Monthly Archives: July 2012

Take #2

Well, transfers came and went, and I’m still in El Monte!!! By some crazy-random happenstance, I’m going to stay in “Friendly El Monte” for another transfer at least. And I’m going to train! I guess the Lord is giving me a second chance to prove myself. Though there is a large chance that I’ll only do half of the training (which is 2 transfers long) because people hardly ever stay in their first area for more than 3 transfers, let alone 5. The last person to do that was Elder Hendrickson, who just finished his mission with honor as an AP. I wonder if 6 transfers is an unprecedented event in California Arcadia Mission history. But I’ll meet him tomorrow, and send pictures next week, along witht he photos from my last week with Elder Austin, whom I will miss dearly. I’ll also miss Elder Parker… he was crazy hahaha. Good ol’ Virgninians.

This week was filled with a lot more food–I had tamales for the first time yesterday. My GOODness, how delightful! I’m growing a lot (and not just horizontally), and learning much about people and companionships and relationships with investigators. I had a bit of a readjustment of late, to prepare me to train, I think. I’m still figuring out the balance between hard work/focus and enjoying my mission. Because both are necessary. Soem people just treat them as mutually exclusive. Elder Austin taught me a lot about how to find the balance, and for that I am grateful. We did have a lot of fun with my birthday presents that my family sent me. We took some rocking pictures together with Roselia. You will all wait for them next week =D (today was crazy and I don’t have my camera. I hope I know where it is.)

Well, just now there was a medical episode here in the library. A man was doing something with the computer and apparently got mesmerized by the screen. He stood there for a good 30 minutes til the paramedics arrived and gave him some fluids and something in an IV. So now we’re running super late! Yay! But it’s all good. We’re all safe, thank goodness. Yesterday, Elders Smith and Parker got into a bad car accident and totaled the mission car. Both are safe and healthy and uninjured, miraculously, but I’m sure President won’t be too pleased with another totaled car… But everyone’s happy and healthy, just a bit shaken up.

We’re heading into baptisms in August! Get ready for pictures in whites =D

Elder PICkett

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Scatter Sunshine All Through the Night

Man, life is grood. We’ve been fed more this week than any other week in my whole life. We’ve been trying to work more through members to find new investigators, and that means food. I may come back chubby, but it’s for a good reason. You’ll all still love me, right? Of course you will; you’ll love me even more!! =D

But I had a crazy random happenstance this week! My supercool abuelito (grandpa) visited me before church yesterday!! He dropped off some avocados and cucumbers. Which were all delicious. So all the elderes in the ward got to meet my grandpa! My family is the best =)

But as far as the work goes, things are going well! We’re teaching a lot of people right now, and we’re going to start teaching a lot more this week, hopefully. There’s an hermana in our ward here who’s a super good missionary. We go over to eat at ehr house every sunday, and she invites everyone who walks by to eat with us, and then she introduces the Gospel to them, as well as introduces us to them. It’s pretty amazing. She’s the best example of member missionary work I’ve seen in my life. We’re blessed to have her here.

The enemy of all righteousness has been hating on me pretty hardcore lately, I’ve noticed. It’s hard to keep an optimistic view sometimes, but Elder Austin is good at talking me down. Or rather talking me up when I do get down. Like today, we’ve got way too much stuff to do: inspect cars as a favor to the office elders, take Elder Austin all the way up to Glendale for a doctor’s appointment, return Elder Bath’s bike, and hopefully I’ll have time to get a haircut, in addition to all the normal stuff that takes too much time as it is. But I was being sassy and instead of sassing me back, like Elder Bayles (the king of Sass) might do, he offered to help if he could and put some sweet jams on in the car and got me dancing. (I can’t resist busting a move to the sweet beat of Popcorn Popping…) And every time I dance, I feel better. It’s weird, and I still can’t dance well at ALL, but I have fun with it. The point is, he lifted my spirits. He’s a great companion. We’re going to make movies together with our friends and make decent amounts of cash, probably end up fighting over some business deal and hating each other for a while only to later reconcile our differences and become even better friends afterwards. But we won’t be business partners anymore. It may end up like an Xavier/Magneto kinda thing. Who knows? But we have a lot of fun together, which makes the time pass even that much more rapidly. I can’t believe it’s been almost 8 months! I’m approaching the completion of an entire third of my mission! How terrible is that?! But we gotta deal with what we’re given. Sometimes we stay up too late talking. Sometimes (I’d say the majority) we talk about Gospely things, but once we talked about our favorite superheroes/villians from each universe (DC/Marvel) and whose power we would want to have most, taking into account all consequences of the power. Speaking of superheroes, I heard about what went down in Colorado…. How terrible. Everyone we meet talks about it. The end is near, friends.

