Thursday, August 1, 2013

Letter July 17th - July 22, 2013

First Days in Massachusetts

My first day in Massachusetts was Amazing!  We met our mission president- President Packard, his wife, and their children. They are soooooooooooooooooo nice!  I love them so much.  They have their oldest son, Brent, on a Mission in Chile.  Their next child Angela, age 19, has Garvis disease and even though she has gone through so much she is so strong and has an amazing testimony. Then they have another daughter, Natalie, age 16, who is super cute and perky.  Then their son Michael, age 10, is super smart. They all are really enthusiastic about missionary work.

Daniel William Packard, 43, and Alison McBride Packard, four children, Heritage Oaks Ward, Los Altos California Stake. Brother Packard serves as a stake seminary teacher and is a former counselor in a stake presidency, stake Young Men president, stake mission president, high councilor, bishop, Young Men president and missionary in the California San Bernardino Mission. Partner/attorney, Packard, Packard & Johnson. Born in Beaumont, Texas, to Bernard E and Sarah Packard.
Sister Packard serves as a secretary in Young Women and is a former stake public affairs director, Young Women president, counselor in a Relief Society presidency, seminary teacher and missionary in the Uruguay Montevideo and Texas Fort Worth missions. Born in Ogden, Utah, to Charles Brent and Jane Ruth McBride.

The second day we went street contacting!  I was really nervous at the thought but after we started it was actually really easy and fun! We gave out 10 cards and 2 Book of Mormon.  One of them was a black guy that looked really interested. After we talked to him, Sister Gibson saw that he went on a bench and started reading it!   After we met back up and got in the van, I realized that I forgot to get his information!!!!! :(  Oh, man! Oh well, at least he has a Book of Mormon and a card where he can go to for answers. 

President Packard is so amazing! He gets so excited that when he talks he gets faster and faster and faster. Its so funny!  Oh, and he has a Texas accent.  I had my first interview with him so that he could get an idea of who I am and why I am here which helps him decide who would be my companion. 
Usually he takes a while to pray about it but after I finished talking he looked me lovingly in the eyes and said.....I think I  know who your companion is! So cool!

The next day was transfer day. We all drove up (President Packard drove myself and a couple other girls) to the chapel right next to the Temple (apparently Mitt Romney went to this building). We all gathered in a room and introduced ourselves.....then Pres. Packard started.....he called the first name and announced the companionship.....clapping, smiles, giggles......then another....then another......when finally he called "Sister Patterson!" I stood up and said with a gasp, "I almost thought you forgot me!"..laughs....."Oh, no, how could I forget you!" :)  Then he said........(suspense)......."You are going to a beautiful place and your companion has only been out for 6 weeks but she is amazing.....Sister Bingham!!!!!!"  She jumped up with a scream!  Then we went and sat by each other while the rest got their new companions.  After a meeting where the missionaries that were leaving gave testimonies and a member of the Quorum of the 70's spoke, we walked to the temple to set a goal that we would see our progress on the next time we come back. Then we left in our little red car (if it wasn't for the GPS she had we would have been totally lost). Sister Bingham is the designated driver. 

I'm in the North Brookfield area! It's very green! and humid! It's more of a country town and the houses are absolutely Beautiful! I keep saying to Sister Bingham "Oh, my Mom would love that house", "Oh, that is sooo pretty.

Here are some pictures of the area! 

Oh, so the roads here sometimes aren't paved so that was an adventure! haha especially my first day when we went on one I was pretty sure we were lost and that the GPS had lost it's marbles! haha! but no we got to our appt. and all was well! except one time when the GPS tried to use a walking path to get us to the main road...yeah I think that hasn't been updated yet... haha!  

The names of everything are pretty funny...even the peoples last names. For instance, there is a town town called Ware......yeah, I already cracked a couple jokes on that one like, "Oh, wait, Ware did you say that town was again?"  ha ha

My first day in our area we had dinner with Bro. and Sis. Weagle. 
When we drove up he had zip ties in  his hand ready for us to help him fix a little garden fence. :)

There are bugs everywhere. When it gets  I have 5 mosquito bites on my legs and 1 on my ear.   BUZZ....Sarah is yummy!  There was a big bug that flew into my head that totally caught me off guard! ha ha :)

Our apartment is really big! It's right over a beauty salon. Cute! I know!

That's the view from our apartment! :)

There's a big music program this saturday at our ward building called "Music on a Summers Eve" and the lady that put it together worked with Gladys Knight. We've been trying to hand out flyers to anyone and everyone we see because we found that we have like a Million at the bottom of the box.  We will do our best!

We are at the Library right now and I'm about to send you some pictures.  (Mom your going to love it!)

We have two sets of Elders. One set is in Oxford and then us sisters and the other set of Elders are over North Brookfield.  We had district meeting and I got to meet our Elders. They are really fun!   The Elders had a Baptism yesterday!  Oh, our ward isn't actually considered a ward cuz it's so small it's just a branch.  I sang in the choir and it was so small. There were 12 of us and that was with us Sisters and Elders in it. But it turned out good. We sang our little peapickin hearts out. :) (That one was for Grandma) ha ha!


We are hopefully going to have a Baptism soon!  Her name is Irene. I haven't met her yet but Sister Bingham calls her every day to check up on her and I've heard her voice on speaker phone. We call to check if she hasn't had any coffee and so far she's been clean for 3 weeks. :)  Irene is 87 years old and we are so proud every time she says, "Yeah, it was a bad day and I was really tempted but I didn't give in!" She's been having hot chocolate and orange juice instead. Yay!! 

Leine is the lady in the photo with me. She is amazing! She is a convert and she is preparing to go to the temple soon (she is in her 50"s or so).  We had a awesome discussion and the spirit was super strong. 

Me with Leine! She is a convert and so inspiring. She has gone through so much and said that ever since the gospel has been in her life she is a totally different person and a 100 times happier. She has a rock solid Testimony! I love her! :)   

I am so Blessed to have such a wonderful family, friends, and ward supporting me! I feel your prayers and want to thank all those who were so generous in helping me get ready for my Mission.  You all mean the world to me. 

I was so shocked to hear what happened to Reesa.  I have to say it didn't really sink in until I went to bed last night and I started to cry.  I will miss that girl dearly.  I still can't believe that she's gone. It's weird because I just saw her walking around right before I left. This is definitely the time when I am grateful for the gospel in our lives.  It's so hard to convey my feelings on paper. I think it all still feels fake.  

I love you all and miss you sooooooo much!  I know we all can be together forever.

Love you, Love you, Love you, 

Sarah (Sister Patterson)

P.S.  Mom- I got your package.  They said that from now on to send things by priority mail so that it will forward to me from the mission office. 

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