Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 12, 2011

Dear Family,

Well it sounds like everything is going well, and that always makes me happy. I'm glad that the tavaci concert was a great success, and that everyone enjoyed it. I've realized now that I haven't seen tavaci for quite a while I miss seeing it. It was always fun to watch the little kids sing and dance. That's way cool that Frank got his patriarchal blessing this past week, I've been reading through mine quite a bit lately since you sent it to me and I've really enjoyed noticing the same thing that you did. It really does show that the Lord knows us all individually, and really cares about us. Patriarchal blessing are just a small glimpse into the eternities, we can see a little bit the talents and qualities that we've had through our eternities.

This week was really good in the life of a missionary. Elder Froelich and I have been having a really good time together, and I feel like I've learned a ton. This last week was a lot of fun, we taught a lot of really cool people and had some cool miracles. We're teaching this family right now that is doing very well. The parents are in there twenties and they have a little four year old, and they all came to church yesterday and they really enjoyed it :) I have a lot of high hopes for them. Elder LaCroix and I found them on our last day together last transfer, and they've slowly progressing and getting more and more interested. This last week when we met with them we asked them why they meet with us, what do they want from our meetings. And they told us that every time that we come they learn something new that helps them and they believe us more and more every time. I can see the Gospel changing them. That's one of the coolest things about being a missionary. Especially when you can see someone throughout their entire teaching process, they change so much and they just get happier and happier. We're also teaching another man named ***** and he also came to church yesterday. He's just so excited that our church has the "fullness". We testified of the fullness of the Gospel restored through Joseph Smith, and he just instantly wanted that in his life. He really enjoyed church, and he kept saying that God revealed to him that it's true. I'm really excited. He's a very cool guy, and he just has so much faith that everything is possible. We're working to baptize him on New year's eve. Those were a couple of the highlights from this last week. This upcoming week is a complete mystery because transfers are coming up on Thursday and you know how those are. I have a feeling that I'll still be in Riga, and I hope that I am, but I really don't know for sure. So I'll need to wait to give you my number until I know exactly where I'm going to be.

Thank you so much for all that you do! I miss you all and I want you to know that I think about all of you everyday. Whenever I show my pictures to people they're just like wow... you have a really happy family. I'm really grateful for all of you and for how happy you are. Stay happy, and I'm way excited to hear from you next week.

-Elder pack

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011

Dear Family,

Well it was really great to hear from you as usual. It sounds and looks like the Christmas season is sneaking its way into regular life. I love Christmas time, it really just feels different. As missionaries we don't really do anything differently around Christmas we still have the same schedule, but something in the air just feels a little special. That is really cool what Frank's mission called him to encourage him to get out there. I know that when new missionaries come its just a huge party for everyone in the mission. I know that Frank will be a really great addition to the Armenian mission. I've been looking at some Armenian Books of Mormon and that language is nutso, but I think Frank will get it really fast. If you're diligent then even learning a foreign language is pretty easy.

This week was really awesome in the life of a missionary. We were able to have a little more time that usual to work in our area so that was nice. We also went to Daugavpils (I feel like I go there all the time these days) again this week in order to conduct a baptismal interview with a lady that just got baptized this last Saturday. I love conducting baptismal interviews! It's so cool to see people that are so close to baptism and there testimony is big enough for six people. This lady I did the interview with told me about her journey to baptism, how she had ran into the missionaries multiple times and as she had gotten closer to the church it just flipped her life over and made her such a better person. We were talking together a little bit about the persecution that she has been getting from friends, and she said something to me that was really cool that strengthened my testimony. She said "it doesn't matter what those other people say, something that does so much good can't possibly be false" It made me think a little bit. This Gospel really does so much good for everyone that lets it, the only people that have negative views are the ones that won't let it into their lives and thoughts. Elder Froelich and I also had a good week of finding. We were to find a couple new people from our new English club that we started and give them baptismal dates. I've really learned a lot about planning as a missionary. I've learned that if you really plan well and you work in order to achieve higher goals, not just work for that one day, you can really accomplish amazing things. I've been realizing a lot how ineffective I was before my mission. I would just live day to day, it made it really easy to talk myself out of important things, but if we have that higher goal and plans of how to reach it then everyday is so much more meaningful, and we can progress so much faster (random thought from Elder Pack haha :).

Thank you so much for all that you do for me I really appreciate it. I hope that you all have a great week. I did get your Christmas package by the way, I didn't really even consider the thought of waiting until Christmas to open it haha, I'm sorry if I ruined the surprise. It really made me happy. Thank you so much for all the treats, and the cds. I've already enjoyed the Josh Groban cd multiple times for the last few days.

With love,
Elder Pack

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow it sounds like you had a great week! I'm glad that you were able to have Thanksgiving with the family. Everything is changing a lot and things seem like they're pretty much the same at the same time. I do miss being able to spend Holidays with family, it really is the best part of Holidays. We had a really fun Thanksgiving as well, last week we had half of our preparation day on Monday and half of it on Thursday so that we could celebrate Thanksgiving. An American embassy family invited all the Riga missionaries over for a big feast. Happy Birthday MOM!!!! I hope that you had a great birthday! That's really cool that you were able to do so many family things during the weekend, I'm pretty jealous.

This week was a pretty crazy one over in the Baltics. We had so many different things that we had to go do that we barely got any work done. President Boswell sent us to Daugavpils to make a decision on an apartment, so that took a while. We also had to pick up a visa missionary from Russia, and get him where he needed to be. We also had zone leaders' council, and zone conference this week. So there was always some sort of business to be doing, but we also got some good missionary work done as well :). I've really learned a lot about the principle of planning as a missionary. It doesn't matter how much stuff you have going on you can have a really good day if you have meaningful planning. Zone leaders' council and zone conference was especially cool, because Elder Lawrence of the seventy was here. He gave a lot of really cool advice to us as zone leaders and a mission. General authorities are really enjoyable to listen to. Elder Lawrences wife gave the coolest talk I've every heard about the tribes of Israel. You'll have to remind me when I get home to share things that she told us about, because it would be very difficult to explain it over an email. I'm really grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary at this time in my life. I've really learned so many things, and I can really tell that its changed me so much. Thank you so much for all the support that you given me I really appreciate it :). I hope that you all have a great week. I remembered my camera today so I'll make sure to send you some pictures.

-Elder Pack

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 21, 2011

Wow it sounds like everything is going super well. I'm very glad to hear that. That's crazy that Alycia has her license now. Now I don't have to drive her to her friends' houses any more ;). That actually makes me a little bit sad. I hope that you get a lot of good snow this upcoming winter. I know that last winter was a good one. We'll all have to go on an awesome ski trip when I get back. It's weird being in the Baltics because you can't really feel the Holiday spirit. It makes me kind of sad. But my companions and I try to sing Christmas songs to keep the tradition. I've even learned how to make crepes :) which reminds me of Christmas every single time.

One of the cool things that happened this week was when we went and taught that father and his daughter. He's been doing very well at keeping commitments, he read 11 chapters in the Book of Mormon. It's really nice teaching an investigator that lives with a member, because she's able to explain a lot of things about our church while we're not there, and he has an instant friend in the church. Another cool miracle that happened with him (Sergei) this week as well is when we ran into his parents on the street. We didn't know it was his parents, but we were just going about our business and following our plans. We were standing at a bus stop and we were just like "Hello" (in Russian) and they just stopped and smiled at us way huge. After talking to them for a little while they were like "yeah, our daughter in law is actually a member of your church" and we found out that they were talking about ***** and his less active wife. We were able to get their address and they said that they really want us to come over to talk. It was a really cool miracle. It shows that by just being a member of the church you have a huge impact on the curiosity of family and friends.

I'm always way excited to hear from you every single week. This week is going to be a little extra crazy. Elder Froelich and I are getting sent on a mission to Daugavpils this week to find an apartment for and elder and his companion who with be moving there this week. Elder Lawrence of the Seventy is also coming and we're going to have a few meeting with him. I'll make sure to tell you how everything went, and share with you some of the impressions that I have. Have a great week!

-Elder Pack

November 14, 2011

Dear Family,

Hey! I'm glad to hear that things are good. That's awesome that Alycia had her sixteenth birthday this week, my lil' sis is all grown up :*(. I'm really happy though. That's so cool. She'll probably be a lot better of a driver than I ever was. Thanks for sharing that verse with me in Alma it is a very uplifting and inspiring verse. I know that the scriptures were written just for us, and I know that God can comfort and lift us with scripture. We just have to be the ones to take the time and sit down and read them. I know that there are some hard things going on right now, but everything will be ok :). To answer your questions about Elder Froelich; yes, we were in the same district together in the mtc, but ever since we've gotten to the field we haven't really served around each other. He's super awesome! He's from Virginia. It is pretty crazy. I've been really lucky to be with companions that are really cool my whole entire mission. I think it's because I got called to a really awesome mission and there is just no one here that I don't like.

