Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crazy! Crazy!

Well the work here is getting "Crazy, Crazy".  We are doing splits 3 times a week.  For any companionship, this is a lot.  It is even more so because my two companions are still in training.  In my interview with the mission president, he told me I could take up to 45 minutes more in study time because of the situation, the need to plan and practice lessons.  This means that some days we will not leave the apartment until 2:00.  I am very grateful that the mission president trusts me.  It helps a lot.  Also, I am learning to set my companions up for success.  I am trying different ways to get them to lead and talk while struggling with the language.  When people talk to us, they usually talk to me.  That is because I understand them.  So, I try to pass on the opportunities by saying,”Sabe que mi companera tiene una experience con esa".  My companions are learning.  It has been fun.

So, our ward doesn’t have anyone to play the organ or piano.  On Sunday, I volunteered.  It is terrifying to open up the hymn book to the number and think, “Dang... I always avoided playing this hymn because it was hard.”  Then, I started playing the intro for everyone to sing along.   Yeah, it was a good chance to serve.  After that, I spent the rest of the Sunday meetings in Primary.  They needed a pianist also.  I got to sight read primary hymns.  They are HARD.   I respect primary pianists now.  But here it goes Mom, the moment you have been waiting for: thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn to play the piano!  

There are two lesson experiences I want to share from this week. The first is with the Perez family.  We showed up and the dad unloaded on us about everything that had happened that day.  As I played translator a little bit for my companion, the wife really opened up.  Everything she said was pure doctrine. She is so ready for the Gospel.  She is so thirsty for more.  She asked us to take her to church.  She was so willing to have us come back.  The Spirit testifying that what we were teaching was so strong.  Wow, experiences like that remind you why we study and plan each morning.  We are preparing for moments like that.

The second lesson was with Ana and her family.  We were on splits prior to the lesson.  Our splits had crashed and burned.  The plans fell through and we lost the address.  Hermana Hansen and I did a drop- in-visit.  It was hard to feel the Sprint and inspiration.  Finally, Hermana Hansen and I show up 20 minutes late at Ana’s home.  Hermana Dayton and the member where not there!  We text them, tell them we are going in and we start teaching our lesson.  The lesson was to finish the Plan of Salvation and then teach the importance of the Book of Mormon.  It was HORRIBLE.  The lesson didn’t feel right.  I almost wanted to leave.  Then, Hermana Dayton and the member show up.  The lesson still struggled.  It was a mess.  I wanted to give up.  But…Hermana Dayton asked, “Do you have any questions?"  Then, the window to teach with the Spirit opened.  Ana said, “Wait!  Are you telling me that if we mess up and don’t get baptized in this life we have a chance after?"  In answer to her question, we talked about temples and baptisms for the dead.  We said we did not know everything but we did know that God is just and merciful.  I explained the Spirit World.  The Spirit was SO strong.  That was the message Anna needed to hear.  Our conversation led perfectly into the Book of Mormon.  She had questions.  We answered them and testified that she can know for herself.   It is so crucial that she knows for herself.  My testimony of the Book of Mormon has been strengthened by testifying of it.  What an amazing experience.  I am so grateful all of us stuck through the rough 20 minutes at the beginning.  It was pivotal.  Hopefully it will change her relationship with God.  

Those were my two teaching stories for the week. The two times when being a missionary felt good.  Missions are hard.  I am very grateful for the moments when I realize I wake up every day to serve others.  Their eternal salvation is in my hands.   It’s manageable because I know who else is on my team.  There are times when taking a day for myself sounds sooo good.  But I am sure I will miss these times when I am home.  On the bright side...I’ve signed up to be a mother in this life.  So, I get to work to bring salvation to the souls of Heavenly Father's children for the rest of my life! It’s going to be a good one!

Hermana Pickett


Thursday, April 18, 2013

This week has been AMAZING!!!!!!

