Allen's e-mail address

Monday, March 29, 2010

Go Listen to Conference!

Dear Everyone,

Who is excited for General Conference? I AM!! We, as a presidency, are trying to get everything set up so that all the members here can watch conference. Since all of the conveys are taken because it’s Easter weekend and everyone wants to travel. I love Semana Santa! We were going to take all the members that could go and wanted to go, up to Chivilcoy to watch the conference. But now we can’t. So we have been frantically working on getting ideas on what to do. We were going to rent out an Internet Café but then something happened I can’t remember. But now we are going to install internet in the capilla. Then we are all going to watch conference on a little computer screen in a little chapel. I’ll take pictures. It should be just wonderful!

Oh the stress of being in a presidency/ bishopric. But, what a great experience. Well this week wasn’t really special except for the last week of transfers. We didn’t go to transfer meeting because we aren’t changing and it would cost a lot of money to go to Bs As. 53 pesos!!! That’s a lot of money here. I just went grocery shopping and spent 46 pesos so I can eat for a week with 53 pesos.

Like I just said like two sentences ago, there really wasn’t anything out of the norm this week so I think I will answer some questions. Grandpa Pickett, we do contacts in the street. It is a requirement to do por lo menos 20 contacts a day. That usually brings some great teaching opportunities. And for food, we have meals with members three times a week. Wednesday for lunch, Friday for lunch and Friday for dinner. Mother, I don’t know which of the field pictures you are talking about but in the green fields, they are growing soy.

Yesterday in church, we had 34 people. That is pretty average. There was no rain this time. There were a lot of unfulfilled promises. O sea Mentirosos! A lot of people said they were going to come for sure. Well, I don’t know what happened between when we visited and Sunday but something happened. I kinda feel bad that I have nothing really special this week. OH WAIT! I completed 6 months on the mission and no one wished me a happy 6 months! I was a bit upset. Just kidding. But wow. I am a quarter done with my mission. Only three more quarters to go. I can’t believe that I already have that much time. Time is flying so fast, it’s scary.

So last night we were at a house of a member who is going through a hard time and he was asking us what we did before the mission and stuff. My companion went to BYUgly and played on the lacrosse team and stuff like that. It got to me and I said that I went to school a little bit and that I refereed soccer. And when I said that his eyes got really big. He then proceeded to tell me that he had never met an American who knew a lot about soccer. I then reminded him that I have Argentine blood. He then calmed down and then all three of us got talking about soccer and the world cup and Argentine soccer history which I am grateful I know a lot. Yup, that was fun. Well, I apologize for the short letter but I guarantee that next week will be better with conference and interviews with President Benton.

Congratulations Cui!!! I am so happy for you. Congratulations Tia Claralina on your date for casamiento. Sara, you look really colorful in your picture. It kinda makes me jealous. And Tessa, YAHOO!!! Gonna go where they are just shaking to see you. Jaja get it? Of course. I am happy for you. And I apologize if you have sent me a letter and I have not responded. I don’t have a lot of time. And if you haven’t written me and you are wondering why you haven’t gotten a letter, it’s probably because I don’t have your address. Hmm. Well, Gotta go. Enjoy conference!!


Elder Pickett

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pictures - 22 March 2010

Here are some pictures that got lost in space and just barely arrived:

Taking a Walk

Fields go on forever

Hmm, campos!

The two cowboys

(Field of Gold)

The field is white!

Rain, rain, go away!

Dear Everyone,

Another week come and gone. Time flies so fast out here. We are in the last week of the transfer meaning week number 6. I can’t believe that I have already been here in 9 de Julio for 5 weeks. I have really come to love the people out here in 9 de Julio.

So like I mentioned last week, we have a family night with President Benton and our little Rama. We had a lot of people show up. And when I say a lot, I mean like twenty. We had a great time. President did a presentation of a subject that is very tender in 9 de Julio. Finding the “one”. He talked about finding the person that needs our help the most. The person who has been struggling coming to church or keeping the commandments, etc. It was a really great lesson for the people that showed up. Then we ate choripan con chimichurri. Oh man, that is my favorite meal hands down!

(View of the plaza downtown)

But while we were eating, someone showed up that we really wanted to come. It was one of our investigators named Virginia. She showed up with her daughter Sophia and with someone who we really really wanted to attend. There is a man by the name of Ruben who for 15 years now has been excommunicated. He was branch president and was a great leader. But he has been showing signs of wanting to come back. But the reason why I bring this up is because they, Virginia and Ruben, are together and are not married. Virginia can’t get baptized until they get married. She has a testimony and knows the church is true. She has read like 5 times over. She has probably seen dad’s face in there once or twice. Jaja. But she is just great. And so they arrived at the NDH and it was really fun. President talked with Ruben about coming back and about coming to church every Sunday. It was a great talk that they had.