This week was a really good one. Elder Froelich and I have been having a ton of fun working together as zone leaders. This last week we've been in the process of changing the English program here in Latvia so that took quite a bit of our time. But we still had some really good time for missionary work, and some really cool things happened. One of the cool things that happened this last week happened while we were teaching the husband of a less active member. He had read the beggining of the Book of Mormon and he really liked it, he told us that he's way excited to read more, he also brought over his daughter from his former wife, and she ended up being way interested in the message that we're sharing as well. That family is so super awesome. It's really incredible to me how much my love for people can grow as I get to know them, and as I try to help them come unto Christ.

Please remember that I always remember you and pray about you. Thanks so much for all that you do for me, and I hope you have a great week. When ever it gets tempting to get down just remember how many incredible blessing the Lord has given us, and how he wants us to be happy. I know that God loves our family and I know that he'll bless us.

-Elder Pack

Elder Thomas, Elder LaCroix, and Elder Pack

November 7, 2011

Dear Family,

It sounds like you had a pretty good week. I'm really sad that there were some sad things that happened, but I'm pretty sure that everything will work out in the end :). I'll make sure to pray for all of you and for everything that's going on... I'm glad that everyone had a successful Halloween. I love Halloween, and I really miss it being out here. That is also way super cool that my ski was found! That was some really good news. Thanks for all of the effort that you all put into finding it.

Well this week was super mega ultra awesome, with a hint of some sadness. As far as the sadness goes, Elder LaCroix is no longer my companion, he has left to Daugavpils... I'll miss him, but it's ok because I'm his zone leader so I'll get to see him when I go there on exchanges. But as far as the happiness goes I'm now with Elder Froelich. I was actually getting kind of scared that I would never get the opportunity to serve with Elder Froelich on my mission. I'm still in Riga as a zone leader, I'm pretty happy about it actually. This area is super super awesome, and this is like the best zone. There are a lot of very great missionaries in Latvia at the given time. The work is still moving forward. That man ****** is doing super great still, he just soaks everything in like a sponge. This week we had a really cool miracle while we were teaching him. He had just finished reading the story of the tree of life, and we asked him, "if you were to place yourself in this story what does it mean for you?" And he went on to tell us that 2 weeks ago he was wondering around in the field of darkness, but then we called out to him like Lehi calling out to Laman and Lemuel. And now he's holding onto the rod because we gave him the Book of Mormon and he's making his way to the tree of life "Baptism". It was so cool! He's doing amazingly well I'm so happy. The Zone is also doing incredibly well. I went and did a baptismal interview over in Imanta this last week and there's going to be a baptism this Saturday I'll make sure to get some pictures and send them to you. Elder Froelich and I have been working really hard to help lift and inspire the zone. And I really feel like things are going in a very upward and outward direction. Another cool thing that happened this week was when the first presidency approved the building of the first stake center of the Baltics. Because baptisms in the last year have gone up, especially on the side of member missionary work. I don't know when it will be done, but I'm super excited for the people here.

Well I'm glad that everything is going well over in little cache valley. I always love hearing from you and I'm excited to hear from you again next week.

-Elder Pack

October 31, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow I'm so happy to hear that everyone is doing so well. Thank you so much for the picture, stuff like that really means a lot to me. It's cool to see how much everyone is changing and growing, it's kind of a little depressing also haha. You'll have to let me know how your Halloween was this year. I remember last year you had a good time also. Were the kids able to figure out how to do adventure time? It's crazy to me that a year ago on Halloween I was in Vilnius. Time is going by so fast, it feels like that was just yesterday. In the Baltics they don't really celebrate halloween. Some little kids dress up and walk around, but no one gives out candy. I asked some Russians what would happen if I dressed up like a vampire and I knocked on doors asking for candy, they said that I would probably get arrested haha.

This week in the life of a missionary everything was awesome. Except for Elder Thomas has left the companionship and headed down to Vilnius. It was very unexpected because transfers aren't until this week, and we don't really know why it happened, but it did. The Assistants and President Boswell are always thinking up crazy ideas for transfers haha. On the missionary work side things were very awesome as well. The other day we were out finding and just knocking some doors as it was getting late. When we exited from one of the stairwells there was a way pretty sunset over the Daugava River so we walked a couple hundred feet over there and just looked at it. It's amazing, the most beautiful things in existence are God's creations. So after we got done looking at the sunset we started walking down a little path along the river when we ran into a man named ******. We started talking to him and we went over and sat down on a bench with him and talked about our church. When we were talking to him he told us that he went out in the morning that day and worked out and when he got home he really didn't want to leave his house again that day, but for some reason he really felt like he had to, and that's when we ran into him. We've taught him three times since then and he's read a ton in the Book of Mormon. One of the times we met with him we were like "we're going to teach you about a prophet named Joseph Smith" and he already knew everything about him because he read the pamphlet, he even knew the years when everything happened like finding the plates, and organizing the church it was incredible. He perfectly explained to us why the restoration was necessary and we had never taught him that before even once. He's doing incredibly well and we're very excited for what will happen in the future. It's amazing how the Lord puts you right where you need to be in order to find his children that are seeking for truth.

Thanks again for all that you do. I'm glad that I'm able to share all the cool things that are going on out here with you. It's also very nice to hear from you I hope that you have a great week.

-Elder Pack

October 24, 2011

Dear Family,

I'm glad to hear that everything is going so well. That's way cool that Frank and Alycia are getting their patriarchal blessings soon. Patriarchal blessings are actually a huge blessings. It gives us just a little glimpse of what God sees in us. He knows us better than we know ourselves and he knows our potential and he lets us see that a little bit. It actually reminds me, could you send me a copy of my patriarchal blessing when you send me a Christmas package, that would be awesome. Please pass a hello to Mariah also. I'm glad that people haven't just forgotten about me while I've been on the other side of the world haha. Could you also pass my congratulations to Nate and Sierra. That's way cool that they'll be having a baby. A new deck?!? that's going to be way cool, our barbecue possibilities are just going to be to the max now. To answer your question about the threesome, we'll probably only be together for about a week and a half more.

We had a great week this week. Elder Thomas, Elder LaCroix, and I are having a great time serving together! This week the Lord really blessed us in our finding. We were able to find three new investigators and we have some other people that are going to become new investigators really soon. Having two companions makes it so there's never a dull moment. I'll share a few cool things that happened this week. First of all we have an investigator named xxxxxxx who is doing very well. She told us a really funny story this week about when she got an impression to do something. It was a few weeks ago and she was laying in bed when she heard a really quiet small voice say "your pension has come, go check" so she got up and got dressed and went to go check the mail, but when she got there, there was nothing in the mail. She was really confused, so she just went back inside and got in bed and when she was laying there the little voice came back and just said "Sorry". It was so funny to hear, we laughed for quite a while. We also have an investigator who's getting baptized in November who we've been asking him to cut his hair for a long time now, and he finally did! We're also teaching a Texan! It's way cool. Elder Thomas found him about a week ago when he was on exchanges. We just taught him for the first time last night. He's way awesome. He's about 24 years old and he's here serving for a non-denominational missionary program. We had a way good lesson about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. He committed to read the Book of Mormon and we're meeting with him again tomorrow. It's a small world.

Thank you so much for all that you do. I hope that everything this week goes well. I pray about all of you every day and I'm glad to see that God has been answering my prayers. Have a great week.

-Elder Pack

October 17, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow I don't even know what to say anymore... Right when I read that Frank is going to Armenia all other thoughts in my head got erased and I don't know what to say any more. That is so cool! I'm really excited for him. I've heard Armenian before... It's nuts. I don't understand at all, and the alphabet looks like a whole bunch of h's turned upside down and backwards and stretched to different lengths. I do like the sound of it though. I've also met a few Armenians, and all the Armenians that I've met have been way nice so that's a good sign. One thing I would suggest for Frank is that he starts learning the alphabet and the sounds that the letters make and some vocabulary, it will make the MTC a lot less stressful. I'm really happy that I knew the alphabet and some grammar before I got to the MTC it was really nice. That's also way cool that Robbie was called as the second councilor in the Deacon's quorum. Everyone is just doing so well it makes me so happy. Except for Dad's shoulder... I hope that gets better soon.

This week was a lot of fun! We worked really hard, and taught some really cool people. We had a huge miracle with a less active member this week. Missionaries haven't met with her for a really long time, but we were able to start meeting with her a few weeks ago. This week we had a good lesson about the Gospel and how it blesses us. She said she felt the spirit way strong, and we were able to set up a lesson with her non-member husband this upcoming week because she wants him to be baptized so they can be sealed together as a family. It was really cool to see that when she felt the spirit it brought back all the great feelings that she's felt in the church before. She knows the Gospel is true and when she felt the spirit all of her desire came back. Missionary work is so awesome! I love it so much. I would never trade these experiences that I'm having for anything.

