Monday, November 25, 2013

Key Indicators

Today’s email will be short.  This morning was hectic!   I haven’t eaten since seven this morning when I had two pancakes.  So, I’m starving.  It is hard to write on an empty stomach.

Big news!  We are no longer counting referrals as a key indicator.  This blew my mind.  It is good news.

Most of last week, I was gone on exchanges.  When I came back, all of our food was gone!  I felt grumpy but repent and got over it.   I am feeling exhausted.  All this work and we didn’t get to weekly planning.  Both my companion and I are unorganized.   Good thing Thanksgiving will give us some time.  We get to stay in all day except when we leave for an hour to go eat dinner with a family.  I hope everyone out there enjoys their Thanksgiving!

Speaking of holidays, I have good and bad news.  The good news is I get to Skype home for Christmas!  The bad news is that I am only allowed to Skype where my parents live. So this means I can’t talk to anyone else unless you are with Mom and Dad.  I have 30 to 40 minutes just like Mother’s Day.

We lost the key to our mailbox this last week.  Today when we saw the mailman, (we are friends with him) he said he was worried about us because we hadn’t collected our mail.  When we told him what happened, he expressed condolences and then proceeded to give Hermana Welch four letters and a package! What?  I guess I just kind of pushed it out of my mind that it’s a normal presents for Christmas.

Hermana Dayton and I took Christmas pictures this morning.  You will all be getting a Christmas card from us.

I had a dream last night that I was transferred.  The next transfers are 6 days before Christmas.  I would really rather not leave or have Hermana Dayton leave 6 days before Christmas.  Also, it is really cold here! We are talking 50s and I feel like I’m going to die.  I really feel for those of our family who live in Chicago and Boston.

This week my testimony of the Book of Mormon was strengthened.  That Book is THE BEST.  I love it.  I received a gift from an 11 year old friend this week.  It was a crazy colored stretch book cover that I put on my scriptures.  When I showed her I was using it, she was SOOOO happy.   She has one just like it and wanted to give me one too.  I love her!  

We had a really intense lesson with Anahi.  You could help me, her and others this Thanksgiving by praying for her and all my investigators.  Okay, now I have made your list really long, thank you.

Everyone enjoy the holiday weekend! I am grateful for all of you.  

Love, Hermana Pickett

Monday, November 18, 2013

Promptings and Epiphanies

So this upcoming week is going to be nuts.  We have four exchanges in pairs of back to back days.  I will be gone till Wednesday night.  Then, I will figure out the “conference call/Skype” access with dad so we can teach Peter in Canada.  Dad, I am really excited to teach with you!

Yesterday we had a test Skype lesson with a friend and it was crazy! I had followed a prompting to ask this specific friend for her help.  Come to find out, she is going to Hawaii next week to see her boyfriend and his family.  They are not members.  The moment I told her what we were doing she said, "This is so perfect!!! You can teach them when I go over there next week!"  Yeah!   I’ve never been to Hawaii but I’m going to teach a lesson there. We were guided to where we were needed even online.

My companion and I have decided that it really would save everyone time and headaches if they just called us as ward secretaries until we finish updating the area book on our iPads.  We have so many new investigators that are actually less actives but whose records have not or will not be requested.  We could do so much good if we could just change address or request records.

Another idea came to me yesterday during church. I feel like I spent a lot of time during the last two lessons that I and my companion taught distracting kids so parents and everyone else could listen.  During one of these moments, I passed a Word of Wisdom pamphlet to the mother for her one year old to play with.  The child immediately put it in his mouth.  The mother said, "No" and pulled it out.  I consoled to the mother by saying, "It’s totally fine if he eats it."  So, I gave a one year old permission to eat a word of wisdom pamphlet.  It seemed funny at the moment.
We went to the temple on Saturday but with Anahi!!  Again, I got to see Hermana Duffin! It was the best! It was an answer to so many prayers that we got a ride.

My thought for the week comes from thinking about comments made by Elder Teh during his tour of our mission.  He talked about agency and Satan.  I had an epiphany!  Satan is miserable because he cannot repent. He opted out.  He chose the route that does not allow him to repent.  It helps me see how glorious repentance really is.  Without repentance, we would be like him.  Repentance is the best!  Repentance is not the backup plan, it is the plan.

Alright, I hope all it well with everyone.  I hope you all know I love you. Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? What?   Can that be real?  Maybe it’s hard to believe because it’s still warm.  Oh, and the Christmas light are up! 

Hermana Pickett

Monday, November 11, 2013

Transfer Meetings, Faith, and the Brown Recluse

Normally during the week, I would bullet point events in my planner on the Monday page to write home about in my weekly letter. Now that I have an iPad and am without a planner, I have forgotten everything worth writing home about!  So, please bear with me!

Transfers were crazy! A new zone was created.  There are so many new Spanish missionaries that they are now covering English wards and trying to start other Spanish groups.  I love transfer meetings.  I have not missed one since I came on my mission.  

Anahi is still going strong this week! I don’t know what has helped her have the faith she has but she has taught me so much.  She is so brave. I love being blessed to be able to teach her and be here when she wants to be baptized. 

The thought that came this week was about faith.  Faith is not willing something or willing something to be different than it is.  Faith is not inconsistent with Heavenly Father’s plan, the Plan of Salvation, Jesus Christ, the Atonement, happiness etc.  Faith will never interfere with mine or anyone else’s agency.   If you are struggling with dressing modestly or staying for all three hours of church, your problem will not be solved by having more faith that those things will help you.  Rather, faith MUST be based on true principles, the Savior, in order to have the desired result of obedience.  More faith in our Savior leads to a belief that He and His commandments are perfect.  This belief leads to understanding why we should be modest or stay for all of church.  That is the power of faith.

