Allen's e-mail address

Monday, November 29, 2010

Another week

Dear Everyone,

Here I am in the ciber, with the TV on in the background playing the Barcelona vs. Real Madrid game. I probably should be focusing on finishing my letter here but you all know me. I love soccer. GO BARCA!!!

This week was just another week just like any other week. To cut to the chase, we couldn't recover any of our baptismal dates this week but we will keep trying. This is my last week here in Mariló and so I will be writing next week from a different ciber. Maybe.. There are still some chances I could stay. Like I just said, this week was just like any other week. We walked and walked and walked... we sound like pioneer children.. JAJA. It is really hot now. I don't know what the exact temperature was this past week but it was really hot. I sweat a whole lot to the point where I could almost wring out a drop. Crazy but true.

We had stake conference yesterday and it was a very good one too. One of the talks I remember ( I only forget some of them because we were sitting with our investigating family and the kids were talking the whole time) was about Jesus Christ and the important role he plays for all of us. He compared it to Hide and Go Seek. There is one person that counts and tries to look for the people. That would be Satan. There are the people that hide and try not to get found. That would be us. And then there is the hero of the game that saves the people that got caught already, and they say, "oly oly oxen free".... something like that. Jesus Christ is that hero of ours. He saves us from being bound so that we can keep playing the game. I thought it was a great analogy and quite a funny one at that.

Like I just mentioned, we brought a half investigating family. It is the family where the father is a member but the mother is not and they are not married. They drove us to stake conference with their three kids and they are adorable. I love them to death. They are 8, 6, and 3 years old and are so much fun. We specifically brought my etch-n-sketch, a pad of paper and crayon for them so they can be entertained. They kept themselves busy with those things. They love stealing our name tags and putting them on and being missionaries. The mother really loves the church and knows that it is the true church. They just need to do all of the paper work to get married. We think within 2 or 3 months that she can get baptized. We are very excited for them. Also, one kid that was living with his girlfriend finally moved out and now is eligible to get baptized and we have talked to him about getting baptized. His girlfriend is a member and now is finally trying to help us with him. We challenged them to read the scriptures and prayer together to come to a decision. And we also challenged them to come to the conference. And you know what, they came. It was really great to see them fulfill their end of the deal. But I think that's everything amazing that happened this week. Pretty good week.

Thanks for the emails and prayers on behalf of all the missionaries. Thank you for your support. I love you all and talk to you next week.


Elder Pickett

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Everyone,

Just another week. A little more depressing this week because all of our baptism dates fell through. There is nothing else I can say. It just happens sometimes and you just have to keep working. It is really sad that we couldn’t hold on to a baptism date but oh well. These are the moments where we just keep working with them to commit a bit more. No one said that the mission would be success all the time. Yes, I am disappointed but I have hope that we can get them to their baptisms. We had five people(investigators) in sacrament meeting. But, the biggest success we had was bringing a WHOLE inactive family to church. The family that I am really close to is the whole family that came. We finally got every single member of the family. I am so happy. There was just a happiness that was extraordinary. Probably because they are like my second family. I really wanted everyone to come to church. On top of that, We as missionaries had to give talks so that was another motivation for them to come. To come listen to me. JA. We had to speak on the influences that helped us get on the mission. I had the part about young men. I was really nervous. I don’t like to speak in front of a lot of people. In either language, I don’t like it.

This past weekend we celebrated 3 birthdays. My comps, Luana’s, and Juan’s. Luana and Juan are my family that came to church. Luana turned 6 and Juan turned 38. It was a lot of fun to celebrate with the family. There was a lot of strawberries with cream and peaches and cream. It was really good, mmm.

Speaking of mmm, I totally forgot that this week is Thanksgiving. Since they don’t celebrate it here, I wasn’t even worried about it. Here they already have up the Christmas stuff. I am thinking in Christmas right now. Well, I am actually thinking in how I am not going to die of heat stroke. It gets so hot in street that sometimes its unbearable. Who needs a shower when you can sweat all day!? But don’t worry, we got a lot of rain last night so that means it’s going to be more humid today. Yay…. Not. I am sweating here in the chair typing. Anyway, there isn’t much that went on this week. Just hot and working. Oh, something cool, we are starting to have all the meetings of missionary work now. Before there was no meeting whatsoever of whatever organization. Now we are starting to have those meetings and they are sure helping us now. Thank heavens.

So I started the Book of Mormon again but in Spanish this time and even in the first 14 chapters there are a lot of things to learn. Nephi already sees what happens in the Great Apostasy and how all the plain and precious things were taken out of the bible. It is amazing how the Book of Mormon says the same things as the Bible and sometimes even more. I get more amazed everyday that I am out here.

Thanks for the emails everyone that sent me one. I want to ask a favor. I want to receive Christian’s emails please. Thank you very much. I love you all and talk to you next week.

Elder Pickett

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lovin' Life

Dear Everyone,

Another week has past and more things just seem to keep happening. We had a fairly normal week this week. Nothing really happened. We went by Lisa’s house to share some more with her and to try and get her motivated to come to church. She really liked the idea of coming to church. In fact, she was planning going to church. We taught her the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy. We have a problem with her. She is not married to her partner and doesn’t want to get married to him. The requirement for baptism is to be keep the law of chastity and yeah…. It’s a problem here. I have faced this problem a lot in my mission. People are afraid of commitment… I think it’s true. To make a long story short, she didn’t come to church yesterday and we are very sad. We had really high hopes for her. We are going to keep passing by because who knows what will happen this week.

