Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 7, 2012

Dear Family, Well another week here in good old Daugavpils. Things are going well here. I really enjoy the city and the people. We had a good time working hard and trying to find new people to teach. Hmm... let me think, what was something cool that happened this week. Well we did a sweet service activity this week on my birthday. We went to an old people's home and did a concert for them. There were about 300 people so that was kind of interesting. We sang a lot of cool songs. I even sang You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban. Two years ago I never thought that I would be in front of 300 people singing Josh Groban, but a lot of things happen on missions. We also had a nice day of getting absolutely soaked in the rain. I really like the rain for some reason. It's really fun walking into an investigators house and be completely soaked from head to toe, they get a good laugh out of it. Our investigators are doing well. We have so many people on the verge of baptism they just need to receive the final spiritual witness. We're praying for that though, it wouldn't be surprising if we had a baptism in the next month. And yes I did tell you where Elder Clark is from, you must have not been paying attention ;) He's from Calgary. I was also thinking about the traveling things. I think that your idea of waiting for a year is probably better. It is definitely tempting to do it right now, but I just need to learn and be patient haha. I think that it would have more meaning for me if it was in a year anyway. I think that's what we'll do. Thanks for being willing to consider all of my crazy ideas though :) I'll need to make sure to start saving up money as fast as I can to be able to go in a year. I found a sweet souvenir shop today; I'm going to get some cool stuff there for my birthday that I can bring home. I was thinking about the Russian hat thing, and maybe I'll try and find something that's a little cheaper that's more Baltic. I was thinking that I could find something that's more from my mission, what do you think about that? Those hats are really really expensive. Also as far as phone calls go, I'm really upset but Skype isn't going to have video. I'm going to still use Skype, and I'm super excited to see you. I might actually try and go buy a little cheap camera for a computer. My time is going to be at 7:30 my time so that means 10:30 a.m. your time. I'm sorry that I'm not able to work it out around your church, the only time that we're able to do it is right when you have church, so I put it at right after Sacrament meeting. Have a great week, we'll talk to you soon :) -Elder Pack

Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes. I really totally forgot that my birthday is coming up this week until I got your emails haha. I'm excited to be here in Daugavpils for my second birthday out in the field. Last year was a lot of fun, when the branch president and his family invited us all over to have some dinner and wish me a happy birthday. The members here are so cool, I really love being back here. This week was a lot of fun. We had a lot going on and a lot to do. We had to go to Riga in to do some visa work for Elder Clark which was pretty fun. I'm going to get to answering your questions so that I make sure to get to things that you want to hear. How is it going in Daugavpils? It is incredible here, I love the people here so much. This city has a cool feel to it because it's a lot smaller than the other cities. There's not as much to see but I like it better in some ways as far as missionary work goes. The people seem a lot nicer. Tell us a little more about your companion. Where is he from? How long has he been out? What does he like back home? He's really cool, and really funny. He's in his second transfer, but he's a very good missionary. He's from Calgary, Canada. He has a lot of Canada pride going on as well, but he's one of few here so he has to haha. He's into a lot of the same things that I was. He likes skiing and wake boarding, and he played a lot of football. He got player of the year in his region as a linebacker. Tell us about Daugavpils. How many missionaries serve there? Tell us about your investigators. Do you have some that are pretty close to baptism? There are four missionaries here in Daugavpils. So you feel a lot more secluded here than in the other places, but you get to know the other missionaries very well. We have a few investigators that are doing really well right now. One lady in particular whose name is *****. She's really awesome. She's an older lady but she's progressing really well. Sadly she just left yesterday for Russia for a month to see family, so she won't be around for a while. But she said that she wants to get baptized when she gets back. We have another investigator whose name is *****. He's a doctor, and really really funny. Him and his girlfriend just got married this last Saturday, which was a lot of fun. We were the only people that they invited to the wedding haha. I don't know why they have tons of friends. They really love us. They took us out to some areas of Daugavpils and we took some pictures that was a lot of fun. I'll make sure to keep you updated on the investigators and tell you about more in the future. Well Mothers day is coming up and I'm excited to talk to all of you. This time I think it would be fun to do it over skype and that would be a lot cheaper. I'll tell you all the details next Monday about that. I'm excited to be able to see all of you this time. Thanks for all you do for me, I love you all. -Elder Pack

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012 - Transferred!

Dear Family, Well Transfers have happened... I didn't really expect at all what ended up happening. I'm back in Daugavpils!!! I'm in the same area that I served in last year. It's so cool! I'm really happy about it. It's always fun to go back to a city where you've already been, so I'm really happy that I've got to do it so much. I feel a lot more experienced than I was last time I was here, so it should be a lot of fun. We have a lot of investigators and a lot of people on the verge of baptism and so it should be a lot of fun. I took Elder Waddoups spot (because he just went home this transfer :(... ) So the area is in really good shape so that should make it a lot of fun. Of course I really miss Tallinn, I cried when I realized that I won't be going back there anymore on my mission. I'm really going to miss the people there. That actually brings me to one of the things that I really wanted to ask you. The Ivanovi family, they got baptized while I was in Tallinn last year, I worked with them a lot and they're some of my favorite people in the whole world, and they're working to get sealed as a family this upcoming July (1 year from their baptism). I really really really really want to go to their sealing in Stockholm Sweden, and I remembered that you told me at the beginning of my mission that you wanted to come pick me up and I could show you around my mission, I would love that because then we could all go to Stockholm to see their sealing!!! I know that this is really short notice, and I don't know they possibility of making this happen. Don't feel obligated to say yes, but I would really like to know if this would be a possibility. But yeah back to where I was this week was a lot of fun. In Tallinn we said goodbye to everyone and had to get a lot of things ready because both Elder Mickelson and I were leaving, and we had to get the area ready for a couple of Elders to be able to jump right in. In Daugavpils it was just really cool being able to see all of the members again. They seemed happy to have me back, so that made me happy. This week we had a couple of service activities that were a lot of fun. We helped one old lady member move into a new apartment. She's really funny we had a really good time. We also had a big activity that is called субботник (Subotnik) it's a bit Latvian holiday when everyone gets together and does service. Sadly this year they said that a lot less than ever before participated. But our branch got together and we went out and cleaned up one of the parks. It's crazy how much garbage we found haha. It was cool though because I was here in Daugavpils last year for Subotnik as well, so now when people look into the history of the church in Daugavpils they're going to think that I was here for a very very very long time. Last night we also stopped by a lady that I was teaching last year when I was here. She and her husband are so cool, they really need to get baptized. They let us right in and fed us dinner. I really feel like they can get baptized they just need a little bit of a push. I'm really happy that you all had such a good week. I'm glad that Robbie beat up Alycia's prom date with one arm, I'm so proud. It sounds like everything is going super well, and I'm happy about that. I hope you all have a great week. and I'm really excited to hear back from you. -Elder Pack ps. Good thing I got transferred to Daugavpils it's the land of sweet souvenirs. I'm going to go to the main store today to try and find some Russian hats, and I'll try to get back on email today to let you know how much they cost.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 15, 2012

