Allen's e-mail address

Monday, January 25, 2010

Better than Last Week

(Zona Merlo)
Hey Everyone,

Can we say AMAZING WEEK EVER! Well, let’s start off with… TWO BAPTISMS! YAHOO! If you can’t tell, I am a little excited. We had a great week. I just feel good about what we did this past week. We started out a bit rough because we had to do what is called a “Tormenta Blanca”. This is where all the Elders from one zone, go to one area in the zone to help their datos and to find more people for them to teach. We did that on Tuesday. We did it from 1 in the afternoon until 5 in the afternoon. There were 16 missionaries in the smallest area in the whole mission. It was crazy. No one likes to do these because that usually means that those missionaries are being lazy or the people are really hard and I don’t believe it’s the second. My personal opinion.

(German, Elder Pickett, Hector, Elder Gonzalez)
But that didn’t impede our record progress in this area. We are working like crazy. We completed with some of the weekly goals for the mission AND had two baptisms. We are so proud of ourselves. This week we got to second place in the zone. One behind the Zone Leaders. OH SNAP! Almost got the Zone Leaders off guard. But there is a reason why they are Zone Leaders. They know how to work. I am working on my sweet teaching skills so I can be like them.

(German & Elder Pickett)
We taught a lot this week. We went on divisions with some members and taught a lot there. I went with a kid my age to teach. His name is Leandro. He got his mission call to Cochabamba, Bolivia. Crazy huh? Well we went and taught Susana and she is being a little difficult. She doesn’t think that she needs to go to church and that God’s justice is unjust. *sigh* Oh boy. We have explained to her that trials are not punishments but rather opportunities to grow. She says that she has done nothing bad her whole life but there are a lot of bad things that are happening to her. We told her that she is very strong person and God knows that she can handle it all. We told that the Atonement was put into place so that no one needs to suffer if they will just turn to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father for help. Apparently it is a hard point for her to get over. And she really got freaked out when we read a scripture that said if you reject the word of God, you will go to the infierno. Oops. Maybe that was a little to harsh, but we explained that when we are keeping the commandments, we are accepting his word and want to follow him. She was better with that but can’t get over the fact that we need trials to go back and live with our Heavenly Father. And yes I have tried to approach it from every angle. Advice is WELCOME!! Hopefully she will get everything situated and she can get baptized this Saturday.

(Elder Pickett & Hector)
But it’s all good because… We had baptisms!! Hector and German got baptized Saturday and it was so cool. I baptized German, the little gordito jaja. The mom, Mirta, is very proud of them both and one day she will get baptized too. She just needs to solve some things and then BAM! Baptized. AH. I am just so happy.

(Soria Family - German, Mirta, Hector)
I was reading and studying Preach my Gospel this week the attributes of Christ and I decided to put some into practice. Diligence and Obedience. Wow. What a difference in the mission. I could feel when the Lord was pleased with my work and when He wasn’t. I challenge everyone to read that chapter of Preach my Gospel and try to improve on an attribute. I know that my spirituality has grown because of my effort to improve each day. I know that if everyone will read and apply what the chapter says, you will feel closer to your Heavenly Father and will want to do what he wants done. I know everyone can have a little more love, patience, diligence, humility, etc in your lives.

Well on to the fun stuff… HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Grandpa Pickett, Lelani, and Alyssa!!! YAHOO!! You guys are turning 25, 18, and 16 right?? Ja ja.

Nothing more to report down here. Just Hot and HUMID!!! Pero malisimo!! I can’t sleep at night because it is so hot. Like I am wet right now typing this. Ugh. Well, how is the weather where everyone else is? Send pictures with your email so I know what is going on in your worlds. Well, gotta run. Be better than last week. Love ya!

Elder Pickett

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rate this on a scale from 1 to 10

Dear Family and Friends,

What a week. Literally, what a week. A lot happened. Well, I’ll start off with Monday immediately after I mailed my letter to you guys. We got home to our pench at like 4:30 here. My companion went to check our phone to see if we got any messages and we had a couple but the one that stood out was some one died. If you can all remember the photo of me at Christmas with a family, well, the father died Monday morning. The crazy thing is that we ate with him and his family Saturday night and he was perfectly healthy. Nothing wrong with him. Well, it was really sad because he was like a father to us. He always made sure that we were fed and that we had somewhere to go when it was hot and unbearable to walk. At times, he came at 10 or 1030 at night just to drop off some food to us because he wanted to make sure that we have eaten. He always was watching out for us and his family. Serio del Castillo died of respiratory problems. He was very young. Something like 42 or 43. Not very old at all. As you probably guessed, my companion and I cried when we heard the news and we went to the viewing Monday night and then the funeral Tuesday. I had to play the piano for the funeral and it was very tough. It is amazing how the Lord works. He apparently finished the work that he had to do on this earth. He was a great man and he will be sorely missed but we know that he is in a better place. A place of peace and happiness. He was a great example to everyone especially us missionaries.

