Monday, July 11, 2016

The First Week: Again

Me pretending to be a rooster head outside of a museum. 

Brad’s quick email on Saturday:  This week has been madness, culminating in P-Day. I will write my main email on Monday, because we ran out of time due to some fun adventures with the Assistants.

 I decided to try drawing my temple recommend photo. 

Monday email:  Hello everyone! This week has been a lot of the same, just different. Which doesn't make much sense to read, nor to live. Transfers were on Saturday, and I am staying here in Prague in the office with Elder Terry for another transfer. I am totally okay with that. This transfer had very little movement compared to the last ones that I have seen and been here for. President McConkie usually moved close to 50% of the mission each transfer, but this one we had much, much less. It is hard to say if that will be the new style for President Pohořelický, or if he has chosen to do that because he is new here and wants some continuity during this transition period. My mission president is awesome. And really funny actually. He is so Czech. I love him. We had a pretty crazy, busy week, which limited our time to get out and teach this week, but I still have some good updates: 

               Elder Pickett & Elder Terry
  • On Tuesday we had new missionaries come in! That was really fun. There are only two this transfer, which made things fun with juggling how to guarantee that both of them had a companion. We normally use a hotel around the corner, but they can't stay there by themselves, obviously. So we distributed them, and their trainers, to missionaries and senior missionaries here in Prague. Then Wednesday morning, I take them to the notary to sign some stuff officially. Except that we had one of the trainers with us, and the new missionaries are not supposed to see their trainers before the official trainer meeting. So we did a companion train up the stairs into the mission home, so that I could peek in and see people, and no one could see Elder Tingey (trainer for the new Elder). Then we went over to the notary, only to discover that it was closed because Wednesday was a holiday. That was a bit of a letdown. But the trainer meeting was super fun to be a part of. It is great to see how much we are going to be speaking Czech, and it is always fun to see how enthusiastic and excited new missionaries are. They are both going to Ostrava.
  • This next transfer, 8 missionaries leave and 13 come. That should be intense.  I get my residence card this Friday. 
  • We had some other interesting things happen, but not so interesting that they earn a place on my weekly email. However, during our district meeting this past Friday, we talked about how we wanted to work more closely with the members, and we are going to be pushing for more opportunities to visit them, serve them, and eat with them. So this Sunday we came to church ready to talk with them and to ask them if we can help them. We ended up with two dinner appointments and 2 or 3 opportunities for service. It was great to see how prepared the members already were, all it took was us reaching out a little bit.
A lion statue I saw while tracting. 
  • Contacting is always an adventure. I pray for desire every night. And sometimes throughout the day personally. On the tram, on the metro, and on the street. It is sometimes a constant battle to overcome the tendency and the ease of being lazy and instead to put in the effort to live life on a higher plane. But it is a battle that is won one moment at a time, and one decision at a time. It is how we become better and ultimately, more like Christ.  
  • On Saturday we had quite the adventure with the assistants, looking for a cottage to which we had been invited for a barbeque. When we (finally) got there, we met a great Czech couple, whose son lives in Idaho, attending BYU-I, and who was baptized while he was going to school. His parents are not members, but they love the missionaries, and like to invite them over for food and fun. That is the reason that we got home so late and I am emailing this today. We didn't find the place in time, and we didn't want to leave early, because they had gone to such effort to make us feel welcome and to provide us with food. Pictures of that are on Elder Peterson's camera, so they will follow next week, once he emails and sends them along. It was a great experience. It was hot, but the day was really superb. 
  Our fun path through the Czech countryside.

Me on a hill after our barbeque with a really cool view. was our 4th of July meal. Coca-cola with a block of deep-fried cheese. 
Seems pretty American.

My spiritual thought this week comes from a very interesting contacting experience on Thursday, during which I learned a little about diligence and opposition. First, note that this is not my average contacting experience here in the Czech Republic. This was especially extreme. So don't worry that I deal with this kind of thing every day. On Thursday we were metro contacting, and I met 3 people in a row. The first one laughed at me, because I believe in God and I was having trouble understanding his Czech. The second refused to acknowledge my existence/presence, and the final one threatened to punch me in the face. Now, these three reactions all in a row have a tendency to dampen the enthusiasm for talking with people. But right after this, we exited that metro train and went back the other direction. And I saw a man, who I felt like I should talk to. I decided that I was going to, even after this opposition that I had faced moments before. I ended up talking with him for the whole metro trip back about faith, missionaries, and our church. In the end he did not have enough interest to meet up and talk, but he was respectful and interested in what I had to say. My spiritual thought from this is to encourage you all to not lose optimism, or give up, in the face of opposition. The Lord has great things in store for us, and as long as we are willing to do what He wants and endure those things in front of us, marvelous blessings await us. So keep going and know that the Lord has a plan for you. Thanks for all of the prayers and support! 

-Elder Pickett

Prague Elders Pickett, Trythall, Beaser, Terry 

The whole reason we went into the museum. Giant paintings called the Slav Epic. 
They are quite epic.

Adela, a YSA here who sent us pictures (fotky is photos in Czech)- no details on the outing

Sestry trio- Sestra Cade, Fredrickson, Hale and Elders Terry & Pickett

Elder Pickett and Sestra Hale (who is now a returned missionary) 
who both like making goofy picture faces!

Elders, Sisters and some YSA (Young Single Adult) 
members on the outing to Kutna Hora

Elder Pickett is a photo bomber!

The struggle is real to get 6 people in a good jumping picture!!



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