Dear family, Wow that's so crazy that Frank is already heading out to Armenia! It seems to me that he just headed to the mtc a couple of weeks ago. He sounds like he's very excited, I'm very excited for him. Everyone in those pictures that you sent me look so much more grown up than they did when I left out here on my mission. That's really cool and really saddening and the same time. I don't have little brothers and sisters any more, and that kind of makes me sad. I'm happy to hear that you all had a such a good week, even though it wasn't quite as exciting as last week. This week has been pretty nuts, a lot of things going on. Transfers are coming up this week, we'll probably find out tomorrow where we're going which is making me sad. President Boswell has been making a lot of hints towards me leaving Tallinn and I really don't want to leave Tallinn. But we'll see. We're getting four new Russian missionaries this transfer and five next transfer so these transfers are probably going to be pretty crazy. This last week we had a lot going on. On Tuesday we went to Narva to have our zone training which went very well. Yes we as zone leaders arrange all of the zone trainings and decide where when and what. We talked about consecration, because we recently read a talk that President Boswell shared with the zone leaders that we wanted to share with all the missionaries in our zone. I think I'll just send you the talk because it was really good, it has to do with missionary work but I think that it can be applied into all aspects of life. It really changed my outlook on the law of consecration and really helped me see how I can be the best missionary that I can possibly be, especially with time winding down. On Wednesday Elder Mickelson and I went down to Riga for Zone Leaders' council. I have officially gone to an entire year of zone leaders' councils. That' really crazy. It's already been basically a year since I've been called to be a zone leader, I feel like an old fart. Yesterday we went to Narva for the second time this week haha, we had to take a missionary there that is getting transfered to Narva. (they wanted to send him early because he's going to be training in an area that he's never served in and he's going to be training, so they wanted to send him there a little bit early so he could used to the area a little). We also wanted to go there to have a sit down meeting with one of the members about her granddaughter getting baptized. She just turned 8 a few months ago, but things have just been moving really slowly, so we had a talk with her about how we can speed the process up so that the girl can get baptized. It was a really good meeting, I think that things will really start moving along. I'm really enjoying missionary work. It's a lot of fun. I hope that you all have a great week. Thanks for all that you do, and all of the support that you give me. I'm excited to hear how your next week goes, and how Frank's first few days in the field go. -Старейшина Пак I'll make sure to find out about the Russian hats by the way. Do you have any suggestions on suveniers that I could get. I really have no idea. If there's anything specific that you want just let me know. -Elder Pack

April 8, 2012

Family: That's really cool that you were able to head down to Saint George this last week and spend time with the family. I'm really happy to hear that grandma is feeling better these days. I do miss all those fun trips that we had to Saint George, and yes it does sound like you do the very same things that we always did, but there's nothing wrong with that. That's really crazy that the kids are already on the downhill with school, it feels like it just barely started yesterday. I remember when I was in school the school year seemed to take decades, but now it seems like maybe a month to me. This week went very well. Every week is going by faster and faster but we're having a good time. We had a good amount of member present lessons, and we taught a lot of really cool people. We had a really incredible miracle happen last monday evening when we went out to find, and we ran into one of the most prepared people that I've ever met. And he's an 18 year old boy which is perfect for potential missionary/melkisedek priesthood holder. I'm really hopping that we'll have the opportunity to meet with him this week. The zone is doing well. It was a little bit slower of a week for most of the companionships but they all worked hard. The translation of the "4th missionary" talk is going well. We have the translation done we just have to finish typing it up. I'll make sure to send it to you when we finish. Another cool thing that happened this last week was when a member of the district presidency came up to me and said "we want your choir to sing at district conference this month because we liked the song that you sang at the concert so much. (Elder Mickelson and I have been leading choir as a way to find people this transfer). I've never seen a Russian choir sing at a district conference in the Baltics yet it should be fun. The members who are in the choir are really excited. This next week we're actually going to go with the choir and sing in parks to try and find people to teach. Thank you for all that you do for me. Thank you so much for the little messages Alycia and Jenna they really do mean a lot to me. I love it when I get to hear from all of you. I hope that is going well with all your different activities like cheer and plays. When is prom Alycia? who are you going with? When will be your play Jenna? I'm totally up for running with Robbie. Isn't the half marathon in the Fall sometime? We can run this upcoming one together. I have a lot of getting in shape to go haha. Thanks for running to Utah State for me mom. That will really help. As far as signing up for classes goes, I just want to get as many of those make-up classes done as possible, so sign me up for as many of those as possible. I would enjoy to have a math class as well, I need to get back on my feet with that. I love you all. Thank you.

