Allen's e-mail address

Monday, February 22, 2010

All in favor, please do so with the uplifted hand...

Dear Everyone,

Oh man, this week has been so crazy. So I got my assignment on Monday to be here in 9(nueve) de Julio. I am 1st counselor in the branch presidency. Fun stuff. Well anyway, Monday I got assigned and we stayed the night in Ramos because it was too late to travel and plus my new companion had to go to the hospital the next day to remove an ingrown toenail…. Gross. So we did that on Tuesday. We left for 9 de Julio at about 5 pm on Tuesday and got there at I think 10 pm. A 5-hour bus ride that was OK. I got to get to know my new companion better and he is a KAPO! He was the secretary to the president before my other companion, Elder Palacios. So it is really cool how I have had two secretaries for companions.

(Bus station in 9 de Julio)

So I slept really well Tuesday night and then we had to wake up early Wednesday because we had interviews with the president in Chivilcoy. That is a two hour bus ride and these bus rides start to get a little expensive if you have to travel all the time. We were there from 10 in the morning to about 7 in the afternoon. So we lost a lot of time working just from traveling to different places. Thursday we got out to working and didn’t get a lot done because we had planning session that we have to do every week for the next week. Ahhh! So much to do! Friday we did a lot of things, at least it felt like a lot of things. We visited a lot of inactive people in the branch. I’ll give branch info after the weekly summary.

Saturday, the counselor of president Benton came to check up on the branch and he is kinda of a strict one but very very good. We went with him to make some visits all afternoon to some inactive members. Then after that, we had a meeting with all the leaders of the organizations and we were there for two hours talking about how we can get more members reactivated in the church. Oh and I had to prepare a Sunday school lesson for the next day because I am the teacher for the youth for Sunday school. And as everyone knows, it is the old testament this year. And I don’t know a whole lot about the Old Testament. This past Sunday was about Lot and his wife and Sodom and Gomorrah and all that good stuff. I taught it with all these great principles that we shouldn’t put our tents toward Sodom and we should put our tents towards the temple like the people of King Benjamin. They gave me the blank stare like I didn’t know what I was talking about and then they started yelling and talking and punching and I was like, "WHOA Whoa Whoa. That is not how we act in church." And then they said, "that’s what the last teacher" or in others words, the other comp "let us do." And I said, "no no no. In this class you will be respectful to what I say." And from that point on they listened, but there was five minutes anyway so I don’t know what they caught but this week I am going to prepare much better. Maybe some fun activity. If someone who wants to help me come up with some lesson ideas for the following lesson. Not this Sundays but the next one, that would be great. I am going to be teaching lesson 9 this week and so I need ideas for lesson 10 if someone would love to be a sweetheart and do that. Jaja.

So now on to branch information. This branch in 9 de Julio has about 200 members. But, 30-35 that are active and that go to church every Sunday. This past Sunday, yesterday, we had 46 people in the sacrament meeting. Our goal as a companionship is to have an average of about 50 every week. It is hard because this branch has only had 50 three times in the past four years. So we are working on doing the impossible because I am Elder Pickett and he is Elder Sabey and we the missionaries who do the impossible. Kinda like Superman but there are two of us. The old folk here are so friendly, it’s actually kinda funny. They will let you teach whatever to them and they are really great about accepting opinions. Not like in capital where if your opinion is different, it is not welcome at all. Here, everything is tranquilo and quiet and just very Idaho-like. That’s how it is. This place is like Idaho. Just go like in Idaho and it is exactly how 9 de Julio is. And I love it! I could live here forever! Ok that’s not true. But I really do love it here. The people are very receptive and very respectful.

