Allen's e-mail address

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas is in 51 more weeks

Dear Everyone,

It was so nice to hear from those that I heard from. It really did make my Christmas a whole lot “cooler”. I didn’t realize that I could talk for so long with you guys. I really could have talked for easily another hour or two. Maybe even three. But as we all know, gotta get back to work. So this week wasn’t our greatest because of the holidays. Either everyone was in the Centro or everyone was in their house with their family from out of town. At least, all the people we tried to contact. But as always, we keep working because that is the reason why I was sent here. So we kept working. We got one of our fechas back. Crazy little Lorenzo but at the same time, we are going to wait on Susana because she hasn’t gotten her response that the church is true. Patience is a virtue right?? I’m not really good at being patient but I am working on it.

So I am going to tell you all what I did for Christmas Eve and Christmas because I didn’t have enough time to explain in my phone call. So Christmas Eve, we worked like normal until about five. At five we left at went to the house of a member who lives in another area. He lives in Merlo 2. We had a blast talking and joking around with him and his family. Also the Flia Duarte was there and they love to tease us and make fun of us and so it was a blast. We ate chicken cordon bleu and salad. It was really good. After that, they gave each one of us elders (there were four) a present. The present was a cup. Like a really good cup. Really sturdy. But the three other elders got Boca cups. And, yes, I got the only RIVER cup!! YAHOO!! AGUANTE MILLO!!! Jaja. I was so happy. You have no idea. I have never been filled with so much love and generosity. I know it was just a simple cup but the meaning behind the cup meant a whole lot to me. So after that we went home. I took pictures and everything but I don’t have time right now to put them on. I’ll put some on next week I promise. After we got home, we watched fireworks. They started at 12 and went until 2 in the morning. We only stayed up until 1230 because we were all tired. We woke up Christmas morning to find that Santa was in our living room!! Just kidding. But we did have presents from our families. At least the two people from the United States. The other elder’s packages haven’t arrived yet. But we all opened our presents like little girls and yes I have a picture of that too. It’s pretty funny. After we opened presents, we got dressed and went to the capilla and played with the rest of our zone for our zone activity. We had a ping pong tournament in which I got my trasero handed to. But I got revenge on the Chilenos in fútbol. JAJA. It was so much fun. We ate lunch and then we went back to our pension. We showered, got dressed and went back to our capilla, my companion and I, and we called home. Again, a lot of fun. After that, we went to the house of a member to eat Christmas dinner which was pretty good. Chicken, Lamb, Rice, Stuffed tomatoes, etc… JAJA It was all really good. And then that was the end of Christmas. The End.

I would really love some new pictures of everyone just so I can see how everyone is doing and growing. I wanna see pictures of EVERYONE!! Not just my family. I wanna show people that I actually do have a life outside of my family and the Church so if you could also send some of my soccer pictures or copies of my soccer pictures, that would be nice. I can only show the same pictures so many times before I start getting bored. Anyway, I am running out of time but I will send pictures in the next email.

I love you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Elder Pickett

Monday, December 21, 2009


Hey Everyone,

I apologize that my letter is a little bit late. We had P-Day Navideño at the offices of the mission. We had a testimony meeting for the Pastores that are leaving tomorrow to be with their families before Christmas, the program of all the zones (which i took pictures of but we are at a different cyber so it won’t read my camera). Our zone was the best one by far. We danced to different versions of “Once there was a Snowman”. The mission president really liked ours. After the programs, we ate. A lot. Jaja. We ate ASADO!! Yes, I know. Be jealous. Jaja. It was so good. I took a picture of that also which I obviously can’t figure out how to download. We also had potatoes and carrots, rice and carrots, salad with olive oil and salt. After that wonderful, juicy, tasty almuerzo, We had the white elephant exchange. It was OK. I got a Buzz Lightyear water color set. Yahoo? Yeah not too cool. And after that, we took a couple more pictures and we left. Now I am here.

This week was DE DIEZ!!! We taught so many lessons and found 18 new investigators! WOW! That is the most I have found since I got here. We found two beautiful families that want to listen and that we have been teaching this past week. I am really excited for us. But this success didn’t come easy as you could have read the past couple emails. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to teach more people. It is a great feeling to be able to teach people. When I am able to teach more people, I am able to focus on what I am doing and the time seems to fly. And I love it when time flies. We got one of our fechas back on track. The nine year old kid that we had to wait for the dad to get ready, is now ready. For January the 2nd or 3rd. Not quite sure what the bishop wants yet but we are going to talk with him a lot this next coming weeks. With our other fecha, Susana, we can’t figure out how to put confidence in her. She gets persuaded very easily. She is a psychologist and very smart. She has already gone through all of the psychology of mormonism and can’t find anything wrong with it.We have born testimony to her and have fasted for her to receive a respuesta to her pregunta. We will continue to pray for her and do everything possible to animarle. And that is all i got for this week in the mission. A lot of work was done this week. A lot of growing happened that I had no idea would happen.

Now for Friday. Everyone wants to hear Elder Pickett and his funny accent, I know. But I only have an hour to speak. Or less. Depending on the hormonal phone card I get. Hopefully I can talk for an hour. I already have a list of what I am going to talk about and if you guys have questions during my story telling, I will permit it. I have like twenty things I am going to talk about. And it might be in English or it might be in Spanish. It depends on how my brain wants to function. I will talk a lot more this coming Friday so don’t worry that this letter is short. I will be calling at 130 Utah time. UTAH TIME! Not Argentine time. I will be calling at 530 Buenos Aires time. Read this section very carefully. I am not waiting for anyone because we have dinner at 8 at a member’s house and I will be very hungry lol. Thank you to Mom, Dad, Marcos, Tia Lelani, Tia Lina, Bishop, Abuelita and Grandpa, Grandma and Grandpa Packard, And Britney for setting aside time in your busy schedule to write a little something to me. Well, I’ll talk to everyone Friday! BYE!

Elder Pickett

No Mail Today

Paul here...
I just got word from another parent who has a daughter in Allen's mission that they are doing a P-day Navideño on Friday. So hang on until then... I will leave you with a picture of the AP's van full of Christmas packages for the missionaries. Enjoy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Feliz P-Day!

