Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grateful For....

Well its email time!!! Are you excited?! I sure am!! AHHH, I love p-days soooo much.  Well, let me update you on the things I am grateful for… 

  • Mail.  Tara for sending pictures.  I will use them to decorate my wall above my desk.  From what I hear I have a package from Grandma Nancy waiting for me! Shae sent me a package.  And thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Pickett for the Valentine’s card.  I love all the mail I get from y'all.  Thank you. 
  • Moroni 10.   I was studying it for an investigator and I realized that I have lost hope because of my lack of faith.  I needed more faith and it isn’t going to come from my companion or inspiring music.  It has to come directly from God to my hopeless heart.  I was so sad.  I haven’t been having fun.  So... that is what I get to do in the next 6 weeks.  Let God teach me.  He CAN teach me, if I let him.  Keep praying for me and I’ll try to not come home this transfer. (Haha but for real!).
  • Elder Cordero.  He gave me a planner he decorated for me :) I cried.  He has taken on the role of my older brother here in the mission and I love it! So grateful for him! I get to see him tomorrow at transfer meeting!! I’m so excited! It reminds me of the good times at the MTC when missionary work was inspired and powerful.  Yeah, I’m getting it back now
  • Hermana Holmes.   She just got news this morning she is being transferred.  I love that hermana! She makes me laugh.  I’m going to miss her... she is the sister in most of the pictures I’ll be sending home.  She doesn’t like chocolate but someone sent her Nutella... called Dibs! I have used it on toast with peanut butter or bananas:) soooo good!
  • Sister Taylor.  (Mission President's wife) She told me, "I don’t know why you get this opportunity at this time but".... it’s going to be a good mission. 
  • Talent.  I have been blessed with a mind to connect things.   Not communication wise, but I do share gospel concepts well.  I think I’m helping the members like missionary work more! Members are so key! Wow! Seriously.  When I get home and get married I want to be that couple in the ward that the missionaries know they can come to because I believe in the work! And members are so crucial... I did not get that before.
  • Last thing... Hermano Santos Marmolejo.  He is my favorite!! He is a recent convert of like 10 months.   He lives in the trailer park in the south part of our area and he is so cool! He owns an ice cream van and drives it in the area around where his daughter lives.  That way he sees his grand-kids every day. He loves his grand-kids.  Their family, his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren are the only member of his family in the church. He struggles with being lonely and he really wants to be the best he can.  But it's hard.  Life is hard.  One day I asked if we could visit him and we got to! When we were talking to him he told us he was really sad and so grateful we came to visit him.  The other day he gave us a popsicle from his van.  It was so good! It was a nut popsicle.  I don’t really know how to describe it but so good!  He is really helping us find people.  I’m excited! And he is the best! He is the guy I pray for when I want to go home.  When I see him, I’m glad I haven’t gone home.
 Anyway I gotta go.  But I hope all is well in the real world.  I love you.  And I hope you know that I only have 16.5 months left!  I will get to the day when I don’t feel like I have enough time.  I gotta grow my faith first and choose to have more fun.  Love you all!!

Hermana Pickett

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I LOVE Mail! (I Love Pizza too!)

Hi Family!

Let me just say getting mail has been great! Grandma Nancy is in the lead for most letters sent! Holy Cow!! Grandma you are the best!!! Love it.  Keep going strong.  Let’s see who wins this next week.  (Just kidding…but for real!) 

Here is my newest story.  On Saturday, we had a lesson with Jesus.  (I love that I’m teaching a Jesus :))   I ended up teaching 95% of the lesson.  At the end, my companion started talking about when we could come back.  She set our next meeting up for Thursday.  I asked her Thursday?  This man needs us NOW!! Not a week from now... I wanted to come back sooner and read the BOM with him since he can’t read! I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help him.  Then I was like ahhh!!! We never invited him to be baptized.  So, I brought it back and invited him.  He said. "Si, pero no se nadar".   I was excited that he understood that part of the invitation… and he said yes! I wanted to invite him to church.  My companion said maybe next time.   I thought, okay, I guess that’s how it works.  Later that night, we visited a less active.  I had the opportunity to testify and the Spirit was very strong.  I invited them to come to church.  The next day at church, the elders asked me and my companion if we had called our investigators to see if they were coming to church.  I was shocked! This is something we can do?! So I called Jesus! I wanted him so badly to come to church!