So now fast forward to Sunday. Yesterday it rained, and it rained, and it rained. We had a grand total of…. 17!! In sacrament meeting. That is an overwhelming number. I don’t know about you guys but wow! Chiste. I had to teach primary and jovenes (young people). It was interesting. The primary presidency didn’t show up. The Relief Society President didn’t show up. So my companion taught Relief Society and I taught the young people. Crazy! But it was fun. And the best part was that Ruben showed up with Virginia and her daughter despite the rain. We are so happy. We are hoping they get married soon so that she can enjoy the blessings of being a member and having the Holy Ghost with her. That is all the exciting stuff that happened this week.

This week was kind of a relaxed week, but not really. Never can we relax in the mission. Jaja. The mission has become a norm. So I prepared a lesson for the youth this week and I didn’t get to teach it so I’ll sum it up cause I don’t have much time left. Basically, I focused on Joseph forgiving his brothers. He forgave his brothers because of the blessings that he realized came from it. If he had not gone into Egypt, his family would not have had food because Joseph gave them food. He would not have been able to interpret those dreams and so on and so forth. It’s a sequence of events that He got blessed with. Basically, in the end there are scriptures that explain what we need to do. In DyC it says, "I the Lord forgive whom I will forgive but of you it is required to forgive all men." Well, that’s really clear. Forgive all men. Punto.

But the ultimate example of forgiveness is in the New testament when Jesus is on the cross. He says, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. That is the ultimate example. How can we not forgive others after hearing that. He is hanging on the cross ready to give up the Ghost and he takes the time to forgive all because they didn’t know what they were doing. I challenge everyone to forgive everyone of their trespasses. At times it may be hard but think of the sacrifice the Jesus made for us. The price He paid for us so that we can be free. I am grateful for the sacrifice that He made for me. I am glad to have the knowledge that through his infinite atonement, I can live with my Heavenly Father again. These next couple of weeks, let us think on the great sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our savior. Being Easter and such I would think it would be appropriate.

So thank you for destroying my house! And putting it back together. The remodel looks so nice. Christian, I am so proud of you for turning in your papers. Get prepared to come to Argentina Buenos Aires West! Haha jk. That would be pretty cool. Thank you everyone for your support and prayers. The work down here is great. We have a baptism this weekend for Victoria (14 yrs old). Our branch is slowly but surely getting better. Poco a poco we like to say here. Well gotta go. I love you. Write back sometime…. Haha


Elder Pickett

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dear Everyone,

What a week en paraíso terrenal!! Our week was pretty cool. This week we decided to get all of our indicators (aka the stuff we have to do everyday) out of the way at the beginning. We worked really hard Tuesday and Wednesday and even Thursday. We just worked and worked and worked. Friday, we went to a little town called French. I know. Weird name. But, previous missionaries decided to go out of 9 de Julio and go look for people. What they forgot to keep in mind was the other missionaries that have to travel to go visit them. Haha. But it’s all good. The only problem with this member that lives a good 20 km away is that she doesn’t have a car nor money to get to church so she saves up every month to come once a month. It’s sad but what can we do? That’s right, visit her. So we go out there and visit for two hours because once the bus drops us off, it doesn’t come back for another two hours. It’s actually kind of funny. But we visited her on Friday, oh I forgot to mention that she is Australian also.

Then Saturday came around and that’s when it started to get busy again. In the morning we had to stop by a members house who used my baptism clothes for his sons baptism the week before and so we went to their house and then made some failed visits. When I say failed visits, I mean that they weren’t home or they were still sleeping. So after that we went straight to the capilla and started filling up our little baptismal font/ swimming pool. We started filling it up at about 12:30 and then we went home to let it fill up because it takes 5 hours to fill up and the baptism was at 5. Yeah, LOCO! So we went home and ate lunch and had ourselves a nice companionship study. Yeah, you thought I was going to say siesta. No, taking siestas here is a no-no. So we got done with studying and stuff at about 3:30 and we went back. When we got back, the water was only up to the top of my ankle and it needed to be at about my waist by now so we started panicking. The water had shut off and then turned back on when we got there so we hurried and grabbed some buckets and started fillin' her up! We had the hose going and my companion and I filling up the pool that needed to be ready in one hour. Let me tell you, I was beat.