Allen found someone that will listen to him teach and won't make fun of his accent!

Hello Everyone,

How is everything going? Hopefully really well. Well, to start off, I'll tell you about this week. Not much happened. We just worked everyday. Just like any other day. Learning and loving is what is happening. I learn to love the people. We did a lot of contacting this week. We taught a lot of lessons to a lot of people just sitting on their porches. There are a lot of interesting people that like to sit and watch people. And apparently we are very popular amongst the old folks. We talk to some of them and they tell us that they have been watching us Mormons for 30+ years. We ask if they have talked to us and they say they have not. ever. Well... Permiso! That means, well then, let us teach you. Ok, not literally but that's how we use it here.

A street that Allen frequents on his mission.

Mom, our fechas name is Susana. Dora is a recent convert that we like to visit. Susana is a great lady. She definitely wants to get baptized. But as usual, we keep searching for more to bring back into the fold. We are finding a lot more than before. Probably because we got all the people that don't want to hear out of the way. We found a couple of good families yesterday that we are going to go teach tonight. Oh, the beauty of missionary work.

Looks like we have a winner here.

It has actually become fun to contact people in the street. You meet some very interesting people which keeps everything quite interesting. I love meeting new people out here. We definitely love talking to the people who heard something about the church that was wrong and then teach them correctly what we believe or what goes on with us. But other than that, nothing went on this week. There are really long lines for the Correo. Gee whiz. So I won't be going there for like a month. Literally.

Just follow the sign.

The non-mission stuff. I have only received the tree package. Every other package is lost between you and me. I hope that they come soon. Elder Decker already has all his presents under his tree. The other three of us, well, it looks kinda bare. jaja. Now the information that everyone wants to hear... Christmas! So I will be calling from my Church at 530 (1730) BS AS time. That would be like 130 (1330) your time. I think.

Street around the corner from Allen's pension.

Oh, Estoy engordando, pero mucho! Ok, not literally but it feels like it. My shoes are getting worn out and I need more garments in like a month or two please, lol. We went to the farmacia and did the scale thing. I weigh 60 Kilos (which is very light. I think I lost weight)[edit: 132 lbs.] and 174 CM or 1.74 Metros [edit: 5' 8"]. Just so you guys know how I am doing.

Well, gotta run. Love you all.

Elder Pickett

Monday, December 7, 2009

More Lost Pictures

Allen sent a bunch more pictures today. Click on the pictures and you'll see a bigger version. If it's still not big enough then push CTRL +++ to make the picture bigger:

Allen's Christmas card for all - the small tree is the one Jen sent to him.

Allen walking the streets of Merlo

Sister Dora and Allen

A stray mutt that likes to follow Allen around

Milanesa sandwiches, Allen's new drug of choice

Welcome to Merlo sign

Allen and Elder Palacios - his trainer

Buenos Aires Temple

With President and Sister Benton

With Josh Riches in the MTC

With Elder Isaac Hinckley in the MTC

The maté is better on the other side!

Dear Everyone,

Yet another week on the mission and I am still alive. And this week also was a blah week because of some things that happened. I will start with what happened on Wednesday. So we get a call from our ward mission leader saying that a 9 year old boy wants to get baptized this Sunday (yesterday). His name is Lorenzo. Of course I was like ok… and…. And he says that he needs the lessons. Well, Elder González and I went right away to start teaching him. Now I have seen him at church every Sunday and I have never seen a kid with so much energy and so clingy to the mother in my life. Oh, and he loves to hit his mother too. Weird, I know. So we start teaching him and the mother was against doing all this. Ok against is a strong word. She just thought that he wasn’t ready to be baptized. And I had this thought in my head, And you have waited a year for…. What? Pigs to fly? She was very frustrating to work with. So we ended up teaching him everything and he already knew everything and I was very impressed. So we scheduled with him to have the interview Saturday morning so that way we can get everything prepared for Sunday for the baptism. But, for who knows what reason, when we showed up for the interview at his house, the mother was like ¨he isn’t going to be baptized. He isn’t behaving well.¨ And I was like ¨ni importa, él esta listo.¨ And she was like ¨no sé¨. So basically, he didn’t get baptized because his mother didn’t want him to. UGH!

Next story. We have had this fecha named Juan for the past month. A WHOLE MONTH! Well, we have been teaching him for awhile. He is also 9 years old. He had taught him everything and toda estaba listo para el 6 de diciembre. His dad is the one that was going to baptize him, but in one manera or another, he couldn’t baptize his son because of some issues. ARGH! We give them a month to prepare, they need two. Jaja oh well, that’s how it goes. So we HAD two baptisms for yesterday and right now I am still at zero baptisms for the area.

It’s ok. We had an investigator come to church. Her name is Susana and she is the most fragile woman on this planet. She is very, very petite. She calls me her ¨Angelito¨. Cute, no? Jaja my companion makes fun of me all the time for it. Oh, something really cool with her, we taught her the Word of Wisdom (La Palabra de Sabiduría) and asked her if she had a problem with any of the things on the list of don’ts. She had a guilty look on her face, which was funny, and she said that she smoked two or three cigarettes every night because she is so lonely. And so we asked her if she would stop smoking that day so that way she could get baptized and she said yes! She immediately stopped from that day until today. A whole five days! Doesn’t sound like big news but it’s a miracle. She is planning on getting baptized the 26th or 27th. But she is excepting everything and she is keeping all of her commitments so we are looking at a baptism at the end of the month. I am way excited for that.

And Friday we had zone conference which was fun. Teaching us how to do references and how to contact them with members and such. It’s on the Preach my Gospel dvd set if you really want to check it out. But we watch a section of the dvd and guess who was the member doing the referencing?? Remember Mark Bush in our ward back like 5, 6,7 years ago?? Mark and Susanne Bush I think? But yeah. It was really cool to see them on the video. Speaking of other people I knew that are in church publications, Abuelo Sill was in the Liahona. They had a little article commemorating everything that he done in archeology and in the church. It was really cool also.

