Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas

A picture with Věra in C-Bud

You can basically expect a Christmas themed email title for the next few weeks. It is by far the easiest time I have had coming up with one. Hope you all had an amazing week, because I certainly did! I will just get right into it, because I also have a lot of pictures today.
  • We had our district meeting on Tuesday this week, because Elder Croney and I were gone on Wednesday, and that was really good. We talked about how we can use Christmas in our finding and how we can help spread the Christmas Spirit and the Spirit of Christ with that. It was a good one. Elder Croney is good. He isn't trunky (missionary lingo for focusing on heading home since this is his last transfer of  his mission) at all, and we work well together. 
  • We had a chalk display near the city center. Elder Croney and I were called over by a semi-drunk man with his girlfriend (or maybe wife, not sure). He offered us alcohol, and when we refused he took us to a bakery and bought us delicious treats. That was a little unexpected. We got something pretty small and then he bought us something else "for the road." He told us he respected us for our dedication and wanted to pay us back a little bit. That was unexpected, but not unappreciated.
These are the pastries that we got from the man on Tuesday

  • Wednesday we woke up at 4:30 to work out and then drive to České Budějovice. We had to pull over at one point so that we could wake ourselves up a little bit in the frigid morning air (see pictures of the car thermometer, it is in Celcius). But we made it, and had a great exchange. The missionaries in C-Bud are doing awesome work, and I got to go on an exchange with Elder Smith, from my MTC group, who is practically 100% fluent in Czech already. He has some serious skills. We had a great time together, and met some really cool people. I got to say hi to a few members and visit some good restaurants there (maybe I sent pictures of the giant, unhealthy hamburgers with 3 patties?). It was great to be back there, even for just one day. I love that city.
 Elders Pickett & Croney and C-Bud Elders Lovell & Smith 
It was really cold on the car ride. It got down to -8

  • Our weather is the 20s. All day long for the past 2 days. That is cold. We had frost on the ground yesterday morning, and then it never melted. It just stayed frozen. Madness I tell you.
  • We also had a great lesson with an investigator on Saturday, and he came to church the next day. He is really sincere and really cool as well. Sunday evening we had everything fall through and ended up talking to people on a tram (because it is hard to find people anywhere else on Sunday nights) where we met some really cool people. That ended up being a really good experience. 
  • It is really fun to ask people what their favorite part of Christmas is, and really easy to tie that into Christ. Also, stopping people and just asking how they are doing is a good one, especially on public transportation. I have had some really good discussions with that. When we are out and it is cold, we bundle up a lot. And also spend a good amount of time on trams and buses. Czechs are tough, so they are still out in the cold.
  • President P has emphasized with us to really teach people who God is, so that they can understand what it means to have a relationship with Him.
  • The Christmas markets sell so many things like crafts, woodcarvings, lots of food, clothing, etc. They are busy all the time, they were really busy the night of the tree lighting because that was an event. They are not usually quite that crazy full.
  • My Christmas tree is here, we are going to put it up today probably.  I am glad to hear the exciting plans that people have for Christmas. It is weird for me, because it is so close to Christmas time, but at the same time this is such a different Christmas environment than I am used to. But still a great one.  For Light the World, on Dec 1 we went and picked up trash here on the streets for a while, it was fun.
My spiritual thought for the week comes from Nephi. It is a classic scripture, 1 Nephi 3:7. It essentially teaches that when the Lord asks us to do something, he prepares a way so that we can do it. I have certainly found this to be true on my mission. The Lord asks a lot out of us, but it is because He knows our potential, not because he wants to frustrate us. He helps and supports us on our path towards perfection and eternal life. Sometimes I think we forget that it really is a path, and not just a canyon we have to jump across. So my challenge to you all is to keep on the path, and rely on the Lord during your weak moments, because He is there to support you. Thanks for all the prayers and support!

-Elder Pickett

Our view at breakfast

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