I am in the only companionship with two trainees in the mission and I just finished training last week.  We had one investigator.  We lost our phone.  We got lost and… we didn’t even know where we lived!!!  It has been soooo good! Working in a trio is hard balance wise.  I have no idea how to take over an area and train new missionaries.  Somehow the Lord will qualify whom He calls.  I know that now.   I have no idea why we were entrusted with this responsibility but I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow.  I’m so grateful for Hermana Dayton, I have learned so much from her, to love the people and the work.  My attitude has completely changed.  Missionary work is what I thought it was.  I am so happy.  I don’t dread the next year and a half.  You can be happy on a mission!!!
We are the first sisters in this stake in quite a while.  The area book is barely there and we could not even find a map!

So, I miss South Phoenix.  It is not just the smell of marijuana that takes over at night or the sketchiness of it in general.  It’s amazing how you feel love for people simply wanting them to return to live with God and doing everything you can to make sure that happens.  Saying bye to Santos and Ruben and Jesus was really hard.  Praying for all of the investigators and new investigators for the last time was hard.  I cried.  I learned so much about love.  God loves them and I got to feel a little bit of it.  I am so grateful for that.

Then coming to Peoria, there are houses.  There are people who work during the day.  Our apartment complex has a gym we use every morning and a mini put-put golf course.  We just got desks.  That is a relief.  We bugged the zone leaders a lot till we got enough dishes and chairs.  They just brought us so much!!! We are excited to actually go back, organize, and buy food.  I am so moved by the faith of my companions.  They try so hard without the language skills.  

Something that I loved from this week was reading Mosiah 4 with missionary work in mind. I recommend it.  It is something we have covenanted to do.  In Jacob 4:5, I found something I really like, but it only works in Spanish.   It talks about how the commandments "orienta nuestras almas hacia el".  I love that!  If you think of the word “commandments” in Spanish “mandamientos”, “manda” means to send/orient,  “mient” our minds.  So, mandamientos means to orient and send our minds and souls to God.  I love that!  

Hermana Pickett

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Transfered!

I am in a new area.  We will be the first Sisters in this stake.  I am training Hermana Hansen, brand new, and Hermana Dayton, in her second part of training.  I am so excited.  The area book is almost non existant.  For some reason God trusts me with this HUGE change.  My address is:

8203 W Oraibi Drive #1025
Peoria, AZ  85382

Love you all!  Pray for us!  We don't even know how to get to the church tonight for our meeting!

Hermana Pickett

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Little Boy and His Dog

Hola!  Conference, it was so good.  Last conference got me on a mission and now all I want to do is get married and have a family!!! This world needs mothers who have served missions.  I really do believe that.  The choirs... BYU?!  I saw so many friends! I counted over seven.  On Saturday, we went to the stake center and watched conference in English.  There were sooo many missionaries from our two zones there.  Sunday was in Spanish.  We got 4 investigators to come! Three were from the same family! I kept telling Hermana Harding that we need to see these people baptized!!  Also, a nine year old boy that we taught told me he wished I could be his math teacher.  That made my day.  I think people like me! Sometimes, that is easy to forget. 

Yesterday was SUPER windy and dusty! It was crazy! When I and the rest of the sister left our meeting, we all had to hold our skirts down. Also yesterday, I said bye to Ruben and Jesus.  It is a really cool feeling to say goodbye to individuals I have known for a very short time yet I so fervently want them to KNOW how much God loves them.   I just want them to have it all…all the blessings, all the peace, and all the happiness.  I hope one day they will have it.  I really do. 

