Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Transfers, My New Companion & New Car - August 5th, 8th, & 12th

August 5th - 

We got transfer information today. It all kind of started last night when I got a call from one of the Assistants to the President. He interviewed me over the phone. I figured something was up. So I couldn't sleep ALL night. So many things were running through my mind. I got a phone call today from our zone leaders and I'm staying here in Great Falls 5th ward and I'm training again! This time it's not a visa waiter. So I'll get my new companion on Thursday instead of Wednesday. That also means that Elder Rodriguez and I will be companions for a day! Elder Rodriguez will be training a new Elder too and he'll also be our district leader. 

Our investigators are going great! I feel bad for Elder Cooper because he's going to Greybull Wyoming and his birthday is on Sunday. Yesterday we got a  guy named Scott on date for baptism. His baptismal date is set for August 31st. 

Birthday ideas for Elder Cooper: A package of beef jerky and an iowa shirt. (I mailed this out August 9th and tracked it as delivered on August 12th - it showed back up at my office last week with the words, "no such address!"  Whatever! The address was right and the mission home said that they would not have done that.)

Birthday celebration: Birthday celebration for me is kind of getting tied in with dinner tomorrow. Tomorrow night we're eating at Sister Jamie Fosters' house and Elder Rodriguez and his companion are coming over too, to celebrate our 6 month mark. 

August 8th -

I get my new missionary today! I can't wait to meet him! It's weird because I could ask him what he was doing 3 weeks ago and he'd probably say listening to music, going to the fair, swimming. Lol it's weird.

I can't wait to meet him! I hope he's somewhat athletic. All of the athletic people in our zone keep getting transferred. Which makes p-day not as fun. 
We got a new car yesterday! It's a brand new Toyota Carolla off the lot. It only has 350 miles on it, because it was driven accross the state from the mission home. It's grey and we named her Queen Latifa. She's a good car. The car has bluetooth/hands free calling just like my malibu back home! So I instantly connected the mission phone to the car. It's a pretty cool car. Not one I'd want after the mission though.

August 12th -

My new companion: My new companion is Elder Corwyn Yeske. He's alright.. I guess. Lol it's going to take some getting used to. He's fired up about the work though and that's great. . He's super obedient and so I like that.  I'm coming off the best 2 transfers on my mission with one of the best companions I'll ever have. So it's been kind of hard for me. Especially to talk to members when they talk about missing Elder Cooper too.

Rough week.....not gonna beat around the bush

In my August 19th email from Elder Packham he began like this:

Rough week. I'm not gonna beat around the bush. This last week has been a bit of a struggle. 3 of our investigators are moving next week.  

The rest of the email talked about his investigators.  I know that with Elder Cooper being transferred out and him getting a new companion that he was a bit off anyway.

In case you didn't know..... at transfers he stayed in Great Falls and was called as a trainer again. I even got another letter from President Mecham telling me that Jake had been called as a trainer.  His new companion is fresh out of the MTC and as I said, I think he misses Elder Cooper.

Here was my advice:
Satan’s greatest tool for destroying both you and the work is discouragement.  The scriptures and the history of the Church are full of stories showing great temptations and discouragements when the prophets were on the threshold of great spiritual events.  The Lord never promised that the work would be easy.  I think He expects you to try and try again.  If you remember – when He told the discouraged fishermen to cast their nets again, He had them cast them in the same place where they had not been catching anything.  So my advice is that you ‘never give up.’  I am positive that is what your dad would say as well.
I think it rings true. It was hard to hear him discouraged but I know that it is just a part of the experience  It was also his birthday week.  August 22nd he would be turning 19!

Here was Alex's advice:

Jacob,Sorry to hear that it was a rough week. As President Hinckley said – it’s never as bad as we think it is. I know you are planting seeds where you go and as people that you come in contact with will still be in the sight of our Heavenly Father and He will always provide a way for someone who is ready to receive the gospel. Your influence will be felt in more ways than you can possibly imagine.Happy Birthday Elder Packham – you only get two birthdays when you’re an Elder (unless you get called to the seventy – lol)

In regards to his birthday week.... he said, " It's weird having a birthday in the mission field."

Saturday, August 10, 2013


The Glacier Crew - some members took these Elders to Glacier National Park for the day!


Jake & waterfall in Glacier

Montana is incredibly beautiful!

Elder Hiatt & Elder Packham

That smile is pretty great!

SO beautiful!  This is in Glacier National Park - I want to go there some day.

Elder Rodriguez and Elder Packham were in the MTC together and they were celebrating their 6 month mark together with a little tradition.

6 month tie tradition

Elder Packham & Elder Cooper saying goodbye :(

Elder Packham & Elder Stakebake

Thursday, August 8, 2013

He is teaching me again... Always Remember Him

I am still trying to catch up on Elder Packham's blog and hopefully today will be the day I do that!  A while back I decided that a good way to get my questions answered from Jake would be to list them all out instead of putting them in the email and that has worked out pretty well.  A couple weeks ago I asked him if he could share a scripture with me that had impacted him that week. This was his answer:
Alma 5. The whole chapter. I love Alma 5 because it has a lot of questions and it really makes you think. Alma 5 is about repentance and the atonement. It made me think a lot about Christ and his life. I love how bold the questions in Alma 5 are. 
So I am re-reading the Book of Mormon and haven't made it to Alma and quite frankly could not remember the questions that Alma asked so I took the opportunity to review Alma.  Jake is correct - the questions are bold and my personal opinion is that this chapter is an excellent self-evaluation interview.

In Alma 5:6 it asks us repeatedly if we remember.  Did you know that the word remember is used 240 times in the Book of Mormon?  If you think about the sacrament prayers and how we covenant to 'Always Remember Him' then you will realize that the word remember is much more than recalling a memory.  It's definitely something to think about.  Just for a cross reference for those who are reading this and not familiar with the Book of Mormon, go to 2 Peter 3:1-2.  Remembering is good. It does us good to ponder on the things that Jesus Christ did for us and His example.

Alma asks 42 questions and those give us a formula for how to be born again.  I am going to be spending more time reflecting on this because it is always good to do a self-reflection.

Since Jake is serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I know that vs. 12 in Alma 5 is something he strives for those he is teaching to have....
 12 And according to his faith there was a mighty achange wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true.
So let's talk for a minute about that 'change' or in other words conversion.  I am a convert to the church.  What does it mean to me?  For me, conversion is when you have a spiritual or moral change of belief with conviction or a witness. Being converted and having a change of heart is so much more than a mental acceptance of Jesus Christ and his teachings... it is a motivating faith in Him and His gospel - a faith which can work a transformation or an actual change in one's understanding of life's meaning.

I guess I could go on and on about Alma 5 but I am going to leave you with one more scripture and a thought about it and then share other things.
 14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye aspiritually been bborn of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty cchange in your hearts?
Conversion is a continuous process.  We need to keep our witness of the truth and our experiences with the Spirit current and up to date.  Since last Sunday was testimony meeting, this quote seems fitting:

"Testimony isn't something you have today and you are going to have always.  A testimony is fragile.  It is as hard to hold as a moon-beam.  It is something you have to recapture every day of your life." Harold B. Lee

As always... I am extremely grateful to Jacob because I know that as he serves the Lord and gets closer to Him, that I am getting closer to Him as well.

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