April 2, 2012

Dear Family, That's really neat that you were able to go to Grandma's for General conference. I'm excited to be able to get together as a family for general conferences in the future. That's cool that you saw Frank. I didn't see him sadly, during the first part of the that session I was distracted because there was problems with the translation, and I had to figure it out. I'll need to watch the first part again sometime, and see if I can see him. Yeah the time of year with general conference is a wonderful. It just has a special feeling. It's been a lot of fun going around and trying to tell everyone about living prophets that are speaking about our days. Here Estonia they're really on top of things technologically so we were able to watch a couple of the sessions live. That was a lot of fun, because in the other countries we usually have to wait a couple of weeks. I really enjoyed to the talk from David Bednar at priesthood about the priesthood. It really hit me that I need to be the best possible example as I can as a priesthood holder so that no one had to question if we have the priesthood or not because of the way that I act. I also really Dieter F. Uchdorf's talk at the priesthood session as well. I still haven't been able to see all of the sessions yet, I'm excited to watch the rest of them next Sunday. This week was really interesting. It was a lot more up beat than last week which was good. We went to Riga for zone leaders' council, I always love zone leaders' council. After zone leaders' council I was able to stay in Riga and go on exchanges with one of the assistants. That was fun we taught some really good lessons together and found some really cool people. One the way back to Estonia in their car he forgot his passport so we had to turn around and go all the way back to Riga and I got to spend another night there (I wasn't mad about that). This week is going to be really crazy we have a lot of things going on. We're actually going to be heading to Narva this week with the whole zone to do some zone training which should be a really good experience. Thank you for always caring about me. It makes me really happy to hear from you every week. I really appreciate that you wrote me Jenna and Robbie. It really makes my day to hear from you. Have a great week! I'm excited to hear from you :) -Elder Pack

March 27, 2012

Dear Family, Wow I'm always so happy to hear that everything is going so well back at home. Congratulations Alycia! I'm so happy that you were able to make cheer! You'll have a great time with that. Good luck. When do you have to start going to all of your camps and everything? I'm excited to go to football games next year and watch your halftime shows and stuff. This week in Tallinn was pretty interesting. Of course it was a lot of fun, it was just a little bit slower than a regular week. Every single one of our lessons with investigators got postponed until this week. I don't know if I've ever had a week where I didn't teach a single person. I feel ok about it though, just because I feel like we really worked the way that we were supposed to. It also gave us a good opportunity to get out on the streets and talk to lots and lots of people. I think that I've talked to more people in these two transfers with Elder Mickelson than I ever have in any other two transfers. We talk to at least 3-5 people on every bus ride, just talking to one person used to be difficult for me. I feel like I'm becoming just a little bit more of the servant that the Lord wants me to be. Of course I can always do better, but I'm happy with the progress that I've made this far. We were able to meet with a few members of the church this last week as well which is always enjoyable. The members here in Tallinn are increadible. You just leave their house lifted and inspired... I'm very grateful for the friendships that I've been able to build on my mission. Lately I've been studying a lot about being successfull and it's really been interesting to me. The Lord doesn't necissarily judge on what we've done in our lives, but more on what we've become/ striving to become. I know that the Lord blesses us for just wanting to be better. I'm so glad that I was raised in the circumstances that I was, that I'm able to know truths like this in my life. Thank you for all that you do for me! -Elder Pack

March 18, 2012

Dear Family, Wow it sounds like you had a really great week over in the land of Utah. A lot of things going on it seems like. That's so cool that you were able to go to visit the Uibels', and get to catch up with them a little bit. Yeah you better wait for me to get home to go see the Jerusalem set, that sounds so cool. I really want to see it. Yes I did know that Sister Uibel speaks Arabic, she also speaks Russian incredibly well. She's a very talented girl. I'm very happy to hear that mom and Jenna made it into the play. I hope that it all goes well. How long will the performances for that play go on? My week here in Tallinn was a lot of fun. We were able to find a lot of cool people and teach some interesting lessons. Last night actually I was calling some people out of my planner and trying to figure out who we could meet with to reach our goals. I ended up calling a man named Andrei. He was just like "hey could you actually meet tonight I'll have some free time, and I would love to meet with". We were way happy that we were able to set up a lesson in such short notice, so we finished our dinner and went and knocked on some doors to find more people before we had to head to our lesson. When we got to his house he opened the door and we instantly realized that he was super drunk. We didn't really know what to do so we decided to go in and just set up a time to meet again and give him something to read. When we got inside it turned out that there were 6 other very big very drunk Russian men... we were really happy about this... But actually we were super nervous, because some drunks are very mean. Luckily they were all really nice and really interested haha. One of the men was actually sober and we were able to have a really good conversation while all the other guys just kind of mumbled in drunk Russian with each other. The guy was very interested in our mission and why we are doing this, so we were able to agree on a second lesson when there won't be 6 other drunk people getting in the way. We also found another guy on the way home from that lesson who is really cool, and it turns out that he is really good friends with another investigator that we found and taught at the beginning of the week. There are always a lot of miracles happening in missionary work. I love it! Thank you so much for sharing that story about Grandpa Seegmiller. That was a very cool story. So was grandpa the one who translated the first circulated copy of the Book of Mormon in Portuguese? I hope that you all have a great week. You're always in my prayers. Good luck Alycia with cheer tryouts. -Elder Pack p.s. And no I never did hear the story of Willie eating dinner with Aunt Genie To answer your question about what I want to study. I'm still very interested in Physical therapy. I know that it is going to be very difficult but it just a mix of a lot of things that I feel that I'm better at like science and math. I was thinking that I could study Human Movement science (pre-physical therapy) at Utah State and then transfer after I graduate to U of U. Or the best option would be to just study pre-physical therapy as well at U of U because that would increase my chances of getting accepted into the doctorate program after getting a bachelor. -Elder Pack P.S. I'm going to attach some pictures to this email 1st pic: Elder Mickelson and I on our way to email this morning 2nd pic: Last preparation day doing some jujitsu (I don't really know how to do jujitsu I just kind of wrestled haha) 3rd pic: Elder Mickelson and I 4th pic: My district last transfer here in Tallinn

