Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Week of Change and Insanity in the Office

That is quite the email title isn't it? This week we got new computers installed, along with new monitors. Four of them. We spent a vast majority of Tuesday and Wednesday in the office helping a church employee from Frankfurt, who actually served in this mission about 10 years ago set up all of the new computers. What I learned was that I don't really know much how to work computers. That is why we call in people who know what they are doing for this kind of stuff. It was fun and new, and not at all something that I expected to do on my mission. Moving past that, we still managed to have some lessons and to talk with people on the street, doing our regular thing. So I will give some highlights of the missionary work of our week:

  • Tuesday morning we knew that this guy was coming in from Germany between 11 and 12. So we decided that we were just going to get out first thing in the morning and contact. Let me just tell you, if you ever want to see a full tram or metro, come to Prague and get on the metro going through the center of town at around 8:30 am. It was basically wall to wall people. A little harder to talk to lots of them, but we still managed. Then we walked around for a couple or hours talking to everyone who came across our path. It was a really fun morning to just get right to work and keep going through obstacles and opposition. Just a good morning being a missionary.
  • On Wednesday night we had a singing display. It was very interesting. It was actually quite cold out, and I ran into a whole lot of tourists, as well as some Czechs. And got into a contact with a man who knew the Bible very well, and basically just talked to me about it for 45 minutes straight. It was a little hard to get anything in, but I was at least able to bear testimony and to invite him to learn more. He told me that he would be interested to come to church, so we will see what happens with that.
  • On Thursday we did group finding drawing a chalk display about the Book of Mormon. It was a good one too, and we saw lots of success and interest from people. We met a really cool YSA who sat down on a bench with us and talked for 15 minutes or so. It was a good block of time. We also had a lesson with one of investigators, and the second counselor in the Bishopric came. He is about 30, and a convert of 5 years. Suffice it to say that he is basically my personal hero. He is super cool. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon, and about how it relates to the Bible and where the connections are between them. It was a really fun lesson, and he is really interested to see what he can get from the Book of Mormon. He is a cool investigator, and we are hoping that we can continue to work with him.
  • We had a couple of disappointments this week with first lessons that got cancelled at the last minute, but we are still in contact with the people, so we are hoping that we can keep working with them and that they will still have interest. It is a good sign that they let us know beforehand and didn't just not show-up and not answer the phone at all.
  • There have apparently been two Czech medals. One gold in Judo and another something in something else. Didn't understand the name of the sport in Czech when the member said it today (canoe slalom). Good stuff about the Olympics, thanks for the updates. 
I am sure that more than that happened this week, but I cannot really remember it much, so I will just move on to the spiritual thought. This week I have been thinking about how important our desires are. I was reading several talks and scriptures that talk about how we will be rewarded according to the desires of our hearts. I believe that this is because the Lord loves us, and wants to give us those things that we desire, even if we are aiming lower than our actual potential. The problem that we have is that sometimes our desires are selfish and that we don't always want to put in the effort to be perfect. Sometimes we just want to be perfect. So how can we change that and overcome these desires? The great thing about the gospel is that we know that we can change. I believe the best way for us to change is to look at our true potential as children of God. When we keep that in mind it becomes much easier to align our wills with God's, and to put in the effort to continue pressing forward. There are also other good things that can remind us of our potential, including our family name, our talents, our abilities, and our goals. So my challenge to you all this week is to remember. To remember the things that are available to you if you will choose to follow God and apply the gospel and Atonement in your lives. Thanks for the prayers and support!

-Elder Pickett

     Brad’s new niece Sadie Marie Roper born July 31st (yes… Harry Potter’s birthday!!)

That is some great news about Sadie. I am glad to hear that is she is doing well after her NICU stay and is healthy and all that. I will cross my fingers (or hold my thumbs as the Czechs say) that she can get off of oxygen soon. Glad to hear that everything in her heart is closing up naturally and healthily.

Mom, I am glad that you will have an opportunity to study from the New Testament as you prepare to substitute in seminary. It is a great book of scripture. I am a huge fan of it. Especially the 4 gospels. To answer your question for insight, my top 10 things that were meaningful to me from seminary over the years.
1) A habit of scripture reading
2) A spiritual start to my day every day before high school
3) Learning what the heck is even in the Old Testament
4) Familiarizing myself with the parables, miracles, and stories of Christ's ministry
5) Learning how to get up early even when I don't want to (helpful for college and a mission)
6) The chance to get to know members from other wards who I previously didn't know (Daniel Goold, Brandon Pulley, etc.)
7) The dedication and gospel insights that I learned from my teachers, as well as their personal testimonies
8) Increased knowledge of the Doctrine and Covenants, and the ability to say that I read it all the way through
9) Scripture Mastery scriptures that we use as missionaries all the time, and that teach the key doctrines of the gospel quickly and simply
10) Overall an increased testimony and knowledge about the gospel, which led to an increased personal desire to know and act for myself

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