Now on to the important matters jaja. For Christmas, I want everyone to think about questions they want to ask or things they want to talk about with me or stories that they want me to tell. I will think of some questions for you guys in general. I will tell you specifics in weeks to come but start thinking of questions now so that way I can answer them before you ask them. Make any sense? Hopefully. If not, ask the nearest adult, and if you are an adult, well… just kidding lol jaja. I’m just full of chistes.

I sent some pictures to my father again and hopefully everyone will be able to see those soon. Thank you to Mom, Dad (for a little bit), Abuelita y Grandpa, Grandma and Grandpa Packard, Tia Lina, and Alyssa for the letters. I really enjoyed hearing from all of you. If you sent packages, hopefully I will receive them tomorrow or the following week. Well, gotta go but I love you all and Hopefully all is well with everyone.

Love from a hot and sweaty,
Elder Pickett

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lost Pictures

We just received some pictures of Allen from another missionary. So we share them with you. Enjoy:

Allen's MTC District

Allen's MTC District

Allen and Sis. Lopez learning signs to remember Doctrine and Covenants 4

Allen calling home from the airport

Allen's first day in Buenos Aires in front of the Temple

Allen in his first zone conference

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009

[Allen in his favorite pose]
Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a blah week. Nothing too exciting happened at all. Yeah I received a new companion but other than that, nothing. We are planning to have a baptism this next Sunday so that should be cool. Hopefully we can get more this transfer.

Yesterday was the primary program. It was so cute. There was a group of 7-8 year old girls that sang the baptism song in English and I was so happy. I am assuming that the primary in the United States had the same theme. Families are forever. There are like 15 to 20 primary kids. Yeah, that’s a lot down here. And a majority of them are under the age of 8 so a lot of them were running around and it was just funny.

[Allen singing in the rain]
And yesterday, it rained. But it didn’t just rain. It rained cats, dogs, rats, mosquitoes, you name it. Basically, in my area, we had a mass baptism. Chiste. But seriously, it rained a ton. So we couldn’t do much outside because there wasn’t anyone in the street. It was kind of frustrating. But hey, you win some, you lose some. Everyday can’t be a great day to find investigators. That’s why you have to play what you have been dealt. This week I know we are going to have a lot of success sacando fechas and such. I think we can get one or two fechas this week. Who knows.

[Allen in the rain]
I don’t have much to say this week because it is only the first week of the transfer. I don’t have any stories of people wanting to kill us or anything. Wow. This week was lame. We have a lot of new investigators and references. That’s a good thing. The members here are really trying to help us out because people are hard to find here. But there is a reason we walk every street everyday. We pass by every street everyday to make sure we didn’t miss anyone. I figure it’s a good thing. I am excited for our new investigators because when we taught the first lesson to them, they felt the spirit and wanted us to come back. That’s exciting. That’s all I have for updates.

Now for what I studied that everyone else should study. And I mean study! I was reading in Alma chapter 5. And I know everyone now is thinking yeah yeah it’s a really good chapter and such. BUT NO! It is an AWESOME chapter. If you ever want to be a better member of the church, read this chapter. It basically tells you how to be the best member you can be. It puts you through your own bishops interview with yourself. It asks if you are living your life so that the can dwell with you and if you can be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I must say that I have a lot of things to change if I want to be the best member possible for the church. There is no in-between. You are either a member who is working for the good of the church, with or without a calling, or you are not a member at all. That sounded kind of harsh. Is there another way to put it? If there is, then just take it how you take it.

[Allen standing in front of his house]
Tomorrow is DECEMBER!!!! YAHOO!!! My pench (house) and I are going to buy a Christmas tree today and decorate it. I’ll send my Christmas card just like everyone else does. Except mine will be done on paint, haha. I sent some pictures to my parents and hopefully they will attach it to this letter for all to see. They are of the rain storm and of the house I live in. I’ll put more on when I get better slash cooler pictures.

Thank you to Mom, Sara, Marcos, Dan, Abuelita, and Grandma and Grandpa Packard for writing. Oh and Britney. I appreciate hearing from people like yourselves. The words of encouragement really do help me. I may be in the land of my fathers but I am far from my father lol. Anyway, I’ll send this so everyone can get it when they wake up. I love you all and pray for every single one of you, in one massive phrase. Bless everyone I know. Haha, chiste pero, yeah. Until next week, We are losquetemueven.

Elder Pickett

Monday, November 23, 2009

One down, 16 to go

[Picture of Allen and new comp]

Dear Everyone,

This week was CRAZY!!! So as you are all well aware, I had the grand opportunity to be ¨zone leader¨ for the week. I really wasn’t, but I was the zone leaders companion. So we had many problems with baptisms and bishops and investigators falling in love with elders and investigators wanting to wait until pigs fly to be baptized so it was crazy.

But amidst all the craziness, I witnessed a miracle. The area that I was in, Altos de Merlo 1, there is the Familia Arias. The Mother and Father, Norma and Antonio, had been investigators for some time. They finally wanted to get baptized so the missionaries put a fecha for the baptism. I happen to come in on the weekend of the baptism and both of them are backing out. And so what do desperate missionaries do? That’s right. Beg. Just kidding. We didn’t beg. We tried to convince them that being baptized was the right thing for them to do. Well blah blah blah. We did that the entire week. Well we told them to come to the church Saturday because an elder that they were taught by and who they loved dearly, was leaving to go home and he wanted to say goodbye to them.

So Saturday they came to the capilla, not knowing that Elder Kirkham and I went earlier in the day and filled up the pileta. JAJA And so they went on saying their goodbyes and stuff and then all of a sudden…. The husband, Antonio, he all of a sudden said ¨I want to be baptized today¨. OH MY GOSH! So we weren’t expecting this even though we filled up the pileta. So Elder Kirkham and I, ran all the way back to the pench to grab baptism clothes while another companionship did the baptismal interview. We got people to give talks and even a musical number and WOW. So we baptized him. He was the only baptism that day. We had been praying long and hard for him. It sure paid off but boy was it hard. We did everything physically we could and the rest was just the Spirit doing what it does best. Gets people wet. That is the miracle that I witnessed this week.

