Allen's e-mail address

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Welcome Home Elder Pickett

The morning of August 24th, we woke up to a phone call from Allen. He was calling from Miami to let us know that he had arrived in the USA safely. We were ecstatic to hear that he was once again on "friendly territory." I told him to quickly go and check on his next flight to make sure that he was checked in and had a seat. I asked him to call us back as soon as he was checked in. An hour later he called us and said, "I have bad news, my flight is cancelled." We thought he was kidding so we pressed him and he said that he was serious. He asked what to do. We were in shock. I called Church travel and they confirmed that his flight was cancelled and said they would re-schedule him for the next available flight, the next day! Jen was about to go ballistic so we asked Allen to go and see if they could get him a flight going elsewhere. He did go and speak to the desk people and they got him on stand-by for a flight to Minneapolis. He checked into that flight and waited nervously for his name to be called. We were even more nervous because we didn't know if he was going to make the flight or not. When the flight departed we braced ourselves for the "I didn't make it" phone call but it never came. We crossed our fingers and waited for a couple of hours. Allen called us from Minneapolis and said that he made it there and the chances looked good for him to make the last leg to SLC. Sure enough, he made the flight and eventually landed in SLC, 4 hours after his original time. Those 4 hours seemed like an eternity for us. We went to airport and were joined by Claralina and her kids, also Saul and Simon, my friend from England who arrived 10 minutes before Allen. We waited in Terminal 2 with a homemade sign, balloons, Argentine soccer jerseys, etc. We nervously scanned every person coming down wearing a suit and tie. After what seemed like an eternity Jennifer let out a scream and we knew what she saw. We all looked up and there was Allen coming down. We all cheered.
The first sight of Allen Marcos ran up and met him at the base of the escalator and got the first hug. Then one by one we took our turns hugging him. It was quite an exciting moment for all of us. We went to look for his luggage but the suitcases didn't make the flight. He filled out the necessary paperwork and then we went home.
Jennifer gets her hug
The family together again President Hall came over about 30 minutes after we got home. He asked to interview Allen but he asked to do it in front of all of us. So Allen stood and answered questions from President Hall regarding his mission and his growth. For 30 minutes Allen bore fervent testimony of the power of the Atonement and how he was becoming more Christlike. He bore testimony of the importance of continuing our growth. By the time he was done we were all in tears, grateful for the wonderful spirit that was in our home. President Hall then asked for private time with Allen so they went downstairs to talk. They spent 10 minutes alone and then they returned and our elder Pickett was once again Allen Pickett. What a sweet experience.
Decorated House Allen spoke in church the following Sunday and we had a family and friend get-together after the block. Very few stuck around for that as they are more accustomed to leaving church after Sacrament meeting. We had a great time with those that came by to visit. Allen is now attending Salt Lake Business College on a returned missionary scholarship.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pastores Tour

This is taken from the blog of President and Sister Carter and pictures sent to us by Allen:

A pastor is a shepherd in Spanish. In our mission, a pastor or rather “the pastores” are the missionaries that are just completing their mission going off into another field. Since downtown Buenos Aires, is not part of our mission, we have a special day for the elders to get to know the city from whence the name of their Province and Mission came.

Today’s tour started in Plaza de Mayo where we learned a little about the history of the capitol and viewed some of the buildings surrounding the plaza including The Casa Rosada and the Catedral Metropolitana.

Elders Oliverson, Nuttall, Pickett, Albornoz, Lewis, Cruz, King, Horrocks, Bennett and Millard.

Elder Pickett

Catedral Metropolitana

Plaza de Mayo

Rumbo al Obelisco

We learned about the 3 million immigrants that came to the southern quarter of Buenos Aires and took a drive through St. Telmo and stopped off in La Boca. The immigrants used discarded paint and materials from the shipyards to make their homes.

La Boca

La Boca

Elder Pickett in La Boca

The original warehouses at the port have all been redone and Puerto Madero has been turned into beautiful office blocks and restaurants. We had lunch at Siga La Vaca. They claim to be the largest parrilla in Argentina.

Siga La Vaca restaurant

The missionaries consumed an incredible amount of food there! We walked along the dock and visited the Fragata Sarmiento.

