Allen's e-mail address

Friday, April 29, 2011


This is dad speaking...

I've been asked many times if Allen has gotten taller on his mission. The answer is yes, he has grown about an inch on his mission. He had a physical exam back in February and received a printout of his vitals, he took a picture of the printout. I forgot to post it back then so I will post it now:

Peso = Weight
Altura = Height
IMC = BMI (Body Mass Index)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter... yesterday

Dear Everyone,

What a wonderful week we had last week! We had the opportunity to celebrate the victory over death. Since being on the mission I have come to really appreciate our Savior Jesus Christ and all that he has done for us. The one reason why we, missionaries, are serving is to apply the atonement in the lives of other people and help them to come unto Christ. It is a wonderful process to watch. I now have an idea of how our Heavenly Father feels when we change our lives and we repent. He has an immense joy when we turn our hearts to him and we try to better our lives.

Well, it’s been an interesting week this week. We lost three whole days traveling and that’s always hard. We had a scheduled baptism this weekend that fell through. That was hard. We spent all day Saturday setting up the baptismal font and filling it up. The water was cold and we tried to heat up with one of those light bulb looking heaters to put in water. Yeah, that didn’t work. And once the time was getting close to the baptism, we went to house of Ines who was going to get baptized. Well, she wasn’t there and she left her cell phone in the house so we couldn’t get a hold of her. So we left the font and everything for Sunday to see if she was going to show up and get baptized but a member of the church passed by in the morning and she still wasn’t there. So we just decided to take down the font and try another time to baptize her. And taking out the water was kind of funny. We had to suck the water out of a hose. That was quite disgusting. Kind of frustrating but what could we do?!

I also had to give the Easter message in sacrament meeting and I talked about the Atonement. I read the story of the man who went into debt to buy something he really wanted. If you want to read the story, it’s in chapter 12 of the Gospel Principles book. I love that story a lot and this time it hit me a bit harder. I think everything in life becomes more meaningful as you get older. I am just glad that I can see this change in my life. We had a total of 15 people in church yesterday. We are going to try and get it above 20 next week. Little projects at a time. The branch president was out of town this past week so we did pretty well holding our own for a week. But with the branch president next week, we are going to do a lot better.

Well, thanks to all who wrote me last week and this week. Grandpa Packard and Abuelita, thank you so much for your letters. I really appreciate hearing from everyone. I don’t have much time, so write as much as you can before I’m stepping in your front door asking why you didn’t write me. Jaja. I love you all. Until next week…


Elder Pickett

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Missionary Amongst Wolves

Dear Everyone,

Here we are once again. This past week has been an interesting one, full of learning and fun. We hit the ground strolling (not running because everyone is old here). We went to the members and recent convert houses so I could meet them all and there was something they all had in common. They were all above the age of 70. The branch is like a retirement home ward. JAJA. The youngest member we have that is active is 9 years old. The next one is 15 years old which is the branch presidents son and then the next one is 21 then 31 then it just higher and higher. All the way up to 89 years old who still attends. The 89 year old is named Hector Gruccio. He is a real famous painter that painted beautiful things. I have seen some of his paintings and I was just left jaw dropped. But yeah, pretty cool how calm and lay low it is. It is way different from being a city with ghetto areas.

Hector Gruccio

Yesterday at church we had a total of 17 people. That is average, above average. We have a baptism this weekend. It is of a 79 year old lady named Ines. She just quit smoking a month ago and really wants to get baptized. I've never baptized an elderly lady before but there's a first for everything. Jaja. It's a little bit hard for her to understand everything but she knows that she feels good in church and that she shouldn't smoke or drink coffee, tea, alcohol, etc. But she has a hard time remembering some other things. And it's kinda of scary teaching her because she has one real eye and one plastic eye. You never know if she is looking at you. But as far as other investigators, we really don't have.

We have two responsibilities out here. One, help the branch grow and two, baptize people. We are working on one to try and have success with two. We have 70 members on the ward list so we are going to try and pass by every single person to see what's wrong. Hopefully we get some success from that. Oh, we have a branch newspaper that my companion and I are doing. It's kind of cute and funny. It's just a little something for the older members to read while drinking their mates.

So we have a two hour train ride every week to district meetings and to do interviews. It is such a long train ride. So I have started to read Jesus the Christ again and this past week we took the train a lot. We took the train Wednesday and Saturday. So that's 8 hours of train rides so I have read a lot. That's not true, I read slow. But reading about the Savior's life before, during and after is thrilling. I know I won't have time to enjoy that kind of stuff after the mission but I'll try to make time. Through the first 7 chapters, one learns so much about the Savior and I have grown to appreciate Him more and more after every chapter I read. It is really unbelievable what He did and is doing for us. My testimony grows every day.

And I still can't believe how fast time is going. It makes me sad how fast time went but I know it went fast because I was enjoying every moment. When one embraces the moments, they seem to go by faster. Just like what the kid's show "Magic School Bus" said, "Time flies when your having a good tiiiiiiime." jaja. I feel exactly like that. But don't worry, I still have 5 months left. Plenty of time to have more fun. Especially with my branch of elderly people. They are so funny. And each one of them have sat down with us and have told us their life story. They have shown us pictures of their life back in the 40's and 50's and some as far back as 1900 had pictures. This is definitely a humbling experience that I love.