The moral of the story: ¨Pray always that ye may come off conqueror¨ (D&C 10:5) We were surely blessed. Let’s just say also that having an apostolic blessing on the mission helped out a whole lot for the faith part of everything. Elder Bednar told us that if we do everything physically possible and then put all your faith in Jesus Christ, the rest will come. He gave an example of when Nephi was tied up, do you think Nephi just prayed that the bands be loosed and they just came off?? Heck no!! He had to fight and struggle to get out of those bands. And once Heavenly Father saw that he did everything in his strength, He then helped the rest of the way. Nephi still had to do work but now he had help from the Lord. We need to follow that example and have faith. But remember that faith without works is dead. Do all that we can, then ask for help from the Lord.

[Edit: Picture of Allen with Elder Cubero]

That was the spiritual message of the week. Hope you enjoyed that. Well, HAPPY TWO MONTHS ELDER PICKETT!! Oh thanks everyone, thanks. Wow, two months. I can’t tell you if it went fast or slow. I think it went like normal. Only 22 more to go! Yahoo!!!

Well, it’s flipping hot and humid. I’m going to kill a dog. I think I have seen more people on one motorcycle than in one car. Six people on a Moto. And the trains and buses are ridiculous. Thanks for the heads up there Grandpa Pickett.

Well, I bet everyone is excited to know who my companion is right? I said RIGHT?? Ok good. I’ll tell you. It is………… Elder Gonzalez!! He is from El Salvador. It doesn’t speak a lot of English so here goes the trial of the mission. Speaking in constant Spanish. He and his companion in his last area were the best missionaries in that area ever so I am really excited to work with him.

[Edit: this is Allen with Elder Gonzalez, Elder Decker, and Elder???]

YAAAAHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Heck yeah! GO REAL!!! That is so flipping awesome. But they do it when I am gone. I think I was the bad luck. Hmmm…. We’ll see when I get back lol. Thank you to Dad, Mom, Sara, Cui, y Tia Lelani for the emails and Britney for the dear elder. I think I’ll work on the attribute of patience. I definitely need that. Hope everyone is safe and sound minus my own father who decided to retire from tree cutting this week. Geez jaja.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! And eat some turkey for me. We’ll probably have an asado or something. Chiste. Anyway, I love you and I hope you love me back

Elder Pickett

Monday, November 16, 2009

Last Week of the Transfer

Dear family and friends,

This week has been one hectic week. (did i spell hectic right?) Anyway, We have been really busy with working in two areas. AH! I'm so so tired. But it was all worth it because there was a baptism in the area that I am with. WAHOO! His name is Ariel. He is probably one of the coolest guys I will probably meet down here. Mom, Dad, we need to visit him when you come pick me up. ok?? He calls me ¨Tucu¨. But yeah, real cool guy.

Not much happened this week because I was in Merlo Norte the whole time. Y esa semana, I'm going to be Zone Leader!! YAHOO!! Who needs experience anymore?! ha ha! One of our zone leaders leaves next week so his parentals are picking him up on Tuesday, which is tomorrow, and I go take his place for a week because the other zone leader doesn't have a companion. I hope you followed that cause I am not explaining it again. But then i get a new companion next week.

This week though, I am in Altos de Merlo 1. They have 6 baptisms on Saturday... wow. Let's count how many I have.. oh wait.. none. FA! Oh well. We got rejected by an eleven year old with baptism. We asked her once on Friday night and she straight up said I don't want to. Then we went again Saturday night because they told us to come back and we asked her if she prayed about getting baptized and she said she did. Oh snap yeah! but wait. We asked her how she felt when she prayed. She said she felt good.. tranquilo.. Then we asked her again if she wanted to get baptized. She said.. "I don't want to get baptized." AH! SLAP in the FACE! Rejected two days in a row by an eleven year old. As you can probably tell, my ego get shot through the heart (cue andi and sophie). It killed me because she knows everything is true but it hasn't been revealed to her spiritually. Gosh Dangit. Oh well.

We had Stake Conference yesterday. It was kinda boring. They talked a lot about helping the youth of the church stay strong in the faith. Meanwhile, all the teenage girls are like checking us out... uh oh.. chiste. OH MAN!

Today was fun. There is a razon for my late writing. We had a zone activity!! It was so much fun! We got to my capilla and we started playing fútbol. Oh yeah, i bought a street soccer ball and lets just say, that was a good investment. But we played for like two hours. Then we got an asado started. Yo, elder Cuberos and elder Decker compramos vacio and chorizo. FA that was so good! Then after we ate, I was about to throw up because I ate half a kilo of meat, we played more soccer. While we were playing though, we got ROBBED! It was crazy. We were outside in the back of the church and someone went in the front and got out with 750 pesos (USD$202.70)! But the ¨robber¨ only stole it from two people. One had 500 pesos with him and the other obviously had 250 if you couldn't do the math. But yeah. after that happened, we then were too tired to do anything. I am still too tired to do anything. But there is my excuse for being late today.

Now for some other matters of business. Thank you mom, dad, abuelita and grandpa, and mary for the emails. I must now be the bearer of bad news. Only family can email me. Friends, you need to send your email to my family and then they can send it from their account. That means no more funny business... ha ha jk. But really, only my parents, siblings and grandparents can send emails. so if you send it to one of those people, they can send it to me. Did i make myself clear? hopefully.

Casi Navidad!! Guess what i get to do for Navidad?? That's right, WORK! YAHOO!! and call home. All who want to listen to my gringo Spanish, you are welcome to the home of my parentals and listen to one of the Lord's servants.. Was that a bad joke? If it was, Dad, you can delete it, lol.

Oh yeah. I writing from an internet cafe where i have no idea how much they charge. They have a little timing ticker thing at the top of my screen. Right now i am at 3 pesos for an hour and 10 minutes. Do the math cause I don't want to. My Spanish is coming. I think I have a have gringo accent because of my Tucuman ¨r's¨. Everyone makes fun of me for it, lol, I don't care.