Familia del Castillo - The dad is on the right

He left behind his wife Patricia and 6 kids. Marina (17), Eliana (15), Ezequiel (14), Andres (11), Augustine (8), and Martin (3). We, my companion and I, have been with the family everyday to comfort them in this difficult time. They are improving a lot thanks to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that all of us can have the faith like this family to push on through adversity. When we know and have faith in the plan of God, we can have the peace that the gospel brings. I know that I have more peace because I know where he is and I know that he is happy. This has been the most difficult thing that has happened to me on my mission so far and I hope that everything won’t be as difficult.

But as we all know, my companion and I are missionaries and we need to keep on working. And so we did just that. We broke a personal record for me. We taught this week 34 lessons. 9 more than last week. But, of course, we need to improve dramatically. We have 2 baptisms this Saturday that are still on target. Hector (14) and German (11) are brothers that are really funny. They have progressed really fast and I am so proud of them. I can’t wait for Saturday. And Susana is still kinda iffy. She is asking why we need to come to church every Sunday. Typical catholic question. And so the answer is: because we need to take the sacrament! Jesus said in John 6:55ish…. That we need to take the sacrament to have eternal life. Wait, Allen, you’re telling me that if I take the sacrament every Sunday, I get eternal life? Uh, yes. If you repent of all your sins. Easy, no? She still is iffy on being baptized but I know she will get baptized. She has friends in the church and they have talked to her about being baptized so we’ll see. I hope she makes the right decision. And that is all as far as life in Argentina goes.

It is very hot here. Last night, it was so hot that I was sweating and I thought that I wet the bed…. Oh boy. I don’t know what the humidity is but the temperature sure isn’t helping. We got up to 34º C. That is hot, with humidity. UGH!

Well thank you to all who wrote me. I would really love to hear what is going on in everyone’s life. Please. Thank you Groke family for the Christmas card. I got it this last week. I need some socks in the next package in like a month or two. I got my first hole in my sock this past week! YAHOO!! I’m so proud. I would like to thank my mom and dad for giving birth to me…. Oh ..uh. Anyway, I love you all. Have faith. Act on that faith. Faith is a principle of action. So that means… Go out and work!

Elder Pickett
Who is in the best mission in the entire world!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

What? Another week!

Dear Family and Friends,

What a week! A lot happened this week and it was crazy. Well as you probably remember, last Monday was transfer meeting and a bunch of changes happened. We got a new assistant and we have 17 or so pastores that are going to leave this next transfer so a lot of changes. Well after transfer meeting came Tuesday, which means district meeting! We met all the new Elders in our district and set goals as a district. And then everything went on like any normal until Thursday. Thursday we started noticing that there were worms coming out of our faucet. Ones that were alive and dead. Really gross no? So we called the offices and asked them what we should do. They said, time to clean the tank. So.. that’s what we did.

We climbed on top of our roof, but we noticed something else. Our roof is flat and it was been raining a lot. We have a lake on our roof. That’s where all the mosquitoes have been coming from! So we went searching for the drain because obviously it was plugged up. We searched for five minutes until we finally found it. I got bit a lot by the mosquitoes. Oh boy, Dengay! But everything was fine and the water got drained. Now back to the water tank problem. We put not a teaspoon, not tablespoon, but two liters of BLEACH inside that tank! Check out the picture. It was disgusting. We didn’t want to take any chances. And we scrubbed that bad boy until it was white again. It took four or five hours. I can’t remember exactly how much time because we all took turns cleaning for a time. It was really tiring. But now we are showering in clean water without worms. What a relief! That was the first big event.

The second big event was…. BAPTISM!! YAHOO!! My second baptism but first one that I performed. I was so nervous. But all went well. The person that I baptized is named Lorenzo. If you remember back in other emails we had problems trying to get him baptized because the mom didn’t want to baptize him because we wasn’t behaving. Well she took some time to think and came to a conclusion that it was just his age and he was going to change as he gets older. YES! Finally! So that turned out to be a miracle for us and for them. We are really happy for them. It was a lot of fun to baptize someone finally. But other than that, nothing else happened. We are working really hard here in Merlo 1. We are definitely changing the area. We are setting new highs in the area. We have three more baptisms for this transfer. Two for the 23rd. And one for the 30th. On the 23rd, Hector and German, brothers, will be baptized and the 30th is Susana.