I have two great missionary stores this week.  First, when I was in the MTC, Rosemary M. Wixom spoke to us.  In her talk, she urged us to remember the children when serving our missions. I was reminded of that when she spoke during conference.  So this weekend, I did just that.  I loved the affect.  Granted... you must be careful when teaching children but I will share this experience.  It was awesome.  My companion and I went back to a house with an IVR referral. We had just seen a car leave the house but knocked on the door anyway.  A seven year old boy answered.  We asked if his mom or dad was home.  He said he would have to go find his dad.  He came back after a while having figured out that his dad must have left.  We said we would come by later.  We went down the street a couple houses where we had a PI.  As I turned around to head back to the sidewalk, there was the little boy with his dog.  His dog was on a chain attached to the boys belt loop buckle by a clip that also held the mail key.  I talked to him about his dog.  He said he was going to go check the mail. We crossed the street to visit another house.  As I turned around this second time, the boy was there waiting with the mail and his dog.  I talked to him again.  I gave him a pass along card with a picture of Jesus and Mary.  I gave him a 15 second lesson about the resurrection, Jesus Christ, and the plan of salvation.  He seemed really interested about it so I asked him what it meant to him.  It was so good to hear this innocent child "feast" on my 15 second lesson.  I said goodbye and told him we would see him later!  I was so happy to have shared that with him.  My companion and I proceeded to the house the prior individuals had identified as a house where the residents spoke Spanish.  When I came out of the home, the little boy was running towards us with his dog, but no mail.  He had apparently left it in his house.  He came and stood by me.  I took the hint that maybe we were friends now.  I really felt prompted to commit him to do something.  He WOULD receive the blessings just as adults do!  So, I gave him another one of the same pass along cards and invited him to go tell a neighbor what he learned.  At this point, I really like my new friend Aaron and Spiky (the dog).   He leaves as we are getting into the car.  I watch him ring the doorbell of his neighbor and wait.  As we drive away, I watch him get down on the ground and shove the pass a long card under the screen door! So funny, but it really touched my heart.  Remember the children!  God loves them so much.  They are so precious to Him.  I hope we get to back and see Aaron, Spiky and his parents tonight.  Aaron is special. 

My second story is about Dee.  We see Dee every day as we run. She is waiting for the bus.  Two days ago I felt prompted to talk to her.  So, I did.  We lost exercise time, but Dee is so cool!  She is so interested in the restoration.  She grew up catholic but doesn’t believe a lot of it. Her questions led me to testify of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of Jesus Christ's church and authority.  It was so cool and it happened because I simply talked to her.  I wasn’t wearing my name tag.  That made our conversation SO different from other conversations I have as a missionary. The difference was not on my part but on hers.  That is the power of member missionaries.  You don’t wear the name tag that sometimes scares people away.  Our message is simple and powerful.  I challenge you all to teach and testify of the restoration and Book of Mormon in 1 minute and use it.  Preach my Gospel can teach you how.  I LOVE working on that part of the work...planting the seeds.  Dee needs to know this gospel.  I hope she is there tomorrow so I can get her information.

I love you all! Happy birthdays to all of you who get my cards! And I will send you my address when I know.

Hermana Pickett

Monday, April 1, 2013

Birthday Celebrations!


Hi!  Okay so...this last week has been so good and so bad.  It has been so good because I love Easter.  It means so much more to me now.  I was reading in Jesus the Christ yesterday and I love how Mary was comforted for just hearing Jesus say her name.  I have definitely felt that at times in my life.  Also, I love how the JST changes the story in various Gospels so that two angels were there at the tomb.  It is how we go out in companionships while serving missions and later in a marriage of two to share the good news that He lives.  I loved it.

Another good thing was my birthday.  It was a pretty normal day with the exception that Hermana Dayton and Pousima made me a cake.  Hermana Coronado called me and played the 5 minute birthday song for me. It was funny.  By the way, my new hobby is decorating planners.  I love it!  Hermana Dayton was really struggling this week.  I talked with her.  Missions are hard.  It was good to follow the Spirit and help her.  I have felt alone before as she did.  So.. thanks to all of you who pray for me so I can be here to help others. 

As for how last week was bad.  Well, Ruben canceled his baptism and then he moved and doesn’t have telephone service.  Twice this week had to track him down in south Phoenix using maps drawn in the dirt and lots of prayers.  Also, I got a letter from a friend this week on Wednesday.  I was in tears in the car returning from our district meeting.  Also, the district meeting was so weird.  The spirit was just not there.  It was super uncomfortable.  So bad district meeting, hot weather, sad letter... I was overwhelmed to start off a long day. Then, we drove to a house to receive a referral but the English Elders were visiting.  They are not even in our zone!  I was confused as to what was happening.  I wanted to make sure we got the referral so I called.  As I was ending the message to the investigator , I said "y decimos estas cosas en el nombre de.......", pause, uncomfortable noises,  pause, and then "bye".  It was so uncomfortable but it made me laugh.  I needed to laugh.  It was a blessing.  

I love you and have a good general conference weekend! Talk to you on Tuesday!

Hermana Pickett