Monday, March 6, 2017


You may have noticed that I actually put a title on this weekly email. I decided that I should probably do that, and this one fits very well. This has been a week of being filled to full capacity, both spiritually and physically. Let me explain.

  • On Monday after emailing we wandered around the city, enjoying the sunshine (that was new) and some of the great sites that Pilsen has to offer. It was a fun day, and we saw lots of fun things from new angles.
The weather was insanely nice so we went to the park and played on it until 
kids came and kicked us off.
 We went up the tower of the cathedral on the town square, and it has a great view. It is one of the highest towers in Europe. I can't remember the exact statistic.

  • On Wednesday we visited Sister Komancovas, a woman in our ward who likes to feed the missionaries. Every other transfer she invites the whole district over for lunch. You come in, you sit down. And she starts with a very large pot of soup. Yummy soup, with lots of noodles and plenty of broth. It is almost enough to make you full, but not quite. Then she gives you fruit knedliky (picture included). They are very hard to describe in terms of American food, but they are filled with cooked apples. And there is frosting on top. And then lots of powdered sugar. And them some melted butter. It is a lot of sugar (although Elder Brockbank didn't notice how sweet it was). The first four were delicious. 5 and 6 were not really tasty anymore, 7 was a little unpleasant, 8 was painful, 9 was awful, and I couldn't finish the tenth one. It was not due to a lack of space in my stomach, but instead my body literally rejecting the amount of sugar that I was eating. She made enough for 14 for all of us (her granddaughter helps her), which I was not able to eat. After we left we sort of went into food comas on the way back to the building, and didn't really eat too much dinner (a little soup provided by another very nice older lady in the ward).
 Look at those smiles.  Our Plzen district BEFORE the eating…
 These are the fruit knedliky
Here is Elder Tingey after (we all felt like this)
  • The next day we got up early to go to training in Prague. It was a fabulous training, and pretty long. It went from 10-5, with a break for lunch and some stretching. I conducted the meeting, which was weird. Elder Hymas trained on technology use in our mission (and actually made it spiritual, which was very impressive), the Sister Training Leaders trained on the importance of commitments and follow-up and Elder Tingey and I trained on being Called to Serve here. We split it into two parts: that we are called and authorized to be here, and then that we are here for the purpose of service. It was a good training. We were originally planning something completely different, but we both felt prompted that the other subject wasn't at all what our zone needed, so we changed it. It was definitely the right choice. Then we ate. Then the Assistants trained on being effective as missionaries, both with our time and with ourselves personally. And the Adlers were there, he is the Area 70 for the Czech Republic. And Sister Adler talked about your spiritual thought this week. Using that talk a little bit, and a really good analogy of someone falling into a pit and someone putting down a ladder and coming down to reach out their hand to help us up. We are the person who fell, Jesus is the other person, the ladder is the Atonement. Then she asked what the pit was and we said "sin." Then we opened up to Alma 7:11-13. And she said let's see what the pit actually is. And she talked about the cleansing and redeeming power of the Atonement, and then the enabling and strengthening power of the Atonement. It was great. It was an excellent day of learning, feeling the Spirit and being filled with spiritual things. And at the end we heard departing missionary testimonies from Elder Tingey, Elder Terry, and Elder Page, all of which were fabulous. 
 Elders Tingey & Pickett during training
Prague Zone missionaries from Prague, Plzen and CBud  

  • President trained during Zone Conference on the importance of companions and loving each other in our companionships. He said our companionships don't end once the transfer comes or once the mission ends, but we always need to watch out for and support each other.   Our trio is going quite well. It is an interesting balance, and sometimes hard, but I think it is actually pushing me to be more vocal and share my opinions on things more.  It is fun to work with Elder Brockbank again, he is a good missionary. Even if he is totally different from me in almost every way. But I like him. Elder Tingey is stressing out a little bit, but he will finish this last week off well. He hasn't really come to terms with the fact that he is leaving next week, and he's freaking out about it but I also think that he is pretty excited at the same time.
  • The rest of the week was more normal with missionary work, and we enjoyed that as well. We met some cool new people and got some new phone numbers, so we are looking forward to meeting with them this week. We also fasted, during which we were not physically full, but we were spiritually full. Overall it was a great week.
  • From Elder Brockbank:  “We took a trolleybus to meet with L., one of our investigators. He is very Czech (like VERY Czech). He says he believes in something but will never allow himself to admit that he believes in God. He is also quite sassy with us and likes to joke around. We are pretty bold and shoot it right back at him (with the Spirit of course). We made a little bit of progress with him though. He also loves us so he fed us lunch. It was homemade bramborak which is this fried potato pancake that is ginourmous with chicken in the middle. He gave us each a giant plate.”
Also L. gave us some really good, and apparently really healthy honey. 
It is not your average honey, and it is quite tasty.  
  • Pilsen is what people call our city in English. Plzeň is Czech, but I don't like typing it without the little arrow thingy, and I don't like changing the language on the keyboard back to Czech to add it on. So I use Pilsen when I am feeling a little lazy basically.
  • I have found that I really like full days on my mission. They help me feel like I am getting good things done and doing good stuff. So keep your days busy! (But not crazy busy, because they are also very exhausting)
  •  We have an exchange with the Assistants tomorrow, which I am really looking forward to. I really hope that I will be with Elder Belshe, because I love doing missionary work with him. He is awesome, and I would love to serve with him, but looking at our paths and future possibilities, I don't know that I will get to. Which is a shame, but we will see how things turn out. There are 3 new areas opening in our mission this coming transfer but they are not in our zone, so it won't change much for us. It's always fun to see who President will choose to open a new area though. That's always interesting. 
  • Thanks Dad, I have that Elder Bednar  talk “In the Strength of the Lord” with me and I periodically read it. I like the reminder that individual willpower, personal determination and motivation, and effective planning and goal setting are necessary but ultimately insufficient to triumphantly complete this mortal journey.  I have worked a lot on my mission at setting personal goals and accomplishing them, which I feel like has helped me become more self-motivated and helped me improve, but I have certainly recognized the fact that even with all of that I can't do it alone. I cannot alone qualify for the blessings that I need as a missionary. I have to have Christ's help through His Atonement.
  • Caroline, I love learning about the immune system! It is so cool!!! I don't think I could type out a good crash course, sorry. I need to be able to express stuff with my hands, and probably use a white board as well. But it's awesome!
My spiritual thought about the week is about feasting, and why it is important. Not so much on the physical side, because that can just be unhealthy, but spiritually. Sometimes when we are doing "spiritual things" like reading the scriptures, praying, or sitting in church, we are not really focused on what we are doing, and we are doing things out of habit rather than true desire. At such times we are only nibbling spiritually. But when we truly, sincerely seek for answers, for ways to improve, and strive to feel the Spirit, we are feasting. And I testify that feasting is much more fulfilling than only nibbling. So feast this week! Thank you for the support and prayers!

-Elder Pickett

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