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Monday, January 18, 2010

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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!!

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