(Aerial view of 9 de Julio)

So I got to reading the lesson that I have to give this next week and it talks about the almost sacrifice of Issac and the obedience of Abraham. And I got to thinking. Abraham was almost sacrificed and he got saved by the Lord. And after that experience he had a lot of faith in the Lord. In fact, He had so much faith that when the Lord told him to go sacrifice his only son, he did it, without complaint. He was willing to sacrifice his only son just so he could stay faithful to the Lord. What a great example of faith! At times the Lord asks us to make a sacrifice for him and sometimes we aren’t willing to make that sacrifice. To do that I say, Have more faith. There is no reason not to do what the Lord wants us to do. It is a lame excuse saying that you don’t to be a better person from this sacrifice or you don’t want the blessings that come from it. Have faith. If we don’t have faith, we can’t do anything in the Lord. Being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are the ones that need to show examples of unfailing faith. I know it is hard and you will be tried but there are great rewards in the end. If everyone has the book True to the Faith, Read the section on Sacrifice and Faith. It will help you understand next week's lesson better.

Thank you for all the support from everyone. I would love to receive more pictures from people via email. I would love to see how everyone is growing and what is going on in the world without me. Mom, I get mail twice a month. Maybe if I am lucky, three but that is rare. Sometimes even once a month. But that should answer your question. I love you.

Elder Pickett

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh give me a home, where the vacas all roam...

Dear Family and Friends,

What a week!! Well, I guess I will start off as normal talking about what happened. So Tuesday night I received a call from the offices and they said I needed to show up at Ramos Mejia at 7:30 the next morning so I can do my DNI stuff. So I was like, DANG! So we got to Ramos at 7:30 and I left with Hermana Lopez and Elder Millard to go do our DNI in Capital Federal. We got to the Immigrations offices and there were a TON of people of every different nationality. Well, now this is going to be a long story so bear with me. It has an end, I promise.

So we got in and waited in a line for half an hour until finally we were next. We get up to the window and the man was like, do you have a picture to go with your documents? And we gave him our passports and he was like, NO! A picture from Kodak. A separate picture. So we left and went to the nearest Kodak and took some pictures of our pretty faces. After that we went back and the guy accepted us and we went on to the next section. So we got to the next section and we went to separate people to do individual stuff. I gave the lady all the papers I had. She look at them and then she asked me in an irritated tone, where are the photo copies? I was like, I don’t have any.. and she says, VAYASE, a hacer copias! So, all of us went to make photo copies of all the documents that we had and we came back. When I got back to the lady, she looked at the copies that I made and she said, these are the wrong ones, VAYASE! A hacer copias de eso, eso, eso, y eso. Ok... I had no idea what pages she wanted so we foto copied everything. I get back again and she looks over all the documents and I forgot one page. ONE PAGE! But this time she didn’t tell me to go back, no, she told me that I was worthless and couldn’t do anything by myself. And I just looked at her and gave her the death stare because I remembered that I was a missionary of the church and bad words shouldn’t leave my mouth and so I gave her the death stare. Haha. So that day ended really late, like around 4 or 5 is when we got home.

Saturday was crazy. Period. We started off the day helping Elder Decker make banana bread and brownies for families in his area because he was leaving too, so my comp and I helped him and his comp with that. Then the zone leaders called and said HEY! We need three more baptisms to reach our zone goal. Do you have anyone that can be baptized this weekend??!! And Elder Decker was like, yes.. but we’ll see what happens. To make a long story short, they got one person to commit to being baptized but they didn’t have any baptism clothes! So that meant that the comp of Elder Decker and I had to go to another area and get some clothes for the baptism that would happen on Sunday. So that took awhile. We left at 1030 in the morning to get the clothes and we got back at 130. Once we got back, we immediately left to start dropping off the food that Elder Decker made. We made all the food runs and we all met up at a member’s house in their area and we stayed there and watch the new Joseph Smith movie in Spanish. That took awhile. Then we walked back to our area to go clean our pench because president was going to be there that night. So we cleaned like we never cleaned before.