Thank you so much for all of the support and keeping me in your prayers. It means a lot to me and I know that it really helps a lot. I hope that you all have a great week. Keep me updated about how the mission prep is going, and tell me some cool facts that you find out about Armenia I'm way interested!

-Elder Pack

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011 - Pictures!








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October 10, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow I'm super pumped now!!! I'm way super excited for Frank to get his call! The mission really is the best two years. Maybe you shouldn't have told me because now I'll be way super impatient waiting for next week when I can hear where he's going. This will probably be a long week... I'm glad that everyone is having such a good time at home. I didn't know you had a wakeboarding mishap last year dad. I hope that the surgery goes well. Will you be out for a while? I'll keep you in my prayers. What exactly is wrong with your shoulder?
This week was a great week in the life of Elder Pack. I'm having a ton of fun with Elder LaCroix and Elder Thomas. It's so much fun to just lose yourself, so many incredible things can happen. We've been working really hard to reach our goals, and there’s been a lot of fruits coming from it. We've been teaching more lessons and finding a lot more people so lessons will continue to go up. It's kind of weird having it be fall again and remember last fall when I was with Elder Reeves. I've definitely come a long ways since then. We had no idea what we were doing and we were barely teaching anyone haha. Now I'm with another very experienced missionary (Elder Thomas) and a fire ball (Elder LaCroix) so a lot of amazing things are happening. It just seems like people's hearts are being opened. I'll share one miracle with you that happened this last week that is sticking out to me right now. A few days ago after we had just got done teaching a bunch of lessons and watching conference we had like 30 minutes to go find someone to teach so we just walked a couple blocks and started knocking. The very first door we knocked the man that answered let us right in. It was kind of funny cause when we were talking to him he was way curious how many people had let us in that day, and we were just like "everyone because this is the very first door that we've knocked all day". That really caught his attention, and we were able to testify that we are here called of God as his missionaries. We had a great lesson with him. He's really excited to read the Book of Mormon. We're going to pass him to Latvian speaking missionaries this week because he speaks Latvian better, but it was an awesome miracle. The Lord's hands are defiantly in this work.
Thank you so much for being awesome. I love hearing from you every week. I hope that my emails are kind of interesting for you to read also, and that I don't bore you too much. I hope that you have a great week. And I'm way excited to hear from you next week.

-Elder Pack

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 3, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow I was really worried when I read the heading of your email, but then it made me laugh when it was about football. It is too bad that the Aggies aren't doing too hot, but I bet everything will be fine. Elder Manning is getting home this coming winter, and he'll lead the aggies to great things. I'm happy to hear that conference was so good, but I guess that's not really a surprise, it's always great! I'm really excited to watch it this upcoming week. We just watch a session a day throughout the week with our districts. Conference on a mission is really really cool, I feel like I get so much more from it than I ever have in my life.

This week was a really great week. Elders Thomas, LaCroix, and I had a great week. Yes there are three of us. It is a little bit crazy, I feel kind of like I'm in a gang. I just walk around and when people are like "no I don't want to talk" Elder Thomas and LaCroix come out and are like "are you sure that's what you wanted to say?"... No I'm just kidding, we don't quite do that haha. It's just a lot of fun all the time though. Someone always has something fun to say, and when we talk about investigators we're basically in a council so we can get a lot of good ideas. Elder LaCroix brought the miracles with him though. We taught a lot of lessons this last week it was a lot of fun. We worked really really hard. We also had a really really cool miracle that I wanted to tell you about. A few weeks ago Elder Thomas and I went to stop by some people that said that the missionaries could come back. When we stopped by one guy it turned that he had moved away and a mom and her little family had moved in. We asked if maybe she would be interested to hear more and she said that she was. It didn't work out to teach her for the last little while, but the other night we stopped by and she let us in. We had a really good lesson about families and how the Gospel will bless her family. We invited her to be baptized to receive these blessings and she accepted, so we set up a lesson for the following day. When we went back the next day to teach her we found out that she had read half of the Book of Mormon the night before. She liked it so much she just stayed up all night reading. She's already gained a good testimony of the Gospel. We're very excited to work with her for the next while. I love missionary work.

Thanks for the email this week. It's always nice to hear from you. I hope that you have a great week, and I'm way excited to hear from you. As for what I need I think I'm pretty good. For Christmas I really liked last year how you sent me General Conference on cd. I'd really like that again, that's a suggestion I'd have. And I'd really like a copy of Josh Groban's Christmas cd maybe. That would be great! Thanks!

-Elder Pack

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

Dear Family,

Hey!!! Wow it sounds like it was a way awesome week, I'm happy to hear that all is going so well. I'm so happy that Frank got his papers in!!! I totally guess that he's going to Japan. I'm so excited for him... keep me posted. That's way too bad that Patriarch Israelson died. He really was a great man, I'm really happy that I was able to know him at least a little bit. I'm absolutely positive that everything will be fine for him in the life to come.

This week was a lot of fun. I was able to go to Daugavpils again on exchanges and you know how much I really love Daugavpils. I went with a missionary who's name is Elder Stucki, he just came out this last transfer, but we had a ton of fun, and a lot of success. I was also able to conduct an interview with an investigator who's getting baptized this next Saturday. It was especially cool, cause I taught him with Elder Gudmunson for the very first time when he was referred to us by the Branch President. It's really incredible to see how much the Gospel changes a person's life. His testimony is so strong, and his family is very supportive. His mom (not a member... yet) actually came to church with him this Sunday, and she was just so proud of the step he's taking in his life. As far as things in Riga go there was a really crazy thing we found out this week. Elder Thomas are going to be getting a trainee this upcoming Wednesday!!! It's way crazy I'm way excited to train with Elder Thomas. The new missionary's name is Elder LaCroix. He's from Nevada but that's all I know I'll make sure to keep you updated and let you know more about him next week. We also had a cool miracle, this week while we were knocking we ran into a really cool guy named Janik. He told us he'd come to church, that usually means that they won't, but he really did. It kind of threw us off guard. When we walked into the Sacrament chapel we didn't recognize him at all, so I sat down by him and started to get to know him. Then suddenly I realized that he was the man that we invited to church earlier in the week. The Lord really has been blessing Elder Thomas and I, I'm really excited for the upcoming weeks.
Thank you so much for emailing me everyweek, it's always way nice to hear from you. I hope that you have a great week. I'll try to send pictures again, lately it hasen't been recognizing my camera, so I'll probably have to buy a card reader or something like that they're way cheap so I'll probably try to do that today.

-Elder Pack

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011

Dear Family,

Sorry if one of my past emails confused you, we didn't get transfers until this last week, but now I can tell you what is going on! I'm still with Elder Thomas! Hurray! We're way excited to serve together for another transfer. Elder Thomas and I move a lot so we thought there was no way that we'd both go without moving somewhere. Actually our whole entire district stayed together, so that's really cool. I'm glad to hear that everything is going so well back at home. It sounds like everyone is having a way good time. I'm way excited to hang out with all of you when I get home.

This week in the life a Riga, Latvia missionary was really great. We found seven new investigators, and that made us really really happy. Elder Thomas and I have been very blessed while we've been together. We're also teaching a girl that I knew in Daugavpils, who lives here during the school year, she's doing well, and has a lot of potential. For some reason I'm having problems remembering specific things that happened this week that I can tell you... We had pretty cool miracle with a less active, who was actually the very first missionary from the Baltics. He just kind of lost his faith throughout the years and he's really into scientology these days. But this last week when we were teaching him he really opened up. He told us the concerns that he has, he also wants us to start serving him by teaching his wife and son English, and btw his wife and son are awesome! I think more miracles are coming. Another cool miracle that's happening is there's a kid that the other Elders are teaching, who's about to be baptized. He's a way nice kid, who Elder Koegler and I taught last year when we were together in Riga.

I'm going to take some time now to send you some pictures. Isn't it just about time that you got some haha. I'm sorry that I've been so bad at sending pictures home on my mission. I hope that you all had a great week. I also wanted to say a quick happy birthday to Robbie real quick. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBBIE!!!!!!!! Wow that's crazy that you're a teenager now, why did everyone have to start growing up so fast after left on my mission it's not cool. I'm glad that you had a great birthday, I made sure to say happy birthday on your birthday even though you couldn't hear it at all haha. Well have a great week everybody, thanks for all you do I'm excited to hear from you next week.