This week I have felt like I did more at home to help people come unto Christ than here on my mission.  Then, I feel bad for wanting to go home so... it’s gotta change.  Pronto.  I’m working on it.  I don’t want to live for study time! I want to live to work to bring souls to repentance and salvation!!

Okay, really fast before I have to get off.  Can we talk about the Spanish speakers in Phoenix.  To them EVERYTHING is "Gracias a Dios".  I could ask, "You had grilled cheese for lunch?" and they would respond, "Ah, si, gracias a Dios".  What?!  Haha, I love it.

Also, I had a Spanish/Portuguese slip up this week... I prayed in a less active's home for them to have the “anger” they needed to continue doing the things they knew they should.  Yeah... "coragem" in Spanish does not have the same meaning as it does in Portuguese.

Anyway, I gotta go. But I love you all and hope you are having a good President’s Day.
 Hermana Pickett
P.S. We hiked South Mountain this morning as a zone.  It was fun. :)  There are a couple of pictures coming your way.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog for the Phoenix Mission

President and Sister Taylor publish a blog for the Phoenix Mission which includes events and activities all across the mission...

Monday, February 11, 2013

When Is the Correct "Year" Important?

Hola from Phoenix!

Well, I’m not even going to try and hide it and say that all is well.  A mission is so hard.  This area has been so insanely deprived of hope and enthusiasm for the work.  Everything we've done and everyone we've seen are all so pessimistic.  There were no progressing investigators and only one follow up appointment to try.  That was it.  Yeah.... it was a desert land for preaching the Gospel.  I’ve decided God sent ME here for that reason.   Anyway, please pray for me.  I feel very alone.  (I’m crying in a public library....what’s wrong with me?!!!)

Alright, now that I have sufficiently scared you by telling you how hard it is right now, I want you to know I am excited that it will get better.  I have faith that it will. Yesterday in church I was overwhelmed with the Spirit.  I felt God had His arms around me saying: "My daughter, I'm here.  Now, I need you to keep going".  I truly believe this is where I need to be.  We now have some more appointments for potential investigators.  Hopefully things will pick up.  I look forward to that day when I can be tired at the end of the day because I barely had time to breathe.  There is too much time to breathe right now... haha.

Also... why is EVERY VERB in Spanish reflexive?! What the heck?! Can’t you do anything without doing it to yourself?  It is so confusing... And I can’t tell you how many times I have said “ano” instead of “año”.  Doesn’t that mean a**hole?! Yeah... I should fix that before all the members hate me.  (The word for “year” in Portuguese is “ano”.  In Spanish, it is “año”.)

Lastly, I love studying the scriptures and bearing testimony of Jesus Christ.  I have had some extremely powerful experiences with both.  Two of those moments have come right after choosing not to be frustrated.  It was amazing!  I didn’t know I could be an instrument like that.  It was cool to see the change in their eyes.  It is inspiring to realize that I have been given the gift to testify of Him who sent me.  I have the great opportunity right now to see and experience so many small miracles.  It’s a blessing.

I love you all! que se vaya bien!

Hermana Pickett

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Colonia del Sol

HI!  Today is not my prep day so I won't actually write.  I can, however, send you my address.  Here it is:

Hermana Joan Pickett
5405 S 19th Ave Apt# 1011
Phoenix, AZ 85041

I live Colonia del Sol! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Palm Trees?

Hola!  There are palm tress here!  What?  I was not expecting that.  I am at the mission home tonight and I go out in the morning to the South Phoenix Zone.   Because two other missionaries and I came mid-transfer, we did not get the normal incoming orientation.  We came directly to the zone conference.  It was...not gonna lie... really overwhelming.  But, it is going to get getter.  I have faith in that. 

I had some hard news on my flight today.  I saw a friend from high school in the  temple baptistry on the Friday past.  She told me her younger brother was hospitalized from flu complications.  Today on the flight someone told me that a Timpview student died over the weekend.  I made the connection.  Quite honestly, I am exhausted, emotional, and just tired.  I'm excited to get out to work so I can forget my problems.

