Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Final Week (of this transfer and with Pres McConkie)

This was the last week that we have with President McConkie. He is a great man and a great mission President, and I am sad see him go, but we are also extremely excited to see everything our new President has to offer, and we know it is a lot. So, I will sum up some of the things that happened this last week, with regards to the change, missionary work, weather, and everything else.
  • For me, this week has been remarkably void of stress. Mostly in comparison to the stress last week of having two visa appointments. On Sunday we had dinner with our ward mission leader and his wife, in the restaurant owned by their family. They are really cool, and invited a non-member family that they are friends with to come as well. It was quite fun, and we got to talk about the work we do as missionaries, the things we did before our missions, and the things that we plan to do after as well. The Czech members here are pretty amazing, and they are all great examples to me.
  • On Tuesday the new office couple, the Scotts, came. The Holts don't leave until the 12thish of July, so they have some time to train them and to help them get ready for the responsibilities that they will need to fulfill. They seem pretty great, and are really excited to be here. We already like them a lot.
Office missionaries... the Holts! 

  • The language continues to progress very well.  I had a conversation on the phone in Czech to explain and set up and appointment for someone to come and set up an electronic signature for our computer.  That was an adventure!
  • On Wednesday we had the final training with the McConkies. It was a pretty emotional training, and really good. The Assistants trained on Companionship Study and how we can more effectively use that time. Then Sister McConkie trained about how we can help people to overcome their concerns, a section in Preach My Gospel. It was really good, and I learned a lot. Then President McConkie trained about testimony: what it is, how we get it, and how we can strengthen it. It was great. Then we heard testimonies from the departing missionaries. First from the two going home at the end of the transfer, and then from the entire McConkie family. That was pretty powerful. President McConkie shared his in the form of a "Jesus Thought." I don't know if I have explained what a "Jesus Thought" is before. It is something we do at the end of every training, and every District Meeting. Someone (at trainings President McConkie) takes a story from the New Testament about Jesus and shares it, applying it to us, and explaining what it teaches us about Jesus. They are always fabulous.
  • We had culture night Wednesday night and we went to a free outdoor Czech Philharmonic Orchestra performance. It was awesome. It was at the castle.
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Honestly, Thursday is mostly a blur, and I don't really remember what happened. 
  • Weather report to Caroline:  The weather is flippin' hot. To the point of insanity and melting. I am not dead yet. But stay-tuned, as I may be just a puddle next week. 
  •  I did have my last interview with President McConkie on Thursday. He basically told me that I am staying here in Prague in the office. Which I already knew. We spent about half of the interview talking about how I can help make the transition smoother.  I am worried with the transition that the paperwork for visa stuff  is going to be a bit crazy. Hopefully not too bad. But very excited about the fact that our new President can teach us some crazy good Czech, and we will probably be speaking a lot of Czech with him around.  And he obviously has a great understanding of the culture here already. And the fact that he is awesome.
  • This transfer ends next week. The transfer day is 4th of July! So while you are blowing things up, missionaries are going to be switching all over the country. The new president comes on Tuesday. It's going to be crazy. He is in charge as soon as his plane lands (he is in Provo, UT for the New Mission President seminary).  I have briefly met Pres Jan Pohorelicky and he is a lot different from President McConkie, but still really awesome in his own way.
  • Friday I had an exchange with Elder Trythall (missionary also from Roseville!). That was really enjoyable. I went with him to their area for the day, and because it was an exchange, we barely did anything in, or having to do with the office. We met some really interesting and really cool people, and taught a lot of lessons on the street. It was fun to get fully out of the office (almost) and just be able to focus on missionary work in Prague.  From Elder Trythall:  “We got work done and still had quite a few laughs and we enjoy a lot of the same things.  We spent our entire dinner talking about our favorite talks and stories from apostles.”
  • Today we played Squash with President and the other 4 Elders in Prague, then had a Czech delicacy called Tatarak consisting of raw meat/egg and pickle spread on toast with garlic. Sounds gross? It is actually...quite good. That was a surprise. (I looked it up and it's a mound of raw minced beef and a raw egg!!) Then we went with some members and the Sisters to a really interesting city outside of Prague.
Tatarak- raw meat, raw eggs 

My spiritual thought for the week comes about leaders. We have lots of leaders in the church, and they are called by the Lord. They are all imperfect people, but with the Lord's help, and our support, they can do amazing things. President McConkie has truly accomplished miracles here in this mission, and that has come as we have gotten behind him, and the Lord has directed it all. I testify that as we support our leaders, both local and not-so-local in their church callings, we will watch the Lord qualify them and us for His work, and accomplish miracles together. We are all on the Lord's team! Thanks for the support and prayers.

-Elder Pickett
 This is one kind of tram here in Prague.

And this is the church building/mission home. 
The church stuff is floors 1 and 2, and the mission home is floor 3.

Our last Zone Conference with President McConkie (and his kids in the front)
3 of Brad's 4 companions are in his zone- Elder Chadwick (MTC comp), Elder Dean (from CBud), present companion Elder Terry

 We went to the infamous Bone Church!  
The Sedlec Ossuary is decorated with more than 40,00 human skeletons.

 A coat of arms (from the Schwarzenberg family) that you will probably not recognize, 
but it is on a lot of things in C-Bud and thereabouts.  

My fearless companion.

A reallllly big church- Cathedral of Saint Barbara in Kutna Hora

Kutna Hora is known for silver mines

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