Monday, April 28, 2014

It's the Team That Will Never Lose

Martin is doing awesome! He is still stuck on the Book of Mormon but I have never seen anyone so sincerely fixed on getting an answer. He came to church yesterday!  He has do much faith it's ridiculous. He just keep coming back, even when experience number one was horrible.

Speaking of church, yesterday it was nuts!  Gospel Principles was a civil war of correct and false doctrine. Sacrament meeting went 20 minutes over.  My favorite was the Hermano that quoted president Uchtdorf's by saying "el Elder Daiter" and President Monson as "Presidente Thomas".  I spent most of it helping Angelica stay semi calm.  The best... Hermano Alarcon got the priesthood!!!  Also, we got him on family search this week.  He loves it!  They have their temple interview in Wednesday.  Hopefully next week we can go to the temple with them.

Last night we stopped by to visit Ruben.  I haven't seen Ruben in like a month and a half. He just picked a date to be baptized.  We have a lot of plans to support him including seeing him every day.  He needs to stop smoking and drinking.  Wow.

I have had a lot of opportunities this week to talk to youth from EFY on Facebook. It's so neat to see some of them prepare for missions and help others who are struggling. A lot of them are married, weird.
One of the girls from Indiana is leaving on her mission in a couple of weeks.  She goes out with the sister missionaries in her ward a lot. As she was talking with them, she found out that the sister missionary was a girl in my EFY group from Nauvoo!  That was awesome!

I learned this week a lot about the power of God. He has power to do all.  He loves to help us achieve the goals and dreams that we choose with our agency. Gods will is for us to be happy.   Why so many times do we leave that so vague?   I don't know.  If you leave it blank, it will stay blank.  God doesn't fill in dreams and desires. He helps them become reality. I love it. It's the team that will never loose :)

I hope you all have a great week.

Hermana Pickett

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pressing Forward

Wohoo!!   Hermana Welch and I are staying in Solano!  No one was transferred.  As we waited for the transfer text this morning, we went to downtown Glendale and walked around in the antique stores. We also had really good food at a super nice pizza place there.  Hermana Welch’s mom had sent me a gift certificate for me birthday.  We used only part of it so we decided to go there again next transfer!  The restaurant is closed on Mondays and it is not located in our area.  Luckily it is in our zone which means we can visit on a p-day.

Last Wednesday, the daughter of the Alarcons stopped breathing.  This is the family that was baptized a week ago last Saturday.  The girl was taken by a life flights to Phoenix Children's Hospital.   She is home now but that family is going through some trials. They are amazing and have so much faith. I learn from them every day and I love them so much!

This week we had been speaking to a man outside his home. Once we got back in the car Hermana Welch grabbed something off my face as she said, "Don't freak out, you just have a bug on your face." I'm driving at this point and I forced her to tell me what kind of bug.  It was one of those small cockroaches. Yep, I screamed. It was disgusting.

This week showed me how a person’s desire for truth and acts of faith (despite some not so good experiences) can keep them pressing forward.  We have been teaching Martin. He is 26.  What is cool about Martin is that he knows the Bible so well and he isn't closed off or defensive about it! We taught him the lesson on the restoration with another returned missionary on Sunday.  I won't go into details, but it was not done well. Luckily, he let us come back.  Hermana Welch and I retaught it. This time the Spirit was there.  He said he would read the Book of Mormon even though he was not convinced about prophets or the Book of Mormon.   He also agreed to go to stake conference on Sunday.  Although the Spirit in the conference was wonderful, the Spanish translation was horrible.  Still, Martin is letting us come back! It is a miracle.  Everything just fell apart but he is still open!  I am so grateful for that. :)

Let me explain why the Spanish translation at stake conference was so bad.  With all of my focus, I could not follow what was being said.   The translators were laughing inappropriately.  It tore me up that those who required a Spanish translation had such a horrible experience while those who understood English felt the Spirit so strong.  I feel a responsibility to make sure that doesn't happen again. Not sure how to go about that.  It's not important that the translators are reprimanded.  It is important that is not happen again!  It was sad.

We had an awesome district meeting! Our district leader and his companion made a huge maze with chairs and tables in the gym.  The objectives was to have one missionary direct his companion through it.  The person directing was playing the role of the Spirit.  The other player symbolized us as we walk through the maze of life.  My role was to make as much noise as possible.  I had a lot of fun.:)  By the way, I finished the four gospels so I started the Book of Mormon again. This time I am reading it focusing on specific things I got out of conference. I'm super excited.  I'm loving it.  

Oh, it is getting warm here.  We are biking a lot. We end up looking like a mess but it’s fun.

Hope all is well... Love you all!

