Monday, November 21, 2016

Fall in Plzeň

MLC training- Elder Pickett & Elder Croney

Hello everyone! Hope that you are all having a great week. It has rained here a bit this week. It was really cold yesterday, but a little warmer the rest of the weekend. So winter seems to be waiting for a bit. Maybe. Last week we had the first snow. I have a lot to type and little time to do so, so I will just get right to it.

  • Pilsen (the English/German way to spell it) is much smaller than Prague, and still a little bigger than C-Bud. They have a ward here, but it is pretty small. Not at all the size of Prague. We have a pretty small building and probably between 30-45 members who come regularly. But the ward works together really well and is very fun to interact with. They are really working on retention, and we have a lot of good families and recent converts that we are working with. It has been fun to meet people. They also just had a YSA return from a mission. She was in the Korea Seoul mission which has added some other fun enthusiasm.
  • We have a good teaching pool right now. We are currently working with 2 YSAs who are from other countries, one from England, and one from Belarus (again with the spell-check problem). They are both great. They have excellent questions, and really want to understand how things work, which allows for a lot of great interaction and the Spirit to be present. They are progressing really well, and we hope that they will just keep going along. We are also working with a few new people, and some good potentials. Still working a lot on finding, but also seeing a lot of success and miracles in that.
  • We are working a lot in our mission right now to figure out how to give good baptismal commitments. Also, how to explain very well who God really is, and what his relationship is to us.
  • Elder Croney and I have also managed to have some of the craziest experiences of my entire mission in the last two weeks. We were invited to a lesson by a guy who wanted to take us to a tea house (I don't actually know if those exist in the US). So we went. And as we got there the name of it was "Teahouse near Hell." Which actually the name of that part of the city is "Hell" which is why they named it that, but that threw me off a little. And then as we walked it we were enveloped in a cloud of marijuana smoke. Turns out it is a teahouse mainly were university students go. Suffice it to say that we didn't stay for a lesson there, but rescheduled for a later date and different location. We also met a lot of interesting people these past two weeks, and some of the coolest people ever. We met a guy who ended up going with us to dinner, where he told us that he spent 9 months in South America, and traveled with a medicine man, acting as a translator from English to Spanish. He now lives in Austria. So he speaks Czech, Spanish, English, and German. Then he paid for our meal at the end. Not an everyday experience.
Food we make

  • Also, we are actually only emailing today, and Thursday will be our real P-Day. We will have Thanksgiving together as a District, where I will be sure to take lots of pictures. We are looking forward to that. (Mom heard from another missionary they will be having fried chicken instead of turkey?  Stay tuned for next week’s info!)
  • This past week we also had a training by a member of the Seventy, Elder Sabin. He did an awesome job. We learned a lot and talked about a lot of good things. I really appreciated how candid he was, and also how much he encouraged us, and taught us through the scriptures and through his own life experiences. It was awesome. He was very candid, and has an incredible knowledge of the scriptures. He was quoting them all over the place. He talked about that when we really understand that God is there and listening but we just don't see Him, that changes our prayers. It is very true. He also came to MLC the next day, where we talked about a lot of good principles about how we can help the mission moving forward. It was really helpful, and he had some really good direction.
  • We are going to start an exchange tonight with Elder Merrill and Elder Terry here in Plzen, and then next week we will go to C-bud and stay over with them. Pretty excited for that one since I will go back to my first area. And then the week after we are going to Prague to have an exchange with the Elders. We might bring one missionary back to our area. Because we have a car, it is a little bit faster than train. I have done exchanges every transfer. This transfer we haven't done any exchanges yet, but we start today.
  • I think with Czech I have gotten to the point where I have a very large "passive vocabulary." Meaning that there a lot of words that I can hear and totally understand, but I want to expand my speaking vocabulary so that I have more words that I can use to teach. Elder Croney and I try to speak almost all day long in Czech. We started out with that well, we need to get back to it a little more.
  • We do live about 13 minutes away from the church. In an area with a bajillion apartment buildings. Elder Croney is very commited to working all the way to the end, just like Elder Galbraith. (this is the second companion that Brad has had on his last transfer of the mission)
My spiritual thought is from Elder Sabin's training. One of the things that he told us, which I thought was interesting, was that it is normal to be tired on a mission. That is not a bad thing. It is interesting for us to remember that life wasn't meant to be perfect, that is ok to be tired, and that we will make it through, with the Lord's help. Try to remember that. Thanks for the prayers and support!

-Elder Pickett

 Christmas markets are going up on the main square!

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