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

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