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) dearelder.com 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 week...it 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!