March 13, 2012

Dear Family, Well it sounds like you all had a great week. I'm glad that you were able to go down and support Grandma while she's going through this hard time. You should tell her that I love her and I hope that she can heal up soon, without any really negative side effects. I hope that all the tryouts this upcoming weeks go well, I'm excited to hear. That was about the coolest miracle that I've ever heard about Sister Uibel's dad! We actually talked about where our dad's served on their missions a few times even. We knew that you both served in the same mission, but we thought that you served at different times and probably didn't know each other. That is so cool that you were companions! And now that your children served in the same mission. You'll have to let me know how her homecoming went. I'm glad that you get some time to catch up with old friends now :) I'm really excited to read the histories of our ancestors, I've actually been thinking a lot about that lately. I've actually wanted to read stories about their missions a lot lately... could you actually send me a couple. I would also love to hear stories about your mission dad. Could you send me a couple? This week was super awesome! We got transfers! I'm staying... Yay! I'm going to be with Elder Mickelson still and I'm super happy about it. We're having an awesome time. I would love to just stay here for the rest of my mission in this area with Elder Mickelson, I feel like we could get a lot of cool things done. We've been finding a lot of really cool people lately. I can see some really good things happening in the near future here. We've been finding a lot of family and youth lately which is really really exciting, it's usually really hard to find people like that. We're really really really excited if you can't tell. There wasn't any huge miracles that stuck out in particular this week... all I know is that there were a lot of little miracles. I just love it when I find nice people and can know for sure that this is where the Lord wants me to be right now, and that I was in the right place. I hope that you all have a great week. I don't have a lot to say right now sadly. I love you all so much, and I really appreciate your support. I love being able to serve here in the Baltics, and a big part of making this all possible is you. Thank you for all being such great examples and really encouraging me to do the right things. Have a great week! -Elder Pack

March 5, 2012

Dear Family, Thank you so much for all the support and help that you've given me throughout my mission. I got the Valentine’s Day package that you sent me this week. Just so you know it's already gone because I loved it so much and I ate it really fast. Thanks for helping my mission be a more enjoyable experience than it already is. I'm glad to hear that all the kids are doing well, and are getting involved in lots of extra activities. I wish I would have broadened my horizons more throughout my life, because the little bit of expanding that I did do has really come in handy out here on my mission. I hope that all goes well in Alycia's cheer tryouts and Jenna's and mom's play tryouts. I'm rooting for all of you! This week was a good one as usual. I went to Riga again this week for zone leaders' council, which is always a neat experience. But I do think that going to Riga 4 times in a transfer plus on top of that going to Narva a couple times is a little bit too much. Oh well I'm done with that now, and we'll see what's up this upcoming transfer. It's crazy to think that transfers are already coming up this week, time is just going by faster and faster every day. I really hope that I stay with Elder Mickelson because we're having a great time and good things are happening. We'll see though I'm never able to guess what is going on with transfers. I am pretty sure that I am staying in Tallinn though. This last week we were able to put together a musical concert, it was a lot of fun. Sadly the turn out wasn't that great, because a lot of the members bailed out on us. We're going to reevaluate and try again though for Easter, and we'll do a better job this next time. I was able to rent a cello and play "If You Could Hie to Kolob" with Elder Mickelson playing on the piano. I definitely got a little bit rusty after a year and a half of not even touching a cello. I'll definitely have to play a bit of catch up when I get back home. I was thinking that it would be fun to try and maybe take some private lessons again. I'm excited for Summer to come, I want to try renting a cello and taking it out on the street and playing to try and find some people to teach. Speaking of finding, I've been trying to think of a lot of different ways to try and find people to teach. Are there any things that you can think of? Or dad, was there anything that you did on your mission that worked really well, or that you really wanted to try? If you could spread that question to other returned missionaries as well that would be super helpful. That is about it for the summary of my week. I'm sorry that I never have a lot to say. I hope that you all have a great week!!! -Elder Pack

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 27, 2012


That's really cool that you were able to have a big family party. I'm really excited for when I can go to those things again. Please tell Grandma thank you for the note and that I really love her and that I'm having a great time.

Things here are going great. Missionary just moves a long like missionary work. Every day is a party. This last week I had to go down to Riga for the 3rd time this transfer to do some visa work :p, and I get to go again this next week for a zone leaders' council. Riga is cool until you go there four times in a month haha. I was able to see a lot of cool people while I was there though so that made me happy. I ran into ****** while I was there, because the Elders were having a lesson with her there in the church. She just got baptized this a couple of Saturdays ago!!! She was just so happy. I'm really glad that God was able to put me in her path and bring her into the Gospel. Work has been going very well here in Tallinn as well. We've been finding a lot of amazing people and it's really cool. We've been changing the way that we work pretty dramatically, and so the people that we're finding have been changing dramatically as well. Instead of finding a whole bunch of homeless people we've been finding a lot more families and a lot more eligible Melchizedek Priesthood holders (which we need very badly here). I really feel like I'm starting to get the hang of this missionary thing. Yesterday we had a cool miracle when we were on our way home from church. We ended running into a guy that we had run into the week before on our way home from church. We talked to him for a little while and it came up that he really wants to change his life, so after explaining that the Gospel will help him change more than anything else we were able to set a baptismal date and another meeting. He's a very great guy! I'm very excited to meet with him.