Well I'm really really sorry family, This computer for some dumb reason won't let me send pictures, it'll have to wait til next week :( sorry. I have some more good news though that I forgot to tell you in my email. There's a new missionary that just got here this last week by the name of Elder Braden Mickelson (He was a grade below me, and we ran cross country together) It was so awesome to be able to see him. He's just on the other side of the River, and as a zone leader I get to work with all the new missionaries in my zone. I'm way excited, this mission just got even cooler, and I thought it couldn't possibly get any cooler haha :)

-Elder Pack

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 12, 2011


Wow I got so many emails today from you and from my mission President that I won't be able to write you back that much. I'll just get to telling you how my week was and then just add a few comments at the end :).

This week was way awesome. We had 4 investigators at church!!! It was way awesome. 3 of them were in one family, Elder Thomas and I found on Saturday night, they're so cool! It's a mom, dad, and a little 10 year old girl. It seemed like they really enjoyed church, we're going to meet with them this week and we're really excited. We also had another really cool miracle this last Saturday. Elder Thomas and I decided to knock this giant apartment building (there are like a few hundred apartments in it), and while we were knocking we just found a ton of people (we found that family) and we also found another lady who was a huge miracle, here let me tell you about it. So we knock on this door and this lady just starts yelling at us from the inside, so we start walk away cause we thought she was just way mad at us, but then she opens the door and is like "oh... I want to talk to you guys". So we started talking to her of course. After a little bit she noticed that we had Books of Mormon and she was like "Wow no way I found one of those books on the street today, and I brought it home to look at it" She had found a book of Mormon on the ground next to a garbage can and it caught her attention and she took it home, that very same day. She went inside and brought out the weather worn and wet copy of the Book of Mormon that she'd found just to prove to us that it was true. It was just a giant miracle, we met with her yesterday and we have another meeting set up this Friday, we're way excited.

So that's just a few things that went down that were very cool, there was even more stuff but I don't have time to tell you sadly. I'm keeping a good journal so I can tell you all these things in the future :). As far as money goes, if I had about 100 dollars, I could get some cool stuff and send it to you. Just let me know when you put that money on and I'll get you some awesome baltic stuff, I'm the most excited to send you some Baltic candy :). Have a great week. I love all of you. Oh yeah and before I forget, Happy one day late birthday Frank! Congratulations! I'm glad you had a great birthday, you’ll have to tell me about the cool stuff you did and the cool stuff you got ;).

-Elder Pack

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 6, 2011

Dear Family,

I'm way super jealous that you all get to go to the cabin with Grandma and Grandpa Robinson, and Cardon this week. The other night I was walking along the street and a couple of people were having a fire in their back yard and it smelled exactly like the camp fires we have at Grandma and Grandpa's cabin, it make me think of all the great times we've had up there. That's definitely one of the first things that we're doing when I get back. I'm happy to hear that everyone is enjoying school, I remember the first few weeks of school were always a lot of fun. It was way awesome to see all the friends I didn't see all summer.

This week was a pretty good one in the life of Elder Pack. Every week on my whole mission has been a pretty good one haha. It's way to much fun to not just love everyday. We're still working with Svetlana #2 and she's doing really well. She really wants to be baptized and this last week she found a really strong answer in the Book of Mormon and just has a new desire to keep going. We're very excited for her we think all will go well. We also found a really cool guy this week named Janis, who's way way way cool. He has a family and is very believing. We just promised him a lot of blessings and the gift of the Holy Ghost and he really wants that in his life. We talked about baptism our last meeting and he agreed to be baptized next month. Kengarags is just the land of miracles, Elder Thomas and I are having a blast here together. It's crazy to think that this transfer is ending really soon, time just goes by faster and faster.

Dad I'm sorry I actually don't remember the address to my apartment I'll definitely tell you when I find out. Hey I was wondering if I could ask you all a favor... could you maybe take some time to write me and tell me about some miracles or just really great experiences that you've had in your life because of attending church on Sunday, especially when it's difficult? That would be awesome. Well I'm out of time because I'm heading up to Seagulda with my district today to look at castles it will be way sweet! Have a great week.

-Elder Pack

August 29, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow it sounds like everything is going well. I'm happy that the kids are having fun in school so far. I remember that the first couple weeks of school were always a lot of fun. That's way awesome that aunt Janet is getting married pass my congradulations on for me. I hope that all goes well, I'm excited to meet the guy. Thank you also for sending me Daniel's emails it's really cool to be able to hear how he's doing, and how the work is moving along in Adalaide Australia.

This week was really fun. We had a baptism!!! It was so good. I'm so happy that I was able to be there for the begginning and for the baptism :). I got some good pictures (sadly I don't have the possibility to send them, I'll try next week). She was just so happy, I was so happy, Elder Thomas was way happy... Everybody just was way way way happy. There was a good turn out for the baptism (more than I've seen on any baptism here in the Baltics). We had a really good program. A lot of members helped and gave talks and testimonies it was really neat. Elder Thomas and I were also able to sing a duet of "Lead Kindly Light" it was a lot of fun. I've really grown to like singing a lot on my mission. Especially spiritual songs they just have really amazing lyrics that make me think a lot. Everything is going really well with Svetlana #2. She still has a really strong desore to get baptized so we're excited that her baptism is getting closer and closer. Missionary work is so much fun, I'm so happy that I'm able to give two years for the Lord's work. Especially when I can really feel the lord working through me, it's an awesome opportunity.

Well I can try to give you some more ideas for your talk mom. One aspect of missionary work that is just so cool is the amazing friendships that you make during this two years. I've made so many friends among all the missionaries that I'm serving with. And some of my best friends in the whole world are people that I've met here. It's just crazy to me that I would have never known these people if I wouldn't have come on a mission. I would never trade away the friendships that I've made on my mission. I hope this thought gives you some more ideas for you sharing time this upcoming Sunday :).

Have a great week!

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 22, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow sounds like a pretty week. I'm way jealous that Frank got to go to Oregon and make friends with homeless people that sounds like a party. Except I'm ok with it cause I get to meet a bunch of homeless people in kengarags latvia ;p. That's crazy that school is starting so soon. It seems like time just flies by. Is it starting this week?
I'm having a blast here in Riga. It's so much fun! Svetlana passed her baptismal interview this last week and she's getting baptized this upcoming Saturday. I'm so excited! She is so awesome. It's way incredible how much the Gospel has changed her life for the better. Everyone that I've seen progress all the way to baptism is changed so much for the better. I remember when we met Sveta on the street a few months ago she was way super shy and didn't really know anything about the Gospel. Now she's really opened up and has an incredibly deep knowledge of the Gospel. Every day I really how absolutely tiny my role in conversion is. I kind of just stand there and if they're ready to receive the Gospel then the Holy Ghost will work on them. I'm just happy that I can be in places where the Holy Ghost can work through me. I'll make sure to send you some pictures of the upcoming baptism! We also had a way crazy awesome miracle this last week. Last Tuesday we got a call from some other Elders that are in our zone, and they passed us a name from someone who was in their area from a long time ago. Her name is also Svetlana. We taught her three times this week, and now her, her son, and a family friend have baptismal dates! They are just so prepared. It just super strengthened my testimony that people change through time and God really works on people. Three years ago when she was investigating the church she just wasn't quite ready but this time around she's ready to do all the things necessary to find out if this Gospel is true. There's also another way cool miracle that I just found out about yesterday: Tanya up in Tallinn (who Elder Waddoups and I started teaching) is getting baptized this weekend also!!! Miracles never stop in missionary work. I'll take some time to answer the questions that you asked me now.
1. How late does it stay light there in the summer. I am assuming since you are about at the same latitude as northern Canada that it stays light for a while. That is probably pretty cool. And pretty dark in the winter. Yeah it's pretty crazy during the Summer you never see dark (at least as a missionary) One time I woke up at 3 in the morning to go to the bathroom and it was already getting light haha. And in the winter it's about the exact opposite. It gets completely dark at about 4 p.m. It's a lot of fun. I love the seasons here.
2. Tell me more about your companion. What does he like? What is his family into? My companion is really cool! He's really into music. He's really good at the piano and he did choir. I can't quite put my finger on what his family likes to do, but it sounds like they just love spending a lot of time together. He's the second to youngest out of 9 kids so a lot of his siblings are married and moved out, since he was a little kid. He went to Utah State! so that means we just have an automatic bond of love for each other and hate for BYU.
3. Tell me more about your mission president. What is your favorite thiing about him? He's just a way personable guy he really cares about each and every one of us. He's way funny, and he loves to tell stories, so it's really easy just to sit there and listen to him tell us what the olden days were like haha.
*4. These are just a few thoughts for mom's request: I'd say that the biggest way that my mission has blessed me is with my understand. I understand so much better the how and the why God does the things he does. I can see that He has a plan for each and every person. I more fully understand the power of priesthood, and the blessings of the Atonement. I don't know how to explain my thoughts right now way well. I'm just trying to say that before my mission I was a fool and didn't understand (even though I thought I did) but now I can see how much my eyes have been opened. It also has blessed me so much with desire in my life. Every day I just want to be a better person. I want to improve in every possible aspect, and with the help of the atonement that is all possible. I'm sorry if those ideas don't help you a lot, or if they're not understandable haha.
Well thanks for the email, and thanks for being awesome. Have a great week. I love you.

