Monday, September 23, 2013

I Love It!

Well my friends, the church is still true.  I have been studying the apostasy and the restoration a lot recently.  I woke up from a dream last night.  In my dream, I did not believe in prophets and was so confused.  Without prophets, nothing else made sense.  The pattern of the world was all messed up inside my head.  But, all is well.... there is a prophet today.  His name is Thomas S. Monson.  The Priesthood, the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety, the correct concept of our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ, these have been restored and the Holy Ghost testifies they is correct! It all makes sense! I love it!

In other news, I am not being transferred tomorrow.  Hermana Baumgartner and Woo are leaving me!  It will be fine. 

I’m going to tell you about my week.  We had an awesome Sister's Specialized Training this week.  It was really, really good for all of the sisters in our mission.  We got pedicures! What?  That was crazy.  The lady that gave me mine said her daughter also has syndactyly.  So, as the lady did mine, she hugged my foot and said she felt at home. It was strange but comforting. (Syndactyly is condition wherein there is a congenital malformation of the limbs. It occurs in 1 in 2000 to 3000 live births. The term is derived from the Greek words syn, which means together, and dactyly, which stands for fingers.  It is a failure in which the fingers do not divide in to separate appendages. Separation of the digits normally occurs in the 6th and 8th week of embryologic development.  By and large, syndactyly is idiopathic, i.e. there is no known cause for it. However, in certain cases, there may be a defect in the genes and this could trigger syndactyly. Also, some research data suggests that smoking during pregnancy may result in syndactyly.)

We had a surprise party for Evelyn and Hermana Woo on Thursday.  Sister Taylor came. That made it pretty intense.  I gave Evelyn a birthday princess sash I got for my birthday so she felt really uncomfortable in a good way.

I promise, none of the following is dramatized or made up.   On Friday night I was not feeling too well.   We continued planning that evening but it only got worse.  At last, I can proudly say that I broke an11 year void of throwing up.  I was up from 11:45 on that night.  I was either pacing in our study room or sitting in the bathroom next to the toilet.  I tried sleeping in my bean bag with a massive pot next to me.  It was a very, very long night.  The best part is that our toilet has been broken for a solid week.  To flush it, you have to pour a bucket or pot of water into it.  So, the same pot I used for my emergency toilet I used to fill the toilet back up. Yes!  It had been so long since I had thrown up, I was scared I wouldn’t remember how to do it.  It comes back real easy.  My arms are just as sore as the rest of me from filling up the massive pot with water to flush the toilet.  I did it at least 20 times.

This illness started the long process of staying in (at least for me) for the weekend.  I thought being sick at home was boring because mom would never let us "relax".  On a mission, you can relax but there is nothing to do!  I was in too much pain to stay still.  That meant writing in my journal or reading Jesus the Christ were not really options.  I attempted watching The District.  Because we watch it every day, it wasn’t really very soothing.  It was a long weekend.  Hermana Baumgartner felt sick as well.  We tried to get splits for them to leave the apartment for one of the days.  The first thing I ate was the sacrament on Sunday. Wohoo! Wake up call. 

That evening, we attended a baptism.  I was fine until we had to sing a musical number.  For some reason, breathing was really hard for me.  I had a pain in my chest. So, I was up again all Sunday night pacing our study room.  I could not lie down so I sat on the floor.  I fell asleep sitting on the floor!  I woke up with a jerk as I began to sway too much.
I was doing pretty well on Monday.  Only once did I have to ask the other Sisters to pull over so I could lie down on the side walk in a small neighborhood park.  I would have been fine after that except that dinner just did not understand that I have been sick.  I had not eaten in 3 days and then it was a Mexican meal!  It was a long recovery.  On the bright side, it was a good story to get to write home about this week!

So, that has been my week.  Yesterday was really a great day.  It was full of miracles. I am so grateful for a God takes time to teach me.  Love you all!

Hermana Pickett

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bandit for a Day, Bam!

Sergio and Evelyn were confirmed and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday!! Wahoo!! They are already talking about which temple they want to be sealed.   I AM GOING to it no matter what next year.  Even if I have to cross the border and go to Tijuana. Last year, the church broke ground for the Tijuana Temple.

So, I heard BYU beat UT, WHAT? That’s crazy! I remember watching the two teams play at BYU my junior year in high school.  I was so excited to see it this year, at home.  I was recalling all of that the other morning in the shower.  Literally the next day, it popped up on my Facebook that BYU won.  That’s all I know because I tried to get away from it as fast as possible. (There is no time for college sports on a mission.) So, any details worth knowing would be greatly appreciated.  My teams!

I have a new favorite subway sandwich.  I am giving you the recipe.  You should all go try it.  You start with any sort of normal meat on 9 grain honey oat bread, your choice of cheese, and then you have it toasted.  Next is spinach, cucumbers, jalapenos, tomatoes, and southwest chipotle sauce.  IT IS SOOO GOOD.  It’s my new favorite.  How I came to try it?  Let me tell you.

It was Tuesday…. bandit day.  We were doing exchanges we had set up with other Sister Training Leaders.   The careful plans had a few snags.  In the end, it was me and Hermana Baumgartner on bikes in agua fria (cold water).  So, we stuffed our backpacks with Book’s of Mormon and pamphlets. We had a Spanish back pack and an English one.  It was a crazy day.  We were finding all day, no phone, no set appointments, no map, and no food.  Yeah, we were bandit missionaries.   We had 3.5 hours not on a bike.  Two of those hours were spent weeding as in squatting.   We were starving and had literally been biking all day.  It was nuts but it was so good.  We made it fun!