Yes you can send the raincoat you have. I just need something to not get me as wet. I am going to get wet no matter what. And FREAKING RSL!! What the heck is up there?? I leave and they do well?? Who died and made them good? well, I will be wearing my blue and red tie on Sunday. GO RSL!! And I would like to take this time to thank all those who sent me flip flops (Cui) and Sweaters (Lelani). I am definitely using them. I need more ties By the way. OH OH OH OH Ariel, the guy at the beginning of the letter, wants some banana bread and zucchini bread. Send me the recipe please!!! Cause i need some too lol. I don't think i have anything else. I hope I am not forgetting something. Well, Until next week. Enjoy the picture that will be sent out later. (Dad has it on his work email, ask him for it). I love you.

Elder Pickett

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another Sunny Week in AR-GEN-TI-NIA

The subject is a song if you recognize it, you're the bomb.


Hello everyone once again to another episode of What is Elder Pickett up to???!!!

Well, I don’t know where to begin. I think I’ll start at the beginning of the week. So, not much went down this week. Just another week of rejections. We did get, however, some references for a couple inactive families that needed kids baptized (YAHOO!). They are Flia Pedroso and Flia Paiva. So we went to Flia Pedroso and they have a freaking whole lot of kids. They have eight. And all but the last two are baptized so Elder Palacios and I are thinking HECK YEAH!! Someone is getting wet!! So we invite them to church and everything and Gameday comes (Sunday) and they don´t show up. FA! That just put a damper on things. So I am going to have to visit them this week and invite them to church again. This is such a pain in the trasero.

Well we also have another family like I mentioned before. Flia Paiva. Well let's just say, they like to make up excuses. The Abuela says that the reason why they don´t go to church is because a very long time ago, someone made fun of their dark skin…. Ummm … I think the whole country has dark skin… hmmm… and so Palacios was like, “I have dark skin” and she was like, “well not like us…” Weird. Someone needs to change. Either the church or her and I’m going to take a wild guess and say that she needs to change. But that’s just my personal opinion.

Oh, we also have a FECHA!!! WAHOO!! It’s a 9 year old kid. The rest of his family are already baptized converts and now he just needs to be baptized. So again, we are thinking YES! Baptism! So he is going to get baptized on the 5th of December. Why so far away? Well the dad wants to baptize him and he is talking with the bishop about that stuff so we don´t want to mess with any of that. Plus the dad is a master teacher of taik won do or something like that. Freaky. So gameday comes around again and just take a guess what happened. That’s right. The kid didn´t show up. Oh, his name is Juan. Juan didn´t show up. What a surprise! FA! So once again, I have to go teach him and invite him to come to church… again. And to make things even better!!!...... I don´t have a companion anymore!! That’s right. I am solo. Saturday night the assistants call Elder Palacios and tell him that he is now going to be working in the office for the next 6-7 months (5 transfers). Wow. And so last night (Sunday night) they picked him up and now I am left in a threesome with Elder Cuberos of Colombia and Elder Decker of Arizona. They are in Merlo 2. That area is north of my area on the other side of the railroad tracks if you can see it on Google earth. So yeah. CRAZY week. I now have to work in both areas and complete the goals by myself. Doesn’t that sound like the most fun a missionary can have??? Maybe lol. So yeah. That’s how my week was. Now on to other things.

So GO RSL!!! Geez. That’s so awesome for them. I hope they beat Chicago.

Thank you to Mom, Sara, Marcos, Abuelita, Alyssa (I just barely got your dearelder letter), Mike, and Britney for writing me. It was great to hear from all of you. Just a heads up. If you wanna send a Christmas package, do it ASAP because it takes forever to get down here. But that’s just a heads up. And Marcos, to answer your question ( anything new with you?), There is nothing new going on, lol. Just working everyday. Same thing for the next two years. I don’t think you’ll have a problem on the mission Marcos. There is a set schedule you have to follow and if you go outside of the schedule, you get in trouble. So I think your going to be good. Sara, you’re a pain lol jk. I got your letter that Kalie typed. And you are welcome for the lyricals lol. And yes dad, I got the pages of my blog and its flipping awesome! Thanks for doing that.

I am almost getting sick of milanesas. Almost. We have it at every members home and it all tastes the same. But I absolutely love milanesa sandwich & napolitana. Mmmmm. So good. The pizza here is so good. My favorite is Calabresa. Mmmm once again. All the other missionaries think the pizza is ok. I think it’s brilliant!!

Argentine life is becoming a norm with me. I’m going to be jaywalking when I get home because everyone is does it here because there is no crossing signs. There is no traffic law and heck, there is no police force that will enforce anything! This place is crazy! And I am sick of these computers. I try to put on pictures, but the pictures are too flipping big! Grrr. I don’t like that whatsoever. I’ll try again another week to send a picture. If it doesn’t work, I’ll just send the card home when it gets full. We’ll see. In response to an email that I just barely received, no I cannot drink mate Brit. It sucks! I can only drink manzanilla or boldo. Both of which are just ok.

So I sent letters to Britney and Dari this week so you should receive something in like five million years. Hmmm. I’ll write my siblings this week don’t worry. You will all get a Christmas card from me by Christmas time. As for presents… well, let’s just say I’ll bring them when I’m done with my mission lol haha. I don’t have left to say. If you want me to share something specific, let me know.

Oh yeah. A scripture, thank you Abuelita, well let’s see…. What did I read… OH! Everyone read Enos. Learn something about humility and prayer. And not just any kind of prayer, a prayer of faith. Faith is the basic fundamental principle of our religion. Once you have faith, you can work wonders. I love you and I pray for you every night. Until next week, Hasta Luego!

Elder Pickett

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week... I lost count

Well hello again everyone!
It was awesome to hear from Mom, Dad, Sara, Marcos, Grandpa Pickett, Christian, and Britney. I’m glad you guys took the time out of your busy schedule to write a working man. It really does make my day. Especially when last Friday it was 40 degrees Celsius! That is way HOT! And then Saturday was 8 degrees Celsius! Freezing! And it’s raining nonstop! Well, I think I have hit all the extremes when it comes to weather.

