Saturday, July 30, 2016

The End of July is Near

Lunch from the July 24th anniversary celebration

Tomorrow actually is the end of July. It is very near. Which brings up the good question, of how the heck does time go so fast? I really don't know. This week has been quite an adventure and rollercoaster, right from start to finish, so I will just get right into it. 
  • On Sunday we had a lesson with someone who we thought was going to be a new investigator, but it turns out he was already a member. He lives in India, but comes to Prague for vacation, and got baptized while he was here. We were very confused by that whole situation, but it worked out well. We also had a first and final lesson with someone. That was a little unfortunate. And a second lesson with a man outside of his front gate. We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he said that we can continue to come back and keep teaching, and that he wants to come to church, so that is good. We also had the crazy thing happen. We talked to a guy who came out while we were tracting, and he politely but firmly rejected us. So we kept going. Five minutes later we noticed him following us down the street, and when we stopped at another house he asked if we had a few minutes to come back and talk with him. So we taught him on his back porch, explaining about who we are and some of the things that we believe. We left him with a Book of Mormon, and while he politely declined our invitation to come back, we know that the Lord is working with him. He is someone who is spiritually hungry and will find the truth. I also had a drunk guy on a tram almost kiss my cheek and actually kiss my shoulder. That was an interesting experience. Wouldn't recommend that one.
  • Monday I don't really remember. It was good, I think. We had office meeting and did some work in the office, as well as getting out for a few hours to talk to people. 
Elder Terry by a wonderful sign that we found while tracting

  • Pres P speaks virtually only Czech to us. The occasional English if he thinks we aren't getting something, but mostly 100% Czech with us young missionaries. Interviews, phone conversations, trainings, you name it, it is in Czech. (responding to a question about changes with a new Mission President) . One of the first things that he changed over was announcing a mission wide policy of recycling. Which is incredibly Czech. Can't think of a whole lot of drastic changes. He is a lot less of a showman than President McConkie was (President McConkie has quite the dramatic flair) and has changed around the way we do some things here in the office just because of how he is different.  
  • Tuesday we had District Meeting with the Mission President and his wife present. They included some good insights about Czechs and how we should talk to them. We also had group finding as a singing display. Until it started raining, at which point we took a tram back to the office. From the tram stop to the office we sprinted the 100 or so meters, and we looked like we went swimming. Dripping from head to toe. Bohemian rain storms are pretty great. 
Elder Terry & Elder Pickett dripping wet from the rain! 

  • Wednesday we got out for almost the whole day! We spent from 2 pm to 8 pm proselyting. And all of our appointments fell through so it turned into a 6 hour contacting and tracting block. It was so fun. I haven't had one of those in a long time. We took a tram from one end all the way to the other. It was a long tram ride. It was a pretty excellent day and in the end we got a few lessons, a few return appointments, a met a lot of really cool people.
  • Thursday we also got out for most of the day. It was a good one too. It is really refreshing to not have office work and to be able to focus on the real mission part of our work here. We are trying really hard to meet with two of our investigators. We hope that they will finally have time and that we can help them to try out some things and progress on the gospel path.
  • Yesterday we had weekly planning. We also met a Russian man who wanted to come and personally thank us for the kindness that members have shown his family and tell us that he will help us if we ever need it, and that he wants to come to church here in Prague with his family. So that was cool. Then during lunch, due to a sudden downpour, we ended up sharing a table with two men who were drinking under an umbrella. We talked with them for a long time about who we were and why we are here. They were a little shocked by our ability to speak Czech, but they were also a little drunk, so that may have had something to do with it...Overall an interesting conversation.
  • We do a lot of restaurant eating at places near the office, because they are convenient and well-priced. We eat a lot of Czech food. A lot. Elder Terry and I are doing  great. We get along very well and have a good time.
  • Also, that Czech bakery that you all went to in Provo, Elder Terry and I met the owner here a few weeks ago in Prague. His name is Ross, he is really cool.  His family is Czech but he is not, but he knows how to cook authentic style from his family.  (he and 2 siblings opened the bakery in 2014) He took us to the most fancy, expensive restaurant I have ever been to in my whole life and paid for it all. The final bill was close to $250 for the three of us. It was crazy. 
The rest of the Pickett family in Provo, UT at a Czech bakery
  • Hope Lindsay has her baby soon! If the baby comes on July 31st (Harry’s birthday) she should definitely name the baby after someone from Harry Potter. Which reminds me, I have not heard any actual name ideas for this child. Nor thrown in any of my own. I have two Czech ones: Katka. Look at my Czech pronunciation guide to figure out how that sounds. And Šarka, which sounds like shark with an uh at the end. Good stuff.
Those are the highlights of my past week. My spiritual thought for this week is about praying for strength and help. I have truly come to receive a testimony on my mission of the power of prayer. There are sometimes that is hard for me to contact someone on a tram or the metro. It can be stressful, loud, and they might look very uninterested. But I have learned that one of the best ways to deal with that and to talk to them is to pray and ask for strength and the desire to share my testimony with them, and to see them through God's eyes. After that kind of prayer it becomes very easy and natural to begin to talking to people. So I invite you all to think of something that is difficult for you to do, and to pray and ask the Lord for help to overcome that fear tnad to do what you need to. I know that you will blessed as you do so. Thank you for all of the prayers and support!

-Elder Pickett  

Follow up from last week's mystery picture... from Elder Terry:  “The picture with the plaque is because the one at Karlstejn is not permanent; it is kept here in President’s office and then every year we bring it up with us to the hill for the activities/meetings that we have. President asked me to take it back to Prague on Saturday so I was its guardian.”  Good to know they weren’t stealing it… ha ha ha…

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