ARA Presidente Sarmiento

From the ship you can get some great pictures of the Puente de la Mujer, with its unusual forward cantilever. It is called the “Woman’s Bridge” because many of the streets in the district are named after women. Presidente is enjoying the day, but there are missionaries with questions to be answered, so he pauses from time to time to address their questions.

President Carter taking care of missionaries concerns

At the Parque 3 de Febrero, Presidente recounted the story of the dedication, officially opening the continent of South America to the preaching of the gospel. It was on December 25, 1925, Christmas morning, “a beautifully warm and sunny summer day.” We had our own wintery, but beautiful spiritual experience, when Elder Horrocks offered a prayer.

Parque 3 de Febrero

Elder Pickett at Parque 3 de Febrero

Parque 3 de Febrero

We went to the Cementerio de la Recoleta and viewed the burial grounds for the rich and famous in the country.

Cementerio de la Recoleta


lastly, we stopped off at Freddos, probably the most famous of the artisanal ice cream parlors.

Freddo's Ice Cream

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Last Letter

Dear Everyone,

Well, This is my last email that I am sending out. This is so weird that it has ended but you know the saying, all good things come to an end. It is hard to write how grateful I am for the time I have spent here. It has really been the best 2 years so far in my life. Pretty cliché but it's the truth.

Packing my things the other night was really weird looking at all my clothes that I have used. How worn out they all are! jaja. My shirts are more yellow, socks have holes, pants have holes and are worn out a lot... wow.

Yesterday we went to the mission home and we had a nice time there. We ate some real mashed potatoes. Made with real potatoes.. jaja. Not instant! And some really good chicken. Then some chocolate cake. We just got treated really really well. We then a nice testimony meeting and rested a little. Then off to the airport with a majority of them. It was sad to see them leave but they all live in Utah so it's all good. I am staying here in the offices for a week until it's my turn to go home.

Now for my last day in Lobos. We decided to have 3 baptisms my last day in Lobos. But a miracle that happened. A really small one but it was really big for me and comp. So in Lobos we have a little swimming pool we'll say. And we fill it up with the water from the tap. So it takes a long time to fill it up. It takes 5-6 hours to fill up. So Saturday in the night we filled it up for an hour to cut some time for the next day. We filled it with warm/hot water. It cooled down a lot when we got to the church the next morning at 6 in the morning. Before we left the apartment to go to church, my comp and I said a prayer that we would have hot water for the baptism. The girls that we were going to baptize didn't want to get baptized if the water was cold. So we, at least I, were hoping for a miracle and we received one.

The water heater in Lobos works on a "D" battery and the battery was about dead when we started heating up the water. The battery would shut off every 5-10 minutes. So I was stressing out because the water kept becoming cold so I was worried. But I kept with the water heater during all the classes. Then during the 2nd hour, I went outside to check the battery to see if I needed to shake it again, but to my surprise it was still on after 15 minutes. I then checked half hour after and it was still on! It stayed on until I turned it off and we had hot water to have our 3 baptisms. How grateful I am for the littlest of miracles I have seen on my mission. Little stories like these I will always remember. They remind me of how much God loves us and wants the best for us. He desires to give us his best gifts. We must seek for the best gifts and not somethings outrageous.

I am grateful for all the things I have learned on my mission and am ready to apply them in my life. I can't say enough thank yous. Really I appreciate all that you have done for me. If there is something that I can do for you all, let me know and I'll tell you if I can do it jaja. I love you all and I'll see you next week!!!



Elder Pickett

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Birthday week...

Dear Everyone,

Well, we are coming down to the wire now. We are down to two weeks left in good ole Argentina. It’s sad but true. We had a baptism this past weekend. We were pretty happy about it. We also had 22 people in church yesterday. Two investigating families. It was pretty cool. You can say we had a pretty successful weekend. We now are planning on 3 baptisms this next Sunday. We hope that everything turns out good. We are trying to do everything we can so that this place can progress. It has been hard but it has really improved. I am happy for everything that has happened out here. I really love the people out here in Lobos. They are very special to me. I’m glad I had the privilege of serving them.

This next week is my birthday and we have a couple of lunches and dinners set up to celebrate it. But it’s going to be really low key. Nothing much is going on. Just enjoying the mission and all that it brings. Excited to see everyone in two weeks but at the same sad because it’s come to end. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Argentina. We are going to give it all we got these last two weeks and we are going to have success.

