Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Happy Easter… Vesele Velikonoce

 Our Easter Marketplace stand

Hello everyone! Things are going great here in Pilsen. This week was absolutely crazy, and absolutely amazing. We saw a lot of miracles, and are super excited for everything we have planned for this week.   I will get some updates and highlights.

  • So through our awesome Bishop here in Pilsen we got a booth on the square with the Easter markets. We were there from Friday two weeks ago to yesterday afternoon. It was a great experience, and we met some really cool people. We made some new friends with the sellers around us, and met some new people. We got a few new investigators. We set-up the stand at 9 every morning, and took it down at 6 each evening. We had the Prince of Peace video playing, as well as “Because of Him” and a few others in Czech. And we had the Book of Mormon in a bunch of different languages. And then we had a whiteboard with the question "Why do you celebrate Easter?" on it. It was good. Since we have the car, we had to be there every morning and evening. Which resulted in some fun scheduling adventures. Not to mention that we had to rotate amongst our companionships so that someone would be there at the stand all the time. It was really interesting, but Elder Anderson and I agreed that it helped us to take advantage of every second that we had to do other finding and other stuff when we weren't there. So it was a pretty hectic week, but lots of fun. We got to talk a lot about Christ as the Prince of Peace this week, which was an awesome topic. We had a lot of success with that.
 Elder Pickett, Elder Anderson, Sestra Andersen (Sestra Sadler photo credit)

Elder Raines & Elder Brockbank

  • One of the highlights from the Easter market was the woman who was selling cheese behind us, who gave us some free cheese, and now is friends with all the missionaries in Pilsen. I actually contacted her last transfer, but we got to know her a lot more and had some really good gospel conversations with her this past week.
Some of the stands around us, including the cheese.

 We got multiple giant things of cheese from our cheese seller friend.

  • Easter was swell! One Czech tradition is for men to weave sticks together and hit women with them to give them health for the whole year...Little different. We did not participate in this tradition, although we did have to kind of protect the sisters from an investigator who brought a 2 and a half meter tall whip to FHE yesterday. That is absurdly large. I took a picture. They also have colored eggs and special food, but no easter bunny, and no real easter egg hunts. We had church, and then were at the stand on the namesti, and then visited a member here whose husband is sick in the hospital. It was good fun. It was weird to be in the Czech Republic for Easter a second time. Made me realize that I have been gone for a pretty long time.
Yeah. It was a little over the top.

  • Other than the stand, we met lots of really cool people on the street this past week. We started teaching a few new people and we are hoping to see some real growth and progress this week. It was great to see how we contacted all about Christ last week and Easter, and people really responded well to that.
  • We also had an exchange with the CBud Elders and I was with Elder Shirley. He is going home next transfer, and I haven't ever gotten to serve around him, so it was fun to be with him for a day and get to teach with him. He is a stellar missionary, and I learned a lot from him.
  • Honestly the stand was a lot of our week, and we saw a lot of blessings and a lot of interesting things happened. We were also able to visit L. again yesterday. He is doing well. Still just as sassy. He showed us his garden, which is very nice and quite ornamental.
  • My Czech is coming along great. I understand 90-100% of what people say. My biggest problem now is that I have a good sized passive vocabulary, meaning I recognize the word and how to say it in English when I hear it, but I can't pull it out of brain in conversation. And I still talk like an American. I will probably be working on that problem forever.
  • I also took a lot more pictures this week, because I realized that I have been seriously slacking. Which is a problem. Elder Anderson and I are having so much fun together, I feel like sometimes it shouldn't even be allowed. But it is. And our greenies are doing very well. Not a single clue where I will go next transfer. I am pretty stumped by this one. I imagine that I will leave (since Brad will have served 6 mons in Plzen), but I have no idea where I will go. We will skype May 14th, which is the last day of the transfer, so I will already know what is happening, and be able to tell you over skype. That should be fun. Our MTC sisters go home at the end of this transfer, which is terrible to think about.  

 Sports Night. We played frisbee.

  • My birthday next month is also on stake conference, so we will get to see all of the missionaries in the country and a bunch of members. Should be a great present!
  • Glad you guys are having so much fun these past months with Sadie, she seems like a pretty happy baby. It will be weird not to meet her until after she turns 1. I am glad the birthday letter finally came through! They put a fancy sticker on to make it faster, don't know what the deal was with that one. I am not coming home tomorrow, sorry to burst your bubble (in response to a dream from Mom). But will have many long talks when I do get home, don't worry.
  • I really feel that I have come to know the scriptures on my mission in a way I never could have imagined before my mission. I have just learned so much and gained such a great appreciation for the truths that are there. My mission has certainly taught me about how to really love others, it is a one of a kind experience.
It snowed this morning. And then hailed. And rained. Crazy weather.

For my spiritual thought this week I wanted to talk about the Easter Initiative the Church did. It was called Prince of Peace, a title of Christ recorded in the Old Testament. It was a great experience this week to be able to testify of how Christ brings us peace in life, and to be able to reflect on how He has brought me, personally peace. I am grateful for His Resurrection, which allows us to overcome death, as well as for His Atonement, which allows us to overcome sin, pain, and sorrows in this life. As I have focused my study upon His life this past week I have come to recognize new ways to apply His teachings and example. I am forever grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here in the Czech Republic and share my knowledge and testimony of the Savior with people here. It is a privilege and a blessing. Thank you for all of the support and prayers!
-Elder Pickett

Sister Andersen the magical cook made Goulash and cake for us to eat together at lunch today.

 When Elder Anderson and I had no time for a real dinner and 
just swung by McDonald's on the way home.

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