I've been able to talk to Frank as well, and it sounds like all is great with him. We're having a good time exchanging stories. His experience is reminding me a ton of mine, in the fact that he is just getting more and more excited to get out of the mtc and out there in the field. I just remember during the mtc I was just so excited to come to the Baltics that I couldn't take it.

I hope that you all have a great week. I'm excited to hear from you next week. Tell everyone hello for me.

-Elder Pack

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 20, 2012

Dear Family,

I'm glad to hear that everything is in order back at home. I'm sad to say that Megamind was not out while I was at home because I've never heard of that movie in my life haha. I'm excited to see it now though. All the kids sound like they're doing well and that makes me happy. What is Emily going to be doing up in Alaska? Has she still been living with you for the last little while, I didn't know that she was still with you. You should tell her hello and good luck for me as she's heading up to Alaska.

This week in Tallinn was fantastic. And when I say in Tallinn I mean that I barely spent any time in Tallinn this week haha. We had a leadership conference for a couple days down in Riga. That was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about how I can be a better leader, I'm really excited to apply the things that I learned there. It's really weird that I've been a leader for so long, I've seen a lot of people come and go haha, I was actually thinking about it the other day that I've been going to zone leaders' council and other leadership meetings longer than President Boswell has haha. After Riga we had to go to Narva to take an Elder back because we can't travel by ourselves, so my companion and I went with him. So after all those traveling adventures there wasn't a lot of time to be in Tallinn. We found some really cool people this week, we actually met with a couple of them right before I came here to write you. Things are really starting to pick up and I can see some amazing things happening here in Tallinn in the near future. Sadly we weren't able to meet with that couple this week, but I'm pretty sure that we'll be able to meet with them this week, we just weren't able to align our schedules. Elder Mickelson and I are still having a ton of fun together. Our transfer together is flying by super fast, We've basically been together for four weeks now and that's super crazy to me. I can't really think of any big miracles off the top of my head this week, I know that there were a lot of small miracles going around in just everyday missionary work. We've been finding a lot of people lately and it's been a lot of fun teaching more and more. Elder Mickelson and I set a goal to get 3 baptisms in the next couple months and it's looking very promising. I know that God supports righteous desires. We've been changing the way that we work so that we can find those people that will get baptized and also help build the branches up here in the Baltics. The Lord has been blessing us.

Well I hope that you all have a great week. I'm sorry I didn't bring my camera with me today or I would totally send you pictures. I'll make sure to try and remember my camera next week. Have a great week!

-Elder Pack

February 13, 2012

Dear Family,

Wow those pictures that you sent me were way cool. When I saw the picture of Frank walking away at the MTC it took me right back to the time that I was doing the same exact thing. It's crazy how fast time has gone it really has just flown. When I saw Alycia (who looked absolutely beautiful by the way) it reminded me of all the dances that I went to. Those were so much fun. I'm glad to hear that she had such a good time. That kid that she went with broke his tooth because of carma, that's what he gets for going on a date with my sister while Frank and I are gone ;). I will for sure play a song with Jenna when I get home, that would be way super fun. Yeah I'm sorry that I got that music without you knowing beforehand. You won't be getting it in the mail it was just a download because Elder Mickelson and I are going to be playing some cello-piano duets together as new ways of finding. It should be super fun. The music we got is way cool.

This week was super fun. There was a lot going on like usual. I held a zone seminar here in Tallinn this last week so the Narva Elders came on over and we all met together to set goals and talk about what we can do better as a zone. It was a very good experience. We set a goal to baptize 4 people in the month of March as a zone. Everyone was really excited, so I'm pretty excited that we will get the goals that we set. It was also really cool because President Boswell came up in order to attend. He's a really good mission president, he really cares about the things that we're doing and he is always willing to take time to support us. Yesterday we had a cool miracle that I would like to share. We went out of our apartment at 6:00 p.m. to talk to people and try to find someone to teach. The very first people that we started talking to at the bus stop right outside of our apartment were way friendly and really wanted to talk to us. It turned out that they were just outside going for a Sunday walk because they had nothing to do, so we're like hey we have something that you could do. They didn't really want to go to their apartment so we got on a bus with them and pulled them all the way to the teaching center a half hour away on the bus. We had a pretty good meeting, and they were like "make sure you call us, we would like to meet up again next week". It was a huge miracle. I've never taken someone so far off the street in order to teach them. I'm excited to meet with them again, they are really nice people. Elder Mickelson are having a great time together, I really feel like I have been progressing faster than I ever have in my missionary work in the last few weeks. I'm really glad that I have this time when I can give all my time and talents to the Lord.

Thanks for all the support. I hope that you have a great week.

I forgot to answer your questions about the weather. As far as weather goes, it's a piece of cake this year. There was about two days when it was -25 C. Lately it's only been -10 C. So that makes it a huge surprise that everywhere else is so crazy. I'm really enjoying this winter though.

-Elder Pack

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6, 2012

Dear Family,

Hey! Wow it sounds like you had a super good week. That's so cool that Frank is out now! He's going to have such a good time I'm super excited to hear how everything is going with him. You need to make sure to forward the emails that he sends you to me. It's crazy that it's already been 19 months since the time that you dropped me off. It feels like it was just yesterday. I will make sure to write Frank an email today after I'm done writting this one.

