Saturday, October 1, 2016

Out of Time

I am really sorry, but we have to go. I didn't have time for a weekly email this week, but I will write first thing next week an email for this coming week as well as last week. Love you lots!  Love,  Elder Pickett
 (Elder Brad answered lots of family emails including specific plans and needs for Christmas sending/ packages.   Blog consists of some answers to questions from our personal emails and his companion Elder Brockbank’s accounts of teaching a lesson.)

Lettering from many wonderful missionary talks today during LDS General Conference… 
by Lindsay Pickett Roper

That is a good story by President Uchtdorf about missionary work, and it is true, you just have to keep going. I talked about that briefly with one of the senior missionaries here in Prague on Tuesday. It is very true. You never know who it will be and how long you have to work, so you keep going until the end. From President Uchtdorf:  “How often have I lifted my heart in gratitude for the two missionaries who did not stop at the first floor! God “rewards those who earnestly seek him,” but that reward is not usually behind the first door. Dear friends, keep knocking on God’s door. Don’t give up. Seek God with all your heart. Exercise faith. Walk in righteousness, and have trust in our Heavenly Father.  I promise that if you will do this—even until the fourth floor, last door—you will receive the answers you seek. You will find faith. And one day you will be filled with light that grows “brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”

Answering questions from Mom & Dad:
Q: I saw some pictures on the FB page of a zone conference.  I didn't see you in any pictures and I gathered that you might be having 2 zone conferences.  So I want to hear about the Zone Conference. 
A:  There are actually 4 zone conferences, because there are 4 zones in the mission. And then in October we will have a zone conference with 2 zones at each one. So then there are only 2. We follow that pattern basically every transfer.

Q:  Top 3 qualities you admire most in a missionary companion?
A:  1) Obedient
2) Focused on missionary work
3) Patient in all circumstances.
I try to have those same qualities as much as I possibly can.

Q:  Top 3 focuses that you have personally to come closer to Christ and serve with your whole heart?
A:  1) Contact on Public Transportation (that one is hard sometimes)
2) Spend as little time in the office as humanely possible
3) Be diligent and focused in missionary work, and keep on top of my different assignments (District Leader, office elder, missionary, etc).

Q:  Share your thoughts on having the boys (in the church young men’s program) lead and how it can help them with their mission preparation and to just grow spiritually?
A:  As far as some thoughts about the importance of having boys lead, that is critical for a mission. As a missionary you are given some big responsibilities and have to be accountable for them. This next week I might be conducting my first baptismal interview for a convert baptism. That's pretty weird to realize. It is important for boys to have opportunities to work in leadership positions, I think, for several reasons. 
1) You come to better understand thinking "big picture" about needs of individuals and the group collectively.
2) You learn how to take input from other people, make your own judgement calls when you need to, and balance different opinions and ideas
3) You learn how to work/interact with adult leaders, which is also important in missionary work.
4) You learn to be comfortable talking in front of groups, taking the lead in conversations and discussions, and in figuring out how to coordinate activities and plans. All of those are very important mission skills.

More lettering from talks today during LDS General Conference… by Lindsay Pickett Roper

Q:  I read a past email about last April LDS General Conference and how you handled it.  Looks like you waited a week for the Czech translation to come out and then you missionaries downloaded the English version and listened by ear buds to English at the same time your members were hearing Czech.  What are you doing this time? 
A:  We didn't watch General Conference live, we will watch it next week. I may read a few talks in the mean-time though, because we have computers in the office.

Q:   You must be decorated and festive.   I love you and I love Christmas and I obviously love the Lord or we couldn't let you be gone for Christmas.  Ha ha.  
A:  Don't worry, we will be decorated and festive, that is for sure. Not sure where I will be at Christmas, but it will be good. (transfers are in early November)   It will be really weird to have Christmas here and not see the great decorations at home, but I am where I am supposed to be. 

From Elder Brockbank reports about this week:   
“We had Zone Training with President and Sister Pohorelicka talking about the first lesson we teach. They talked about the importance of the first point "God is your Loving Heavenly Father" especially here in the Czech Republic.  Sister Pohorelicka talked about how it took THREE MONTHS before the missionaries who were teaching her could move on from talking about who God is.

We did a singing display on Dejvicka (a big roundabout near the University.) I stopped this one YSA student and we talked for a little bit. He doesn't believe in God at all. I told him that we would love to meet with him and talk more about what he believes and maybe share a little about why we believe what we do (a nice tactic learned from President.) I asked if he could meet the following day at the building. He said he had nothing better to do so he would try and come. I asked if we could get his number so we can confirm it. Negative. That is normally not a good sign. I gave him a card with our address and told him I was exciting for our meeting tomorrow. He said we would maybe come and then left.  The next day I was wiped out from being sick and was passed out on the couch in the front lobby. Elder Pickett looks out the window and says there are two YSA guys standing outside. I looked outside and sure enough, it's our appointment and he also had brought a friend with him. We had a really solid meeting that lasted an hour and a half. They said they had nothing better to do so they might as well come. They came in with pretty much no knowledge about Mormons except what little can be gained from indulging in South Park and they left with a much better understanding and maybe a little respect. We tried to set up again, but they are students and school was starting and they said they wouldn't have much time. Bummer! They were really great people though, and now we're friends. They even were going to take us out to beer until we told them that we don't drink.”

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