But remember that it doesn’t stop once the mission is over. Gotta keep working in the Lord’s work after. Let us all remember that we have to be working for the Lord at all times. We members have an obligation to help people come unto Christ. I have realized while being on the mission that we have a huge responsibility as members. We must know that we are not to just be hearers of the word but also doers of the word also. We need to be proactive in the work of the Lord. People who just sit there and do nothing but go to church and listen, aren’t completing with their part as members. Being a member is a privilege. We need to live worthily of that privilege. We are members of the only true church of Jesus Christ. Let us live up to that name. Plus, it’s fun helping others come unto Christ. All the ex missionaries know how much joy it brings. But let’s try to be a little better. I’ll try to be better also.

Thanks for the support from everyone. I was going to send pics but my computer didn’t work today so I’ll be sending some the next time. I love you all and hope you all have a great week.


Elder Pickett

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy August... 3 weeks left!!!! AH!

Dear Everyone,

So we had a pretty good week despite all that we did and all that happened this week. We had a fairly normal week. We took out two more baptismal dates with the daughters of an investigating family. The parents aren’t married and so they can’t get baptized yet. They are very excited for their baptism and so are we! Haha. We have two baptisms this coming weekend. We are so excited because we have worked so hard to have these two. I am so happy that they are getting baptized. Its fun to get a couple of baptisms in before you hit the plane. Haha. We are just doing the best we can.

I’m trying to work as hard as I can these last couple of weeks. We had divisions this past week and I got sick the morning we had to change back. That would be Saturday morning. I got sick with stomach pains and I wasn’t feeling very good. Lucky you guys, I won’t go into details. Haha. But we stayed in the apartment all day Saturday and Sunday was hard to get through. But I did survive. We managed to get 13 people to church. Oh, and it was really cold, again. We got a young women’s president called. It’s the mom of our baptism this weekend. We are growing little by little. So far we have a president for RS, Primary and now YW. We just need more men now. We have 3 -5 active men in the branch. 2 of them are counselors, one is our mission leader, and the other is the secretary… ish. It’s kind of a weird situation but we are growing nevertheless.

We have found some pretty cool people this week also. We were walking in the street Wednesday and we walked by an accident that happened and the police officer that was standing guard called us over. We thought he was going to ask us for our documents (which we don’t have)but no. He asked us for something to read. We gave him the first lesson and he seemed interested. Who knows!? Maybe something might happen. We are going to pass by him this next week. But that is all exciting that happened this week.

Thank you all for your support and love. I will one day repay you all. One day. Not all at the same time. I love you all and hope you all have a great beginning of August and stay safe!


Elder Pickett

Monday, July 25, 2011

Miracle in Lobos

Dear Everyone,

Just another week here in Argentina. Not much time left so we are working harder. This past week we got cut a lot of time for traveling and meetings but we still managed to pull of some miracles. We had 5 investigators in church and 2 baptismal dates still. We had a surprise from a member when we brought a family of investigators. It was a couple but I say family because they had two little girls. They loved the church. We are having a lot of blessing here in Lobos. We also had 25 people in church. That is the most we have had since I have been here. It looks like all the work we are doing is paying off. We have been working really hard with the members and they are starting to come together. Now every Tuesday we have an activity for the branch. We are hoping to have a lot of success with that. We are so happy with the improvements we are seeing every day. I can’t explain how I feel because it’s so good. I am so happy with how everything is coming together.

It was also a good week with the weather. Except for today. Today it turned ugly. But winter ugly. Black clouds and wind and rain. I went to visit my old area Mariló and it was very short. We live so far away that we got there and we had to leave in 3 hours.

It was really hard to say goodbye to everyone in such a short time. But it was done. I had a great time passing through there and remembering everything that happened there. It was fun. I went to my Mami’s house to go visit the whole family and they were all there! That was so good to see everyone. Then we went to go see Yesica and she about screamed when she saw me. It was funny. I also about scared mami.

Elder Pickett saying "goodbye" to friends in Marilo

We then had to hurry back to Merlo to catch the train. We caught the train and now we are safely in Lobos again. There is a huge difference between the country and city. Haha. I got kind of nervous when I went back to the city. That’s kind of funny. I’m turning into a country boy. I can almost kill my own pig to eat… haha just kidding.