We passed by another family this week that are members except for one kid. This kid’s name is Sebastian and he is really hard headed. Who would have thought that 13 year olds are so stubborn. JA! But yesterday, he came to church with us! We have really gotten to be friends with him. So yesterday also, we went to his house after church and talked to him about getting baptized. He accepted the baptismal date for the 4th of December. We are very happy for him and proud of him. His older sister said that it would be a miracle if we could baptize him. Well, God does not cease to be a God of miracles. Some people are sent to some people at the right time. We just need to know when to follow the spirit in those times. The spirit is always trying to help us when we need it but only if we are worthy and are actually listening to him.

I have had to learn that lesson in my mission. I didn’t realize before my mission how much the spirit was speaking to me. It is really amazing to finally realize the great companionship of the spirit. We have 4 baptismal dates now. We are working really hard. We had 7 investigators in sacrament meeting yesterday. We are going to have more next week we hope. We are going to work even harder to try and bring 10. I am trying to take advantage of my time left here in my area before I get transferred. We have a lot of things to do this week also. There are four very important birthdays we are celebrating this week. Three of them in the same family. It is the family that is basically like my own family. One today, one on Friday, one on Sunday. My comps birthday is on Saturday so we have a weekend full of celebrations. We are planning on having an asado. We are having a lot of fun, my comp and I. We are little by little losing our ability to speak English. I think we are speaking in English to each other but it comes out horrible. Oh well. I love it.

Thank you Mom and Dad, Abuelita and Cui for your emails. Thank you Marco Polo for your email too. I love you all. Until next week… GO RIVER!!! (tomorrow)

Elder Pickett

Monday, November 8, 2010

08/11/2010 - November

Dear Everyone,

Another week passed and a lot more things have happened. Well, let’s start with last Monday. We had ourselves a nice family home evening with our investigators. The cool thing was, we didn’t teach! It was a nice change. Carmen taught about trials. She read the article in the Ensign about that Thai tour guide and his experience about the church. I can’t remember which Liahona it was in. But it was really good because after the lesson, all of them realized that they needed to go through trials to learn and grow. There was a great spirit there.

Tuesday, we had divisions and I stayed in my area. I was with Elder Weaver from Sandy. He and I have the same time in the mission so it was really cool to just chat with him. So we went and did work. We contacted a woman who was sitting with her kids outside and we taught her the first lesson, no big deal. After the lesson we asked her for the name of her neighbor. She said her name was Lisa. So we went to Lisa’s house. We clapped at her house and she came out. We told her that we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ and we had a message for her and her family. She responds with, yes, I know. Ok, we receive that answer a lot because people know us pretty well. The next thing she said kinda of surprised me. She said that she was recently, like ten minutes back, was reading our book. I ask her what book. She said the book! And so I asked her to bring her book to us to show us what book it was. She goes in and comes out with…. The Book of Mormon!!! Elder Weaver and I just looked at each other in shock because that is really really rare. She then explained to us that she listened to the discussions in Paraguay with her sister. Her sister now lives here in Argentina and is a member of the church and Lisa still isn’t a member. To make things even better, she has a family! She has a “husband” and three kids. She is just perfect to receive the gospel. We couldn’t get in contact with her after Tuesday but we are going to keep passing by because obviously we can’t let this slip through our fingers. And then the rest of the week was pretty normal.

It was really hot this week. Yesterday we got up to 33 degrees Celsius [91F]. And right now, it is raining a lot. Go figure. I am doing pretty well here. Just getting freaked out because the end of the year is coming really fast.

Well, that’s everything cool that happened this week. Oh, forgot to mention we took out a wall too. That was a lot of fun also. Thank you to all that emailed me (Molly, that was a surprise, LOL). Thank you for your prayers and support. Until next week, CHAU!!


Elder Pickett

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy November!

Dear Family of mine,

Another week has past by and I am glad to hear that everyone is alright. Here I am sitting in a little internet café, writing to you guys about my week. Well, my week was just a normal week. We just worked… and worked… That’s all we do here. We contacted a really great family this past week. One of our investigators, Alejandro and Carmen, introduced us to this family. But to be fair, this family is the brother of Carmen. He is a member but the rest of his family is not. We taught them a couple times last week and they keep every commit we give them and they are really awesome. Carmen’s brother, Cesar, has cried at every lesson because he is starting to feel the spirit. It is great to see the change he is making in his life. He wants his wife to listen too so we have been teaching her also. She likes what we are teaching. And they have made such huge progress. They even came to church yesterday! The whole family! Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how happy I am for them. The only problem with them is the same as Alejandro and Carmen. They are not married but live together. It’s a common thing to do here so it’s a bit difficult. But the great thing is that they don’t need any divorcement or anything. Cesar works for the police and so they just need to do like a million background checks and her and her family. But they want to get married in the next couple months to get baptized. All I am doing is starting all this families and hopefully other missionaries can baptize them. I am totally fine with that because they will get baptized. I am having a lot of fun right now because we just talk and talk and it’s fun to see the different reactions to what we say. We aren’t saying weird things, but just the reactions to the lessons we teach.

I am quite sad that I am going to be leaving Mariló in one month. I really wanted to stay here for the holidays but I know I need to leave. So yeah, a pretty chill week here. We had a pretty good storm pass through. Wind of like 50 mph I think and a lot of rain. Let me tell you, that was a pain to work and walk through but we did it anyway. I got really really wet. And really cold which was weird but all good. I love working in the rain. You know, they say your wife getting better looking when you tract in the rain… I hope that is true.

Thank you all for your support. Happy November to all! Hope everyone passes this November really well. This is my last November here so I will take advantage of everything. I love you and thank you for all your emails and stories. I enjoy reading them. Mom, I am fine right now. I have a second mother down here that takes care of me very well. Gives us merienda and washes our clothes, sews them too. She is the greatest. But the last package I want is one for Christmas. My next birthday I want nothing because I will be coming home the following month. I love you MOM.


Elder Pickett

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