I am late on my update - sorry. It seems to be happening a lot and I apologize. Part of the reason is Jake's very short emails and the other part of the reason is that I am always so busy.
Biggest news of late ----- Jake has been tranferred!!! And he has a new calling of responsibility. Elder Packham is now serving in Missoula and as a Zone leader. Here is a little information about zones in the mission:
Most missions are divided into several zones, a zone being a geographic area specified by the mission president (though these are often the same area as the LDS ecclesiastical unit known as a "Stake"). A zone encompasses several more organizational units called districts. Each zone and district is presided over by leaders drawn from male missionaries serving in that area. Zone and district leaders are responsible for gathering weekly statistics, assisting missionaries in their areas of responsibility, and general accountability to the mission president for the well-being and progress of the missionaries under their stewardship. A district typically encompasses four to eight missionaries, and may or may not comprise more than one proselytizing area. An area is typically a portion of the LDS ecclesiastical unit known as a Ward (or congregation), one Ward, or multiple Wards.
Needless to say, I am positive that Elder Packham is very busy!!! I am grateful for that knowledge because I know that he is serving the Lord and I also know that he is doing an amazing job!!!!
Jake sent some hilarious videos of him eating a habanero pepper - they are SO funny! He makes me laugh. He also told me that he feels the affects of my prayers and that made me happy. I shared with him that Elder Boyd K. Packer said that there are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother. I know that is true because I have seen it in my life when I pray for my children. It motivates me to be the best that I can be and to draw close to my Father in Heaven - I want that protection for my children and I want the knowledge that my faithful prayers are making a difference in their lives. I heard Elder Holland once speaking to a mother who had asked him what she could do to help protect her children. He told her to pray for them - every.single.day. He said, you wouldn't send them out in the cold without a coat to protect them - don't send them out in to the world without a prayer to protect them. I love that!
Yesterday would have been a Zone conference in Helena. I am excited to hear what Jake has to say about it because I know that they were planning something special for the missionaries.
Oh- I sent Jake a package for Christmas with the 12 days of Christmas. This is a poem for each day with a little gift to go with it. It was a lot of fun to put together and I hope he is enjoying it. I asked him in his email last week if he received it and he said yes, he loves it and his companion is having to keep him from opening all the days now. LOL. We are going to have a set of our Ankeny Elders over on Christmas morning. I always pray that the members in Montana are taking care of my Jake. I hope he and his companion have an invite for Christmas morning.
I know that for Thanksgiving he members fed Jake and his companion a TON. Silly boy! I hope that the members of Montana feel my prayers of gratitude.
Here is a little Q&A I got back from Jake this last Monday:
How is your new companion?
My companions are awesome! I love my zone leader companion(: He's the best! I am already learning so much from him and we laugh all the time. Except now because I'm slightly upset. ---Jakes ipad was stolen from the library and he was less than happy.
What are your initial thoughts of MIssoula?
Where cowboy meets indian.
How was your first Sunday in your new ward?
My first sunday was the primary program (: we set up like 10 appointments for the week during church as well
Your new responsibility are zone leader - are you adjusting?
Yeah I'm loving it. It's very tiring. Super tiring.
Have you been to any ward christmas parties? what were they like?
We have our ward Christmas party this Saturday and I'm really excited! We went to a few family parties yesterday
Are you getting plenty to eat?
Yeah yesterday we had 3 dinners
Are you staying warm?
Yeah I'm staying warm thank you!
Most spiritual experience this week?
Teaching the gospel. We had some really great experiences teaching some less active members of the ward.
Most uplifting scripture this week?
I don't know if I have one. I read Enos this past week and loved it
He is doing really well and I am proud of him. I think this is a wonderful experience for him to be on his mission at Christmas time. Since his life is turned to the Savior I am positive that this experience will be one he will treasure his whole life.
I think in closing I want to share a Christmas card I got from Elder Jake.
There is no way for Jake to know how much this meant to me but it was and is priceless. Let's just say I carried it around with me for days. He makes me feel like I have done a good job as his mother. I really want to leave a legacy and Jacob makes me believe that I will--and it will be one I will be proud of.
I love you Jacob Daniel!!