Well, that’s what happened this week. Only 4 weeks left so we are going to put the pedal to the metal and farther. We are going to have a couple of baptisms before I leave this country. We are going to do everything possible to help this area grow. I love you all and I hope everyone had a great Pioneer Day.

Elder Pickett

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's raining...

Dear Everyone,

Another week has gone and we are getting shorter on time. We had a couple of miracles happen this week. First off, we got a reference from a member that recently got baptized. The same member who has a daughter that we are trying to baptize. She took us over to her friend’s house because she said that her friend needed help and so we went. Turns out her friend was really prepared. We taught her the first lesson and she felt great and she really wanted to go to church. We passed by two days later to make plans to go to church. When we got there, she said to us “you won’t believe what has happened to me these past two days!” So she begins to tell us that they had a car they have been trying to sell for the past 6 months and it wouldn’t sell. The couple of days after our visit, they sold the car, she doesn’t say bad words anymore (which is miracle for her), and she has had more time to do things. She has a testimony of doing the things that the Lord wants us to do. During those two days, she read the pamphlet we left like 4 times and prayed after every time and she kept telling us that she felt different. She can’t stop telling us how different she feels. Well, to make a long story short, she came to church with her whole family except for the husband. She isn’t married to him but I just say husband to be quicker at writing. She loved church and so did her daughters that are old enough to get baptized. We hope to have them motivated enough to get baptized soon. Whether I’m here or not. We are still trucking along here trying to figure out a way to get more people to church. It’s hard but we can do it. We had 15 people in church yesterday. 5 of them were from the family we brought. Oh yeah, they came to church by themselves. That was also a miracle. Just little miracles we see.

From last week's service project

I also got the chance to meet my new mission president. He is a great guy. A really great guy. He is just a funny as President Benton. Ok, maybe not as funny but I just have to get used to him. I already have a great love for him. He has a great vision of what he wants and has a lot of energy to do work.

Well, that’s all I have this week. Next week I will be a little late writing because I’m going to be visiting one of my old areas. FUN!!! So, until next week, I love you all and be safe.


Elder Pickett

Monday, July 11, 2011

Feliz 9 de Julio... last week

Dear Everyone,

Another week has gone by. This past week we did a lot of service. We did about 15 hours worth of service and I am really tired. We cleaned the whole back of the church. There were trees everywhere. We cut down about 4 or 5 trees. With just a rusty old saw. That was pretty hard to do. We fell down a couple of times and got scratched a bit but it’s OK. It was a lot of fun. We also have two baptismal dates!!! Oh my goodness!! It’s a miracle! It’s with the daughter of a member and the niece of that same member. We have been having to go out to their house a lot. They live about 2-3 km away and we don’t have bikes so we have to walk a lot. We travel at least 10- 15 km on foot everyday. Then we take the bus to other parts of our area. It’s not anything new but it’s just another thing to talk about.

We had our activity for 9 de Julio. That was a lot of fun. We had ourselves a choriziada. We ate a lot of chorizo. I was so full that I could barely move. We had 21 people show up so that was a success.

Presidente Romero preparing the choripanes

Then we left that and we went to an investigating families house to visit them because they didn’t come to the party. When we got there, they had a pig on a rope. We asked them about the pig and they said that they were going to kill it and eat it. So we decided to stay and watch them kill the pig and skin it and they didn’t cook it until the next day but it was still pretty cool. I’m not going to lie. We didn’t get home until about 930 that night because they live so far away. Sunday we had 14 people in church. So people show up for food but not church. Oh well, that’s how it is. We have been trying to work with the members. This week in priesthood, we put a goal to look for one person on the ward list and start visiting them and helping them to come back to church. All of us (6 men) are really excited to start working like this. We have some mini companionships to go do visits. Kind of pathetic but we gotta start some where. We are really excited to help this branch move forward.

Thanks to all the wrote me. Abuelita y Grandpa, les amo muchisimo. Gracias por siempre estar procupados de mi y también todos en la familia. Tios, Tias, Primos y Primas, Muchas gracias por todo. En serio. Creo q voy a tener q babysit mucho en casa para pay you all back. Jaja. Well, I love you all and have a great week!!!


