Saturday, July 23, 2016


Elder Pickett & Elder Terry

This is a very fitting title for this week. I will briefly summarize our various adventures and then focus on the big one for most of the email.
·  We found a lot of people who told us we could talk more with them this week! That is always fun. We have quite a few potential investigators who seem like they will pan out well. We are really excited to see what happens with them.
·  We also had an excellent lesson with a less active member about enduring to the end, and what that means and how we can do that. We based it off of the scriptures 2 Nephi 31: 19-20, taking all of the phrases described a breaking them down individually. It was really great and he has a very solid understanding of the gospel. He also told us that he plans to go to the open house for the Freiberg Temple in Germany, which is currently finishing its renovations
·  We were also told that we can tykat our mission president this week. Like many languages, Czech has a respectful and familiar address for "you." I am not sure how it works in other languages, but with Czech you use the more formal for people that you have just met (except children) as well as for anyone older than you, unless they specifically ask you not to. Within families everyone uses informal "you" and we as missionaries tykat (use informal) generally to YSAs, children, and some members who prefer it, or who become close to us to the point that they want us to tykat them. Since President Pohorelicky came into the mission, we have been vykating him, and he has been vykating us. But he officially decided this past week that we are going to tykat. It has been really strange and hard to get used to, because vykating is such a natural thing to do for leaders in the church, but it is kind of fun to be like a big family with him.
·  We had to do a lot of work in the office this past week to get ready for our big event on Friday, so we didn't get to go out nearly as much as we would have like. Details on that big event to follow.
·  We had dinner with the Bernards, a couple from Georgia who are living in Prague for a few years for work.  Sister Bernard is sending a picture from dinner. 
Elders Needham, Petersen, Grier, Pickett, Terry, Trythall Prague District Elders

·  This Friday we had a celebration as missionaries of the day when Czechoslovakia was dedicated for missionary work, on July 24th, 1929. John Widstoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve along with a few missionaries, the mission president, and a few members made a hike up past a magnificent castle about an hour outside of Prague. In a small, rather secluded grove past the castle they dedicated the country with music, testimonies, and a dedicatory prayer offered by Elder Widstoe. So on Friday, every missionary in the Czech Republic came to the main train station of Prague to take a train out to the castle. It was a quite a sight to see. We had a few people take our pictures, and a lot looking at us wondering who the giant group of young adults in white shirts, ties, or skirts was. It was great. Then we all walked together from the train station up through the little town and up to the castle. That was quite a procession. We saw a few members on the path up and they commented that it looked like the Army of Helaman was marching past.
Then we stopped together at the base of the final assent and walked up singing a few hymns in Czech. It was great. At the top, gathered around a stone marker to commemorate the spot, we had a few musical numbers, heard excellent testimonies, and received a short training form President and Sister Pohorelicti.

Then Elder Needham gave a dedicatory type prayer. We all remained at the top for as long as we wanted and then walked down together in smaller groups. It was a wonderful experience that helped me to remember just how blessed I am to be a missionary, and especially a missionary in this mission. The name of the castle is Karlštejn, hence the title of my email. We also went back this morning to be with member there, who had their own event to commemorate the same thing. We got to hear the Stake Patriarch and our Mission President and one of the counselors in the stake presidency answer some questions and then had lunch all together.

It was fun to see a few members I know from C-Bud, and to meet some new ones. We then went up the the same spot together and had a short program there. It was great. Also, the name of the place where they went to dedicate the country is called (in English) Priest's Hill. We all find that rather fitting. We talked about how Priest's Hill is a natural temple (Elder Widstoe said that). It is a great blessing to be able to go to the temple so I encourage everyone to attend regularly!  (Brad doesn't have an LDS Temple in his mission, the closest is in Freiberg, Germany so he is encouraging those of us who have regular and close access to a temple to GO!)

Karlštejn Castle

Finally, my spiritual thought for the week. My spiritual thought is actually a challenge to do what Elder Terry and I did with our less active member on Tuesday. One of the great thing about the idea of "Enduring to the End" is that it is not at all about doom and gloom, like it may first sound. For me, the true meaning of enduring to the end is gradually becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. So I invite you all to study the phrases that are used in 2 Nephi 31: 19-20 

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastnessin Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

and choose a principle to personally work on. If you want to, feel free to read the whole chapter and then study that part at the end. I know that as you do, the Spirit can help you individually to find something that you can work on and a way that you can draw closer to God. Thank you for all of your prayers and support.

-Elder Pickett

Sestra Hale's family came from Arizona to pick her up and got pictures in the office.

Our District returning to Prague on the train- APs Elders Needham & Petersen 
 Elders Tryhall & Grier

Elder Terry’s Mom received this picture today… we don’t have any explanation.  It must be a “replica plaque”… ha ha….

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