Packham for the love and faith that he has! 

I am attaching a letter I got from Jake's Mission President - it made my heart swell with joy.    

I can feel his faith building each time I hear from him and I am so grateful. 

People who know me, know that i believe - without a doubt-that FAITH is the key to having a firm foundation. And those same people know that the Lord has given me a lot of opportunities to test that.

Jake loves quotes- here are some I sent him this week! 

   1.    Definition of a missionary: A missionary is like a duck—calm and unruffled on the outside, but paddling like crazy underneath.
   2.    Discouragement is like a baby. The more you nourish it, the bigger it gets.
   3.    Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and the shadows will fall behind you.
   4.    When success turns your head, you’re facing trouble.
   5.    Life is a long lesson in humility. We need tough days to drive us to our knees.
   6.    Positive thinking is the only way to produce positive results.
   7.    The man who does his best today (on his mission) will be a hard man to beat tomorrow (after his mission).
   8.    The distance a missionary goes is not as important as the direction he is going.
   9.    The smallest good deed is better than the greatest intention.
   10.    Difficulties strengthen the soul as labor strengthens the body.
   11.    The nearer we come to God, the greater His light can shine upon us.
   12.    You cannot hope to enjoy a harvest without first laboring in the field.
   13.    A good leader is someone who can step on your toes without messing up your shine.
   14.    There are few, if any, jobs in which ability alone is sufficient. Also needed are loyalty, sincerity, enthusiasm, cooperation, and dedication.
   15.    The person who gets ahead is the one who does more than is necessary—and keeps on doing it.
   16.    Nothing is easier than murmuring; no talent, no self-denial, no intelligence, no character is required.
   17.    The goal of criticism is to leave the person with the feeling that he’s been helped.
   18.    A person rarely succeeds at anything unless he enjoys doing it.
   19.    Those who lose their temper usually lose.

I am so grateful for Elder Packham. He tells me I am his hero but what he may not know is that he is mine!!!!!

Love you Jake! To the Moon and Back!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life is going great! Faith to Move Mountains!

“Faith precedes the miracle. It has ever been so and shall ever be. It was not raining when Noah was commanded to build an ark. There was no visible ram in the thicket when Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. Two heavenly personages were not yet seen when Joseph knelt and prayed. First came the test of faith–and then the miracle. Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. Cast out doubt. Cultivate faith.” 
“The Call to Serve,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 48–49.)

If you are following the blog then you know that Elder Packham is in a new area. I got my first email from Great Falls on Monday and I am happy to report he is doing great!!!! 

Jake sure knows how to put a smile on my face~ he is awesome!

I am just going to re-post his email because I want you to have the opportunity to experience it like I did.


Life is going great! I'm training Elder Cooper and I absolutely love it. We're living with members.  They are so awesome and this is the first time 5th ward has had members all to themselves. the area split from 4th and 5th ward to just 4th and another just 5th. The family we are living with are so awesome! they got us beds, and they're memory foam!!! We sleep so good at night. Our floor is like a rainbow it's covered in all these different colored foam tiles, its cool. We got doubled in, I'm training a vw, and we have no car or bikes, I was told that the area will go really slow. So I said yeah right. In 3 days we got 6 potential investigators and I had the most productive week of my mission so far. This last week was great! So the bishop is gone getting his son whose getting off his mission from Peru. So we met with the 1st counselor before church. Our church starts at 1 as well. The first counselor was SO impressed with our progress record. Then one of the high council members from the stake walked in and was also incredibly amazed. So he said that during his talk he'd call us up to introduce ourselves to the ward. He told us how grateful he was for the work we're doing. So he called us up at the end of his talk and was going off about how amazing cooper and I our and how this ward will grow so much, he was saying all this stuff. He turned the time over to us to bear our testimonies. So i went first being the senior companion. I bore testimony, recited D&C 121:6-10, and also D&C 18:15 and challenged the ward to bring people to church! I totally felt like I was giving a motivational speech. The spirit was so strong. Elder Cooper got up and he bore testimony, talked about a scripture or 2 and he too invited them to action. It was incredible. After sacrament meeting all the members came up to us and told us how they've been waiting for us, the right missionaries to show up. It was so great to see the members get excited about doing missionary work. We made a dinner calender and that got filled up so fast. I've never seen a dinner calender filled up within 20 minutes. 
I've really been focusing on acting on revelation. Especially now more than ever as a trainer. We filled up our schedule top to bottom with unofficial appointments with LA's. Just people that we could stop by and see. The entire day was filled, every slot, top to bottom, with back up plans. So we went about our day and followed our plan. We were so blessed to see so many people! I think Saturday alone we gained 4 potential investigators. We kept getting rejected. I told Elder Cooper that we just needed to pray. So i said at the end of this driveway we're going to pray. So I said a quick prayer, simply asking our Heavenly Father to bless us as we have been diligently trying to find his children, to bless us to put us in there path. 3 houses down we found one of our most potential investigators Curt. We left that porch and Elder Cooper told me "Way to go Packham, Thanks for praying." My testimony about planning has increased so much. If we simply plan, and actively open our mouth to share the gospel our Heavenly Father has limitless blessings to give us. I love this gospel.

