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