Hermana Pickett

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ordinances and Fresas con Crema

I'm going to try and make this fast because we are going bowling!!!  Wohoo!  Best zone activity idea ever! Hermana Welch and I have plans to go dressed up! Wohoo! We are going all out.  We are prepared for awkwardness because our zone thinks we are weird, oh well.

This week! Where do I start!  Yes! The Alarcons were baptized and confirmed! They are members and they have the Holy Ghost! I love that family.  Saturday, the day they were baptized, was absolutely nuts. We got up early to have time to finish our studies before having to go to the church to fill the font. Filling the font was its own adventure.  When we finally finished setting up for the baptism, we got on Facebook for like 20 minutes.  Our baptism started late by 20 minutes.  It was hectic because there were two other baptisms after ours.  I had so many people telling me to hurry to do this or that.  I was stressed.   In the end, it was okay because everyone received the ordinances they needed and everyone got Fresas con crema.  (Strawberries and cream)  Life is not all that bad.

We went straight from the baptism to pick up other Hermanas and then to the Mesa temple grounds to help with the pageant, Spanish night.  We received permission to stop at Bahama Bucks and get shaved ice.  This was nice because we had not eaten since the morning.  Then, we went to the park by the temple and just talked to people for three hours before the Pageant started.  I got to see Allison! It's was so fun to see her randomly.   She told me that the Mesa mission just has 2 Spanish zones and she is driving a truck.  (I want to drive a truck!)  The craziest part was after watching the pageant we were walking back to our car and someone tapped me on the shoulder and said "Hi Sister Pickett" it was my friend Josh from EFY. Yeah, I flipped out.  We didn't get back till after 11 that Saturday night.  So, I'm still recovering but it was a good day.

Oh, I should mention that transfers are next week so I won't be writing till Tuesday.

Love you,

Hermana Pickett

Monday, April 7, 2014

His Promises

My hand got much worse on Monday evening.  On Tuesday, I went back to the doctor.  He said my arm was looking better..... I think he's nuts!  He told me to keep taking the antibiotics and come back in a week.  When his office staff scheduled the appointment, they did it in two weeks.  So, the whole place is nuts!

At home, we dealt with bed bug clean up. The whole 9 yards of drying every item of clothing, placing them in black bags and putting the bags in our car parked in the sun so that everything would get even hotter.  We then lived out of those bags in the garage till Friday night. My coping was to wear an outfit twice.  After we moved back in, it felt so good!  Unfortunately, I still have nightmares about cockroaches, ants, bedbugs, and spiders sleeping on me.  I learned to curl my hair this week with a method that works well!  In the past, my efforts to curl never really worked.  I can thank my cosmetologist companion. :)

It's weird to hear about and see what my college friends are doing. They are all finishing up their student teaching.  It's weird to think that is what I would be doing had I not come on my mission.  I would never go back and do it differently. My mission is way too precious to me.

Speaking of which.... the Alarcons!  They are all ready to be baptized on Saturday! I am just.... filled!  I am really excited for them. Every lesson, every interaction is a spiritual experience for me. Every member that meets them is just so excited because they are so prepared!  I think it is helping many of the members realize the work is real!

I loved conference!!  I learned something really cool about obedience. I'm going to write this but I'm not sure it will sound any different than what you hear every day.  Please ask me about it when I'm home and maybe the fluctuation in my voice can clarify what I actually learned.  The whole point of us coming to earth and participating in Heavenly Father’s plan was to return and receive all of His promises. Every trial of our faith is just that, a trial of our faith, our faith in Him and His promises.  So, trials are here to test our commitment in keeping the commandments of God and our covenants with Him. If we are obedient, we express faith in Him and will receive His promises.  If we are disobedient, we choose to rebel against the faith we have and separate ourselves from His blessings and His plan.  A great example is Lucifer who rebelled against Gods plan.

I am not sure if that helps or if it even makes sense but it changed the way I think and interact with everyone.  Everything is meant to see if we will keep the faith and stay committed to the commandments.

Les quiero mucho!  Hermana pickett

P.S. We made the carrot cake this week.  We made it without a grater. Oh yeah! We grated our carrots with a knife. That's real.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

This Is Not Meant to Scare Anyone!

Just thought I would update y'all. My doctors appointment went well. He's concerned about it and my reaction to the bites so he's monitoring me closely for the next bit. He gave me a super strong antibiotics along with counsel to "take it easy" tonight and tomorrow which will allow my body to deal with the bites. He wants to see the bites again tomorrow.  If they are still growing then, he said he'll need to put me in the hospital for IVs. That's the update. :) I'm all marked up with sharpies!
Love you all!
Hermana Pickett