Thursday, December 10, 2015

Finishing Week 6- Language, District and Zone Fun!

The famous MTC Map Picture we have been waiting for!

Ahoj everyone! This week has been really, really fast. And weird. And eventful. And not eventful. Confused yet? Join the club. This email may be a bit shorter than normal because I have to plan a lesson while doing laundry while also emailing. It is an adventure to say the least.
Big updates for the week:
  • My companion and I were called as Zone Leaders. We have no idea what we're doing. Not really, we're good. We have giant binders that help us to know what to do. As well as the Spirit. That one is a little bit more important. Basically, here is the breakdown. There are districts. Each district here is made up, more or less, of people going to your same mission. There is a district leader for each. Just one missionary. All the districts in our branch make up our zone. And they call a companionship to be Zone Leaders because there are multiple districts in the zone. So we have a phone! That can receive calls from the front desk and random telemarketers who do not speak English. Literally that is all. It does nothing else. We cannot make any calls, view messages, or do anything whatsoever. Basically they trust us, but not really. They just might need to get a hold of us. We also have meetings on Sunday. So instead of Sunday morning being really relaxing until after breakfast, we have the busiest schedule that morning out of our whole week. But it's okay, because it is a great opportunity. We are both learning to love and serve our zone more than we already did, and we are becoming more aware of individual circumstances. It really a great blessing. We also got to handle new missionary orientation yesterday. We had 3 Sisters and one Elder arrive. Basically we help them to not feel super overwhelmed and be their friends. It was a lot of fun.

Starší Pickett & Starší Chadwick- MTC companions

Sister Heap got some reindeer antlers. The rest is history. (Czech Elders)

Sestras from our Zone with the famous antlers

  • The Bulgarians (6 Elders) and the Croatians (2 Elders, 6 Sisters) left this week. That was very sad. Because with them, we won't have any chance of seeing them until after our missions finish, but they were still in our zone and we have spent the last 6 weeks getting really close to them. But it's okay, we wouldn't actually want to take anyone away from the missions that they have been called to. Maybe.

Sweater Saturday- this is our old Zone of Elders before they left!

  • I met up with Elder Brown to take the legendary Map Pictures. They are so famous that they deserve to be capitalized. He told me I have gained weight and I look it. I have actually. About 5 pounds since week 1 or 2ish. I'm not sure.  Apparently that makes my face look fat.

Elder Jeremiah Brown (South Carolina Columbia Mission) and Elder Pickett

  • We had a party with SYL this week. Speak Your Language. We try to speak in Czech as much as we can. We usually hold off at dinner so that we can actually talk to the other people in our zone, but interestingly, we can usually understand the Polish and Slovakian missionaries quite well. So we had a dinner SYL party basically. It was a real good time. Because oddly enough, no one understands any Czech, Slovakian, or Polish unless they are learning one of those languages. So basically we could say anything and no one could understand it. It was good times.
  • Our lesson with Martin last night was incredibly entertaining. We challenged him to start reading the Book of Mormon last week, and he was freaking out about how dumb Laman and Lemuel are when we asked him how he liked it. He got super animated and was using hand motions and everything. It was amazing. My companion and I were dying.
  •  I have a suggestion for Book of Mormon scripture reading. Before you read, write down a specific question that you have. About the gospel, about life in general, about whatever. And then watch how you will receive revelation on that question as you read. It will be awesome. I have tried it.
  • My language update: So Czech is amazing. One of my favorite things about this language is that if you say something and it sounds like stupid or weird, that's not the correct way to say it. They make it so that it has to flow well and sound amazing while it is being spoken. It is awesome. We learned a difficult grammar principle called "to, co" last week. It doesn't translate well into English, but I will try to explain. Example sentence: "I understand what you are teaching." In Czech, because of casing that sentence has major problems. So the way you change it is: "I understand that, what you are teaching." It is difficult because it is so incredibly different from English that it takes kind of a lot of thinking ahead, while also forming the sentence in Czech with vocab and casing. But I used it correctly, twice in a lesson last week! And it was wonderful. However, in the same lesson, I mixed up the word for more and nothing. And I told our investigator we were going to say nothing about Joseph Smith this lesson. So yeah. Basically, there are a lot of ups and downs with the language and I know that I just have to be patient. It will come. It is also very helpful to be able to laugh at my own mistakes. Another funny one was my companion mixed up the word for breakfast and easy, and almost said it was not breakfast for Joseph Smith to receive revelation. Which I guess is almost kind of accurate. But still not.
  • We got to Skype with members in the Czech Republic! That was super awesome! This keyboard does not change to Czech so I cannot type his name, but he was really awesome. He is a college student from Brno. It was super fun to get to Skype with him. And our teachers knew all of the people that we were Skyping with. Also fun fact, the verb to Skype in Czech is Skypovat. For real. I could not make that up. I Skype is skypuju. I think that is rather wonderful.
  • Spiritual thought for the week. Watch and share the Christmas video. The Church has an AWESOME Christmas website and video and everyone should go watch it. We got to see it during a Devotional a few weeks early. It is super cool. The most important part of Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Presents, trees, lights, decorations, and spending time with family are all great, but we cannot forget that all of those things are vastly overshadowed by the birth and Atonement of our Savior.
I love you all, thank you for the love and letters, packages and prayers, and support and singing. (I don't know how accurate that last one is, but I wanted to continue my fun alliterativeness)
-Starší Pickett 


Journal writing party spot

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