So, another frustrating week in the land of great food and soccer. I think everyone has ESP and knows when we are going to walk down the streets. And it is also funny to watch people will literally cross the whole road just to avoid talking to us. WOW… crazy people. But we did manage to get 140 contacts and a lot of citas para volver. We may not have baptisms this transfer but… we will have like 5-6 next transfer!! We have a lot of people that were old contacts that have kids that wanna go to church and the parents like the gospel, they just don’t wanna be apart of it which is sad. But at least the kids will have the truth. We teach a lot of less active families. Like yesterday we went to Flia Frias and we went in and the River Lanus game was on and we literally sat in front of the TV, teaching him while the game was on. River lost unfortunately ;) haha. And right after we taught them, we went outside and went across the street to a lady sitting there with maté and we began to teach her and next thing you know, we got her wrapped in and she believed everything we were saying…. Except that she is from Cordoba…UGH!! Oh well. Hopefully she finds the missionaries in Cordoba. We got 5 references on Sunday. That’s like… 5 times the amount we got before! Haha. We met two crazy people on Saturday. One was a lady who thought she was Jesus Christ. We tried to share a message with her and everytime we tried to speak, she would yell at us to be quiet and she would expain what we believed in. Lets just say that she didn’t do a very good job explaining. We tried to correct her and she would yell at us more. She called us or our religion, I don’t know which, diabolical. Then the next one was a guy cutting his grass with a machete. We started talking to him and he was like no no no no no, stuff like that. And so after like fifteen minutes of ¨talking¨ to him, he started yelling at us to go away. So we tried giving him a folleto and he yelled at the top of his lungs, LEAVE ME ALONE! But in Spanish. And so at that point I was scared for my life because he had a flippin machete in his hand. So we left very very quickly. Yeah. Never will go there again. OH! And the Testigos!! Oh man they are hilarious! I didn’t realize how easy it was to kill a Testigo. All you do is bear testimony and they just sit there and don’t know what to do. All they do is give us fact and all we do is agree until they have no more facts. One, after he was done going over the list of what they believed in, started bashing on our church for plural marriage. And we were like, WHOA whoa whoa. Where did you get the information?? And he said, get this, the New York Times. WOW! Great source, great source. So I say, did you by chance ask anyone who is a member of our church about this? And of course they all say no. So we go on to explain that that was totally false and that he needs to get his head on straight because if he is looking for us just to argue, he is barking up the wrong tree. Ok ok ok we didn’t tell him that but we did tell him that that information was false. We aren’t THAT rude haha jk. Well that’s all the cool stuff that happened.

So Sara. I think you should stay at Westminster because that way I can see you when I come home. Period. No arguing no battles tap TAP! YEAH! What now! Oh sorry. Don’t know what got into me. But yes stay. Marcos, Keep up the good work. GO RSL!! Grandpa, these people I think either need hearing aids or take those huge ignorant ear plugs out of their ears. Christian!!! YAY! Sorry I haven’t written you. So this is me writing to you. Hello! Britney, great job on the presentation. You can write however long you want cause I can read really fast in English lol. And your letter should be getting there soon. If not, this mail sucks. Mom and Dad, So I was cleaning up this morning and found …. My photo album!! YAHOO!!! So no need to worry. Sorry. And I got the jacket on the day that it was hot and the next day, it was POURING! Nice job Dad using your resources for good and not evil. In my personal study, I have been studying the Book of Mormon. I would love for everyone to study/read 2 Nephi chapters 1-12. They are really good and it just gives a taste of what I am telling people out here.

Well, I ran out of things to talk about. I hope that this is enough for everyone to chew on for the next week. Hopefully I’ll have better stories next week. If I forgot to say something, let me know. I love you all. I appreciate your support.



Monday, October 26, 2009

Tough week

Well hello again,

I don´t like these computers down here at all. I can´t download any pictures to send to you guys and it´s frustrating. I´ll see what i can do. I really want to show you guys whats going on. Well, this week was really frustrating. We had no investigators that wanted to listen to any more lessons. Our baptism candidate fell through with her commitments so now we have to work on the word of wisdom and church attendance with her. AHHH!! It´s been way frustrating. But, just got to keep praying to find people who want to listen. So Sara, you´re pretty stubborn, but these people have you beat by another century! They will not even give us a chance to say what our message is about before they reject us. I think they don´t like our white shirts and ties. Or maybe it´s the name tag. I don´t know what they ate for breakfast but it´s not well with them. In one day, we contacted 35 people and got no citas para volver [return appointments]. Yeah. Welcome to Argentina Allen. Oh thanks for the welcome... NOT! sigh.

This place is so fun to just look around. I´m still in awe of a lot of things. Like for instance, milk, it comes in bags. Lawn mowers, you have to plug them in. Oh and there are more dogs than humans and the mosquitoes are immune to repellent. Anyway, enough of that. I´m done talking about this country and my problems with the people lol. Next paragraph.

So on my way down here to Argentina, someone must have taken my photo album of the family and Britney and other pictures and taken them home to show everyone what the perfect life is ha ha. Well, I can´t find my album so I would love to have pictures to show everyone again please. Just have everyone send what they want in one package just so I know if it all gets here. That would be tremendous. Mom, you´re in charge of that no battles. I would also like a raincoat, please. We just had a huge rainstorm that about drowned me. It was really cool.

Thank you to Tia Lelani and Britney for the letters even though you sent them like two weeks ago. I would love to hear from everyone through emails. Everyone can email me but i can only email my parents back. So I'll answer all questions, comments and concerns on that email.

So zone conference was this past Friday and it is the longest meeting of my life! Probably cause it went all day long ha ha. We just talk about our new goals and learned how to contact better. But I don´t think we need to contact better, we need people to be better accepting lol jk.

Well I can´t remember what else i wanted to say. Oh, if you´re going to send a Christmas package, send it before Thanksgiving. You might think I´m crazy but trust me. Do it. And send it through express or it has a better chance of getting stolen. and Jesus stickers. Remember my family, remember... ha. OH YEAH!

Britney, I sent you a letter slash birthday card. So you should get it sometime this week or next week. You can open it whenever cause it´s just a letter. nothing special because i don´t trust people here with special packages.

Happy Halloween everyone. Just so everyone knows, I am dressing up for Halloween. I am dressing up as my companion. Laugh if you want... Mom. Anyway. I love you all. a lot. Hope you don´t freeze there as I´m dying of sweat here. Until next week.


