Allen's e-mail address

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post Christmas

Dear Everyone,

Seeing as I just talked to you all two days ago, I don’t have much to say. I am so glad everyone is doing well. I really enjoyed listening to Andi. Wow, she has grown up so much. I couldn’t stop laughing when she was singing the alphabet and when she was counting. 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 14….. It was so funny. Sophie is just a rock star like always. Marcos, you scare me with your deep voice. Really. You freak me out. Jaja. Sara, you are just crazy like normal. Mom and Dad, I really enjoyed talking to the both of you. Abuelita y Grandpa, gracias por estar ahi. Me encanta hablar con ustedes. There was just a peace while I was talking to you guys. I have to admit, sometimes while I’m here, I worry about you guys. But talking to you all yesterday made me feel so much better.

Since Saturday, nothing has happened. Saturday we had our baptism and then yesterday he got confirmed. We have a new member of the church and we got it in right before the year ended so he will count in the number of converts for 2010 in General Conference. We are trying to see if we can have a baptism for the 1st of January but it looks like we aren’t. The 8th however, we are looking at 3 or 4 so that will be a good day. We are trying to get more people to come to church. The problem is that the church is really far away and some people are lazier than others. They don’t want to put in the effort to come to church. They like the message we teach but they don’t want to put in the effort to get to church. It’s kind of frustrating but nothing that I haven’t dealt with before. We just need to think of something or someway to get them to church. This area is a little more special so I am going to have to find out how to do it. Nothing that a little prayer can’t fix. Jaja.

So now is that time of year to make some new goals. Time to figure out what we did well and what we didn’t do so well. A time to see if we completed with our goals last year and to make new goals to help us improve. I challenge everyone to find something they can improve for the next year. Anything you think you need to improve, do it. I know there are some things that I can do and I am going to work hard on those things. This is my short little message for this week. This email is going to be a bit shorter because I just talked with you all.

Thank you for all your prayers. Hope you enjoy the pictures that I sent. I’ll try to be better and send more. That’s the thing I am going to improve on…. Jaja. Well, until next week, have a safe Happy New Year’s!!! I love you all.


Elder Pickett

PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! I’m going to eat ñoquis for you!! J

Mission stats for this week...

Mission Christmas Picture - Where is Allen? He is in front of President and Sister Benton, sitting down.

Christmas Day baptism with Elder Carazas

Dad note: We spoke with Allen on Christmas day and he sounds wonderful. His Spanish is very nice, except for his porteño accent, LOL! He is doing well, he is healthy and loves the mission. He is having much success in his new area and has already developed a love for the people there.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

Dear Everyone,

Another week has past here in Argentina. So we are in the week of Christmas and everyone is getting ready to celebrate it with the family. We, on the other hand, we are working the whole week as we should. We have one baptism coming up this Saturday and one that is iffy. We are working really hard and trying to keep focused. This holiday season doesn’t really help because everyone always talks about their family. But I then think about what a great family I have at home.

All of this past week and the week before we have been hearing about the true meaning of Christmas. Now after hearing all the messages that we have heard, have we learned anything? Have we learned to be more kind, more charitable, more loving to one another? Those have been the questions that have been in my head. We can listen all week to beautiful messages like President Monson’s for Christmas, but we need to really apply what they are teaching us. But what are they teaching us? They are teaching us to be more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life. He is asking us to follow his path. The least we can do is actually try. That is what I have been trying to learn here. Trying to be more charitable, kind and loving. Everyone is a child of our Heavenly Father who loves us. We need to love everyone and treat everyone the way they should be treated. And on the other hand, we need to behave ourselves like we want to be respected and loved also.

This past week was just another busy week. We just went really hard this week because everyone is willing to listen to us. A lot of Paraguayans and they have a really, really funny accent. They make me laugh every time. The bad part is, that every time I laugh, they start speaking in Guarani. And I don’t understand Guarani except “Rohiwho” and “yawappiru”. It sounds like caveman. But other than that, there hasn’t been much else.

Walking around and getting a lot of dirt in the shoes. There isn’t one paved road in my area. Ok that’s a lie, 85% of my area is dirt road. This is definitely different from my other areas. JA! So all my clothes are getting really dirty and lucky me, I get to do my own laundry. Yahoo!! It is actually very relaxing. I just clean by myself and it is nice to think to myself and figure out what we are going to be doing this next week.

The other thing that I like about this area is the fact that we have lunch every single day with a member. The members here love the missionaries. The missionaries are almost worshiped. I have already been able to form really close bonds with some of the members. They are very friendly and always looking and willing to help us. They are nuts to help us. I think that’s how all members should be with the missionaries. They need has much help as they can get. They don’t get a lot of money per month and they work all day…. Well, the one’s in the states have cars so… jajaja. But they still need help looking for people to teach. So if you all can this week, open your doors and hearts to the missionaries this time of year. Just like the people of Argentina are doing with me.

Thank you to all who emailed me, Mom and Dad, Sara, Marcos, Tio Andy, Abuelita y Grandpa. Christian, I hope you got my email. Yes, Christian and I are talking Abuelita. Jaja. I am really excited to talk to you all this coming Saturday. You guys can call me in between 7pm and 9pm my time. So that means like 3pm to 5pm for you guys. I love you all. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL…… AN ASADO!!!!

