Monday, April 4, 2016

Greetings from Overseas!

That was a random restaurant with a giant catfish on it. I figured I should take a picture. My nametag is covering the real name of the restaurant, so I can pretend it is mine.

 Fun giant painted Easter Eggs

Hello everyone! Hope you are all having a fabulous time this week! I know I have. This week was...quite a unique one. Let me explain a general schedule, and then share some specifics. We had training in Prague on Thursday, and after that ended, we started exchanges with the Assistants to the President. They are experienced missionaries, who have been in the country for a while, and assigned to help President McConkie with trainings, and directing the work here. They are also the highest authority of missionaries to go to with questions about rules. Basically, they are pretty awesome. We stayed with them until Friday afternoon, when we traveled back. Doesn't sound too crazy right? Well let me explain a little bit more...
  • First off, the strange things started Tuesday night, when we got a call from the Assistants, asking us to do an exchange. So we had a few days of notice, but not many. Things continued when my companion, Elder Dean was having some health issues that necessitated a visit to the Doctor in Prague. Nothing too serious, just something we wanted to take care of. So we got a call from a Doctor in Germany at about 10:35 that night to talk about the situation.
  • Wednesday was normal, minus the time we took to try to help a member with some technology issues. He called the company the first time, and after realizing he didn't know what he was doing, handed the phone to my companion. Luckily the lady spoke English. Because oddly enough, Elder Dean doesn't know the Czech vocabulary to ask about resetting a password and logging into an account. Not an essential missionary conversation. And then we ended up calling the company back after waiting for far too long, and the member straight off gave the phone to Elder Dean. Well this time, the person on the other end knew no English. That was an adventure. In the end, we all left without resolving the issue.
  • Thursday we traveled to Prague, via the 6:03 train. We got up at 4:30. It was so much fun. I just love waking up that early. I will leave it up to you to judge how sarcastic that statement was. (Hint, more than a little) Training was, as always, excellent. President McConkie gave an excellent training about "Finding" and Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel (Which is on Finding). It was excellent, and just what we were needing down here in our area, because we have been struggling a bit with finding new investigators. President McConkie is a little bit awesome. We also received from training from other missionaries about contacting and commitments. All really good things to know about.
  • Our exchange was great. I was with Elder Brown, who is an Assistant who has been in the country for 3 months...Because he has been in Slovakia for more than a year. He speaks only Slovak, but also understands Czech now. The moral of the story is that Slovak is very similar to Czech, but still a completely different language. The first few conversations I was completely lost. I could understand the native Czech speakers more than him. That's not something that I had anticipated. We also had a singing display, with about 12 missionaries. The sisters were on exchanges at the same time, and everyone came. It was a party. And there are SO many people in Prague. It makes C-Bud seem tiny.
  • On Saturday, we were running to visit a less-active member, when Elder Dean got bitten by a dog we went past. We tried to talk to the girl walking the dog because we wanted to make sure the dog wasn't sick or anything, but when we stopped to look at his ripped shirt, she ran for it and totally disappeared. The funny thing is, I ran right past the dog and it didn't react at all. But then Elder Dean, right behind me, got bitten. I guess I got lucky that time. To make a long story short, which involved a lot of waiting, we ended up in the ER of the hospital here in C-Bud at about 10:15. I captured our adventures on camera for the most part, so you can all see that as well. It was great fun, and that journal entry will forever be remembered and be reflected upon with great entertainment.
In the ER with a prescription...
  • The language is coming along well! Lots of improvement comes from lots of speaking.
  • Our investigators are pretty cool. The 32 year-old scientific researcher is my favorite. He is awesome. He also chose his own baptismal date, for my birthday. That would be incredible.
  • We will watch LDS General Conference next weekend when we get the Czech translation.  We actually watched the Sunday Morning session with one of our investigators, who is from England and doesn't speak Czech. He is an English teacher and has lived here for 18 years.
  • Sestra DeMann also has some really cool photos from this P-Day you will probably want. Keep your eyes peeled for a good jumping one. We took a bus back to Hluboka. It was a party.

The inside of Hluboka, through a window because it was closed.
P-Day tourists!  
Sestras are matching today!

My spiritual thought for the week is actually on journal writing. Interestingly, the reason that we have the Book of Mormon and the scriptures is because the prophets kept records! And a lot of them even say that they are doing it for their descendants too! So, the moral of the story, and the challenge to all of you, is to write in a journal! Write down goals, things you are learning, and interesting things that happened to you throughout the day. You can go back and look at the progress you have made, the experiences you have had, and the life you have lived and loved. You can also share you experiences with your family and children, and who knows, maybe one day they will become scripture! (I wouldn't count on that one, but it can be a fun keepsake at the very least) 

Thanks for all of the love and support!
-Elder Pickett

 There was a goat statue. So I figured, why not?

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