Elder Pickett

PS So Boca and River tied but you could hear every house that was watching it, lol. I tried attaching a video [to this mail] but it's just too big to load and pictures take a while. I'll send some as soon as I can. And BTW, I already ate a choripan. Anything you want me to eat for you while I'm here? LOL!

Monday, October 19, 2009

One week down, 99 to go!

Hello all,

One down, I think something like 99 or 100 weeks left. Wow. But this week was kinda long but kinda not. Tracting takes the energy out of you. Sara, I don´t even think cross [country] will even help train me for all this walking. We walk like 12-13 km or more a day! My feet kill me!! and my calfs and my hamstring and EVERYTHING! I feel fat. Anyway, thats all the complaining I have. Wait, one more, the people here are so flippin' stubborn it´s ridiculous. Worse than Sara! I know. Not possible? Oh..., but it is.

I appreciate all the emails I have received from Mom, Dad, Sara, Marcos, Andi, Sophie, Kirby, Abuelita y Grandpa and Britney. Unfortunately, I cannot answer each of you individually but hopefully you all can feel my love for each of you in this letter. Now to start answering questions. The directions to my pench [pension] is 1161 Junin. Do NOT write to this address!! Just look it up on Google Earth. I have not bought a sleeping bag yet because it is going to get so flippin' hot soon. I have a blanket that the mission gave me for my entire mission and a pillow. I sleep in a bunk bed. On top like normal.

Elder Palacios is from Santiago, Melipilla to be exact. I receive 500 pesos a month. I don´t know how much that is US dollars [$135.14 at the current exchange] but apparently I am rich. I receive it on a card every month. I don´t have it yet so I don´t the specifics. All I know is that I have money to survive. So we have eaten at members house almost everyday. And we eat the same thing over and over and over again. MILANESAS!! It is the best food ever! I will probably get sick of it after awhile. Elder Palacios doesn´t really like it, flippin' Chileno haha.

[In response to my question if Carlo could go visit him] No tengo tiempo para visitar con Carlo. Sorry. We are just busy walking the streets, bringing this sad world a message of glad tidings of great joy!! We have one person who has a baptism date. But she didn´t come to church because of Dìa de la Madre. oh Happy mother´s day mom from Argentina. We have a lot of investigators that aren´t fully invested and it´s hard but we keep trying.

My area is a ward by the way. Merlo 1!!! Our ward is awesome. I got introduced yesterday and had to bear my testimony. It wasn´t scary at all. Oh man I´m tired.

Elder Palacios and I get to go to the temple tomorrow, Tuesday, for the first and last time. Really cool. The streets here are great if you are looking for a job as street cleaner. There is so much trash its ridiculous. You can probably compare it to my room at home i guess.. haha. Our chapel is on Avellaneda between Chacabuco and Maìpu.. haha..

Anyway. Sorry if I didn´t answer all your questions. Write them again and hopefully I´ll answer them next time. Oh and packages Mom, Put like Jesus stickers on the box so people don´t take it. They won´t steal from Jesus. I love you all. If you doubt that then you´re CRAZY! And mom, Don´t cry for me in Argentina!

Elder Pickett

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm Here!

Hello All:

I´m tired, exhausted, shocked, and in a daze. So I got in at about 9:30 on Tuesday morning. We met President Benton and we went to the temple where we took pictures. We also picked up two missionaries from the CCM here. After we went to the temple, we went to the mission home where we had facturas and milanesa and potatoes. It was so good. After the mission home, we went to the Rio [de la Plata] and took pictures. It was huge! After the Rio [de la Plata] we went to the mission office where we had a meeting about the mission and stuff. And... we got companions! Wahoo! My companion is Elder Polasios. He is from Chile. Lucky for me, he speaks English also. Also, I´m in [the] Merlo #1 [First Ward].

It´s pretty crazy here. Everyone drives here like mom does on Mario Kart. CRAZY! So I get to the place where I´m staying and this place looks creepy, until you get inside, lol. My compa and I are with the district leader and his companion. The "what in the world" momento for me last night was the fact that when I got there, they ordered out empanadas. These guys are addicted to the food here. It´s funny to watch.

Oh before I forget, Grandpa Pickett, did you know an Elder Smith who served in Argentina from '61-'63? I told him you were in Tucuman a lot and he says he was there too. Just wondering. AND.. Abuelita and Grandpa, since you guys have experience with the Argentine people and being missionaries, my misión president said he would love to have you guys serve for like a year, if you wanted to. That was an idea he threw out so don´t think that you need to totally go. But it would be cool if there were two Elder Picketts.. if you know what I mean, lol.

So i have been told that using is the best way to get letters down here. My address is:

La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias
Elder Allen Pickett
Mision Argentina Buenos Aires Oeste
C.C. 92
1702 Ciudadela
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

That goes with packages too. But might i just suggest is to send me emails so I can have your address and i can email with you instead of write you cause it is expensive to send out letters and there is no guarantee on them getting to you or to me. So please, everyone email me. I check email every Monday so I'll write back then.

Well Elder Polasios [sp?] and I are going to check up on some investigators tonight. Our goal is to commit them to get baptized by this weekend. A Challenge, but fun stuff.

Well, this email was just a check-in email. Yes mom, I´m alive. Yes Grandpa you were right, no one knows how to drive, and the rest the Picketts who are Argentine, the food is great! I love it so far here. I´m having a blast.

Until next time, I love you all!

Elder Pickett

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Arrived in Argentina

Allen departed the MTC on Monday morning. He called us from the Salt Lake airport and from the Dallas airport. It was fun hearing his voice. Then he flew to Buenos Aires on a red-eye special arriving there Tuesday morning. We just got word that he arrived safely and the mission president's wife posted pictures on her blog. Here are her words and pictures:

"We picked up 15 new missionaries early this morning! There were 10 Elders and 5 Sisters.

13 of the North American missionaries arrived from the U.S. at 7:30 this morning, after flying all night, and 2 South American missionaries came from the Missionary Training Center here in Buenos Aires.

We took the new missionaries to the temple, where our Assistants took photos of all of us in various poses in front of the temple.