So as a mother you want certain things for your children. The things I desire most for them is that they are happy and have Faith in the Lord. I am incredibly grateful to hear that Jake is exercising his Faith- it makes  my heart full. 

For myself I decided when Jake left on his mission that I would strive to have my own relationship with the Lord strengthened. I can testify to you with all surety that if you immerse yourself in the scriptures each day you will develop a very personal relationship with God. He knows me, He loves me, and He wants to bless me. I know this is true for all of us. 

I love you Elder Packham and I am so proud of you!!!  

Here is my scripture/thought for you:

It is our faith in Jesus Christ that sustains us at the crossroads of life’s journey. It is the first principle of the gospel. Without it we will spin our wheels at the intersection, spending our precious time but getting nowhere. It is Christ who offers the invitation to follow Him, to give Him our burden, and to carry His yoke, “for [His] yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).

There is no other name under heaven whereby man can be saved (see Acts 4:12). We must take upon us His name and receive His image in our countenance so that when He comes we will be more like Him (see 1 John 3:2Alma 5:14). When we choose to follow Christ in faith rather than choosing another path out of fear, we are blessed with a consequence that is consistent with our choice (see D&C 6:34–36).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pig Wrangler Extraordinaire...and other exciting news!

Yes, you read that correctly ~ our resident Montana missionary has been wrangling pigs!!!  Jake described it like this:

We were at the members home and they asked us if we could help them load the piggies into the truck.  We were in our proselyting clothes but thought - sure, we can do this.  So here was this little pig and I am thinkin', yeah, that's no big deal - I can get him in the truck for you.  Who knew that those little guys could wiggle so much!  Now I have never tried to contain someone in a full on temper tantrum but if I had, I am sure it would have resembled this.  So whatever weight you are imaging this pig to weigh - you are most likely wrong.  It is more like this:  increase the muscle mass by 100%, give them four legs, each with a sharp cloven hoof, throw in full epileptic seizure body contortion and ear piercing squeals.  Somewhere in the midst of all of this madness, I grabbed the piggy by both legs in order to toss him into the truck and guess what?!?  I got piggy pooh on me!!!!    It was quite interesting.  Let's just say - my pink tie is ruined!

Getting the chance to talk to Elder Packham on Skype for Mother's Day was incredible!!!  I think we were on there for over an hour!  He looked good and sounded great!  I am incredibly proud of him. In true Jake fashion he had us all laughing... it was awesome.

He said it was very warm there - 85 degrees in the shade!!  Hence him asking me to send more short sleeved white shirts. He answered a lot of questions about the area he is serving in.  I teasingly told him that it was like he was serving in a third world country.  He told me that transfers would be coming the next day but he was happy to stay and that his companion didn't really want to stay in that area.  My response to him was that until you learn to love the area and the members - you will stay.  I don't really know if I am right but I do know without a doubt that each missionary is serving EXACTLY where the Lord wants them to be at EXACTLY that time.

He loves the support and letters. Each one of you who are supporting him are so awesome!  As his mother, I am incredibly grateful to know that he hears from you.  Jake loves people - loves his friends and family - this is a blessing for him. So - keep'em coming!!!  Oh yeah- and if you are reading this Bowman - you should write- instead of having Noelle do it - LOLOLOL!!!  (I am kidding)  And Matt Cain - you are due for a letter!  He misses everyone but knows he is right where the Lord wants him. I am very proud of him.

Oh and his favorite P-day has been glow in the dark dodge ball!!  Sounds great!

He got to talk to Alex, Halley, and Jorvik - and his mission president let him call Mikey.  It was a great day!!!

So... drum roll...... transfer calls came......

Elder Packham is being transferred!  He will be serving in Great Falls.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Email me back Momma!

As always I LOVE hearing from Elder Packham!  He is just good medicine for my soul, not gonna lie.  I am so excited that Mother's Day is almost here!!!! He will get to Skype and call!  That is the BEST!