As for everything here in Tallinn, things are just super awesome. I love Tallinn a lot. I'm living in an area that's really Russian, so we haven't been having a very hard time finding Russian people happilly. We don't have a ton of investigators at the given moment, but that ok things are going to turn around. We have some awesome goals set and some sweet plans on how we are going to accomplish it. This last week was a little bit cazy, because I went to Riga for a couple days for zone leaders' council and exchanges with the assistants, and we also went to Narva on Friday to do a baptismal interview. Those things took a lot of time out of our area, but it was a lot of fun. Elder Mickelson and I have been having a lot of fun trying to make our missions more like missions in the Book of Mormon. We really started to think about why so many incredible miracles don't happen in our mission like in the Book of Mormon, and we came to the conclusion that it's just because we don't expect it, which means our faith isn't the way that it should be. Because it says in the Book of Mormon that if miracles have ceased it's because of a lack of faith. So we've really started to pick up and show faith in the way that we work, and really get out there like they did in the Book of Mormon. One thing that we started doing this week is bus sermons. What I mean by this is we get up at the front of the buses and we just talk really loudly to the whole entire bus and testify of things we know and invite them to act. It's been really interesting, people have really been paying attention. It also gives an opportunity for us to get doctrine out there of which the Holy Ghost can testify of. We have some other ideas of what we want to do as well, and I'll make sure to let you know how it goes.

I'll answer a few questions now:

Are you going to play the cello when you get back? Yes I will definately play the cello when I get back. I've been really missing it a lot while I've been out here on my mission. I don't know if I'll play in any orchestras or anything, but I know that I will play.

What is you Favorite city? That is a really hard question. Every city is good for it's own special reason. I really love Tallinn because it's really modern and the feel is just really upbeat and exciting. I also really like Riga because there is a really deep culture there and it just has a big city feel which means there is something always going on and there's always something to do. Vilnius is also really cool because it feels really old and really relaxed. When you go out in the mornings or evenings the streets are just empty and silent. I hope that answered your question :)

Where is your apartment? kärberi 33

I hope that you all have a great week!

-Elder Pack

Sunday, February 5, 2012

January 31, 2012

Dear Family, That's crazy that Frank is leaving this upcoming Wednesday! Good luck Frank! I don't really have a lot of advice about the mtc, all I can say is just enjoy it. It can either be our favorite place (if we have the right mindset) or our least favorite place (if we don't look at it in the right way). Sometimes the things that they talk about seem kind of pointless, but let me tell you they really will come in handy. Take lots of notes. That's cool that you were all able to go down to California together for one last family vacation. I hope that you all had a really good time, those times with family become so precious once you've been away for a while. Well it has finally happened... I have left Riga. I'm pretty sad. I really miss the people there and I don't like saying goodbye, especially since I'm getting so close to the end of my mission I don't think that I'll be going back to Riga before the end. But I'm also very very very happy about transfers because of where I ended up, I'm in Tallinn!!! woohoo. I am so happy to be back it is just incredible here. It was so much fun to see all the branch members and church members and see that they still remember me :). The members here in Tallinn are so awesome. President Pogorelov had me give a talk yesterday in church, it was really cool to get up there and tell them how much they mean to me and how excited I am to be back. I'm really grateful that the lord gave me a second chance to come back here and do better than I did when I was here before. Another cool thing that happened was when I accidently left my hat in Riga, and it is way cool up here. So I called the branch President (because he works in a store, and I wanted to know if they sell warm hats in his store, but he was just like oh don't worry about it I'll give you my hat that I wore on my mission. That was so nice of him, and I'm just so happy that he likes me enough to do something like that for me. The other super cool part about transfers is that I'm serving with Elder Mickelson... Yay! This is way awesome. Back in high school cross-country I would have never thought that I would one day be serving here in Tallinn with Braeden Mickelson. Things up here are a little slower than in Riga, but its ok we'll get our bearings straight and we'll be teaching plenty coming up shortly. Elder Mickelson is a very hard worker, I don't have any problems with anyone in our mission because they all work so hard. It's hard to work with someone if they don't really want to work. We've already had a lot of ideas about how we can be better and really lift the work here in Tallinn. I'm not living were I did last time, I'm in a different area now, and I don't really know the address so if you remind me in the future to tell you I'll be happy to tell you once I know. Well that's where things are sitting right now. I'll make sure to keep you updated. Have a great week. One more time, Good luck Frank! -Elder Pack

January 23, 2012

Dear Family,
Wow it sounds like everything is going well over there in Utah. I'm way happy that Franks farewell talk went so well, he's going to be an amazing missionary, because he has an amazing personality and everyone is going to want to be around him. He'll really attract people that are ready to hear the Gospel, and have the believing Isrealite blood. That's great the Beaver finally got a little bit of snow. 2 feet isn't a little bit of snow either it's quite abit. That makes for some good powder skiing.
This last week here in the mission field was a lot of fun. Every week that I'm here in Riga it gets better and better. We talked to some really cool people, and had some really good lessons. ******* got baptized! woohoo! I was so happy, she is incredible. She got up and bore her testimony about how the church has changed her life so much for the better, and that she's so excited to learn more and more. She also asked if I could give a talk at her baptism about the Holy Ghost. I've really grown to love giving talks, because it really strengthens my testimony when I talk to people about the Gospel. I was able to feel the spirit so strongly as I was testifying of the blessings that she'll be able to receive from the Holy Ghost after her baptism. It's amazing to see how much people can change just 3-4 weeks after they've come in contact with the church. The spirit really changes people, and I'm really happy that I'm able to be a part of this amazing work. Our investigator Irina is doig very well. Sadly she drank a couple sips of wine while she was at a funeral this last week, so she won't be getting baptized this next Saturday. But when we told her that we have to move her date back, she just begged us to leave it the same. She wants to be baptized so badly. We re-taught the word of wisdom, and she really gets why we had to move her date back. She is very excited to get baptized on the 11th of February, and now she understands that she really needs to work hard to reach her date. She's already asked the member that she wants to baptize her if he can.
Transfers are actually this upcoming week, we'll find out what's going on and where we'll be tomorrow actually. Transfers just go by faster and faster every single time, I'm already on my 13th transfer out here in the field... Crazy! I think that I'm staying, I just have that feeling, but we'll see I'm usually wrong haha. I'll take some time really quick to answer the questions that I haven't answered yet.