After the Temple, we took all the new missionaries to the Mission home, where President Benton interviewed them, and they had an "Argentine" lunch of "Milanesa" and "Pure de Papas", salad, and cake and delicious Argentine ice cream.

After lunch, we encouraged all the North American missionaries to take a nap, because they had been flying all night last night and they instantly complied with our wishes, falling asleep in various poses all around the Mission Home.

After the nap, they listened to some teachings by President Benton, then it was off for a walk by the "Rio de La Plata", and, after that, they rode in a bus to the Mission Offices, where they met their new missionary companions for the first time, received some more training, and then went off with their new companions to spend the night in their assigned apartments.

This all added up to lots of new sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences for a group of very wonderful, and very excited young adults!

We are sure thrilled to have them all in our Mission!"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last e-mail from MTC

Hello Family and whoever else is reading this,

Well it's been a great experience being here in the MTC or CCM whatever you wanna call it. I've definitely have had my difficult moments but you know what? God is good. I don't know how much more obvious of statement I can make. As you already know, I have been struggling trying to teach in Spanish. So I've been praying every morning, night, breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. You get the point. I've praying a lot to help me to know what to say and how to say what the "investigators" need to hear. And as I've been studying the lessons and looking up scriptures, I've been able to feel the Spirit and know what to study in the lesson specifically.

Our teacher told us to write down yesterday what stood out to us during conference. So I wrote down that fathers and sons need to have a better relationship, cease to be angry, come unto Christ, and some others that I can't remember right now but they were good, I promise. Once we did that, he told us that we were probably inspired to pay attention to those talks more because it might help an investigator on our mission. I thought that was really cool. Then also we went into an activity where we went to chapter five in Preach my Gospel and went to the page where there were a bunch of questions. Look it up, but we asked our companion to answer one of the questions by looking up scripture to back it up. Well, this ending up turning into a huge discussion. The one question that was hard to explain was, Why does God make us suffer through trials? or something like that. Well we went to Alma 36 when Alma is talking to his son about what he did when he was younger. As we were reading the whole chapter, I had the spirit come to me so strong about the grace of God. When Alma was pleading for his life, Jesus came and rescued his soul from the gall of bitterness. We also went to other scriptures in 2 Nephi chapter 2 which is an AWESOME chapter to study. I love studying the plan of salvation. It has made me realize that I am really out here to help people come unto Christ. That I am really trying to save their souls through the Spirit.

Anyway, there was the spiritual stuff. Conference was great. Sitting in a room with 2,104 missionaries is definitely something cool. Singing of course brings chills to the spine. My district is great. They are like my brothers, sorry Marcos lol. We love to have gospel discussions, other kinds of discussions... ha ha I am definitely ready get out of here though. If you haven't heard, I am leaving on Monday. My flight leaves at 12 and I land in Dallas at about 330. Then I leave Dallas at 730 and get to BA at 8 the next morning. ugh. But I am very excited to go and see what the Lord has prepared for me there. Maybe I'll meet a family just like ours... that would be weird. I would know exactly what to say: "Sara quit being a butt! Marcos Calm DOWN! Sophie your so cute. And Andi, well, keep doing your thing you weirdy" ha ha!

I love you all. Thank you for you support and love and letters. And thank you mom for updating me on you doing the dishes and laundry. I definitely get a kick out of that. Britney, thank you for the fog horn. It is being used well :). Tia Cui and Abuelita y Grandpa, gracias por las cartas y las palabras buenas para mi. Until next week, this is my last e-mail from the U.S.... next time you get one it will be from Argentina!

Love you mom and dad so much.

Elder Pickett. Che. Petite. Cualquier.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Travel Plans

Dear Family,

I got my flight plans to get out of jail... I mean, the MTC. I will be departing at 12:00 pm on October 12th [AA flight 380] and arriving in Dallas at 3:35 pm. Leave Dallas at 7:35 pm [AA flight 997] and arrive in Buenos Aires at 7:55 am [on Tuesday]. Times of departure and arrival are subject to change. So I'm pretty sure that it's all local time, so... yeah. So don't send any letters Saturday or Sunday 'cause I won't get them. Anyhow, if you have any questions call me... JK write me ASAP.

General conference today. This is going to be fun watching it with 2000 other missionaries. Hopefully I get a Bingo with Conference Bingo! You'd better not have given me a lame board. I'll get upset if you did. My district sends their love... LOL! Oh, and I send my love too. :-)


Elder Pickett

Saturday, October 3, 2009

3rd Letter

Dear Family, (and friends if necessary)

Things are going great here, don't start crying mom. We taught our first lesson in Spanish on Wednesday in the TRC (Training Resource Center). I actually did really well. I know, I know. Be surprised. But! nonetheless, I did do it, and I did it well.

So all my compa's have figured out that I can sing pretty well, so...what do missionaries do when they can't listen to music? That's correct. Put on their own concert. Haha. We sing everything that was on the radio when we left like Taylor Swift and other nonsense, but it's the funniest thing when it happens. I think there is another room that is requesting a concert or maybe they want to challenge us. We don't know, but who cares. Haha.

My pictures are ready to be picked up tomorrow so I'll send them ASAP.

So I've ditched my English PMG [Preach My Gospel] and scriptures. I'm going only Spanish (even though that's what I was suppose to do already). I must say, I've learned the language pretty fast because of it.

Let's see here. Let's get personal one on one with the siblings. Sara, how's cross [country] going? Marcos, I bet you have homework right now and you don't want to do it. Well I got two words for you... DO IT! Love ya Bud. Sophie, Sophie, Sophie, Sophie I love you. ANDI!!! You better be singing "Shot Through the Heart" for me while I am gone, you too Sophie.

Well it's been nice teaching you guys. Can we leave with a word of prayer? Okay, I guess not. Haha. Until next time. I love you all.
Elder Pickett

Friday, October 2, 2009

MTC Pictures

My verbally-challenged son wrote a letter this week with 4 (yes, you read that right) words. "Pictures!!!! Love, Elder Pickett". So, here are the pictures that he sent from the MTC.

General Conference Highlights