Thursday, March 13, 2014

Elder Packham's New Address.....I WANT MARCH MADNESS! (hahaha)

As you know from the last post, Elder Packham is currently serving in the beautiful city of Bozeman! Here is his new address:

Elder Packham
2307 West Main #324
Bozeman, MT  59718

Here is his update for this week:

Hey mom!

I just want you to know that I do read your emails. I am sorry that I don't get to email you as much. Last week I had enough time to write 1 email. It's nothing against you and it's not that I don't read your emails. I wish you could see how busy I am. I am just sorry that I can't do enough. But hey, I will do my best to find time to take pictures and write you letters. I haven't written a solid letter in about 5 months. It's nothing against you. Sister Mecham called again this week: "Elder Packham are you doing okay?" hahaha yes sister mecham I'm fine. She calls to check up on me when you email her (: Sister Mecham is the best. I'll be home in 11 months momma, all you have to do is endure (: and don't worry, that's probably not healthy.   (Okay - so when I read this, I thought, wow-mom, way to make him feel bad :(.  I actually felt terrible for that.  When I wrote him back I reminded me that I know he is not on a mission to write his mother or take pictures - he is on a mission to serve the Lord.  I do know this - I just miss him terribly.  I shall endure.  It's a whole range of conflicting emotions because I really wouldn't want it any other way.  I had two missionaries teach me the gospel when I was sixteen and it changed my life - in amazing ways.  I want others to be able to have the same blessings and knowledge that I do - most importantly, that families can be together forever.

I am glad to hear that so many great things are happening back home! That makes me so happy! I am excited for Jorvik to check out those colleges. It's seriously so great out there and I hope that he sees that. I love and miss all of you. (We will be headed to Idaho/Utah and doing campus visits at BYU-I and USU.  I am excited for Jorvik too... BYU-I was such a blessing for Jacob.  I am not sure where Jake will want to attend school when he gets off his mission.)

The mission is going great! We have 2 new missionaries in our zone and they are doing so well. One of them is Elder Wolf, he's a champion. He's 19 but he's just so ready.  He's great and has so much potential. We went out to Belgrade last night to minister to the missionaries Elder Crane and Elder Wolf as well as the investigators that they have on date for baptism. It went really well. Elder Crane has only been out 6 weeks so we were able to train him a little bit as well. Bozeman is so beautiful! I love it here! The university ward is doing great and everyone is so missionary minded. 3 of our investigators were from members. One of them is Rachael, she's so awesome! She is on date for april. One of her fellow shippers came up to us our first day and said, "Rachael is awesome! Oh by the way I'm bringing 2 friends to the next activity." It's so awesome. The 2 best missionaries in our ward are Cache and Monte. They both grew up together in Utah and are super great friends. They are both return missionaries and live in the same dorm. They do everything together it's so funny. Monte is actually on the MSU football team with a full ride scholarship. Things are going great! We volunteered at the local foodbank for 3 hours the other day and found someone to teach. We spoke in church our first Sunday, unfortunately the week that we come into town is spring break. We gave great talks though considering they didn't tell us we were teaching until Saturday night. (I was so happy to hear that the university ward is so missionary minded... that makes a HUGE difference for the missionaries.  What a blessing!)

Elder Johnson is doing great! I love being with him. We're on a health kick. Working out and eating healthy. That is until the person who lives below us brings us food. Her name is Yani, she's not a member but she feeds the missionaries all the time. One day she comes up and gives us $20 to Qdoba, it's a place like cafe rio, the very next day she came up and gave us receipts to pizza hut and told us to go pick up our pizzas she bought us. She got 2 large meat lovers pizzas. We went to go pick them up and eat and... Iowa state was playing some other team in basketball. :( I WANT MARCH MADNESS. Elder Johnson's little brother just sent him pictures, his highschool just won state back home in utah. He said it made him a little homesick because his little brother won state and he wasn't there to cheer him on. Elder Johnson played ball in high school too. ( I was actually surprised to hear Jake say I want March Madness - hahaha.  He is so funny.  Truth be told - basketball is Jake's FAVORITE!!!  He loves it and I am sure he will be excited when he comes home next year in February - because it will be right around the corner. A big shout out to Yani for feeding the boys!!!)

I love you all. I am healthy, safe, and warm. I don't need anything.  I think I want to buy a new set of scriptures but I'm not sure yet. The best way to learn your scriptures is to use new copies (: that's how I've gotten to know the book of mormon so well. I pick up a new copy every time. You should try it! (Love this boy!!!  I am glad he is healthy and safe-- and especially warm, hahaha - Spring is coming Elder Packham!)

Here is a picture of Bozeman:

One final thing - if you get a chance - write to Elder Packham!!! If you are feeling bad that you haven't heard from him - please don't (see above).  I know he would love to hear from everyone!!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What a wonderful life!!!

Crazy week! So much happened. Missoula had the most snow fall in its history this last week! We did nothing but shovel for people for 3 days. It was seriously a natural disaster. 2 avalanches occurred, one of them being visible by our apartment. We're fine. The house that got covered, they pulled 3 people out and one of them just died in the hospital because of her injuries. It's so sad! Today the snow is melting though so that is nice. I'm worried it's going to start flooding because the city doesn't even know what to do with the snow. Some of the snow piles are like 8 feet high that divide the lanes in the road because of the plows. It's just crazy. Prayers are answered though and we are being given a lot of opportunities to serve.

Our Bishop, Bishop Anderson wanted us to help him move an arcade machine he bought and he wanted it up in his cabin. So he took us to his cabin and we also got breakfast. Then we had to move this 400-500 lb arcade machine through like 5 ft of snow. It took us 2 hours to get inside of his cabin. We had a 6'9 320 lb elder, myself, and a 5'9 250 lb elder, and our bishop whos a big guy and then my companion who's the smallest all trying to lift it and we couldn't carry it.

I am getting transferred. I am getting transferred to Bozeman! I am so pumped to be going there. I will be in the university ward there as well AND I am pretty sure we'll have a truck AND I'm the senior companion so I'll be driving most of the time. I will be serving with Elder Zach Johnson and he will be a new zone leader. I served around Elder Johnson before, he was one of the other district leaders in Billings when I served there. He's great, he's such an awesome elder. We get along so well and so I'm just so excited. I wish I was in Bozeman already.

I got a phone call the other day from the Bozeman zone leaders and Mike Carey got baptized finally! I found him in Great Falls when I was with Elder Cooper. Mike answered the door for the first time, told us he would never ever get baptized into our church but that we could come back. The zone leaders told me that the entire university ward showed up to his baptism, the stake president (Who just got released, he will be a mission president in Lubbock, Texas later this year) baptized him and the bishop of the university ward confirmed him. They also told me that he gave me a shout out in his testimony. Mike goes, "Elder Packham and Elder Cooper knocked on my door and I told them I would never get baptized. Hahaha! Look at me, I'm a mormon now." He just laughs in the middle of his testimony (: He's so great. One of the greatest things I've ever done has been to tell someone to go to institute. Ahhhh. I love it.

We were supposed to have stake conference this last weekend but because of the storm they cancelled stake conference and all church and all meetings. Elder Mcleod and I got permission from President Mecham to hold a church service with all missionaries. It was so powerful. For all of us there it was the first time we had been in a church service with only missionaries since the MTC. It was incredible.

So much is happening. I am so excited looking ahead to the future. I hope I'm in Bozeman for a while. It is really funny because Elder Rodriguez and I have joked about serving in Bozeman as zone leaders since we got to Montana. Maybe it will happen, maybe not, we'll see.