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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Picture Time (Part II)

Sorry, I didn’t have time to write last week!! But to make up for it, here are some pictures! I don’t know who qualifies for “Somewhat Disabled” parking, but I think pretty much everyone is at least a little disabled, one way or another. The baptism pictures are of Esme and Hermano Ronquillo, both of which were wonderful. Then there’s the temple picture, but I don’t know what the person taking the picture was doing… I suppose it’s a little bit more edgy being diagonal and all… Oh well. Click to make them bigger.

So this week, we’ve been listening to Marshall McDonald’s album, “This Is The Christ” while eating and chilling/getting ready for bed. It is fan TAStic!! There’s not a single song I don’t like on it. Oh, how marvellous! The album was a tribute to Karl Bloch, a painter who made 20-someodd pantings depicting the life of Christ. Each song is inspired by one of his works, and each song is awesome. Even ‘Amazing Grace.’ Usually I can’t stand that song… I couldn’t tell you why, I just don’t like it. But MAN, that stuff is powerful. I recommend looking in to it. Highly.

So the other day, Elder Gines said this: “I want somebody to just come up to us and say, ‘Hey, are you missionaries? I want to be baptized.” The next day, he and I were a little late getting out of the house for largely unavoidable reasons. Namely 2. But anyways, we said our going-out-of the-house prayer and asked to find people who were walking in darkness, looking for light. Then we left.
We were riding towards an investigator’s house when we almost got ran over by this big black SUV thing pulling out of a parking lot. The guy made weird motions for us to stop. We thought he was mad at us, but nevertheless, we stopped. A lady named Patricia came out and asked us the following question: “You speak spanish?” We replied yes, and then she asked (in spanish, obviously), “You’re Mormon missionaries, yes? I was visiting with them in Mexico, and my son was baptized. They gave me these pamhplets, and were teaching me, but I wasn’t baptized, but I want to be.” BOOM DIGGITY. Total answer to our prayers!! She came to church yesterday and met the ward missionaries and we’re going to see how prepared she is tonight! There were so many things that had to fall into place for us to be in that place at that precise moment, let alone all the things we don’t know about that led Patricia there. Mindblowing. Man, people are just lining up to enter the waters of baptism!! It’s marvellous. The Gospel is so true.

Since we’re on bike, we get shoutouts every once in while from pedestrians, passing cars, and anyone else who happens to be in the street. We get a whole host of things shouted at us, ranging from a very loud four letter word to a nice “God bless you guys!” The other day, in fact, we received this: “French countrymen, lend me your ears!” Yeah, I didn’t know what to do. So I just kept on riding. But with a slightly larger smile than before.

Elder PICkett

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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in general

 

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Happy Easters!

Yes, I know it was 2 days ago… and yes, I know I’m writing a day late. BUT! I have good reason. And this is it: we went to the temple this morning!! They told us only a little while ago, and we finagled a last-minute ride, and we went super early. And the temple’s closed on Mondays, so we went today. It was AWEsome! The LA temple is HUGE, and way pretty. Shoo, I loved it!

Also, Easter is awesome. I’m glad America is still celebrating religious holidays, even if they cover it in chocolate, rabbits, and eggs. You just have to eat through it all to get to the real meaning. Just like Christ was resurrected, I feel renewed and refreshed–it was a rough week.

A lot of stuff fell through. And I mean a LOT. We’re probably going to have to postpone Juan and Rosa’s baptism because of it because she works a lot. But even if we do have to, they’ll still get baptized. For sure. And then, we contacted this Egytpian vato on the street… UGH. It took me a while to overcome my temporary hatred for Egypt (he was the first Egyptian I ever met. Not a good first impression of the country.). He told me that we weren’t Christian. NOBODY tells me I’m not Christian. I got pretty upset and bore my testimony HARD, right in his face, and told him that Christ leads this church today through a prophet. Gah! It makes me angry just thinking about it. On a lighter note, later that same day, we met Ricky the Baptist. Not as cool as John the Baptist. He started out saying we wouldn’t get anywhere with him, and that Christ led the Baptist Church, and everybody else was wrong. He also told us that we had to use curse words. His reasoning? Because he did. So if Ricky the Baptist commits a sin, apparently everyone else has to as well. News to me. And finally, the missing daughter of Ramona showed up finally!

Like I said, a rough week. But, we’re still going forward with the Work, through the ignorance, the iniquity, and the increasingly blinding sun and blistering heat. Yikes. But, that’s not gonna stop me. I’ve got bigger things to worry about. Gotta go forward, not backward, and on to victory in such a great cause. The Gospel’s true, friends. Don’t you ever forget it.