-Elder Pack

Monday, August 15, 2011

More Pictures

Vladislav's Baptism

Ivanovs Family Baptism

August 15, 2011

View from the Tallin Teaching Center
Elder Pack with the Branch President in Tallin
Elder Pack with Aleksander
Elder Pack in front of Estonian & Russian castles
Dear family,
Wow it's a lot better getting 6 emails instead of zero haha. Wow it sounds like you're all having a great time. I wish I could have gone with you to Red Fish lake with you that would have been a lot of fun, but that's ok because we'll just have to go next year *hint hint*. Dad I totally forgive you for losing my ski because you've put so much effort into finding it again. I'll just have to save up so money and get some new ones. It's ok though, for some reason on my mission I'm just getting way excited to be a lot better of a worker than I was when I was at home. Missions teach you a lot about working hard even if you don't want to. So I'll be able to save up some money. It's great that there are so many awesome things happening at home, it's crazy that school is starting up so soon, is seems like yesterday when last school year was starting.
The Baltics are just wonderful this time of year. It's not too hot and not too cold. People seem like they want to listen more, and I'm in Riga, one of the coolest places on earth. I hope that you can all see the Baltics one day, after Robbie and Frank serve their missions we can save up some money and just go on a mission tour of all of our missions. This week was a really good one. There was actually a really crazy miracle that I want to tell you about right now that has been happening for the last little while. Two transfers ago I was down in Riga for a zone leaders' council and I ended up forgetting my passport so I got stuck here in Riga for a few days. During that time I was with a couple really cool Elders: Elder Moffat and Elder Williams. We had a way miracle day and found a lot of really cool people. One of the people we found was a lady in a park (who we wouldn't have been able to teach if there wouldn't have been three of us) Which makes it a really huge miracle that I forgot my passport because Elder Thomas and I are teaching her right now and she's getting baptized next week! It's very incredible the ways that the Lord can work through you, even if it's something that seems annoying like forgetting your passport while you're in another country. I'll for sure keep you updated, and send you pictures when it happens.
Which reminds me. I brought my camera today! I can finally send you some pictures of my adventures in Tallinn haha. Thank you so much for all the great emails from all of the kids, it's actually a way awesome coincidence because I sent some little letters to all the kids this morning, and I actually talked about a lot of the stuff that they talked about in their emails haha. Have a great week, I love all of you!
-Elder Pack
P.S. Robbie I don't really have a lot of way good ideas for your talk, but I can definitely make a few comments. Gratitude is a way cool subject and I'm sure that you can find some really cool stuff on it, especially from President Monson's talk that was a year ago. One of the coolest things that I've noticed about gratitude is that if you make sure to always show your gratitude you won't have regrets after you're away from those people. Gratitude has an amazing changing effect on the person giving and the person receiving. When we express our gratitude we focus more on the people's good attributes and strengths than their weaknesses and flaws, our love towards them in turn grows and we can find things in that person that will help us grow. And when others show gratitude towards us we feel that love from them. As we get compliments for what we did well we want to do even better, we improve a lot faster than if that gratitude is always withheld. Those are just a couple ideas I hope that they help

August 8, 2011

Hey family!

Thanks for the emails that you sent me last week and this week. I'm sorry that I checked my email before I got all those great emails from you. It was ok though because I really had no time to be on the computer. I'm glad to hear that things are going well back at home. I'm happy that I'm able to serve and stay happy all the time because I know that everything is just going wonderful at home. It's crazy to me that school is starting up again so soon. It feels like school just barely got over like last week, time flies.

As you can tell from the subject of my email I'm in Riga again!!! We just had transfers this last week (they are going by faster and faster). I'm still a zone leader but now I'm in Riga center with Elder Thomas. He's so awesome! We actually came on our missions at the same time. I'm way excited to be serving here in Riga again. I'm actually in a different area this time, I'm in the south part of Riga in an area called Kengarags. I'm definitely sad to have left Tallinn, but it's ok maybe I'll make it back there someday. We have a couple people that are working towards baptism and we found a few really cool people this week. There was a really cool miracle that happened this week that I wanted to share with you. I actually didn't even see it but it was an awesome miracle. I don't know if you remember any of the investigators that I was teaching while I was in Daugavpils, but we had an investigators whose name was Nina. But anyways since I'm Zone leader in Latvia I get to hear all the things that are going on around the country. And a wonderful thing happened this last Saturday... Nina got baptized!!! I'm so happy I couldn't stop jumping up and down and hugging everybody. Elder Thomas was getting kind of upset haha. So that's a cool miracle, I'm glad I was able to play a small part in her conversion. Elder Thomas, my new companion, is so awesome. He's from Twin Falls Idaho (that explains how cool he is). He has a really big family and he's like the fifth missionary out of his family, that's some good tradition. I'll finally be able to send you pictures now that I'm out of Tallinn, but I'm in such a bad habit of bringing my camera to emailing that I totally forgot it. But I'll make sure to send you pictures next week of a bunch of the adventures that I went on in Tallinn.
This week I've been thinking a lot about the how we look at things has basically everything to do with how things go. Does that make any sense? I'll try to explain. For example when we go around and complain about how nothing goes right and we look for the bad in every body, the entire world to us looks like a way evil place. But when we go around and look at the world in a positive way we can really see all the wonderful things that we've been blessed with. We can see the potential that everyone has. I also think that it ties a lot to our faith. If we just look at the world for a little bit with faith, and just letting the thought into our head that this really is the work of God then our whole understanding gets opened. The world all of a sudden becomes a great place to be. We know that we have limitless potential and that makes us work harder. We know that everything happens for a reason and for our good and that makes the biggest problems not seem as huge. It's not the world that changes at all, it's us. Sorry if that doesn't make a lot of sense I just wanted to share my ideas.

Have a great week I'm excited to hear from you next week.

-Elder Pack

July 25, 2011

Dear Family,

It sounds like things are going pretty well at home, and that makes me happy. That lesson you gave in Primary mom sounds like it was a really good one. I wish I could have been there to hear it. Pioneers were amazing people, and its true what you said we all have the opportunity to be pioneers in our day. We effect so many people around us, a lot more than we sometimes than we even realize. If we can effect these people in positive ways we can change so many peoples' lives for the better. I've realized this a lot on my mission just looking at all the missionaries around me and how much they've changed my life for the better. As they're positive towards the work and notice all the blessings it really helps me notice all the blessing and enjoy the work with them. It's so hard to move forward when people are negative or focused on things that aren't that important in the given moment. We need to try to be the person who's a good influence and not the one who drags others down with them. Now that I'm thinking about it there are different kinds of pioneers, because the word pioneer doesn't automatically mean that they were a good example. This makes me think of Laman and Lemuel from the Book of Mormon. They were definitely pioneers... They traveled to a new world, they taught by example, and they greatly affected the lives of so many people, but it was in a very negative way. It just shows us that our examples are so impactful, what kind of impact do we want to make? We're all pioneers we just have the choice to be like our great ancestors, or to be like Laman and Lemuel. Thanks for the great lesson you helped me just learn mom :).
Our investigator Tanya is still on the right path towards baptism, she just accepted the word of wisdom and is doing everything she can to follow it. Tanya even came to church a full hour early yesterday in order to avoid the bad influences of the people in her home that smoke and drink. She's taking all the necessary steps and progressing really quickly. It's amazing to see the desire that the Gospel gives to people. As we learn more our desire grows, and as our desire grows we change. Change is the miracle of this Gospel, and I've seen that so much out here in the Baltics. No matter who we were, or what has happened in our lives it doesn't matter, all that matters is who we are today, and what our intentions are for tomorrow. This week Elder Waddoups and I had a great opportunity to go to Riga for a leadership conference (it feels like we're traveling every day somewhere) We learned about the importance of Gospel study, and ways we improve our studies. Not just now but for our whole lives. My mission is funny to me it's changing my whole outlook on everything. Before my mission studies were so lame and boring, but now I find more joy from studying the bible dictionary and Jesus the Christ than I ever did from video games or t.v.
Thanks for all the support and for all the good stories that you tell me on your email. Have a great week, I'm excited to talk to you next week.
-Elder Pack