Elder Pickett

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week 1 camping

Dear Everyone,

What a week I had here. My first week in Villegas was crazy. Well, kind of crazy. So I forgot to tell you all that my area is like a Scout camping ground. This place is pure dirt. The houses are made out of whatever they can find. This place is ridiculously poor. But, there are a lot of people that accept us and listen to us. We are having a lot of success here. The members are really great also. They give us references [referrals] all the time. ALL the time. Everyone always has a friend that wants to listen. The members really are examples to me and I have only been here for one week. I can only imagine what I can learn from them in months. This last week we received I think it was 36 references [referrals] from the members. We only had time to contact half of them. And the majority of them are listening to us now. I am really excited because this has never happened to me in the mission but my comp is used to this and thinks it’s how it is everywhere. I hope he doesn’t get disappointed in other areas. But who knows, maybe he can change those areas. All I know is that I really like this area because we have a lot of success here.

This week we set 8 baptismal dates. That is a personal mission record for me. I have never had so many people ready for baptism in my life. Like I am kind of overwhelmed. We are always busy trying to help these people reach the waters of baptism.

There is also something different here than in my other wards. Here they give us lunch and dinner everyday!! EVERYDAY!! It is so great. Now I won’t ever go hungry. Now, I can’t tell you for sure what I am eating or if it is sanitary but it is food and I will eat it. I’ll just make sure to take extra vitamins.

So I have to tell a story that hopefully will tell you how it is here and not freak you out. So Thursday afternoon we were walking in the monoblocks [picture coming soon] going to the bishops house. When out of nowhere this guy comes out and asks us to buy something out of his backpack. He had little packets of bandaids and stuff and he did the whole spill that he has a family at house... etc etc. We told him that we didn’t have any money. He kept begging and begging and we kept telling him that we didn’t have anything. He then got angry and came really close to us and told us to throw everything we had in the bag and to do it quietly. He said to put our watches and cell phones in the bag and stuff. He said if we didn’t do it he would kill us. I looked at him and at his pockets and in the backpack to see if he had any weapons. Obviously I didn’t do a bag check but a visual check. I saw that he didn’t have anything and so I grabbed my comp and I told the guy to get away and to go find some help. And the guy left. We got away lucky this time but this area is really dangerous. There is a lot of poverty. This is the poorest area in the mission like I said last week. Just some crazy things that happen.

Well enough of that, don’t wanna freak you guys out too much. I will be sending all the info for the phone call next week because we might be having a baptism on Christmas so we don’t know exactly what time. I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. I really feeling them now more than ever. Have a great week!

Elder Pickett

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hello from....

Dear everyone,

A little late today for a lot of reasons. So today was transfer meeting. And I had to leave obviously. So I am now here in..... VILLEGAS [ward]!! Dangerous, no? Jaja. It is the poorest area in all of the mission but... it is the area that baptizes the most. We have a baptismal date for this weekend and one for the 25th of december. Oh, I almost forgot, my new companion is Elder Carazas from Peru. Pretty cool kid so far. So when we came driving here in a taxi, my comp didnt know how to get here. It was really embarassing and really expensive. 120 pesos!!! The driver was quite upset. I kept my mouth shut because I don't know how to get here. Well now I do but before I didnt.

So this area that I am in has some reputations. Well mainly one, it is the best area in the whole mission and it is Presidents most favorite area in all the mission. All of the "bests" have gone through here including one of my most favorite companions Elder Sabey. I am really excited because I have heard so many good things about this area. Yes, it's in a wee bit of a dangerous area but I know I'll be fine. But it is a little freaking right now because we just barely got to my new area and it is late at night and we are writing in a dark internet cafe. It is like 830 at night right now. It was a long drive from Mariló to Ciudad Evita where the apartment is.

Young man baptized in September

Young couple to be baptized soon

So Sunday night was probably one of the saddest days in the mission for me. I had to say goodbye to my family that I love so much and treasure in my heart. Isabel, Juan, Wager, Karina, Luana and Pamela. They are all my family. I feel kinda of bad because I cried more with them then I did with my own family. Sorry Mom and Dad. I never did cry when I came on the mission. Now that I'm on the mission, I have learned to cherish relaciones.... I don't know how to spell it in English. I was crying and crying like there was no tomorrow. I know that they will be alright but the separation from them is what hurts. I wish I could be with them forever and ever. I was also very sad to leave Cesar and Diana and the family. They were working on their papers to get married very soon. Diana is the only non member, o sea, the kids arent old enough to be in our care. (one is 8 years old.). She is going to get baptized once she gets married. I know that they are in good hands and that the Lord will take care of every single one of them. Now I have to get myself ready to meet new people and develop new relaciones. ( I have tried like 7 times in english and none of the ways seem right so I write in Spanish.) (que bajon!).

Kids from Marilo B

Adios Mamita...

Thank you everyone for telling me how great the First Presidency Christmas thing was. I haven't seen it yet but I am pretty sure that is was cool. I get to see it I think and I hope on the 20th of this month. We'll see. Abuelita y Grandpa, I got really excited when I heard that you two wanted to serve a mission again. I got so excited that I went and told my family down here and they were excited also. Are you going to serve down here? That would be the greatest thing ever. I am glad everything is going well at home. How much snow is there? There is none here... jaja. This week, it's supposed to get up to 38 degrees celcius. O sea, 100 degrees Ferenheit!!! With humidity. That my friends, is hot.

Well, I will leave you here because I need to get running to unpack all of my stuff. I love you all and hope you have a great week this week.


Elder Pickett

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