You still need to tell me your address on Maskavas Iela. I like to look at it on google earth. I will send you some screen shots after you tell me the number if I can find a picture of your building. My Address is Maskava 198

How often do you eat lately with investigators or members? It depends. Basically whenever we go over to a member's house they give us something to eat, because they're really hospitipal here. But there aren't a ton of members here so we don't meet with members all that often.

Are you becoming a good cook? I'm figuring out how to make a few things. I wouldn't say that I'm a good cook but I'm deffinately a lot better than I was when I left. I've gotten pretty good at making things with potatoes in them, and I figured out how to make chicken enchiladas so I eat those a lot haha.
-Elder Pack

Saturday, February 4, 2012

January 16, 2012

Dear Family,
That is was too bad that you have no snow at home. We just got a bunch of snow this last week and it makes me really happy. Winter has finally come just in time for spring haha. Its still pretty warm here, only like 27 degrees F. I'm sorry that every one has been getting sick lately, my companion has been getting a little sick lately as well. Its really cool that Frank is going to be speaking in church this upcoming Sunday, you will need to tell me how it goes. What is his topic? I think Robbie will totally get his new year goal, he has always been really good at video games I think that he can beat them all in a year. That does sound a little like something that I would have done as well. I actually think I might set that as one of my goals for when I get back jk.
This week in Riga was a ton of fun. Elder Stucki and I have been having a blast together, he makes me laugh aproximately five thousand times every day he is hilarious. We've been working really hard to find new people to teach and help those that we are meeting with to progress. I really feel like we've been super blessed lately because we have been working so hard. ***** is doing super well, and it makes me really happy. She will have her baptismal interview this week and her baptism will be next saturday!!! We've been meeting a lot with members lately and she has been progressing really fast because of it. This last week we went over to one of the senior couples apartments this week and ate dinner with ***** and on of the members. It went really well, we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, its probably my favorite of the missionary lessons to teach. There was also a lady who passed her baptismal interview this last week who is being taught by the sister missionaries. She is really cool her name is *******. It was actually a really cool miracle the day that she was found. The sisters had been struggling the last few weeks trying to find someone to teach, and they were kind of getting a little down. So we were all really praying for them so that they would be able to find someone that they could teach, so continuing on with the story I was preparing for zone leaders council a couple weeks ago, and I was stuck in the office all day trying to make an outline of the English program that Elder Froelich and I made, because President Boswell wanted to get outlines to all of the zone leaders so that we could use them accross the mission. I was sad because we didn't really have any time to work all day, but when we were on a bus on our way from the office I started talking to one of the nicest ladies ever that I noticed reading my tag. I got her number and found out where she lived (which turned out to be in the sisters area, I was really happy because we had really been praying for the sisters to have some success). When I gave the number to the sisters I was just like you better call this lady she is totally going to get baptized. Since that day she has been to church three times and she is getting baptized next Saturday. The Lord really does answer prayers, and like I have said a lot of time he always is putting people in our path that are ready for the Gospel. In her baptismal interview ******** said that she didn't get on the bus that she wanted to, for some reason she felt like she needed to get on the next one and when she got on the next one there we were. This week we also did something really fun. Elder Waddoups and I organized a zone seminar and took all the missionaries in our zone to Daugavpils to do some training. It was way fun, and very very uplifting. It was really fun to get together as a zone and talk about the things that we can work on, and set goals and make plans on how we can accomplish all those things. As far as cool things that i've been studying lately: I've been really enjoying studying some parts of the New Testament. I've been working a lot lately on how to ask better thinking and soul searching questions, so I've been studying the questions of Christ a lot because he was the master of using questions in teaching. It is really cool to look at a situation and pull apart his questions and see why theyre so good. He always asks the perfect question to prompt soul searching and to help people understand his teachings. I would suggest looking at some of them, it makes for some really uplifting studies and at least for me it really helps me see how I can be a better teacher by using better questions. For example even when he was a little kid he used amazing questions. While he was sitting in the temple teaching the scholars and doctors and his mom walks in and says, where have you been? don't you know we've been looking for you for the last 3 days? Why would you put us through this? Then Christ answered, Didn't you know that I've been about my Fathers business? (words changed cause I don't remember them word for word). At the moment they didn't understand the lesson that he tried to teach him, but we see in the next verse we see that that question sunk deep into marys heart and it caused her to ponder over it for a long time after the incidence. I want to be able to ask questions that cause people to think after I'm even gone.
Well now that I've told you basically every detail of my life, I hope that you have a great week. I'm relly grateful for all the support that you give me, and I'm really gratefull for the fact that youre willing to listen to all the stories that I have to tell. I hope that you have a great week and I'm excited to hear from you next week.

by the way I did find a suit and I really like it a lot thanks for the money!

-Elder Pack

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012

Dear Family,

I'm glad to hear that everything is going so well. It sounds like life is just like normal. It’s weird how fast this all is going by because I feel like nothing has really changed at home, but we'll see when I get home things will probably be way different. I'm glad that everyone is enjoying what they're doing though that makes me really happy. That's too bad that Jenna is sick, I hope that she gets better soon.

This week in Riga was a lot of fun. There's always so much going on its a great adventure every day. Elder Stucki and I have been having a ton of fun together. Elder Stucki is always a party and it makes missionary work even more fun than usual, and that's a lot of fun! We've been working really hard to find new people to teach, and we've really been trying to help those that we have progress towards baptism. We've been having a lot of ideas about how we can work with the branch a lot better. It's crazy how important friends are when it comes to being converted. Without friends everything is just so much harder. We're going to start working with the branch a lot more to have more activities and help this branch be one big happy family. There was a baptism this last weekend it was really great. It was a man named *****, Other elders here in Riga were teaching him. He progressed towards baptism really fast, and it was fun to see how the Gospel is blessing his life and family.