Friday, July 22, 2011

June 26, 2011

Dear Family,
Wow it sounds like everyone is doing really great back home. It always makes me way happy when you all write me. I don't even know what I can say to you about everything that you told me. I'm just way happy that I'm in the same family as you all. It's always so fun to hear about all the things that you have been up to. I hope that everything goes well and that you cotinue to have a great time for the next year, then your Reggie vacation is over haha. I love you all and I'm so glad that you help me so much.
Wow I finally had something to say to you, and President Dance told you all that stuff so now I have nothing to say haha. I'll answer your questions and I'll try to think of something cool that happened this week.
1. Are you still in the same apartment in Tallin? Yes I'm in the same apartment and I'm way happy about it because moving is a huge pain haha.
2. Who is your new companion and where is he from? My companions name is Elder Waddoups and he's from Clearfield Utah. He's way awesome he came out on his mission about 3 months before I did.
3. Are you both zone leaders, or are you the zone leader and is he your companion? (When I did it we had zone leaders as companions.) Yeah we're both zone leaders so that's awesome. I really like it a lot cause we work together to help our zone and fulfill our responsibilities, when I was with Elder Koegler we had different responsibilities so we couldn't really work together on this stuff.
4. Do you have any more conferences before President Dance leaves? We actually only have one more conference this Tuesday. It's a zone leader's conference and it will just be on skype. This upcoming transfer will be crazy though, because we have a few conferences in Riga with the changing in mission Presidents, and we have to go to Narva on exchanges and stuff, so there will be a lot of bus riding going on. I'll make sure to keep you updated on all the adventures comming up.
5. What are the temperatures and the weather like? Are you in short sleeves yet? The last couple of weeks it's actually been really rainy, but I LOVE it!!! It's so nice just cool enough to wear our suits and just warm enough to not be cold at all. I'm not excited for the hot that is probably comming soon. A few weeks ago it got really hot like 30 Celcius, and it was just miserable. I hope it stays cool for a while longer.
Wow I am so sorry I couldn't think of any cool stories to tell you. Besides transfers (which you know all about) there wasn't anything special that happened. We taught some people, some people yelled at us, and we had a great time. Oh yeah I remember a funny thing that happened this week. We went over and taught a guy. He was way funny, and kind of crazy. We didn't really know what to do with him. When he said the opening prayer he just talked about how much he absolutely loves Americans, and how his biggest desire in the whole world is that President Obama was his President. He has a was strong desire to be baptized, but he said it's because if he becomes a mormon then it means it will be so much easier for him to become an American. He was a way nice guy, I'll make sure to tell you how he's doing in the future if he's progressing.
But yeah that's all I could think of. Thank you so much for writing. Have a great week!

Elder Pack

July 18, 2011

Dear Family:

We had a great week this week. We lost a few of our baptismal dates, but we have a few people that are on the right path. We have an investigator named Zhenya, and he's going to get baptized next week. I was in Narva this last week on exchanges it was a lot of fun. You should look up pictures of Narva it's a way beautiful place. I would send you pictures, but the computers where we are don't let me. I'll have to wait until I leave Tallinn to send you pictures sadly, but I'm taking some so don't worry. I decided what I'll do in place of this lame email; I'll write you a letter to make up for it. Oh yeah also by the way before I have to go, I got Jenna's package! Thank you so much! It was a really nice surprise I use the little ceramic bowl to hold my change it's quite handy. Have a great week. I'm sorry I have to leave before I can get your email. I'll write you a letter.

-Elder Pack

July 11, 2011

Dear Family,

There are always so many neat things going on at home when I get emails for you. It always makes me way happy to hear that so many people going on missions and that is so good. No one who has the opportunity to go on a mission should pass it up, it's worth it in so many ways. I've come so much closer to God in so many ways that I didn't even think were possible. I've made so many amazing friends and I've had so many amazing/crazy experiences. When you go on a mission you have stories and experiences that you can learn from and have stories from for the rest of your life. I just got that picture of Sean with his mission president, that made me so happy! No one who goes on a mission and does what they were supposed to ever regrets it. Jenna good luck playing the violin in church! You'll do great! I'm way jealous of Robbie and Alycia I want to go to scout camp way bad those were so much fun.

This week in the field was a pretty good one. Elder Waddoups are working really hard trying to fulfill our purpose as missionaries. We taught quite a few lessons. I'll just tell you one of the miracles that happened this week. This last week we had a way way way cool activity at the church. It was just a big game night with a whole lot of snacks. We had a really good turnout of non-member youth, and they really enjoyed it. A kid of one of the members came (his first contact with the church) and he really really enjoyed it. She came to church on Sunday and was like "my son wants to be baptized" It was incredible. We also had a few people with baptismal dates show up and they really enjoyed themselves. The Lord is really working and softening the hearts of the people here in Tallinn. One of our investigators also brought a friend, we were able to meet with him. He has a huge desire to change and he knows that if he joins this church it will really bless his life. He's working towards baptism on the 20 of August.

Sorry the email won't be as long as usual this week. We have a lot going on this week that we have to get ready for so we have no time. Tomorrow we're going to Riga for a zone leader's council and 6:30 a.m. then on Wednesday we're heading to Narva to do some exchanges and do a baptismal interview. I wanted to just talk about one thing that I've been studying that has really been impacting my service and my attitude (in a good way) I've been studying about Gratitude, and it's really been amazing the impact that gratitude not just on yourself, but on everyone around you. If we're grateful for the people that are around us it's impossible to have any negative feeling towards those people. And as we give people encouragement and sincerely compliment them it can really change their life in an very positive and dramatic way. As I've found things to be grateful for in everything it's really changed my whole look on life. The Prophet was really inspired to give that talk on gratitude two conferences ago it's a very God-like principle. Thanks for all you do have a great week.

-Elder Pack

July 4, 2011

Dear Family,
Wow there are a lot of crazy adventures going on at home it sounds like. I hope that everything will be ok, and I know that everything will be ok. Jenna you didn't need to send me anything but thank you! You really are one of the very best sisters anyone could ever ask for. I'm still trying to find something that you would really like for your birthday, I know I've already missed it but I'll get something sent eventually. I just don't have a lot of time to look for stuff, but I have some good ideas. That's way too bad that Grandma isn't feeling very well, please tell her that I love her and that I'm praying for her.
This week here in the mission field has been a ton of fun. President Boswell has come in and he's so cool! He came up here this last Saturday we had a zone conference and he stayed for Sunday. It was way cool being able to be a zone leader because I got to spend quite a bit of time around him. He's way funny and just way inspirational. This week was also way crazy because I got to go on a two day exchange with one of the Assistants. He name is Elder Grahm. He's from Georgia (USA) and he's like 6' 10". We had a lot of fun working together he taught me a lot. I wanted to tell you a really cool miracle that has been going on for the last couple weeks, and when Elder Grahm was with me the miracle just amplified. Well it all starts when I was with Elder Koegler, on the day he was leaving down to Lithuania. We had a couple of hours before his bus was heading out so we decided to go out and contact on the beach up in an area called Kopli (it's very pretty) We weren't having a lot of success it actually just felt like we had been walking and not talking to anybody (cause no one was there due to bad weather). So right as we were leaving the beach we saw a lady with her dad and pushing a little kid in a stroller. They were really out of the way and we had already past by, but Elder Koegler and I both felt like we had to go back and talk to them. So we awkwardly turned around and went back, and started to talk to them. We soon came to realize that Inna (the mom) was really really prepared to listen to what we have to say. She went on to tell us that three years ago the missionaries had come over but she was so distraught over a tragedy that had taken place in her life she just couldn't believe in God so she told them to leave. But now she says that the tragedy has strengthened her, and she knows that God put her through that because it helped her grow, which has blessed her life. So she said that she really wants to meet and she's ready to follow the things that we are teaching. But that's not even the fullness of that miracle it turns out that her boyfriend's mom is a member (very active and solid) of our church. So we were way excited to meet with her, but she is just so busy that it's been really really hard to meet with her for the last couple weeks. But yesterday when I was on exchanges with Elder Grahm a lesson finally worked out. So we took the member that she knows and the Branch President. We had a way good lesson about God and baptism, and she said she has made it to the point that she is ready to be baptized! We were just so happy, so I really hope and pray that she can make all the steps towards baptism, she has a lot of support. I just remembered another amazing miracle that happened this week that I really want to share with you I hope that I have time (I only have an hour total) the other day, I think on Tuesday, Elder Waddoups were out doing missionary work. We had just got done teaching an active member, and we had about 45 minutes to stop by someone. So we went stop by this lady that we had found the other day with a really cool little family. Sadly her children were sick so we weren't able to talk to her, so we left that apartment and went out on the road. I was flipping through the book we had been making of all the doors we have knocked and what the people said, and I noticed that we hadn't finished knocking the whole building yet. So we decided to go back and finish cause we had some time. When we got to the second door a lady answered and said she wouldn't be interested but her neighbor would really be interested in talking with us, so we got her name and went to talk to her. When we started talking to her she told us that we had answered her prayers. She had seen us walking around and she wondered why we had never stopped by her. And she had seen us earlier when we were trying to stop by that lady and she was outside smoking. She saw us walk away out onto the street so she went inside and prayed to God wondering why he had never sent us to her and when we came back and knocked on her door she was so happy that God had heard her prayer. We met with her the other day and she is so excited to meet with us and work towards baptism because it's "what God wants her to do". I'm glad that God was able to work through us to find these people and when we just go out and work God puts people in our paths. We actually have 3 people that accepted dates to be baptized this week but I don't have to time to tell you the third story he's a really cool guy.
Thank you so much for the email I'll try to answer your questions real quick because we have no time left. We had a lot of really crazy stuff that we had to do today and so I have to be done soon.
1. How was your Skype meeting with the President? It was a lot of fun. We talked about the goals for the mission. It was really cool being a leader for that so I was able to take part.
2. What is your exercise like? Do you exercise every day or do youjust walk a lot? yeah we exercise every day, I find myself doing a lot of pushups and sit-ups because I'm to lazy to do other stuff haha. We also walk a lot. I rode in a car the other day (when I was with the assistants) for the first time in a long time it was way crazy I was kind of freaking out haha.
3. How are your suits and shoes etc holding up? Do you need anything? As of right now everything is fine, I'll let you know if I need anything though.
I love you all thanks for everything

