Monday, January 16, 2017

So it gets pretty cold here...

The Czech/ Slovak Missionaries!

This last week we have seen winter. There is plenty of snow on the ground, and we have had several memorable experiences of blue skies, snow, and freezing cold all in the same day.

  • Elder Tingey and I sent off Elder Croney on Wednesday morning. That's really when our transfer together started. We already served around each other, and we had the same assignment in the office at different times, so it still kind of feels like we are on a weird, super long exchange rather than actually being permanent companions. But it has been good. Every new companionship is an adjustment.  Elder Tingey is really different from Elder Croney but he is really good. We work well together, our minds think in a  similar way. We both are here to work, we actually did the same job in the mission office, and we like speaking a lot of Czech.

Plzen is also home to the tallest kostel (cathedral) in the Czech Republic 
(photos from Elders Tingey & Brockbank)

  • We weren't able to meet with too many people this week, we had a lot of things set-up that fell-through at the last minute, but we did have some good finding, and a good visit to one of our investigators from Slovakia. He is a really nice guy with a strong testimony of Jesus Christ. He is very sincere in his beliefs, which is great to see. We will see with J, he has some other concerns right now. No luck with the other three possibilities that I told you about last week, unfortunately.
  • We are working well with members. They are willing to teach, the main problem is finding a time that works for them. And some of our strongest members live outside of the actually city in little suburb areas around, so it can be tough. We have an awesome ward mission leader. He is pretty quiet, but is really good at helping us focus on doing all that we can control and leaving the rest of God and the individuals. I really like and admire him.
  • We have walked around a lot of Plzen this week and frozen, but it's been really good. I have lost count of the amount of times my feet and fingers have gone numb, despite my layers and striving to stay warm. I am still undecided on my opinion of snow. I kind of like it, but I feel that it sticks around too long and once it does it just gets slushy and nasty. But when it is falling it looks nice at least.
We went on a bit of a P-day hike this morning. We live in a beautiful city!

These are little Czech cottages. They have these as a place to go with a garden because they love nature so much. They are right on the outskirts of the city.

  • We also are finally in contact with a recent convert again. His phone has been broken, so we saw him only a few times last transfer and couldn't set-up with him at all, but we are finally able to communicate again. He is doing well, and practice taught us a lesson about who God is. He did awesome. It was surprising in a super cool way. He is really cool.
  • We went tracting a few times this week in the snow, and are looking forward to the two day MLC we will be having tomorrow and Wednesday in Prague. It should be great.
 Here is our Christmas present from President P, a new temple recommend holder 
(designed by Elder Brockbank)

  • We actually will probably bring the Elders to our area this transfer for exchanges. After this transfer when Elder Tingey goes home, I will probably stay here, because Zone Leaders don't usually both leave at the same time, but President took two out and switched their cities last time, so you never really know. Maybe I will leave, maybe I won't. We will see.
  • Seeing the potential in others is super important, although it is sometimes really frustrating when they don't rise up to that potential. Really frustrating. But that's agency. Everyone has a right to choose for themselves.
  • I didn't have all the right package sending materials to prepare the box, so I will send your Christmas presents next week (sorry I am lame, but we have no good tape at home!).
My spiritual thought for this week actually comes from the practice lesson that our recent convert taught us. He talked about how God knows everything about us, all of our secrets, all our thoughts, and all of our actions. He knows the things about us that we don't like to tell anyone else, and through everything He still loves us perfectly and wants us to be happy. That is pretty incredible to fully realize. I think that can really change the way that we think about prayer and about our relationship with Him. We have no secrets from Him. And when we pray in that way, our prayers become full of the Spirit, and incredibly sincere. I would like to challenge you all to try to pray like that this week. Thanks for the prayers and support! I am glad I am where I am!

-Elder Pickett

To Caroline: Thank you for sharing that powerful quote about the Atonement. The Atonement is something that I have a strong testimony of. Whenever we feel totally alone, Jesus knows how we feel too.
I wish I could say that I am trying really hard to eat super healthy too, but that would be lying...We have tasty food here.  From Elder Tingey:  “The members are great. And they like to stuff us with food. Literally, it is eat until you drop, then put two more dumplings on your plate.”  

(Scenery pictures from Elder Brockbank)

 Buildings on the namesti (main square)

Trams that run throughout the city

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