And so after the president came and visited, we chilled because it was already 930 at night. Then “THE CALL” came. The zone leaders told Elder Decker that he needed to pack his bags and take them to Ramos and be there at 8:30 in the morning. That means that you are going away from the city. He eventually ended up going to Lujan. Well, I got the same directions. I was heading to campo also. So Sunday came around and I did the goodbye rounds. The last goodbyes were saved for the family Del Castillo. We got to their house at like 6:30 and that is when it went all down hill from there. Someone threw water on someone, meaning that I threw water at someone, and then it went on from there. Next thing you know, I have eggs and flour on my head and they are dumping buckets of water on my head and everywhere and I am soaked. Yeah, that was horrible but so much fun. I will never forget them. I am going to go to their house after the mission, ok mom and dad? It was great to get to meet them and make them my friends. The friends I have made on the mission have meant more to me that anything else. I would do anything for these people in a drop of a hat.

(Elder Sabey)
I love the people here in Argentina. And now I get to serve in Nueve de Julio!! CAMPO!!! Puro campo. I am excited to work with my new companion, Elder Sabey. He is from Littleton, Colorado. He has 20 months on the mission so yes, he is old. But that is all that happened this week in my mission. A lot of change and new experiences. Oh I forgot to add that my companion Elder Sabey is the branch president and so that means I am his counselor. Yay. What fun! Lol I get to learn something new now. Well I will wrap this up and just say, I will only get mail now once a month. So sorry if you don’t hear from me for awhile. Email is every week but snail mail will be slower than a snail. So I apologize right now. Well I am going to go now but thank you to all that wrote me. Meaning, My parents and Both sets of Grandparents lol. Thank you for your prayers and keep praying for the missionaries. I love you all.

With love,

Elder Pickett

Monday, February 8, 2010

When the going gets tough, the tough get duraznos?

Dear Everyone,

This week was kinda of a dud. Well not really but it felt like it. Tuesday, we worked like crazy. We did a lot of good stuff. Wednesday we worked until my back went out. That wasn’t cool. So we rested the whole afternoon that day. On Thursday we had to go to Capital. We spent all day there doing my tramites. What is it called in English? I don’t know. I am losing my English skills very rapidly. I am afraid I am going to come home and I’m going to have to learn English all over again like a baby. "Halo, mai na me es Elder Pickett. Jao ar yu?" Kinda like that. My English is going to be horrible.

Well, to be positive, because everyone loves being positive, We found a family to teach! Yahoo! They are very much protestant. The husband is 23 and the wife is 32. They have two daughters, one of which is named Sophia. And the Husband is a teacher in their church for the primary. They are going to come to church this next week with us to check it out. We have taught them The Restauracion and The Plan of Salvation. They keep saying that we have the same stuff as their church but we told them that there is a slight difference. But we all know that that slight difference is actually a big difference. THE PRIESTHOOD!! The Priesthood is the reason why the gospel is restored. The Priesthood is the authority given to ALL hombres dignos. I just turned to an Elder and asked him how to say hombres dignos in English. Told ya I’m struggling. Worthy Males. That’s what I wanted to say. It is a blessing to have the priesthood in our homes. Cuando uno es digno para usar el sacerdocio, uno puede hacer Milagros. Anoche, Elder Decker estaba enfermo pero mal, entonces, nosotros tres(yo, González, Navarro) le dimos una bendición de salud y como justo después, él estaba re-bien. Como él estaba haciendo chistes y todo. Eso fue un milagro. El poder del sacerdocio es increíble.

Pero yo quiero hablar de otra tema. Una escritura ésta semana que me impresionó está en 1 Nefi 4:6. Es muy corto pero tiene mucha significa. Dice así, no exacto pero casí lo mismo. Y yo, Nefi, fui guiado por el Espiritu Santo, no sabiendo adonde ir antes. Algo así. Pero tiene mucha significa. Nefi fue digno para tener el Espiritu. Punto. Y por que él fue digno para tener el Espiritu, él pudo encontrar Lamán y matarle. Él pudo obtener los planchas de bronce.
So what does that mean for us? Well, we need to live our lives so that we can have the spirit to guide our lives. Nephi is a great example of this. If we could live like Nephi, we could all receive inspiration personal and for our families on what to do in our lives. That is my spiritual uplift for the week.