So thank you everyone for your letters and your concerns. I really do appreciate them a whole lot. Thank you for your prayers for me and all the missionaries. If everyone could pray for our mission and our area so that we can find more people to teach, that would be great. We are having a bit of trouble finding the ones that are prepared for us. So if you all can do that, that would be great. I am so happy out here. I am happy to wake up every morning and just go and work. It is a lot of fun. I have a goal this transfer that is really difficult. Gain 5 kg. I don’t know how much that is in pounds but I think it is really difficult.

This might possibly be my last transfer here in Merlo so I am going to EXPLOTAR LOS TECHOS here and go out with a bang. Now that I look at my mission, it is really short. And it kinda makes me sad but that’s why I gotta work harder. I might ask for an extension… chiste. Well that’s all I have to say this week. I’ll try to have cooler stories to tell next week. Pray for our fechas that they will have the confidence to go on in the gospel. Pray for the missionaries in our mission that we can help the work progress more. I love you all.

Elder Pickett

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Beginning of the Best Year Ever!

Hey Everyone,

I hope everyone had a fabulous Happy New Year. I hope everyone put goals to improve their lives in one form or another. I am happy to tell you that I had a fantastic Happy New Year. We celebrated as a pench new years. It was fun to watch the fireworks right above our house. Like, literally the fireworks were on top of our house so it was really fun. Then we ate a members house Friday night to celebrate new years. I sent pictures of what we ate and of the family. It was a lot of fun.

(Feliz Año Nuevo!)

(Mmm, que rico!)

(Stuffed tomatoes)

Then Saturday, my companion and I …. Had a BAPTISM!!!! Yeah, that’s right, A BAPTISM!! I was so excited. We did that all Saturday morning. Then we celebrated with ice cream that was really delicious.


(Yummy ice cream)

It was a good weekend. A great weekend. Sunday came and the kid who we wanted to baptize but the mom didn’t want him to, well, she said we are going to baptize him next SUNDAY! YAHOO!! Another baptism!! Then we have fechas with a family we are teaching. The mother and her two sons have fechas for the 23rd of this months. Then Susana is going to get baptized on the 30th of this month. So that is a possibility of 5 baptisms this transfer. We could be in the top twenty in the whole mission. There are like 200 missionaries so that’s like 100 companionships so that would be really good to reach top 20.

I am really excited for this next transfer. We are going to do marvelous things. Other than that, there really isn’t much to report. We are really excited because this area of Merlo 1 has not had this much success in about 8 months so I feel really good about this transfer. We are going to explotar los techos en Merlo 1!!!

(Oh boy...)

So our mission president told us today that we need to be more spiritual. He said we are breaking records, number wise. But how well are we doing in having the spirit and keeping converts in the capilla. And that’s when our district leader turned to us that live in the same house and he said that we are going to be better and I agree with him. We love to joke around and be unified but sometimes we don’t have the spirit with us. And so, this transfer, we are going to have the spirit more with us.

(That's more like it!)

There were a lot of changes in the mission because this next transfer, we have 17 missionaries that are going to die. That is nuts!! That is 8 ½ areas that won’t have missionaries. Unless there are that many new ones. I don’t know, but I hope that there are a lot of new ones so I can feel a bit older. I only have 4 months on the mission so I still feel like a kid.

(Rollin' with the girls)

So I appreciate all the letters that I have been getting from a lot of people. Thank you Tia Cui for the picture of the family. I am sending you a letter in the mail tomorrow. Same with Sara, Marcos, Sophia, Andi, Britney and Dari. If you would like a personalized letter from me, send me a hard core letter. If you have and I have forgotten you, I am sorry.

(Familia Duarte)

So I have been studying in the Book of Mormon in Alma. I just wanna say that Alma and I would be the bestest of friends. He knows how to use the Spirit and knows how to testify to the people. So does Amulek. Study chapters 11 to 14-ish. You will learn a lot of concepts from the plan of salvation to the atonement and much more. I love the Book of Mormon. Please read it. It will help you in your everyday life. Seek the spirit more in your lives. It will help you in every aspect of your life. I promise.

I love you all and I pray for you everyday. Look for opportunities to serve people. You never know who is watching. You may be the reason why someone takes interest in the church.

With lots of love,

Elder Pickett

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