I hope this letter finds you well.  I love you!!

P.S.  The chocolates Tim sent me have made many a person's day in two different states.  Thanks you Tim and Natalie!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Last Week at the MTC

Wow!  This week has been crazy.  First off, I am glad you got the message that I leave on Tuesday morning...exciting!!  I am on the same flight with another Elder from my district and Hermana Pitcher.  We have to be at the travel office at 5 am on Tuesday morning.  So, we are companions till the very end!!  After tomorrow (Saturday) won't work.  Just write letters!!  My address for letters is:

Sister Joan Alexandra Pickett
Arizona Phoenix Mission
18001 N 79th Avenue Suite C50
Glendale, AZ  85308-8394

The other day I got like 10 dearelders... some of them were repeats and another four or more were the talk I requested that my mom send me.  Still, it was so fun.  I was flipping through them like all the actors do with money in the movies.

Alright.  Now I will try and fill you in on what is going on on this side of the work!  It has been crazy!  Our zone got two more districts!  So we were told we were getting 18 and ended up with 25!  It was crazy how Hermana Pitcher, the zone leaders, and I had to orient them this was so much harder than last week's new missionaries.  Praying with the sisters in our zone every night takes a lot of time.  Our President told us not to worry about the 10:30 stop time because we are helping them.  But, I would rather be in bed at 10:30!!!  Oh well, it is nice to have the opportunity to serve the other sisters of our zone.

Sunday is just THE day I want to be in the MTC.  On Sundays, the breakfast menu is cereal or cereal.  For the MTC, it is not a lot.  (I love it though!)  Last Sunday, the sign identifying the cereal being served was a quote from Joseph Smith that said, "Sometimes the Lord brings us low so He can lift us higher."  It was so funny!  Also on Sunday, our whole district sang a version of "I know that My Redeemer Lives."  It was beautiful.  It was so moving with the girl voices and the 8 other Elders coming in at the strong part.  Oh man, it was so moving.  I played the piano and spoke...a talk in Spanish.  It was not my favorite thing but whatever.  Anyway, I just loves Sundays.  Relief Society is always good with the speakers.  Last week we had Sister Burton and the week before... the General Primary President.  I always leave so grateful to be a woman and so excited to serve my mission and then be a mom!  Then to top it all off, last Sunday ended with the movie, "Joseph Smith:  The Prophet of the Restoration."  I have always loved that movie.  I loved it even more on Sunday for two reasons:  1. It is so real!  This is not just the true church.  It is the same church--Restored!  2.  The courting scene with Emma.  When it shows them kiss, I just got all giddy inside!  Rediculous?  Yes.  But it is the closest I will get to a chick flick in the next year and a half so I am a-okay with it.

I did sealings for the first time this morning.  SO GOOD!  It was so great to understand a little bit of what I am promising people they can have!  It is amaazing the promises that our ours if we choose to come unto Christ.

Here is the update on our district.  Love them!  The elders act so dumb sometimes.  Oh well.  The elder that is going with me to Phoenix is so great so that is exciting.  Our district is so unified.  It is something other Spanish districts and zones notice as they see us in the building, at gym and during meals.  It is so fun!  We are really into "vos"  Everything is conjugated into whoever you are talking to but we refer to everyone as "vos".

 The last thing I will says is that we had a field orientation ALL DAY yesterday.  It was so long.  To be honest, it was my worst day at the MTC.  I left so unmotivated to serve a mission.  I was so worried and concerned about everything.  That evening Hermano Anderson, our night teacher, was an answer to so many of our prayers.  He talked to us about missionary motivation.  The discussion changed my mission experience.  I went from feeling horrible to realizing what should motivate me on my mission.  Mosiah 28:3 is my new mission theme scripture for the next little bit.  It reads:

Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.

I want to succeed in my mission, not for numbers or awaited blessings.  I want to stand before God and show Him that I did everything I could to get these souls to come with me.  The idea of not having that makes me quake.  If all missionaries could have and keep that as their motivation, missionaries would never want to sleep in or break rules.  They would not pressure others into baptism because the missionaries would sincerely not want to do anything to jeopardize the souls that need to make it back.

I love you all!  I will write you from Phoenix!