Elder Pickett

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Short but Happy July

Dear Everyone,

Well, it is the start of my last transfer of the mission. Wow, time has just flown by so fast that I haven’t been able to breathe or enjoy anything. This past week was just full of visiting people and doing service. We have been trying to help the same people with their problems and it seems that we have become really close with these people. They don’t want us to go and I don’t want to go either. I have grown to love this place. With all of its quirks.

Happy Elders, dirty lens

Just looking back on the mission and it is amazing what I have learned. Yesterday we had 16 in church. I had the opportunity again to give my testimony. Oh, so we had to do real fast divisions with the branch president. My comp and him went to go look for a family that had no way of going and I stayed and taught gospel doctrine. The branch president usually teaches gospel doctrine but since I can’t drive and neither can my comp, he had to take one of us to pick up the family and I chose to sit back and teach. I had no idea what the lesson would be on but I knew it was something from the New Testament. Well, I look at the manual and I see that the lesson is on the Atonement. Wow, what a lesson to teach without preparing for it. The branch president marked a lot of things in the manual so I took some of the things in the book and some of my own ideas. It turned out OK. Not too bad for a beginner.

Elder Pickett and crepes

The Copa America started and no one is really that interested in it. At least in my little pueblo, no one is interested. It has been so weird. I was expecting a full out celebration that Argentina is going to win etc, etc, etc. But no. Everyone pretty silent. The streets are getting more empty the more we get into winter. There aren’t very many people that are roaming the streets. I don’t blame them. Ha ha. It’s COLD!! Not much more to say. Just walking and teaching.

More happy Elders, and yes, more dirty lens

Thanks for all the support you all have shown me. Enjoy what little time you have without me because I’m coming hot! Ja ja I love you all.


Elder Pickett

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finished June... July?

Dear Everyone,

How is everyone doing? Everything is just going swell here in the land of the FREEZE!! Jaja. It has gotten pretty darn cold here. Looking at the temperatures it doesn’t look cold but with the wind and humidity… brrr. We are doing great here.

We are enjoying everything about Lobos. We are trying to do everything possible to help this branch out. These past weeks we have been helping the branch get organized. We have noticed that there were papers and documents everywhere that were not in files. So my companion and I have been doing that a lot this week and last. We have been updating a lot of things on the church system. A lot of things still have to be done but we are slowing getting things organized.

This past Thursday we had our last goodbyes with President Benton. It was really hard for me to say goodbye because he has been here all my mission. He is a really special man to me. I love him with all my heart. I ended up crying at the end because we sang, “God be with you ‘til we meet again” and that is a tough song to sing at a farewell.

Presidente Benton y Elder Pickett

Yesterday we had 11 people in sacrament meeting. It was the coldest it has ever been. I don’t know how cold but with 4 layers on top and on bottom, and scarf and hat, I was still really cold. We had to give unexpected talks. We got assigned during the first hour and so prepared talks. I gave mine on my hero Nephi. I explained that each of us have people that set examples for us. I gave an example of my parents who taught me how to give service and then of Big Mark who is so loving and kind to all. Then I explained all the examples that Nephi left us. How he was obedient and patient during affliction. I thought it was a good talk.

Then today we played some paddle ball. It’s like tennis with racquetball mixed. We wanted to do a little something because we have already done everything here in Lobos. Kind of depressing but maybe we’ll come up with something else..


Abuelita y Grandpa, welcome!! I’m so happy that there with be 2 Elder Pickett’s in Argentina. And there are 4 of us on the Pickett side that are on the mission. Holy cow! Thank you all that have written me. Going all out for the last 2 months!!! I love you all.


Elder Pickett

Monday, June 20, 2011

Trunky Papers Arrived!

We just received Allen's travel itinerary:





We are smiling now.

It was a wet one....

Dear Everyone,

Another week has past and it was a wet one at that. We had rain at least every day last week and it made things very complicated. I think I have said this many times that the rain does not help us in the work.. jaja. We visit members a lot because the branch needs a lot of help. We are, at the same time, looking for people to get baptized. At this point we are trying to help daughters of two members. It is kind of hard to baptize them because they don’t want to come to church right now because it is really cold in the mornings. And one of them is scared of what her friends will say if she becomes churchy and stuff so it’s kind of complicated but it will all work out. I know they will. The branch is moving really slow lately… We had 13 people in church yesterday, no thanks to the weather.

