Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A New Beginning. That happens every 9 weeks.

 View of Plzen

Hello there everyone! This has been an interesting week. A little bit of good, a little bit of a bad, and a lot of exciting. So I will send some updates.

  • The biggest news of the week is probably transfer calls! Those happened on Saturday morning. I will be staying in Pilsen, and serving with Elder Anderson. He is from my MTC group and he is a stud.  We are going to have a great transfer, I am really excited. He is from Idaho, he just came from Prague, and he is a great missionary, and he's going to teach me a lot. The rest of our district will be Elder Brockbank, training a new missionary, and Sister Andersen, also training a new missionary.  We are going to have two greenies in our district.  It should be a great transfer, and we are all pretty excited.
 Elder Pickett & Elder Anderson 
(MTC matching ties Dec 2015 and from the train ride to Karlštejn July 2016)

  • Elder Tingey actually went with Elder Brockbank to Prague today, we drove together and met up with Elder Anderson. So we did a drop-off/pick-up at the same time. Departing missionaries usually head in on Wednesday, but they are trying some new things this transfer and sending them in earlier. Elder Brockbank will be getting training and will return Wednesday to Pilsen with his new missionary.
  • My MTC District Sister Heap and Sister DeMann are both training as well as Sister Andersen. I can't believe that they are almost done either. It is bad, because we say that Elders are old in the mission once their sisters go home. And that's next transfer. I don't ever want to be an "old" missionary.
  • On Thursday and Friday I got sick. Nothing too serious, just a cold that sucked all the energy out of me for two days. I passed out on a couch at the church building for most of Thursday, and also for some of Friday. But we were able to meet with a few people who we haven't seen in a while, so it was still good.
  • The weather is getting pretty great. Almost warm enough to ditch the jacket and sweater and just wear a long sleeve white shirt. The snow is done for now, but it usually makes a random appearance again in March. Or at least it did last year. But it is pretty good now, I am content.
  • Other than that we met a few really awesome people and set-up or got phone numbers from them, so we are excited to see where that goes.
Elder Pickett and Elder Tingey with their “sassy Czech” investigator L.

  • We also visited a ghost town with a cool castle last week. I say ghost town, because I have never seen so few people in a city before in my entire life. It was a little spooky actually.

Plzen District

  • I have found on my mission that pride is the biggest way for someone to stop themselves from enjoying blessings. Which is a shame, but it happens all the time. For very pointless reasons.
  • Finally, we successfully moved Elder Tingey and Elder Brockbank out of our apartment and got everything ready for next transfer, which was pretty miraculous.
  • We were talking about our proselyting card from the Church, which authorizes us to represent the Church officially and teach people the gospel. It is from the prophet. And there is a really cool phrase at the end where after saying all of the normal "he is allowed to do this" stuff it says "we invite everyone to heed his message" referring to the missionary. It is bold and cool that we have a card that authorizes us to teach, and at the same time invites people to listen up.
  • I have also come to enjoy fasting more on my mission. It is really hard sometimes, but fasting with a personal and personally important purpose is the key. I have had some coold experiences that have helped to strengthen my testimony about it. 
  • Responding to his sister Lindsay-- Ah the joys of parenthood. I find being a missionary and trying to help teach people about the gospel makes me feel the same way sometimes. I worry if I am teaching them the right things, in the right way, and if they are understanding it right, or if they are going to be lost because I say something stupid. It is an adventure, and often I feel like I don't really do it right, but luckily we aren't alone in our work.
My spiritual thought for the week is on remembering. As I look back on my last transfer there is a lot to remember. A lot of good things, a lot of opposition, a lot of fun, a lot of hard work. It is important to take a minute to remember. To remember what we have done, and what we have learned. I wanted to share one of the biggest things that I have learned this last transfer. I have learned that we have a great capability to do good in the world. We can do a lot, and we can try our best to make things work. And sometimes, they don't work out the way we hope or want. I also learned that it is ok when that happens. The most important thing is to keep going forward and keep learning. There is a phrase in the Teaching of the President of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley which says (this is paraphrasing, because I only know it Czech for sure) "Cynics don't bring anything, skeptics don't create anything, and doubters don't achieve anything." I have learned to not be these things, and to do all that I can, and then leave the rest up to God. 
Thanks for the prayers and support, and have a great week!

-Elder Pickett
Goodbyes- Elder Tingey going home this week

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