Saturday, September 10, 2016

Let the Madness Rebegin

Elder Brockbank & Elder Pickett

I am aware that this title does not make much sense, but I stand by it anyways. So, transfers happened, and I am still in the office in Prague. My new companion is Elder Brockbank a 6'6'' Elder from Pleasant Grove, Utah and he is great. I am quite the midget compared to him. I have also been given the responsibility as District Leader here over the missionaries in Prague. We have two trios here, which makes 10 young missionaries and 4 senior couples. Quite a large group.

  • On Monday we played companion tag running around the city and helping everyone with transfer so that everyone had companions. This involved Elder Bourn (not my companion) and me running over to a bus stop for our morning exercise, waiting there with another Elder, coming back and showering and getting ready, and then rushing off again to meet up with some other people. Quite the hectic day, but it ended well. Eventually Elder Brockbank and I were able to get out and contact a little bit, during which we met several really cool people, and got contact information for several.
  • Tuesday, the new missionaries arrived, and so we worked with that for quite some time. We were able to get out and contact for some time as well, and we taught English. That is always an adventure. Someone steered the direction of the conversation toward politics and after that the class kind of spiraled out of control. Fun times. We also had an awesome singing display in the morning, before the new missionaries came in.  It included the departing missionaries who were all in Prague. We went to a busy area and had about 15-20 missionaries, singing with two guitars. We had people stopping and missionaries talking to them all over the place. It was awesome.
  • Wednesday, we went to the new missionary meeting to see all of the greenies (brand new missionaries) get assigned to their new areas and their companions. That is a nostalgic moment to watch, and also really fun. We then had some adventures at the notary with the new missionaries, which included twice leaving them alone with the notary and running back with Elder Brockbank to the office to print something out. Luckily there are 7 new missionaries, so they weren't too afraid.
  • Thursday was the first district meeting of the transfer, which I am now in charge of. I didn't totally crash and burn, so that is a relief. We have so many missionaries here, it is crazy. We also had a chalk display about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We stopped quite a few people because we can talk to every single human who walks past, which is good. It was fun.
  • Friday was insanity. We had some office stuff, a lesson with a new contact Elder Brockbank met on Thursday, and I also had a training for new district leaders. That was fun. Missionaries from around the country called in and we had a big conference call. It was really good.
  • Today we had a service project from the Wallace Toronto Foundation.  We worked with an organization in Nova Paka called “Life Without Barriers”  Život bez bariér  that serves the elderly and disabled.  A bunch of missionaries and members (145 people) were there. It was quite fun, and worth getting up at 5:15 to get out there on time. We moved a lot of wooden beams and doors and other random things out of an attic so that it can actually be useful. It was really fun. We walked around some tourist-y areas of Prague, beautiful architecture.
 145 missionaries and members  giving service in Nova Paka

 About half of the missionaries serving in the Czech Republic  
and President and Sister Pohořelický  

The Elders!

  • As far as our office duties, I continue to be over visas, production of flyers and baptismal programs and whatnot, and Elder Brockbank is taking over Elder Terry’s duties over orders, cars, and phones.  I am getting a little stir crazy here in the office, but being District Leader will shake things up a little bit more. Adds a little more crazy to my life, so that should be fun. Perseverance is definitely part of missionary work. Sometimes the responsibilities just seem overwhelming, but as I rely on the Lord, I learn what I need to.
  •  The Czech language is coming along well. I feel confident in understanding, and pretty good in speaking as well. I need to increase my vocabulary more, but I am pretty confident with what I need.

My spiritual thought for the week is about the power of the scriptures. This past week I have been studying a lot preparing for lessons and for district meeting. It was great to see the help that I can get for literally every situation and need from the scriptures. If we use the scriptures in our daily lives we will find that there are answers waiting there for our questions. It is such a great blessing to have the words of the prophets at our fingertips, and I invite you all to use the scriptures more fully this week as you try to find answers to your questions. Thank you for the support and prayers!

-Elder Pickett

Elder Pickett sent home some voice recordings to his Dad to play for the Young Men from our ward.  He talked about the blessings of missionary work and he bore his testimony at the end in English and in Czech.  The voice recordings took some time today so luckily Elder Brockbank’s family shared some pictures to include in the blog because Brad ran out of time!!

Here are a few highlights from his recording:
“This (almost) year that I have been out on my mission has been the most interesting, the hardest, the most fun and the most spiritual.  I have also learned the most that I have ever learned in my life.  I have also felt the most frustrated, laughed harder, been the happiest and been the closest to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ than any other time in my life.”

“I have learned a lot about myself and I see the potential that I have and I am beginning to understand what the Lord has in mind for my life.”

“In my mission, someone is always assigned a Jesus Thought to end every meeting.  We chose something that the Savior said or did from the New Testament and then we discuss how we can apply that to our own life.  From preparing and listening to other Jesus Thoughts, I have really come to know Jesus Christ.”

Awesome architecture in old town Prague

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