Yesterday in church we heard a talk from a member of the branch about obeying the Lord’s commandments. It was a really powerful talk that touched everyone’s hearts that were there. He talked about how we just need to do and not question what the Lord says. Have the attitude of Nephi, “I will go, I will do…” It’s hard at times but there is no other way to happiness. Happiness comes from keeping the commandments. It’s that easy. We just need to be humble and accept the will of God.

I got sick last week with a really bad cold that started last week when we went to the lake and I forgot my scarf. It got worse from there that on Wednesday I was just stuck in bad with my head all stuffed up and feverish. It was pretty bad but I got over it and now we are good. Like I said before it has gotten really cold and well, people get sick really easily out here. But here I am. Just working hard. This letter is pretty short because nothing really happened this past week. We’ll see if we can make something happen out here. It’s getting kind of stressful trying to get this branch going but I think it will come… sooner or later. Haha.

I hope everyone is great. By the sounds of it, everyone is doing just fine. We are on the second half of June… Almost July… wow. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. Hope you have a great day Friday. I love you all and have a great week!!


Elder Pickett

Monday, June 13, 2011

Well, it's cold

Dear Everyone,

Another week has past and here we are still. This past week was a pretty uneventful week but we’ll see what I can tell you guys. This past week we had our last interviews with President Benton. It is really sad that he is finishing the mission. I really love him more than anyone else out here. He is an amazing man. He and I talked about stuff after the mission… uh oh. We talked about setting high goals and keeping them high if we don’t reach them. If you don’t reach your really high goal the first time, you have to give more effort the second time, or third or until you reach it. We talked about other things like marriage and stuff like that. It was kind of funny to talk about that with him.

Then Saturday we had a couple of things happen. Well, we had lunch with a member who brought over her old friend. His name is Carlito and he is the oldest guy on the block. In fact, his dad owned the whole block that we were on. So this guy does not talk about religion. He talks about everything else but the thing is, he has a third grade education and he speaks like a criollo. And on top of that, he was drinking wine until it came out his ears. We were talking and laughing during lunch then he asked us if we want to go see his horse. We said of course and we went out and checked out his horse. Then he wanted us to take fotos with his horse and him. He was a little bit on the tipsy side and so it was kind of funny. He took some pictures with him then we told him to go on home and take the siesta and so he did.

Mate anyone?

Then we went to a birthday party of a member and that was a lot of fun except that we were fasting and she made 12 pizzas. Oh man how I wish I wasn’t fasting then. Haha.

Then we traveled that night to sleep with the zone leaders because Sunday we had stake conference. And this stake conference was a special one. We had a satellite transmission from Salt Lake. Elder Zivic, from Argentina, spoke to us about how to be members that don’t fall away and become less active. They talked about some things that were specific to Argentina and that were one of them. Then Sister Wixcom, Elder Anderson, and Elder Packer all spoke. Elder Anderson spoke in his French Spanish so it was pretty funny to hear.

Then this morning we went to the Lake here and it was so cold this morning. We about froze our tails off but that’s what winter is like here.

Well, speaking of cold, my inbox was cold today also. Thanks to those who have written me and I hope to hear from more of you. I love you and have a great week!


Elder Pickett

Monday, June 6, 2011

Feliz De de LOBOS!!

Dear Everyone,

Just another week here in the country. I am becoming real good friends with the horses. I think I might take up horses when I get home… Not. Jaja. This past week has been a real cold one. All of a sudden winter hit us hard. We were enjoying the 60’s and now we are in the 40’s. I have to use a scarf now!

On a train ride, one of many

This past week we did a lot of visiting the members. There aren’t a lot of investigators right now so we are strengthening the members right now. We are trying to help the members come back to church and help the new members stay in the church. It is quite a big job because our pueblo is so big that it takes a long time to travel without bikes. We are the only area in all of the countryside that doesn’t bikes and they haven’t approved them yet so it’s kind of tough.

Attempting to cook some frozen ground beef

So this week my companion and I were contacting people in the street and I contacted a lady and she did her whole “I’m Catholic...” shpeel and then when she was leaving, she gave me a warm friendly slap on the face like I was her grandson. JAJAJA. Talk about shock!! My comp and I couldn’t stop laughing! That was just too funny. Just some of the crazy things people do here.

