Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Last Week in Plzeň

                 The birthday boy! (wearing the Happy Birthday banner I made and sent!)

Hello everyone! This last week was pretty crazy, but a good one. 
  • We had P-day on Tuesday, which was twice in a row, and makes the week feel really short. We also had an exchange with Elder Brockbank and Raines. I was with Elder Raines in their area, we started after English class on Tuesday. It was weird to say a tentative goodbye to everyone after English, since we didn't know if I was leaving or not. We also had our final lesson with J., which was awesome and spiritual, as always. He was bummed that one of us is leaving and was sad to say goodbye to me (since Brad has been in Plzen for 6 mons, he is most likely to be transferred) , but I got his contact information so that we can stay in touch. He's going out of town for a week or two, but he wants to meet again after he gets back.
  • Thursday we had our last district meeting of the transfer. Those are always a little bit interesting. But good interesting. It's just sometimes weird to look back and reflect on an entire 9 weeks together. But it was good, and we did some good district finding with an awesome chalk display about the Plan of Salvation.

Plzen District Elder Raines, Elder Brockbank, Elder Anderson, Elder Pickett 
front row Jitka, Sestra Sadler, Sestra Anderson and Gabi 

  • The rest of the week we did some finding, and tried to set up with people. It was good, we got to see some people and I got to say goodbye, since we were pretty sure I was the one leaving.  J. is still wanting to meet. And I also left O. there, but I didn't actually get to say bye to her, which was unfortunate. And we have some others. Actually we were working with L., and investigator the sisters were meeting with who has a baptismal date.
  • Finally on Saturday, while we were eating lunch at a member's we got our transfer calls. I am now in Hradec Králové (you can refer to it as H.K. for convenience) a city a little east of Prague. Still in Bohemia, but it is my first time outside of the Prague zone my whole mission. I don't even know what to do with myself. I am with Elder Beazer here, and I am really looking forward to this transfer. The city is beautiful and the ward is awesome.
  • Sunday was like a giant, never ending train of goodbyes, with skyping home and packing thrown in for variety and relief. It was fun to chat with my family again, they are awesome. Packing was a bit of a nightmare, but miraculously I got everything stuffed into my suitcases that I needed to.
                                                       with a Plzen ward member

  • Today was quite a travel day. I took 3 different trains and it took 3 different tickets to make it. I made the first two legs of the trip (Pilsen-Prague and Prague-Pardubice) with Elder Brockbank and then the last 30 minutes from Pardubice into H.K. I made alone. The Pardubice train station doesn't have an elevator, or escalators, so I got to drag around 3 suitcases, and was luckily aided by a nice college age student who enabled me to catch the train a minute or two before it left. Without his help I would have had no chance. Combine that with running into sister missionaries in Prague who let us borrow a phone to let some people know about travel plans changing and it has been quite an eventful and miraculous day.
  • 3 train tickets later I am in H.K. And my district has 6 missionaries. Elder Paxton and Gubler. And then in a different city, called Pardubice, are Sisters Brown and Cyrier.
The library window in HK

  • Got to love current events from home. They are always full of such cheery news about how people are trying to follow the Savior's teachings and work to greater peace and harmony in the world...Not.
  • Happy Mother’s Day again, even though we chatted about it on Skype yesterday. There was  an upbeat, uplifting mother's day song? That is an exciting breakthrough in the church music industry. That's a sign that things are going in a good direction.  
  • Thanks Dad for the spiritual thought, it is an excellent one. We gave a training last month about the talk "Stand Up Inside and Be All In" from conference. That was an awesome talk, which I am working on applying better this transfer. It is a nice, new start to push myself a little bit more. I miss the temple quite a bit here. One day missionaries will get to visit it, but that will be in a little while still.
My spiritual thought is about new beginnings. I like these kinds of thoughts, and it is something that I think goes well at the beginning of every transfer. In the cycle of the seasons and life, we often have new beginnings: the start of a new school year, the start of a new job, the start of a new transfer (if you're a missionary), the start of a new diet and exercise program (sometimes these have to be frequently restarted), and even the start of a new calling. But there are some changes that are almost like the start of a whole new life: the birth of a child, baptism, marriage, these kind of big starts. One of the things that I love about the gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ is that it allows us to have a new beginning whenever we need it. There is always the option to start anew with a firmer commitment to the gospel, to a goal, to scripture study, to daily prayers. The church video "Because of Him" says that there is "no such thing as the end" because of Him. This week I invite you all to look at a way that you want to begin again, and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ to make the first step and new beginning. I know from personal experience that it can be truly life changing. Thanks for all the support and prayers!

-Elder Pickett
We celebrated with the birthday stuff you sent! That's the cake with frosting, 
the sisters baked it because our oven was sketchy.

 Sestra Andersen had a birthday too! 

We also had another birthday celebration (Elder Pickett & Sestra Andersen had birthdays in 
the same week) at the Church and some BYU students attended our party!

Czech Stake Conference with Jitka and Gabi, young single adults from Plzen. Lots of different missionaries who have served in Plzen.  Sestra Sadler & Sestra Andersen

 Gabi, Jitka, Elder Pickett, Elder Anderson, Elder Belshe, Elder Brockbank, Elder Chadwick

Gabi, Elder Pickett, Elder Belshe

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