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."