Mr. Tough Guy in an empty train

Last Thursday was Día de Lobos and this pueblo turned 209 years old! That is really cool. On Sunday there was a parade and almost all of the town was there on one street. There were about 150 schools that marched in the parade and that was really boring to watch. And then came the fire trucks and police cars. That was the best part of everything. It was really cool to see how everyone was so patriotic and full of life to celebrate this holiday.

So to help our members stay strong and keep interested in learning more, I have been challenging them to read the Book of Mormon with me. I challenged them to read at least 3-4 chapters everyday to finish the book before I go home. They have taken up the challenge and have been keeping up and have been asking great questions so that they can understand what is happening. I love how they are honest in their studies and desires to learn more about the gospel. They will be greatly blessed for their efforts and so will each one of us. If we put in a bit of effort each day to read a little bit of the scriptures, we will receive a lot of blessings.

I gave my testimony yesterday in church (because there were only 14 of us and so someone has to fill in the silence jaja) and I gave it on sacrifice. The Lord blesses us for our sacrifices. Big or small, the Lord blesses us. But we must not just serve the Lord because we know we will receive a reward but we must serve Him because we love him.

Thanks for the news from home and I hope everyone has a great week. Love ya all


Elder Pickett

Monday, May 30, 2011

Almost June! Weird...

Dear Everyone,

What a week! Just having some fun with my new companion and this past week was pretty fun. Full of work. We started off the week just visiting everyone. We visited some recent converts and there is one girl there that is not baptized. We challenged her to be baptized and she accepted. That was so cool to start off the week like that. That was on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we had to travel 6 hours in train to get to a meeting in Luján. So I did not get to enjoy 25 de Mayo like a normal Argentine. I did not get to eat locro or anything! It was pretty depressing because our branch was doing a big activity and we had investigators going and the mission wouldn’t let us stay to be with our investigators. It was frustrating but oh well. We got back at 10 at night on Wednesday. We were so tired. On Thursday we did some more work and that’s how it was for the rest of the week.

Elder Bravo y Elder Pickett

But this week I realized how big our area really is. We need bicycles but the mission won’t approve it for some reason. I think I’ll be asking again. Saturday night, we got busy making some crepes for our investigators. Yes, I learned how to cook something else. And I bet some of you are thinking, hey, I taught him how to do that… how did he forget? Well, I did and now I relearned how to make crepes. We make 40 of them and that took a long time. It took an hour and a half. We got to bed a little too late also that night.

Elder Bravo and Elder Pickett making crepes

Sunday morning we went to go wake up our investigator that has a baptismal date. She woke up and we gave them some crepes and we had to leave to get to church on time and they went in bicycle. We got to church right when a family of investigators got there. They hadn’t been to church in over 3 months and we challenged them to go this Sunday and they showed up. We would baptize them but the father has a problem with the word of wisdom and he said that no one in his family will get baptized until he gets baptized. Kind of a problem if you ask me. We have talked about it between my companion and I and we are stuck on what we can do for them. But we will keep passing by to see what the spirit does. So that is all that happened this week.

So I’m trying to read the book of Mormon completely before I finish my mission. I’m trying to finish it for the 3rd time on the mission. It has been so great reading it and enjoying what it has to say. I really like how in the first page of first Nephi, Nephi gives his testimony that what he is writing is true and that it comes from God. Just in the first 5-6 verses we know that at least one person believes in the word of God.

Well, I am going to rest a little bit so I can work the rest of this week. Have a great week everyone. I love you all.


Elder Pickett

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nuevo Compañero y Milagros

Hey Everyone,

What a week we had. It was a really hard week to work because we have been traveling so much. There were a couple of miracles that happened this past week. I will eventually talk about my new comp but first the miracles. So we weren’t able to work in our area for 4 out of the 7 days of the week. We have been in Ramos Mejìa and doing divisions and not getting a lot of things done.

