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