I am happy to report that he loves his bike!  No big surprise there.  Here is what he said:

           The bike is great! I was in Lakeside Montana this last few days on an exchange with Elder Organ who is in my MTC District and we had a blast.  We got a lot done!  People didn't believe me that I came out with Elder Organ, we're too mature and learned to be at only 3 months out (; So that was great! We rode up super steep hills and what not and It hurt man! lol it was lots of fun.

That's awesome! He said that they met a nice German couple while they were in Lakeside and he swears that family history work will be the gateway for them! He also had some sad news - he said that their recent convert called them and said that she did not know about this whole 'LDS' deal.  He said: 

           Worst phone call I've ever gotten, my heart sank.  She feels lost and alone, used, and like a bullet hit her because before she was baptized people would call her and visit her but not since she was baptized.

Having not been on a mission myself I do not know what that would feel like but I can imagine that it is just like Jake says, 'the worst ever.'  In my new calling I have the opportunity to reflect on missionary work and the role that we as members play in that.  I think we can do more and Jake's recent convert is a great example!!!  Everyone needs someone - it's just the way it is.

My Jake was also full of compliments for his momma this week - I love that boy!  Here is what he said:

             Next week is Mothers day! I'm sending a package for you! You'll love it! I hope that your birthday was good! Alex was really happy to see you and even more happy to see Mike and give him a hug. You and Alex have the hardest jobs in the world being step parents.  You both do a great job though! I'm proud of you both.  Your birthday present and mother's day present are going hand in hand this year. Sorry (:  I love yo uso much though! I just hope that you know that. I love you lots and I pray for you every night.  I thank  God for you lots as well.

I have to say that right there is the best Mother's day gift ever!  See what I mean about him being good medicine for me??  He just knows how to make me feel better.

As a mother you always hope that you are instilling the right things in your children and one of those things that I have worked very hard on is making sure my children have their own testimony.  I have always told them that they need to work to develop their testimony because it will sustain them throughout their lives. I know this to be true.  Well, Elder Packham had a testimony story this week.  Here it is:

             Yesterday at church was great! I bore my testimony.  We're only supposed to go up if nobody was going up. So I did.  One of the sisters who's going through a really hard time got up at the end and she mentioned me like 3 times in her testimony.  It's awesome knowing that you're an instrument in God's hands and knowing that you said something that they needed. Nothing brings me more joy!  So many people here in T-Falls are going through trials. The Thomspon Falls branch is great though. Each and every one of them rally around each other and help each other out. That's what the gospel is all about! I'm sure you have seen that too being in South Carolina.  One of the members in our district lives about an hour from Fort Jackson actually! He's from South Carolina.
I think it is a really special gift to know that you are being an instrument in the Lord's hands - I am proud of him.  There have been SO many people who have been an instrument in the Lord's hands for me the the last two weeks.
In closing I want to share a speech by Elder Holland - i love him!



Thursday, May 2, 2013

A baptism, zone conference and a bike!

The following is from Jake:

So obviously from the title we had a baptism this week. One of our investigator's, Christine, has been investigating since December and when Elder Ashcroft and I saw her about two weeks ago she said she finally wanted to be baptized! Elder Burrows happened to be with us so he was able to do her interview. She wanted to do her baptism on that Saturday but it was Stake Conference so we had her Baptism on Thursday.

So we had Zone Conference in Missoula Tuesday and it was amazing. We talked about new finding ideas, obedience, health, bikes, and our mission standard of excellence. We also got our new bikes, they are really nice but we have not been able to ride them since we don't have our helmets yet. We will be going to Walmart in Polson tomorrow after district meeting so we can start riding our bikes.

It sounds like he had a good week. I know he has been worried about Mike but he said he has memorized D&C 121 (he told the mission president he had and president had him recite it back!) and he feels better. I am glad.

He told me some crazy story about how the mission president told them if they are at a dinner appointment and are served too much food they should eat a 1/3 of it and then ask to take the rest home. Jake seems to be on a health kick. I keep thinking I will try almond milk just so I can experience what he is but then I quickly change my mind.

Thank you to everyone who is supporting Jake- I appreciate it so much!

In closing I would like to share an excerpt I took from a talk by Elder Holland entitled, Lessons from Liberty Jail:
Regarding our earthly journey, the Lord has promised:

I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. [D&C 84:88]

That is an everlasting declaration of God’s love and care for us, including—and perhaps especially—in times of trouble.

(Thanks Chris!)