Allen's e-mail address

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.



General Conference Highlights