Saturday, July 16, 2016

Prague is Cool


To answer the unasked question, that title is because I cannot think of anything better. Apologies. This week has been terrific. I will include some highlights, as well as some general information that my mom asked for, so I figure it would be good for people to know. This week:
  • The old office couple, the Holts, left on Tuesday. That was sad. They are awesome, and we get to spend a lot of time around them here in the office, so we love them a lot. The Scotts are now fully in control and doing very well. We love them a lot too. And because they stay in one place for a full year and a half, the members get really attached to them. We had farewell talks from them in church, and a little dessert afterwards. People were very sad to see them go. We also had roughly 40 visiting BYU study abroad students at church. That was a bit of insanity.
  • This week I got to drive! Twice. I got my license a few weeks ago, but hadn't driven yet. But on Monday and on Friday we had visa work, and I needed to drive with both of them. Don't worry, nobody died, no crashes occurred, no tickets were received, and I only got lost/took wrong turns 3 times! All-in-all, very successful trips. I also got my residence card for the Czech Republic on Friday, along with the rest of my MTC group. It was great fun.
  • We also met a couple of really cool people this week, who seem to have interest in coming to church. One of them set up an official time with us to have a tour beforehand and then stay for the rest, so we are really excited about that. I will keep you posted on how that is turning out. The other was really intrigued by our story of Joseph Smith, and curious to learn more from coming to church. So we might see him in the next couple weeks as well.
  • This last week we also had dinner with a member on Wednesday. Our Relief Society president is a sister from Australia. She is pretty awesome, and has a son on a mission in the Philippines right now. She made an awesome Australian dessert called Pavlova. It is magical.

  •  We made a goal last two weeks ago to start emphasizing more working with the members and trying to serve them, and it has been good to see the response that we have received as we have tried to fulfill that. We also were able to do service this morning for the first counselor in our Bishopric, who is super awesome. He is a returned missionary, he served his mission in Arizona, and he and his wife just had their first baby 6 or 7ish months ago. That was also a great opportunity, and then they fed us lunch.
  • (Caroline asked Brad if he knows about Pokémon Go)-- I have seen some people playing that game. One dude played it on the tram that we were on. I feel like that's totally cheating, because he is not even walking.
  • Also, on Thursday we had an interview from a British college student who runs a radio station for his college. He came and interviewed our mission president, Elder Terry, me, and the sister here in charge of PR for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It was kind of weird, but also kind of fun, and I don't think we said anything wrong. When we go tracting, we sometimes go a few days beforehand to drop off a letter introducing us, so that people can know who we are when we show up. He got that letter (we call it a seeding letter) and from that decided to call us and ask if he could interview us. So that was an unexpected result from that.
  • Pictures last week were  from  a trip to a nearby town where we saw the bone church and a giant cathedral called St. Barbara's cathedral. There was a little random platform we took pictures on. We went, along with the Sisters, Adela & Lihn (Prague ward members) and Oldřich (a recent convert baptized by the Office elders in March or April, who moved to Brno now). It was a party.
  • The weather has been very nice the past few days. Rainy and cold, then rainyish and coldish, then clear and breezy and beautiful today.
  •  (Returned missionaries from the Czech/ Slovak mission sang their mission song at Pres McConkie’s homecoming talk last week.  We were able to see a video!) The mission song is my favorite thing of all time. There is probably nothing in the world that brings chills to me as fast as that song does.
  • To Caroline:  I had a weird dream last night that you were here in this mission at the same time as me, and you were a zone leader  and your companion was an Elder, which obviously is against the rules. It was very confusing, and I was trying to figure out how it was going to work!
  • Now for a few general things about the role that the missionaries play in the ward here. We don't teach classes, but we rotate going to the Czech Sunday School, YM/YW, Gospel Principles, and the English Sunday School. Also, they have need in Primary of a piano player, so I go there sometimes and play primary songs for them. It is good fun. The role of translating rotates amongst the missionaries here in Prague. Last week it was the Pankrac Elders, the week before us, this week the Assistants. We also have during church a "missionary minute," before the other talks in church, during which a missionary will get up and tell about an experience that they had recently, or a while ago, and how it has helped them or what they learned from it. That is good too.
That is about it, except for my spiritual thought. This past week I have been studying commitment, and what it means to be commitment. Our commitment to something can increase and decrease, and is a personal thing, but is most measurable, or visible by our actions. Our everyday actions determine, and show to those around us, how committed we are to our standards, our principles, and the things that we say. Commitment to the gospel leads us to act according to that commitment, and acting according to that will lead us to change. It may be very gradual, almost imperceptible change, but we will be changing. And we can one day look back and see just how far we have come. So my invitation for all of you this week is to deepen your commitment to the gospel and to do something to show that commitment. I know that you will see the Hand of the Lord in your lives. Thanks for the prayers and support!

-Elder Pickett

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