Alright, I love the book of Mormon that is in the Book of Mormon! It is so good!  The last four chapters in Mormon are so good!  You should all go read them.  If you were about to die along with the rest of your people, what would you say?  Chapter 7.  Bam!  That’s it.  If you want to know what the Book of Mormon is about, or if you are wondering if it is true, or if you want to know what Mormons believe?  Chapters 8 and 9! Bam!  It’s the best! I LOVE Mormon! (Technically, I LOVE Moroni as well!)

P-days tend to be stressful.  Everyone gets a little grumpy.  So, I am going to go so we can... make tres leches cake today.  The lady that lives next to us wants to teach us to make tres leches.  Yumm, I love tres leches.  Well, when it’s a good tres leches.

Hermana Pickett

Monday, September 9, 2013

When Rain Feels So Good

You know you are in Arizona long enough when its 88 degrees and you are wearing a cardigan.  That is not an exaggeration.  But... it poured today!!! There could not have been a better p-day present!!!!  I’m soaked.  Completely!  It feels so good.  I’m planning on going back to my apartment, putting on my striped pajama pants and Mormon “Helping Hands” shirt. (My favorite t-shirt) and reading Jesus the Christ by Talmage.  That book is sooooo good! It makes Jesus Christ seem so much more real.  I love how it gets me to rethink everything I know in an even better light.  I have this great idea of reading a little bit of it every night before bed.  Unfortunately, I don’t normally get around to writing in my journal.  That means it doesn’t really happen. Oh well….p-day!  Okay here are some individual things.  It takes less time this way, sorry: (and you don’t have to include this in the post)

Our ward went on a camp-out this weekend.  What are missionaries supposed to do when everyone in the ward is gone?   Those members who are less inclined to participate feed us.  At one dinner, I unknowingly broke the Word of Wisdom.  Is ignorance bliss?  Not so much.  I was not feeling to good biking after that and was about an inch away from getting hit by a car.  No worries, it was a lot worse for the dog we hit the day before.

Sergio and Evelyn arrived late to church yesterday.  Apparently this is a no no if you want to get confirmed.  It has been 3 weeks since Sergio’s baptism without him receiving the Holy Ghost.  Still, Evelyn was baptized yesterday.  Sergio spoke at her baptism about the Holy Ghost.  They are my favorite! Their apartment "ora" has completely changed.  Her mom and His dad are also now looking for missionaries.  Basically I LOVE THEM!!!  It has been such a blessing to see and feel the change.  We are already planning on hunting them down in a year to go to the temple when they receive their endowments and are sealed! I think I might die of happiness the day that happens.

My mission president made a comment about repentance being in vain if we fail to acknowledge the atonement.  His statement got me thinking. If we do not understand that we can repent because of Jesus Christ, we are missing out on the whole point of the plan.  Being happy to return and live with God is the plan.  We do it by being exactly obedient.  Being exactly obedient requires keeping the commandments and repenting when we will make mistakes.  Repentance acknowledging the atonement is the only way.  Recognizing this is not new information but it did shine brightly for me today.

Hermana Pickett

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Feeling Love for Others

Can you believe it’s September?  It’s crazy!  It’s also Labor Day.  I was not going to email until tomorrow and then realized that I have meetings all day Tuesday and Wednesday.  So, you get a email from me today but it will be short.   Speaking of Labor Day, is there anyone that I should know of that is pregnant or had a baby recently?  I recently saw the other day that Amber had her little girl.  Should I know of anyone else?  It’s been eight months which is enough time to have had the baby!  Updates would be much appreciated.

As for an update on last week, our zone conference was good.  We talked a lot about faith, principles and obedience of principles.   I had a huge “aha” moment from that.  I have always understood the importance of obedience.  What clicked inside my brain was that by failing to live the principle perfectly, we can repent and then follow the principle a little bit better.  It feels so liberating to live life that way!   I encourage you to think back on their lives and figure out how you can live a principle better.  Then repent and do it better.:)

Exchanges keep coming and going.  They are good.  It’s a blessing to watch God teach me through the contacts I meet even when the chances of me meeting them again are so slim.  Also, it is empowering to help the Sisters increase in hope and develop the faith that they desperately need.

On Fast Sundays, all I want is a cheese pizza!  Thank you Hermana Baumgartner!!!  She put cheese pizza into my head.  Thank you all for liking and commenting on my Facebook!

We had a really cool experience yesterday.  On Sundays, we have a meeting with all of the priesthood leaders in the morning.  In that meeting, we go over our investigators and their progress report.  After church, we coordinate with the other auxiliary leaders.   Yesterday, we decided to put all of the auxiliary presidents and their families on progress report.  Then we left the help needed blank.  The point was to share with the ward that we are concerned about them individually.   It didn’t start off as great as we had hoped but it turned around.  It was a spiritual experience to listen as they came around and opened up to our idea.  We felt like we were finally on the same page.  I LOVE the people in this ward.  And my love grew 100 times larger as I listened to them confide in the missionaries and accepted our help.  To watch them turn outward to their wives and children who are struggling, loving them and trusting us enough to let us help.  It was beautiful.  I started crying.  My tears increased when the bishop asked me to share what I was feeling.  I am so grateful for the opportunity that God has given me to serve and feel love for others.

Alright, I really am hungry.  I’m going to go.   Bye!

Hermana Pickett

September Mission Leadership Council 2013