-Elder Pack

June 23, 2011 - Transferred

Dear Brother & Sister Pack:

Your missionary, Elder Reginald Pack, has been given a new assignment in the Baltic Mission. As of 23 June 2011, he has been serving as a Zone Leader in the Tallin 2nd District of the Tallin Estonia Zone. He will be responsible to lead elders and sisters serving in three districts.

Elder Pack is a great missionary and we are very pleased to have him in the Baltic Mission. However, this new assigment will bring additional growth, and will give him wonderful opportunities as he prepares for a life of priesthood service.

With warm regards,
Douglas Dance, President
Baltic Mission

June 20, 2011

Dear Family,

I need to come up with better ways to start my emails I've started them the same way for the last year. I'm sorry that sometimes my emails aren't that interesting. This might be one of those emails... just a warning. There are a lot of really crazy things going on at home it seems like. It makes me sad that some people are suffering right now. Please let them know that I wish all the best for them and I'll for sure keep them in my prayers. It gives us a lot of comfort to know that God loves them so much, and whatever happens if they make it through with faith it will all be added together for their good. As far as predictions go I don't really have any idea haha. I think that April will go to Germany, and Frank will go somewhere in the Asian countries. I don't know exactly why but Elder Koegler agrees with me.
This week was a pretty uneventful week here in Tallinn. We went out and did missionary stuff haha. Sadly not a ton happened, but we tried as hard as we could. It's crazy because transfers are happening this week. I feel like I barely got with Elder Koegler like a week ago. Time goes by so fast when you're on a mission. Time has never flown by as quickly as it has on my mission. Sadly I probably won't be with Elder Koegler next transfer, and probably not in Tallinn either. I'll make sure to let you know where I am next monday. I also wanted to apologize that I've been the worst missionary son ever at sending pictures home, but I swear it wasn't my fault this time at all. The camera I got doesn't connect with the computers where we email (a lot of the missionaries' cameras don't). Wow I really wish I had something cool to tell you but I really don't. I'm so sorry. I guess I cleaned my apartment today (mom would be proud haha). I'm sorry I'm really bad at writing emails sometimes. Have a great week I'm so greatful for all that you do. I'll make sure to have a really good email saved up for you next week. Good luck with all the things you're doing.
-Elder Pack

June 14, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow it sounds like you're all doing so well and that makes me so happy. It's still just so crazy to me that everyone is growing up so fast. When I left everyone was still pretty young, but now they're all growing up so fast. It's weird being over here on a mission cause I don't really feel like I'm getting older, so I just feel like I'm staying the same while everyone else is passing me up. That's way good that Jenna had a really fun birthday, but I still don't know what you mean by a nano ipod with a touch screen. I'm just a missionary stuck in the stone ages while everyone else is just shooting foward in technology. How can you even put a touch screen on something so small. Jenna are you way happy to be a whole ten years old? What was your favorite part about your birthday? That's awesome that frank gets to try to go boating with his friends for his senior trip. I remember my senior trip that was so much fun. I bet he's just having a blast.

This week in missionary work was quite a bit of fun. We had zone conference yesterday which was way way way awesome. It was kind of sad though because it was our last zone conference with president Dance, he's leaving in about 2 weeks. He told a lot of cool things about lessons he's learned as a mission president, and how they got there call it was really cool. I just want to share one of the things he shared with us really quick. He told us that he learned the two most important directions are foward and out. We need to always need to be working forward doing everything we can to make our future successfull and happy in the Gospel. And we need to look out and care about others not look in and care only about ourselves. He's a great mission president and I've had a way good time serving with him. We also got a new branch president this week in the Tallinn Branch. His name is ****, he's 24 years old and a returned missionary. We (as missionaries) are way way excited for the potential the branch has right now. There is just a whole bunch of energy going into missionary work right now from the members and miracles will come.

I'm just going to answer those questions really quick that you asked me about dad. What do you admire about your dad? As I grow up more and more I admire dad more and more. I reallize that all the advice he gave me was actually right haha. I really admire that he is able to balance so many things in his life and still do it with such a good attitude. He works every day, but still finds time for his family. He always took time for me and always made me laugh. It was never embarrasing to be around him when I had friends over, in fact it a was a lot better because we had more fun. I really admire that he is able to support us and help us when we need it. What are some things you have learned from him? I've learned that it doesn't matter what's "cool" or "appealing" to the world or to other people you can make the things that are actually important like "family" just as cool as any of those other things. I've learned that caring about those close to you brings more happiness than anything else. I've also learned being a good example to others is just so important, because his example of going on a mission, raising a family, and living by the principles of the gospel has really blessed my life and gives me such a stronger desire to want to be just like him for my future family. I just have the best dad in the world, I love you dad.

Thank you so much for everything you do for me everybody. By the way I did get those shirts thank you so much they'll really come in handy. Thanks for the shaving brush I've been wondering if I'd ever get it ;). But seriously thanks for everything you do for me I'm way excited to hear from you next week. Have a great week!

-Elder Pack

June 5, 2011

Dear Family,

I'm sorry that I'm writing this email a day late this last week was just full of crazy adventures. I'm really happy to hear that everyone is doing so well back at home. I don't know what I have to say about how fast the family is growing up. It feels like I left and the next day everyone decided to grow up really fast! It's crazy that summer has come around. I still don't quite know what I think about summer yet. Jenna's birthday has come around! I won't get an opportunity to tell you a happy birthday again before your birthday comes up. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You've enterred a new decade! (I don't even know how to spell anymore). I'll make sure to send you something for your birthday.

This week was just full of a whole bunch of crazy adventures. First of all I went down to Riga for a leadership meeting with President Dance like last Wednesday, it was a way good meeting. I learned a ton about how I can magnify my calling as district leader and how I can work better with other leaders in the mission. The only problem was I forgot my passport, haha, so they wouldn't let me get on the bus to go back to Tallinn. So because of that I was stuck in Riga for three days instead of the half day I was suppossed to be there haha. I got to work with Elder Moffet so that was just way super awesome. We just went around talking to everyone gave a couple baptismal dates. So that was a cool opportunity to take part in a bunch of miracles because I got stuck in Riga. So then I came back to tallinn with an Estonian speaking sister missionary that was in Riga for some business. Her name is Sister Smith she's really cool, but it was just way super weird sitting on a bus with just a sister missionary. I haven't been around only girls for a full year so I'm just a way super huge weirdo now. So that means that I got home on Friday evening. And just on Monday I had to go back to Riga for mission conference haha. It's like a four and a half hour bus ride to get to Riga from Tallinn so I was on a bus a lot for the last few weeks. The mission conference was just incredible by the way. It's like the first time in 3 years that they've done a full mission conference, and that's pretty often for mission conferences. Elder Lawrence from the quorom of the seventy came and spoke to us, and also President Clayton from the presidency of the seventy came. It was a really neat experience. They are amazing men and just listening to them strengthened my testimony so much. Just the way that they answered all of our questions using scriptures and all the good advice they gave us was just way uplifting. It was also way super cool to be able to see all the missionaries from Latvia and Lithuania again. I haven't seen the Lithuanian missionaries for a way long time so that made me really happy. I got some good pictures that I want to send you. I finally brought my camera so I'll make sure to send those. So that's basically what happened this week. We taught a few really cool lessons. Things are still going really well with some of our investigators so that should be cool.

Thank you so much for the emails you send me. Just so you know I won't be able to email until Tuesday also next week, because we are having a zone conference up here in Tallinn next Monday. There are a lot of conferences going on during this time right before president Dance leaves. Have a great week!