On Friday we had an activity planned to teach the members how to make brownies. Well, no one showed up but while we were waiting my companion and I were watching one of the Preach my Gospel video when my comp told me something. He told me that President Benton called the zone leaders and told them that they wanted us to baptize this past weekend. Well, we had already waited for half hour and no one showed up and so I jumped up and said LET’S GO!! Well, we left and started basically running to go to two houses where we could get a baptism. We went to the first house of an eleven year old kid that has said that he wants to get baptized but when we prepare a day he gets scared and doesn’t want to. Well, he accepted for this past Sunday(yesterday). And yes, he got baptized yesterday and I got to baptize him. Then after we went to his house Friday, we went to the house of the lady that disappeared on us the day of her baptism like 4 weeks ago. We found her in her house and she still really wanted to get baptized so we set it up for Sunday also. So yesterday, Sunday, we had two baptisms and they were pure miracles. We did not have any other baptismal dates or anyone who could get baptized. And because they got baptized, we broke the mission record again for baptisms for the third transfer in a row. It’s been pretty amazing this past little bit.

Ok, now on to my companion. Well, my new companion is Elder Bravo from Santiago Chile. And yes, his name is Juan so that makes him Johnny Bravo… JAJAJA. And yes, he will be my last companion. Today is my cumple mes and so that makes it 20 for me.

Johnny Bravo - cartoon character

Saturday while doing divisions for baptism interviews, we got locked out of the pench because the lock got stuck and the key didn’t work. So we went walking around all day and not a single locks smith could help us so we were up a creek without a paddle. We walked around all day and we went to the church in the morning to get things ready for the baptism. While we were there, we called our ward mission leader who knows who to fix everything and he said he would help us. Well, we went and he tried to open the door and everything and nothing worked. And so he said to us that he had to break the windows on the door to get in. So he did. He broke one window and now we are windowless . Ok, it’s not as bad as I make it sound. The window is maybe 10 inches by 6 inches. Small small. But never the less, it was an event that happened this week.

This past week I have been impressed on the history of the church. It is a miracle on how it started. I have been reading in the book called Our Heritage. It is a great little book that takes you through the basic history of the church that we should all know. So that means I have been reading in the D&C. And I read in D&C 14:7 that tells us the greatest gift out Father in Heaven could give us was eternal life. Sometimes we forget how big that gift is. We sometimes look with our mortal eyes and not spiritual eyes. We have to think eternally and not in the now. Physical treasures we cannot take but the knowledge we gather here will serve us on the other side.

Thanks to all the wrote. Abuelita y Grandpa and Alyssa for your letters. The computers here are still funky so I’ll keep trying to send something of photos. I love you all and I will talk to you next week with week 1 with Elder Johnny Bravo… jaja

Elder Pickett

Monday, May 16, 2011


Dear Everyone,

Well, as you can tell, I did not write last week. I had just talked to the family so I had nothing to write. But now I do have something to write. So happy belated Mother’s day to all mothers and non-mothers also.

Train to Buenos Aires

So this last week was an interesting one. We started the week last week with a miracle. We were sitting in the train with a very long trip almost done. We were one of the only ones on the train except for one family and some other random people. This one family was sitting behind my companion so I was looking at them the whole time. While I was observing them, I saw that the father of the family was a great man. I could feel that he really cared about his family because of how much he was playing with his children. I don’t know how to describe it but I just felt really good about him. Then next thing you know, while playing with his phone and stuff, he was recording his children and stuff and then he turns to us and says in his camera “these are the elders”. That surprised me a whole lot. He then turned back around to be with his family. I look at my companion and I tell him to talk to them and get an appointment with them. My comp turns around and starts to talk with him and thank heavens he wasn’t a member. He told us that he wanted to go to church with us and learn more because when he was younger, he had friends that would take him to the church to play some soccer and so he now has a family and married too and wants the best for his family. Well, he came to church with us on Sunday and he enjoyed it a lot. We are so happy for him and we have a lot of hope for him. He is one of those always happy people so he is going to progress well in the gospel. That was pretty cool.

Los Lobos train station

Friday we had an activity that my comp and I did for the branch. We focused on the worth of souls. It was a chance for everyone to get together and appreciate one another. We had ourselves a great time.

We are now in the last week of the transfer and the last week of my comps mission life. It’s kind of weird how fast it all goes. For now, things are kind of idol. This area is kind of slow so there isn’t a lot to talk about. But I like it because it is very chill. If I come home very laid back, it’s because I have been in the country for a long time. Well, I will leave it here. Thanks for everything everyone. I love you all and I’ll talk to you next week.


Elder Pickett

***Happy Birthday Grandma and Grandpa Packard***

General Conference Highlights