The water ended up being really cold water and the wind was blowing extremely hard Saturday. The mission is great no? Then Vanesa shows up with her family but her brother wasn’t there. She said he didn’t know where he was and so there was another concern of our seeing as the other baptismal candidate wasn’t there! He came like ten minutes later but still. Jaja. So then we waited for members to show up and we waited for 45 minutes for at least an Hermana to show up.

But we still didn’t have another Priesthood holder to be the other witness. So it so happened that the next member that came was a priesthood holder just coming home from work and happened to stop by. So we told him, "Stop, in the name of salvation!" Just kidding, but it probably seemed like that. He became our miracle because no other priesthood holders showed up. Even the one that we assigned to speak on the Holy Ghost didn’t show up. We have commitment issues here. But to make a long story short, even though this is already really long, everything went fine. They both got baptized and confirmed so now there are two new members of the church here in 9 de Julio.

And now the Mission President comes tonight to do divisions with my companion and I. That means he just goes out and doesn’t just work with us but tonight we are doing a Family Night/NDH with the Branch and President Benton is going to give a presentation so it should be fun.

My lesson yesterday was about Joseph being sold into Egypt. We talked about how when bad things are happening to us, we still need to keep the commandments and have a positive attitude. I had each joven draw a picture of a coat of many colors to remind them to have a positive attitude the next time something bad happens to them. A lot of times we like to focus on the negative but each trial is a learning experience.

Thank you for the email Elena. I really liked it. Voy a contestar tus preguntas. Primero, como misioneros, caminamos todo el día buscando personas que quieren escucharnos. A veces usamos las bicis. Te felicito a aprender a leer. Te amo mucho. Bueno, thank you all for your prayers and support of all missionaries. If you still have questions, I am more than willing to contestarlas. Until next week, BYE

Elder Pickett

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Hope They Call Me on a Mission

Dear Everyone,

What a week with Chile just rocking and everything. Just so everyone knows, we did get effected by the earthquakes. We did get a little rumble of like 2 point something but don’t worry, I was asleep. Didn’t feel a thing. But yes, we did get something.

This week was kind of a hectic week. Well, Tuesday went normal, then came the rest of the week. Wednesday, we had to travel to Buenos Aires to spend the night in the pension of the offices. We left 9 de Julio at three and got to BA at 8 I think. So we spent the night there. Wahoo… Then on Thursday we had zone conference in Paso del Rey which is in Moreno. Only like half hour from the offices. We were there from 9 in the morning to about 6 in the afternoon. It was so long. I was about ready to just take myself a little siesta. You know, when you have to travel long distances to sit for a long time and listen to people, you get tempted to fall asleep. But, I did not fall asleep. In fact, I had to give a discurso or sometimes known as a talk. I had to give it on the characteristics of Ammon.

I gave it on the humility part of him, how he gave thanks to the Lord for the help of converting the whole house of Lamoni. He was so overjoyed that he had to give thanks. I related it to us as missionaries with how often we receive success or one of our investigators get baptized, how times do we just drop to our knees to give thanks? We need to recognize the Lord’s hand in everything. So after I gave my little 10 minute discurso and after zone conference, we went back to Ramos (the offices) to once again sleep there because we couldn’t catch a bus that night. In other words, we didn’t want to travel that night because that would be 5 hours of bus in the middle of the night. So we left the next morning at 8 to get back to 9 de Julio.

We got back at about 230ish because the bus was late in BA and so we got back on Friday and we went scrambling because we as a branch presidency forgot to plan a baptism for the branch that would happen Saturday night. Oh boy. So we started planning like crazy. Once we got that done, we went and worked for a good hour or two. We then went to the house of a member to have dinner and we ate empanadas. It was ok. Ok, so far so good. Saturday was a bit more crazy. Saturday we went out to work in the morning and we worked hard because we wouldn’t be able to work the rest of the day. So we hurried and visited our fechas and taught them. Then we did some contacts and some more lessons.

Then we ate lunch and went straight to the capilla to go fill up the baptism font. It takes about 5 hours or so to fill up the font. And we have to construct it so yeah it takes some time. So we did our studying while the font was filling because during the hours of 1230 and 430, there is no one in the street. The siesta here is more holy than Gauchito Gil. I know, that is incomprehensible. But nevertheless, that’s how it is.