-Elder Pack

May 30, 2011

Dear Family,

I'm really happy to hear that everyone is doing so well back at home. I guess I shouldn't even wonder how things are going because every single week for this whole year that I've been gone everything has just been fantastic with you. That's way crazy that Frank is graduating this week. He's growing us so fast *tear. I remember when I graduated it feels like yesterday but it was already 2 years ago. Life goes by so fast I've really noticed that as a missionary. Congradulations Frank you made it... Even though some doubted ;). I've never understood the soccer that you play without goalies on a really tiny field. That's too bad that Alycia lost but it's all good in about two days she'll forget all about it. I don't remember any of my sporting victories or losses haha. Robbie you are just rediculous!!! How are you growing so fast? You better start slowing down or you'll look kind of weird at 10 feet tall. It will be way inconvenient to walk through doors also. Jenna I hear your the master chef. I'm excited to get home and you can make a big delicious cake. Are you up for that? Thanks for putting in so much effort to find my skiies I know you didn't lose them on purpose. It sounds like you get to go on a lot of cool adventures because of it though. I just have one question... was it way hard to get down the mountain on one ski if it was a way good powder day?

Everything over here is just going so well right now. **** got baptized and I'm just so happy. But you're right I think I don't think I can be as happy as he is. He just came out of the water with the biggest smile. He got confirmed yesterday at district conference and he was just like "it's incredible I feel even better than I did yesterday". He's so excited to begin his life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. He's just been asking us "how can I serve, what do I need to know to help other people be baptized?" Another miracle that happened this week was we were able to invite another person to be baptized this week and they accepted. A few weeks ago Elder Koegler and I found a man named **** contacting on the street and he's been progressing towards baptism really well. Since the day he met us he hasn't drank Alchohol at all, the spirit really changes people as they see our example and they want the same happiness that they see in us. But anyways back to the miracle we've been teaching him for the last couple of weeks, and last monday we went to teach him again. When we got there his wife was in the room and participated in the discussion with us. We come to find out that she's been reading the Book of Mormon and has made it all the way to Mosiah. She just loves the Book of Mormon so much and knows that its the word of God. So while we were talking to **** about his baptism it came up that she also wants to be baptized in this church because she feels it what she needs to do. They're working to be baptized together on the ninth of July. They also came to District conference this weekend and loved it! We're way excited for them and the miracles just keep happening here in this area in Tallin. The Lord can only bless us as we obey his commandments and exercise our faith. I've noticed throughout my mission that the only determaning factor for miracles is me. If I obey and I get out on time and I work as hard as I can with a love for the poeple the prepared are found. I really love this work and I know that God also loves this work more than we can even comprehend.

Thank you so much for the support, emails, and packages with fruitsnacks ;) haha. I know that this Gospel is true and as we make our number one priority the Gospel amazing things can happen in our lives. Don't forget that I always think of you and I'll always love you all. Have a great week and I'm excited to hear from you next week. Sorry I don't have any pictures right now I forgot my camera home. So I'll make sure to send pictures of the Baptism and Tallinn next week.

-Elder Pack

Sunday, May 29, 2011

May 24, 2011

Dear Family,

It was really good to hear from you today, but that's not a suprise because I enjoy your emails every week. I'm happy to hear that all is going so well. It's weird that so many things have been happening and changing in this one year that I've been gone. Everyone is just growing up a lot and I don't think I'll recognize you all by the time I get home.

We had a good week here in Tallinn. Our investigator Vladislav (our investigator with a baptismal date) is still right on his way to being baptized this upcoming Saturday. He's 20 years old and he just has such a strong testimony. He passed his interview this last Saturday with flying colors. It's a lot of fun to be able to teach him. Wow for some reason this week is the hardest week ever to think of what to say. I really have absolutely no idea. I'll get to answering your questions then maybe I can think of something to say.

1. Did you find a camera? No I wasn't able to get a camera last week I didn't have enough time so I'll try to get one today, but it might end up being next week.

2. What are your responsibilities as district leader? How often do you
have district meetings? I don't really have that many responsibilities. I'm just in charge of district meetings once a week. And I coordinate the missionary efforts with the branch. It's actually really easy. I have really amazing missionaries to serve with so I don't really have to worry about things haha.

3. Elder Koegler thinks that it would be a good idea... here's their email address. Have fun.

4. What do you guys do on pday? I hope you are getting out and seeing
the sites. It looks great in pictures on google earth. On Preperation day we go and play sports with all the missionaries in Tallinn. It's a lot of fun we play for about an hour and a half. Then we go and eat somewhere with our district. Today we went to a resteraunt in old town here is incredibly beatiful, I'll make sure to send you pictures in the future. Then we get groceries and email. So that's basically my life on mondays

5. What is your house address? I live on Koskla 5

6. How are your investigators doing? We don't really have investigators besides Vladislav right now that are doing very well. This is deffinately the slowest area (as far as lessons taught) I've served in. But things are going really well as far as baptisms go here.

I'm really really sorry that my email is so lame this week. I really just have nothing exciting to say. We just walked around and did missionary work. I'll try really hard to have something good to talk about next week. Have a great week and thank you so much for all of the support.

-Elder Pack

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow now this email is already no fun to write because you know everything that happened. Darn that makes me sad I was excited to surprise you but oh well I'll still tell you a few things. Tallinn is very very beautiful. And probably the cleanest of all the cities I've been in (which is all of them except Narva). At the same time it's kind of depressing to be out of Daugavpils because I really really liked it there. I have so many new friends there that now I don't know if I'll ever see them again. And less people than anywhere else speak Russian here which is depressing. I've spoken more English to people in the last 3 days than I did in my whole 4 months in Daugavpils. Estonian is just a way crazy fairy language. I don't even know how to explain it. It's a lot like finish so it's one of the hardest languages in the world. It's not really anything like Latvian, Lithuanian, or Russian at all. But at the same time I'm way happy because I'm serving with Elder Koegler again!!! woohoo. I'm way happy, now I can finish my transfer with him that got cut short when I got sent down to Vilnius.
This week we've already had a few really cool adventures. We have an investigator that's going to be baptized in a couple weeks which is really cool. We also found a guy that we found on the street the day after I got here and he's also preparing for baptism and doing really well. He's already quit drinking, and he came to church yesterday so we're really happy. A cool miracle that happened with him was the second time we taught him and we wanted to talk about the Word of Wisdom. So as we were waiting for him on the street he came out and the first thing he said to us was "you know what I've been thinking about it, I really hate drinking I'm never going to drink again". I was also able to have my first baptismal interview as a district leader with a lady that's getting baptized this Saturday. It was really cool to talk to her and see how much the gospel has changed her life for the better. The Gospel really is happiness people just have to accept it.
Ok now I'll get to answering your other questions cause I don't have anything to say since you already know I'm here...
1. Is Estonian like Latvian or Lithuanian? I already answered this one... not at all haha.
2. Who is your new companion and where is he from? Elder Koegler! you already know about him haha.
3. How long has he been in the Baltics? he only has about 3 months left. I'm only one month behind where he was when he trained me... Isn't that crazy everything is going by so fast.
4. Where has your companion served before now? He's only served in Riga his whole mission until last transfer he moved up here.
5. How big is your district, and are there a lot of russians in Tallin? There are 6 missionaries in our District. Me, Elder Koegler, Elder Waddups, Elder Mock, Sister Grenavachutie, and Sister Uibel. It's already a lot of fun.
6. Is the food and culture the same as the other countries or is it a little different? Everything is quite a bit different here and I don't really know how to explain it. You'd just have to come here and see.
I also have some really bad news that you might get kind of upset over but it's all ok cause you lost my ski. I accidently broke my camera the other day and it only had a 6 month warranty so I'll have to get a new one. I'll probably get a new one today just so you know. I didn't mean to it was an accident. I'll make sure the next one lasts for the rest of the time. Thank you so much for all the support. I'm really really excited to hear from you next week.

-Elder Pack

May 14, 2011 - Estonia!

Dear Brother and Sister Pack,

I am pleased to advise you that your missionary, Elder Reginald Pack, has been given a new assignment in the Baltic Mission. As of 13 May 2011, Elder Pack has been serving as the District Leader in the Tallinn 2nd District.

Elder Pack is a great missionary and we love having him in the mission. In this assignment he will have responsibility to lead his District of Elders and Sisters as they seek to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people in Estonia. Thank you for your love and support of him.

With warm regards,

Douglas Dance, President
Baltic Mission

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 9, 2011

Hey family,

It was way awesome to talk to you yesterday. You all sound like you're doing so well and that makes me so happy. Thank you so much for all of the support, and giving me this opportunity to go on a mission. I don't really have a lot to say because I just talked to you yesterday. I hope that you have a great week and I'm way excited to hear from you next week.

-Elder Pack

This is a picture taken at the Branch President's house. They had the missionaries over to celebrate Elder Pack's birthday. :) They had some shashliki (kind of like a shish kabob) and some other tasty food.