I'm sorry I really don't have a lot to say this week. I'm really trying to think of things but nothing is coming to mind. I hope that you all have a great week. I'll really try to have a lot more things to say for next week. This next week should have a lot of stuff going on so I should have a lot to say.

-Elder Pack

January 1, 2012 - Happy New Year!!!

Dear Family,

Well that's just too bad that you all are getting sick. Luckily I haven't really had any sick moments so far, I'm going to try as hard as I can avoid it the whole winter, because some of the missionaries have been getting really sick. That's way sad that there's basically no snow even up in the mountains. Here it’s the very same. It's been way sunny and warm lately, but today it got to about -1 Celsius. New Year as a missionary is just kind of a joke actually haha. I just slept it was really nice. The only think special that we do is that we have to come in early so that we don't get attacked by drunk people. New Year in the Baltics is a huge holiday! It's like ten times as big of deal as Christmas. When I was on my way to church Sunday morning empty beer/wine bottles just lined the streets. But now I can tell that people are already really regretting drinking that much they look way miserable. I used that time to set some sweet yearly goals, they're pretty huge I'll have to work hard to achieve them.

This week was a lot of fun though. Elder Stucki and I worked very hard. The Lord has been blessing us with a lot of success lately; it's been a lot of fun. I can really see the Lord's hand in my missionary work as I do all that I possibly can to reach my goals. I know that sometimes I fall short, but I always learn something useful. Elder Stucki and I have been having a lot of revelation on how we can improve in finding and working with members, it's really cool. We've come up with a lot of ideas that I think will really help here in the Baltics in our own personal missionary work, we're really excited to just make plans and apply them. We worked with our baptismal date **** a few times this week it went really well. She has a big desire to meet with us and be baptized. We also found quite a few really cool people that we're very excited to meet with.

I'm sorry that I don't have a ton to say. This week was just really regular, but a lot of fun. Thanks for all that you do I hope that you have a great week.

-Elder Pack

December 25, 2011 - Merry Christmas!!!

Dear Family,

Hey! Wow it was way great to talk to all of you. Thank you so much for all the nice things that you said and the happiness that you all had. I'm really happy that I was able to talk to all of you individually. The last couple of times that I called I regretted not taking time to talk to each of you, so I made extra sure that I did it this time around. It's really crazy that Christmas has already come and gone again, time is going by so fast I don't quite know what to do with myself. I'm glad that all of you had such a great Christmas and got the things that you wanted. It is really odd that we're all growing up and now Christmas isn't really a little kid holiday anymore in the Pack home. Christmas is one of my very favorite memories growing up.
This week was really good. I already talked about it quite a bit. We did a lot of caroling and service. I really love the Christmas season as a missionary, it's just better than the other times of year. Luckily in Latvia we have two Christmases yay! The Catholic Christmas is on the 25 of December but Russian Orthodox Christmas is on the 7th of January. So I'm going to try really hard to use the continuing Holiday Spirit to find those Russian Orthodox people to teach. This week was just so much fun though. I sang so many Christmas songs that I think I can sing them professionally now.

I'm sorry I don't have a lot more to say. I basically already told you everything that's going on in my life right now. I just wanted to make sure that you knew that I love you and really care about you. I hope you enjoy your upcoming and I'm really excited to hear from you I'll make sure that I save up some cool experiences to tell you about next week. I'll make sure to get a suit and some shapkas :)

-Elder Pack

December 19, 2011

Dear Family,

Wow that is super awesome news! I'm so happy that Frank decided to go on his mission; he'll never regret it :). I'm glad to hear that everyone else is doing so well too, but it is too bad that the Christmas tree died. That's ok though, the specialness of Christmas isn't in the tree. You'll have to let me know how Christmas is I'm really excited to hear about everything, Christmas really is the best time of year.

This week I wanted to share a little Christmas miracle. Maybe to you it won't seem to big but I thought it was pretty cool. A couple days ago my companion and I were waiting for a member who was coming down into our area to help us on a lesson. While we were waiting a lady passed us and I started to talk to her. I started talking about Christmas and she just really happy. I was able to ask her a couple questions about why she likes Christmas and if we could stop by to give her a Christmas message. She very happily consented and agreed to have us over this upcoming week. I can really see the way that the Christmas holidays really soften people's hearts and spirits. I make sure to let you know how that lesson goes. We also had a cool miracle this last week that I would like to tell you about. About a month ago a lady walked up to me on a bus and asked for a Book of Mormon because her house had burned down and it had burned with the fire. I gave her a Book of Mormon and she gave me her phone number. I tried her a couple times but it never worked out so she kind of got put away in my planner and I forgot to keep calling her. So last Monday I gave her a call and she was like "yeah I would love to meet today". We met up with her at the church with one of our super solid members. It turns out that she reads the Book of Mormon every single night and knows that it's true. It was so awesome. We invited her to be baptized about 1 second after she told us that. She agreed and now she has a baptismal date for the 14th of January. I love missionary work it is so much fun. Oh yeah another miracle that happened this week is that I'm still in Latvia!!! woohoo I love Riga it makes me very happy. Sadly I'm no longer with Elder Froelich, but I have a super awesome new companion named Elder Stucki. He's super cool he's from the east coast.

So yeah details about calling! This year will be just like last year. You'll call me so I'll give you my phone number, it will be on Christmas morning (where you live) just like last time. This year you will call me at 9:00 am (your time) that will be 6:00 pm where I am. I'm very excited to talk to you, it's always very enjoyable. I hope that you have a great Christmas week! I'm excited to hear about it on Sunday.

-Elder Pack