Monday, February 22, 2016

České Budějovice

This is final week of the transfer. Really hard for me to belive. It seems that time is just flying by. To be honest, I am not really a fan of time flying. I am enjoying myself far too much, and I still have far too much to learn to be comfortable with how fast these 9 weeks went by. Lots of great things happened this week. And last week, which I forgot/ran out of time to talk about. So here are the happenings of the České Budějovice Sever missionaries, brought to you by the extremely objective journalistic writings of Elder Pickett.
  • To start with, Valentine's Day. Is it a thing here? Kind of. Basically I would say there are 2 manifestations of Valentine's Day which I saw. 1) Milka, the absolutely divine chocolate brand every missionary here loves, was selling a special large box in the shape of a heart. Which I didn't buy because that would be an extremely un-frugal use of mission funds. 2) I did see one girl on a bus that had one of those giant stuffed bears with her. It seems that even when I fly across an ocean and 9 hours away from home, I am still powerless to escape the curse of those things.
  • On Monday last week we rented bikes from an English student of the Sisters, and went with him and a friend on a biking adventure to one of the most famous castles in the area. Super beautiful. Unfortunately, most things are closed here until April, so we couldn't go inside. Also, almost everything is closed on Mondays. Which we think is some sort of vast conspiracy to try to ruin missionaries P-Days. But we get over it. The interiors are generally more unique, from what I hear at least.
me in a tree on the way to Hluboka

  • This week we met some very cool people. Including a few who actually want to meet with us. I guess that I have not really talked a whole lot about the people we are teaching. We have a small investigator pool (about 3 really). One is a man who is really awesome, he really just needs to commit to pay tithing and then he can be baptized the next day. Not really, there has be an interview first and we have to plan it and what-not, but you understand my point. We also have someone we just met who is 18. Here in the Czech Republic, or at least CBud, people seem to graduate from high school at age 19. Basically, I still appear to be a junior in high school to most people. Which is interesting. But this guy we met we have started meeting with and teaching him. He is pretty cool. There are a few others, but we struggle to get regular meetings with a lot of people. We do a lot of contacting here. It is good times.
 So there are two words for "apartments" in Czech. Here is an example of a GIANT collection of apartments over by the University here in CBud. 
It's where an older lady in our branch lives that we visit

  • We contacted a gentleman the other day who told us he doesn't believe in God because his father suffered in an internment camp during WWII, not much we can say to that. It is sad to see how evil and full of hate people can be sometimes.
  • This upcoming week we have a Zone Training in Prague, which should be really good. Because they always are and also President McConkie will be there, which means it will be great. We also have a little event on Thursday. All 4 of us missionaries are going to do presentations about our states. Sestra Birkland: Idaho, Sestra DeMann: Utah, Me: California (surprising I know), and Elder Galbraith: Michigan. So that should be a lot of fun. We are not super prepared at the moment, but we will be...Hopefully. There is not a whole lot of spare time as a missionary, in case that isn't clear yet.
  • Also, today I experienced Czech ice cream for the first time. My life will never be the same again. Also my wallet. And fun language fact of the week, ice cream in Czech is "zmrzlina." Which I personally feel is superior to the phrase "ice cream" in every way except for ease of pronunciation.

Our District eating zmrzlina- Sestra Birkeland, Starsi Brad, Sestra DeMann, Starsi Galbraith
  • Finally, we went tracting yesterday, because all 3 of our planned lessons fell through. During tracting there were sporadic rain showers, a dog that was silent and well-behaved and the size of a bear, a dog that remembered our scent and once again tried to eat us through the fence, strangely warm temperatures, and strangest of all, people actually answered from their front door. That is a rare site to see here.
  • Also, you (Mom) will be thrilled to learn that we do transfer scrapbooks from the missionaries in our Districts here. So there will be a really fun, big collection to show you when I arrive home, with a whole lot of memories.
Apparently this is what RMs wear these days.... is this what I'm supposed to look like when I go home? (Elder Galbraith & Sestra Birkeland complete their missions next week)
pday souvenir shopping in CBud for the soon departing missionaries

My spiritual thought for the week comes from the Book of Mormon. Which I have been reading in a lot this past week. I have been reading a lot about Captain Moroni, who is an awesome dude. It is interesting that even though I am not even sort of in a situation like him (in command of armies and fortifying cities against invaders) I can still learn a lot from him and from his example. That is something that is so excellent about the Book of Mormon. The characters that are highlighted in it are either the worst of the worst, or the best of the best. Which means that if they are good, they are really good, and we can learn a lot from their examples. So my challenge this week is to find someone in the Book of Mormon who is a good example to you. And try to recognize a character trait that they have that you want to work on personally to develop in your life. Mine this week is Captain Moroni, and the character trait is fearlesness. I will report back to you all next week on how it went. Thank you all for your support and prayers. You all rock!
-Elder Pickett

Mom note:  Elder Galbraith has been an amazing trainer, what a great start for Brad's mission. This is the kind of Elder he is- I've given many trainings about all different kinds of missionary skills, but to close it all out I didn't want to do anything other than talk about Jesus.”

Branch chapel in CBud

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