Love,
eldEr PICkett

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in general

 

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CONFERENCE: The Mormon ‘Holy Week[end]’

Wasn’t General Conference ah-MAZing?! Good gosh, do I love hearing the living prophet and apostles speak! (For anyone who is currently thinking, ‘no get. what do?’ check out lds.org. there should be a big thing that says “General Conference.” That’s what I’m talking about. Check it out. Guarantee you it’ll be worth your while.) I learned SO much! Definitely one of my most favorite Conferences. GAH, I miss it already. My trainer, E’ Gines, says that General Conference is better that Christmas on the mission. While I heard my most favorite talk given my first mission Christmas by Elder David A. Bednar (and hence was BOSS, I can still see why he feels that way.

Cool happening! We went to the office and ran into a few of the departing missionaries. A Sister stopped me and told me that she knew my Uncle Reed and Aunt Karen and their family! Super cool. (I can’t remember her name… Sister Barrows? B-something… But still cool!)

So, Conference is normally great, right? But this Conference was especially great. We had 2–count ’em– TWO baptisms yesterday! The first was Esmeralda, an 8 year old girl, whose parents aren’t members (yet), and the second was Hno. Ruben Ronquillo. My GOODness, what a baptism! I had the esteemed privilege of doing his baptism. It took me three tries (the first I messed up the Spanish; second, he didn’t go all the way under; third, I pushed him down and we got it right.) but it was still one of the coolest experiences of my life. Despite the embarrassment, I’m glad the ordinance was done properly. Almost everyone was crying. It was beautiful. Especially his little 9 year-old daughter, Sarah. So cute!

Good times. I’m looking forward to more experiences like that as my mission progresses. Meanwhile, I’m wiggin out cuz I’ve been out almost 4 months. That’s a sixth of my mission. And it has positively FLOWN by. Yikes. I wish I had more time. But at the same time, I can see that having a finite, set time limit, with a rapidly approaching end date has helped me see what changes I need to make and the urgency with which I need to make them. I love the mission. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love you all dearly.

Elder Pickett

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in general

 

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Picture Time!

[Sorry! I forgot to post this last week. So you get two today!]

So here are a few of the pictures I’ve taken during my first transfer in the field! It’s wierd to think I’m in my second transfer now.

Alright, now for the news. The little girl, Angie, who was baptized by Elder Gines was confirmed yesterday. By me. My GROODness I can’t even tell you how nervous I was! I had to do it in Spanish, and I had to get the words right, and be loud enough so the whole congregation could hear me but still not have my voice crack, and on top of all that I had to give her a blessing. To be honest, I don’t even remember saying, “Recibe el Espìritu Santo.” I remember bits and pieces of the blessing, but man. Crazy. Afterwards, I literally felt nothing. I was just gone. There was no part of me that was my own; I had no control over my senses or any part of my body. I could think my own thoughts, but I was definitely not there for the rest of the service. There was something else occupying my body, and I just felt like… I don’t know, it was weird. Amazing, but weird. Do you even know what it feels like to feel nothing? The absolute definition of peace. I guess that’s a better way to describe how I felt. Complete and total peace. It was so powerful that it wasn’t possible for me to worry about anything, to be afraid, or anything like that. All I could think was that I had participated in a saving ordinance for a daughter of God. That God–THE God–had worked through me to give one of His children the gift of the Holy Ghost. It blew my mind that a Diety would trust someone like me with that kind of power and authority. But really, like I said, I wasn’t in control of myself. I was just the tool that the Lord decided to use. But it’s not like I felt like someone else was controlling my body. It was just… I dunno, I can’t really describe it. I didn’t feel forced, you know? I wanted to do all the things I was doing… it’s just that I knew, I could feel, that Someone Else was working through me. It was incredible. Dag, yo.

Another sweet opportunity found its way into our path this week. We just had to teach the missionary discussions to this guy. Totally prepared! He has one of the strongest testimonies I’ve ever seen. He has got to be one of the most humble men I have ever seen. My heart truly weeps for him. Through the opportunity I’ve had to teach him, I’ve learned far more than he has. He has strengthened me. I urge every preisthood holder to take their calling and office seriously. Do NOT take it for granted. Indeed, ‘many are called, but few are chosen’ because they choose not to appreciate the incredible blessing that the Lord has seen fit to bestow upon them. DO NOT PUT YOUR RIGHT TO THE PRIESTHOOD IN DANGER. And sieze every opportunity you have to use it. Do your home teaching. Magnify your callings. You cannot imagine how awful it is to be in his situation. He said many times that he wouldn’t wish it upon his worst enemy. And if you knew him, that would say a LOT. For your own sake, please don’t put yourself in his shoes.

Elder Pickett

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in admin, general

 

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