I bought boots! Wohoo!! No one believes me when I say it gets cold here.  They will all want boots here too!

Male Brown Recluse spider has 3 eyes
On Thursday, we were at the library using the computers for Facebook.   It’s easier on a computer than on our tablets with a borrowed and failing internet connection.  Anyway, my leg started to itch.  As we left, it really itched.  By the end of the day, the back side of my upper left leg was completely red and swollen.  Seriously, it was the size of...(I can’t think of anything) half a loaf of bread!  It was hard and hot and huge.  I’m like whoa, what bit me?  The next morning, I started feeling sick like a cold. Then, the next day it gets worse.  I’m nauseous and just not feeling good.  It was stake conference that night.  So I’m just trying to make it to that where I can sit and not talk to anyone.  I hadn’t really eaten that day because I didn’t want to not keep it down.  Conveniently, President and Sister Taylor spoke at the meeting.  I got to talk to her afterward.  She told me to take Benadryl and text her in the morning if it got worse.   I warned Hermana Dayton that Benadryl does not do good things to my brain. I took a dose on Saturday night after the adult session and then again Sunday morning.  That was it.  I seriously was like a walking Zombie.   I got so annoyed so easily.  It was scary!  I tried studying but couldn’t stay awake so I napped.  I don’t really remember yesterday morning, like at all.  A day later,  I’m feeling a lot better. Not feeling really really good but better than I did.  And the bites look... really weird.  Sister Taylor said it was probably a Brown Recluse bite.  I feel like that sounds a lot more intense than I think, right?! I feel like I’ve heard that name before and associate it with the ER.  Anyway... thought you would enjoy that.

We are trying to go to the temple with Anahi and five other less active families. Me encanta el templo!  (I love the temple!)

Hermana Pickett 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What? An Ostrich? A Cousin?

So, I’m not transfering! What?! That means that by the time I leave this area, I will have spent almost exactly half of my time in this area! I love this because I am also still companions with Hermana Dayton. :)  We have countless miracles happening and being her companion has changed my mission.  She’s awesome.

Our iPads are good in lots of ways, frustrating in others.  Our neighbors are allowing us to use their Wi-Fi.  That has changed everything.  Before that, it almost seemed like a waste of time.   In all, my highlight of the iPad is using it for language study.  This morning we downloaded the accompaniment on LDS Hymns and we sang Christmas hymns in Spanish.  It was soooo fun. It’s weird to see all the missionaries with iPads.  They have saved our lives sometimes.  Still, I’m worried it will begin to look tacky when we have them out a lot.  

We have mission tour this week.  I am not really sure what that means.  Next, for the first time on my mission, we had an investigator who we have never talked to before say she wanted to talk to us.  Then, she said "so, I want to know how I can get baptized into this church".   WHAT?!! I’m pretty sure that I didn’t do a very good job at hiding my shock even though I tried.  Another miracle of this week was Edith.  I am not sure I mentioned her before.  Edith has strengthened my testimony and understanding of how the gospel changes lives.  I love her.  It’s her son that calls me Superwoman.  (Even Superwoman has sidewalk poop.)  I think I told that story.  Because of her, I will forever remember Halloween.  We taught her on that day and it was a very sacred experience.  It was the best. :) I am so excited for her to be baptized.  She knows it involves marriage and to quit smoking.  Still, she is up for it in 3 weeks!

Okay now for my crazy sister missionary story.  On Saturday, we were on our way home when I saw this truck almost take out another car at a stop sign.  I was behind the truck and it was all over the place.  So, we assumed the driver was really drunk.  We didn’t have the non-emergency phone number for the cops so we called our district leader.  I don’t know why that seemed like such a good idea.  Anyway, they tell us to call 911.  We did.  At the same time, I’m following this truck so I can tell the dispatcher the license number and location.  It was bad.  The driver was going the wrong way on a divided street.  He even went into a round about the wrong way.  It was really scary.  We lost him and then found him again.  He had pulled over so we did too.  The dispatcher was on the car speakerphone.  I read him the license plate and was giving him a description of the car and driver when the driver came over and knocked on our window.  We were both nervous! We asked the officer what he wanted us to do.  The officer said whatever we felt safe with.  We ended up getting out of our car and talking with him.  He was REALLY REALLY drunk.  We couldn’t understand him except for some words.  He was coming from the casino and had lost.  He had a separate fake conversation with his girlfriend while talking to us.  I remember understanding "here with two beautiful ladies".  We got him to stay till the cop showed up.  He didn’t even think it was a bad thing that the police were there.  So, it was 9:20, we were a little outside our area, but I am so glad we didn’t just let him go.  I would have felt sick thinking of what could have happened.

Also, we went to go see a referral yesterday and no one was home.  No worries, their ostrich was! WHAT?!  Yes, it was the coolest referral of my mission.  This transfer could not have gotten any better.

This is the last story of the week.  I went to the temple on Saturday. :)  I love the temple.  Sergio and Evelyn come with us.  We came to talk about what it is going to take for them to get sealed in the temple.  The best part is that guess who was our visitor’s center missionary, Hermana Duffin!!!  I got to spend Saturday with my cousin!!! Wohoo!!!! It was the best.  It was one of the unexpected occasions.  Man, I love that girl.

Alright I think that is it.  Have a great week!

Hermana Pickett