I love reading and applying the scriptures. They help me so much while I have been out here. At times when I feel alone, I read my scriptures or Preach my Gospel and I feel comforted that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and wants me to be the best missionary possible. Sister Bednar spoke to us a couple months ago and she told us three things, but I can only remember two. She told us, Be the missionary your mom thinks you are and be the missionary the Christ wants you to be. That made a huge impact on me because I know that my mom thinks I am the bomb! She thinks I am a baptizing maniac and so that means I am going to be that. I am going to work hard to bring souls unto Christ. And not only me but every single one of you needs to do that too. We all need to be missionaries. Every member a missionary. Eat it, drink it, sleep it. Be a missionary. I love you all. Thanks for your support. Trust in the Lord.

Elder Pickett

Monday, February 1, 2010


Dear Everyone,

This week was kind of a depressing week. We didn’t do a whole lot like last week and other things happened and next thing you know, it’s the end of the week. I love these kinds of weeks, minus the unsuccessfulness. I won’t focus too much on this last week so much so I will be talking about other things. So to talk about what happened in the news. That is really sad that those two missionaries died. But just so everyone knows, in my mission, it is prohibited to have gas heaters for the reason that one of us could die. So we already took safety precautions.

So if anyone was keeping track, I have been in Merlo for almost FIVE MONTHS! You know what that means right?? I will probably be moving to a whole other area. On the 15th on this month is transfer meeting and that is when I will find out where in the mission I will be going. So don’t expect anything really big or any letter at all that day. Maybe the next day. Who knows! I sure don’t. But at this point in the ball game, I will be sad to leave Merlo but at the same time, I really like adventure and moving around. It’s a lot of fun to me.

So this week in my personal study, I have been studying, once again, the attributes of Christ and the last week of his life. It has been really cool to read, study and think about. When you read the four gospels, they are the actual words of the apostles and Christ from 2,000 years ago! It is like they are telling you the story right in front of your eyes like it happened yesterday.

I was reading in Matthew towards the end when it talks about the atonement. Matthew writes that Jesus told his disciples to wait while he goes and prays. And it also says that he was feeling sorrowful and heavy burdened. When he left his apostles, he immediately fell on his face and began to plead with the Father. He began pleading with the Father to have the cup pass him. Jesus didn’t want to suffer for all of our sins. But he knew that if he didn’t, God’s plan would be broken and all of us would be lost. He said not my will but thy will be done. We read in D&C 19:15-19 that this pain cause God, even the greatest of all, to tremble. To bleed from every pore as if it were sweat. If we can think that Jesus Christ suffered that for all of my sins, we can only begin to comprehend a little bit of the magnitude of his suffering. But in return, what does God ask of us? He doesn’t ask much at all. He asks us to be obedient to every commandment He has given us. We can do whatever we want in this life, but to return with him, we need to keep His commandments.

I am grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for each and every one of us. He knows that we are imperfect so He gave us this path that can help us get back to our Heavenly Father. What a Marvelous demonstration of love! During this month, where love is expressed the most, express the love that Jesus expressed to us. Not to say that you need to go and sacrifice yourself, but sacrifice your time and service to help those in need. Service is the key to becoming like our Heavenly Father and His son. In Mosiah 2:17 we read that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are in the service of our God. Let us be obedient, diligent, full of charity, patient, and faithful to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. All we need to do is believe on his name and act on our faith. Acting is the part that everyone forgets to do but it is necessary. Show your love this week and this month. Tell me what you did to help someone this week. I am serving a mission where everyday I get the opportunity to show my love for the people by sharing the gospel and this message of happiness.

Thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Packard for your letter this week. Also Miss Erica, Mother Erica, Dear Dearest Miss Erica, thank you for your letters. I got them last week and I have yet to write a response but don’t worry, I will. Trust me. As for everyone else, thank you for your prayers and encouraging words. If you have written me and I have not responded, Write again! Until next week, I love you!

Love, Elder Pickett

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