Well, thanks for everything! I love you all and Have an excellent week. (ill try to send fotos next week. computer is not cooperating)


Elder Pickett

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hungry in Wolves...?

Hey Everyone,

Crazy week again! Well, let's get the good stuff out of the way. I am now in a place called Lobos. It is in the middle of campo again.

Lobos, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina

I got sent out here because the Branch is about to fall apart so President sent me in to help the Branch out. It was a really long drive to get out here. It took like an hour... yeah I know that that isn't very long but it really is when the majority of your mission is all within 30 -45 minutes.

Catedral Nuestra Señora del Carmen

So this place is like 9 de Julio. Our chapel is a like 9 de Julio. It's just a little house. So from what I have heard about this place, there was about 3 people attending like 2-3 months ago and now they 28 people going so there is some improvement. I'm excited to help the Branch out and help it grow. My new companion is Elder Romero from Chile. Where in Chile, I don't know. He is a very quiet guy but very very nice. I'm going to have a nice time out here and it looks like Im going to finish my mission out here also. I just love how it's just campo again.


Well, some news about how I finished in Villegas. This past weekend we had two baptisms. That means we finished the transfer with 7 baptisms. We broke the Villegas record of 6 in a transfer. I was really happy that we could do that. We had to do one of our baptisms at 8 in the morning Sunday morning. We had to wake up at 530 in the morning to start filling up the font. And then I had to pack everything last night and so I am really tired. Like really tired. It was pretty sad to leave Villegas. I grew to love the people there. But that's how the mission is. We have to leave the people that we love. One family gave me a real cool gift. They got me a River towel. River is my favorite team here in Argentina and so they got me a bath towel. It was so awesome. For lunch I ate half a chicken and was really stuffed. It's nice to feel loved. :)

So now here I am, going to get myself used to new people. The internet cafe here is really slow and is not wanting to cooperate with me... I think it's because I am new here. Not much to tell because I just got here and getting myself used to a new area. Hopefully it will be awesome like 9 de Julio was. But it will be whatever I make of it. If I wanna like it here, it will be fun and I will like it. That's how it is.

Aerial View of Lobos

So I finished the Book of Mormon again on the mission and I have found things that I never noticed or at least never bothered to notice. The last 4 chapters of the Book of Mormon are really powerful chapters. I really love how it talks a lot about charity and faith and hope. Those are the three things we need to have now a days. We need to have hope in a better world and faith to make it happen and the way to make it happen is to have charity. It has to start with us and we can't wait for other people to change the world. We need to act and not be acted upon. I love that quote. Let us be proactive in all things. Let us not be slothful servants.

Well, I'm out of things to say this week. Pictures are not wanting to send so maybe next week [pictures in this post are courtesy of Google Earth]. I love you all and thank you for all your support.


Elder Pickett

Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy April...

Dear Everyone,

What an excellent conference!! That was really wonderful, de verdad! I loved all the talks and some how they inter connected. Funny how God works sometimes. The topics that brought my attention were the topics of Marriage and Trials. I thought it was funny how President Monson directly told all males that after the mission they should be looking for a woman to marry. We all laughed at that one. Ja ja. I loved Elder Scott’s talk about his wife. How tender was their relationship! We need to all try and reach that kind of marriage. But to reach that marriage, we don’t need to find the right person. We need to change to be the right person for our future/current spouse. I learned that during conference. A marriage is successful only when we perform selfless service. Marriages fail when one becomes selfish.

I also learned something that almost seems obvious but I never really thought of. Faith increases when one obeys the commandments. We gain a testimony after our obedience to that certain commandment of which we have a testimony. There were so many things that I learned that I wish I could share but time is short.

We also had a very busy weekend being missionaries. We went searching for people after every session of conference. And we always happened to get there right during the first hymn. We are good… ja. We were going to have a baptism also this past weekend but the water flooded everyone in. We had ourselves a huge rainstorm. HUGE! I took some pictures of the lightning storm we had. It was pretty bad. So we didn’t get as many as we wanted to get to conference but that happens. God knows that we tried our hardest and you know what? They have free agency, darn it all. Jaja. But the conference was great. I loved every moment of it. And yes, I watched it in English.

I hope that everyone can remember this time of year, Easter, as a time to remember the resurrection of our Savior. The sacrifice that He did for us we can never repay. We can only try and do our best to please him. At time we fall and we don’t do what he asks. But He has a love that is infinite. He loves us when we keep his commandments or when we sin. He rewards us when we obey and he punishes us when we disobey. That shows a lot of love. Just remember that God loves us so much that He sent His son. The least we can do to show our love is to do what he wants us to do. It’s easy for me because I am on a mission surrounded with a constant reminder of Him. Maybe it’s a bit harder for you guys but I want you all to love the Savior and our Father in Heaven more. You will feel their love for you as you keep their commandments.

I love you all and “be safe, don’t die.” – Sara E. Pickett (1992- ) ja ja


Elder Pickett

He gets this happy every time he gets a letter from you...

Tupe, tupe, tupe, tupe, tuuuupe..!

The trail they take every day from their pension to their area.

General Conference Highlights