Then we had the baptismal service and it went all great. Then after the baptism we had branch leadership meeting that no one showed up to. Ok, that’s a lie. The young mens president showed up and his wife who is the primary president. But we just excused them after half hour of waiting for everyone. That was Saturday. Sunday was pretty cool. Let me just start off with our attendance in sacrament meeting. We had 38 with 22 of them being 18 years old or younger. Holy cow! Then I taught my class but we just watched a movie. We watch between heaven and earth. It’s about temples. I really liked it because it is not only leaders of our church speaking but also other churches. Really cool. But then after church, we went home and ate and studied then we left at about 5 and just worked like crazy. We taught 10 lessons in 4 hours. That’s a lot by the way. Seeing how we have to have 25 for the whole week, we did a lot in 4 hours. And so we were exhausted last night and today.

So that is my week. I am tired but so happy that we still have baptisms on track. We have two for this weekend and one other for the next and hopefully another also for the 20th. There have been so many miracles in the past three weeks that I am in utter shock with how well everything is going. I guess it does pay off to be obedient. I am proud of the way I have been working, not to be prideful. I am humbly confident, as my comp would say. This mission is the best thing that has happened in my life, my very short life.

So I have some questions and pedidos. My companion and I were having a little argument about Utah sports vs. Colorado sports. He claims that Colorado went to the MLS CUP but lost. Will someone verify this? Also, what is the name of the paper company off of The Office? And will someone send me the schedule of the world cup with the groups and everything. ThanksJ. Well hasta luego from the land of Malta and Pan con dulce de leche. Oh and would love to get my friends weekly emails too please.

Elder Pickett

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh Ye Mountains High..., Oh wait...., dang it

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was also a very good week. I can’t remember if I said that last week was good but this was good. My companion and I are seeing miracles happening left and right. There are people stepping up in the branch to help out, there are members fulfilling their calling, and so much more.

(Elder Sabey and Elder Pickett)

Yesterday, being Sunday, after church and after the siesta, we went out to work like normal but this time we had a goal in mind. We needed to sac out a fecha with a girl who my companion has been teaching for three months now. Well, to make a long story short, we did! She is going to get baptized the 20th of March. We now have three fechas! Two are for the 13th of March and then her for the 20th. The two for the 13th are Vanessa y Luis. Siblings. Then the 20th is Victoria. All three of them are under the age of 15. Vanessa is 12, Luis is 10, and Victoria is 14. We are so happy for them and are very grateful for the blessing of getting them baptized.

(The pension in 9 de Julio)

Yesterday, also, I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting for all 37 of us that were there. Just to give you an idea of what kind of people show up, we had 7 men, 9 women, and 21 children under the age of 18. Loud? Just a tad. I spoke on how we can elevate-aumentar…. the same?.... the spirituality in our lives. I read the scripture about what the fruits of the spirit are. Gal 5:22-23. I focused on two of the fruits. Faith and Peace. If we are living righteously, we will have the peace to know that we are doing what God wants us to do. But with peace, brings humility. We must do what the Lord wants done. His will, not ours. I know it may not seem like it but God knows what is going on right now on the earth. He knows that people are suffering but when we can have that knowledge that everything is in His control, why do we have need to worry. If we are on the Lord’s side, we have no need to fear. That is where the faith comes in. Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. We need, no, we have to know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us. We have to know that Jesus suffered for us. And once we have that knowledge, we can share it with others. We can tell them that there is hope. You don’t know how many times I have heard people blaming God for the natural disasters and why would God let this happen kind of stuff. I am almost tired of it but it is a teaching opportunity to teach them that God is in control. We are here not to pass through a perfect life. Stuff happens, but you have to keep pushing forward. If this life did not have any trials, then what are we here for? If we didn’t have trials, we would be big blobs of nothing because we didn’t learn anything. So the next time you have a trial, thank your Heavenly Father for the plan he created. Thank Him for the opportunity you have of trying to be like him some day. He has given each of us that opportunity and it is our decision if we want to take hold of it and do something with our life.

(Map of the Province of Buenos Aires with the location of 9 de Julio)

Thank you so much for the pictures. I really enjoyed all of them. Thank you mom and dad and cui for the pictures. Congratulations Ryan on your new store. It looks so cool! I am so happy for you. I hope you are recuperating well. I love you Ry. And to answer some questions, mainly for Marcos. This place called Nueve de Julio is a tad bigger than Rigby but you kinda get the same feel. Very nice old people here. The address for our pension is Edison 446 and the capilla is San Juan 962. Just so you can google earth it or something. Well gotta go. Siesta time. I only get it once a week so I have to aprovecharlo. If you have more questions, let me know. There isn’t much to talk about because I am in the country. Literally.

(Map of the City of 9 de Julio)

Love Elder Pickett

General Conference Highlights