Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A little bit hectic...

The title of this email sums up our week pretty well really, but I will share some extra details just for fun.
  • Monday we had a visitor from Prague. An investigator who Elder Anderson taught while he was there, who is actually Russian and speaks German as well as Russian and Czech. He met missionaries in Russia on a visit and so he came to Prague to the church building basically to refer himself. The story is a little bit hard to follow, but there you have it. We walked around and looked at some of the sights, including the Synagogue here, which was really cool.

  • Tuesday we did some preparation for our training on Wednesday and probably some other things, but nothing that really stuck in my brain. It was going to be a smaller training and we were basically in charge of organizing everything and asking everyone to do things. It was a little stressful, but also really cool to organize.
  • We drove to training, and only had a slight delay by a 3 car pile-up on the highway. We still made it with plenty of time to spare, which was good. The training went really well, we were very pleased. The man in the Mormon Message "The Hope of God's Light" was there. His son served in this mission, and they were back visiting and he asked if he could share some more about his story. He actually works in drug addiction recovery for a living and shared some really amazing details and insights about his life journey to find faith and his experiences. It was awesome. We also had some great trainings by us, Assistants, Sister Training Leaders and the Mission President and wife. It was all good stuff. 
 Elder Pickett, Elder Hanis, Elder ___ , Sestra Sadler, Sestra Andersen, Sestra Cade
 Sister Pohořelicka
 At training with our MTC sisters who are both going home next week. 
How is that possible?

  • After the training, this week all blended together, but we got a few lessons in and some good stuff before Sunday, which was stake conference. We got up at 5 am to make our train and traveled with the whole district, members, and investigators to Prague. It was an awesome conference, and it was great to see member and missionaries from all over the Czech Republic. I really enjoyed that as my birthday present. The sisters also made some cobbler, which was delicious.
On the train ride to Prague

  • From Elder Rains (missionary in the Plzen District too):  This week was the Anniversary of the American liberation of Pilsen and the weekend here was dedicated to America. All of the streets were covered in American flags, there was a parade and a lot of events to remember the liberation. There were groups of people dressed up like American soldiers driving around in fake tanks. (photo:  Elder Raines)

  • President Pohořelický has transitioned well. He is really trying to make member missionary work happen. Which is awesome, because we need that to bring the people into the church that the church really needs. Most people here who are educated and working are pretty jaded when it comes to organized religion. They just don't trust churches. It is totally different from President McConkie. President McConkie he was the general, and we were the soldiers in his army. President P is our dad and we are his kids. Although he is slowly working towards a bit of a "firmer" style, for lack of a better term. We see him at trainings, MLC, and if we are ever in Prague for another reason we usually see him. So 2 or 3 times a month usually.
  • Yup, I am indeed 20 now. Out of the teen years forever (what a relief that I survived). Všechno nejlepší k narozeninám actually means "everything the best to your birthday" if you translate it, but that's how they say it here.  We haven't gotten to gather for that cake (from the “Party in a Box” we sent) and party yet, but I will take pictures as soon as we do. We did some little celebrating, but things have been crazy here. Stake conference was exactly what I wanted for my birthday. It was stellar.
A birthday cake from a sister in our ward.
  • We will be skyping at Bishop's house, and we set-up a time with him today that we will go over to skype at 5. They are quite the angelic family, super awesome and supportive. he is a great Bishop for this ward. So it will 8 your time, as long as I still remember how to count (no promises on that one). 

  • Forgot to mention that we ate fruit dumplings again on Friday. I made it ten this time, and Sister Andersen ate the last one and a half for me that I couldn't finish...

For my spiritual thought this week comes from training, specifically from the story we heard from Todd Sylvester. He talked about how the greatest gift that we have been given, just under the Atonement of Jesus Christ, is our agency. That it is agency that allows us to be such a powerful force for change in our own and others’ lives. I have seen this to be true on my mission. As frustrating as it can be to watch other makes choices I don't want them to, it is always important to realize that our ability to choose is what makes everything in this life possible. So my challenge to you all is to choose wisely, and to choose to be a force for good in the world. Thanks for all the support and prayers!

-Elder Pickett


with L., our sassy Czech man
Elder Anderson!

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