In other news, we met a hobo named Oscar the other day who gave us a tie for a dollar! Literally, we traded him the tie for a dollar–we didn’t buy it from him. It’s a really nice tie, too. Black and white Croft & Barrow. I’m wearing it right now =)

Also, my birthday package has been sitting on the extra desk in the study room staring me down almost this entire week. Cruelty… But it’s cool. I’m oddly more excited for this birthday than any other I’ve had yet, even though I literally can’t celebrate it this year. I’ll probably be eating a lot this week too… Ugh. Oh well. I love the food here!

Take care, and watch yourselves.
Elder PICkett

P.S. I wonder if anyone has noticed that the capitalized letters in my signature each week spell ‘EPIC.’ I think I emphasized it one week… But yeah. That’s why I do that. Bonus points if you already knew it!

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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in general



The Times, They Are A Changing

Holla, wonderful people! Another week gone from my precious 2 years of service as a full-time missionary… But not in a trio!! I got my new companion, Elder Austin on Tuesday. He’s AWEsome! He is really hilarious, and knows a ton about the Gospel, and is really spiritually driven. He’s also got a lot of interesting Gospel theories that are fun to think about. And he cleaned up the pad =D It’s beautiful now! Also, he just happens to have been best friends with DJ Hansen (now Elder Hansen), and another of his friends, Seth Nielsen (now Elder Nielsen) was MTC companions with my Elder McDonald!!! Man, what an itty-bitty world. But we’re having a great time, and I’m learning a lot from him. He’s super cool and super ready to work. We have a lot of fun =)

This is Elder Lerma and I looking studly. And yes, I own that suit =)

We had a mission conference this Friday, and got some sweet instruction from our leaders. Elder Hendrickson (AP from Lee’s Summit, friend of Canute Peterson) spoke about how to become a progressing missionary, and how we can’t have real progressing investigators if we’re not progressing ourselves as investigators of the Lord. Recently, a LOT of changes have been thrown at me, and it was really hard to deal with it all. With the exit of each companionship, came difficulty and adjustment, but also a great new companion. Through all of this, I’ve learned how to be able to rely on the Lord, with the help of the Lord Himself (of course), other elders, and my mission mom, to all of whom I am indebted and exceedingly grateful. Now the next step is learning how to rely on Him always. I suspect it will be harder, but I know I’ll be better for it. I won’t be too surprised if they toss me out of El Monte at the end of the transfer… I hope that’s not the case, but hey–Thy will not mine be done, right?

Another part of the mission conference was just having fun. President told us that we need to take a break from the constant worrying about our investigators and just enjoy an evening with the other missionaries. It’s something that Nathan (my bro) has been telling me since I started, and it’s really helped. I think it’ll be easy with Elder Austin to have fun while still fulfilling my purpose as a missionary. I’m looking forward to learning more and running Satan and his angels out of El Monte.

Take care, lovely beings!
Elder PICkett

P.S. I made my own potato chips this morning!! They were actually pretty tasty.

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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in general



Happy Birthday Mom! (And America, a few days ago)

Elder Gines was right. Holidays are pretty lame on the mission. The morning was pretty normal, I guess. Our whole day was stacked with appointments. But then, one by one, people kept realizing that they’d set up appointments for the 4th of July, so we had nothing much to do at night. We smelled a lot of sulphorous smoke and heard a lot of bangs. We visited some folks among the noise, smoke, and raving parties, but eventually we ended up eating the zone leader’s fries (we found them eating at a burger place in my area, and joined them).

But things are getting better within the tri-panionship. Mostly it’s me who has the problems to work out… But I’m improving. With a lot of help from up above as well as some good advice from a great friend =) But the situation has made me think about things a lot. Most nights I’ll be laying on the couch (which is my bed) just looking up at the ceiling, thinking about everything, asking God questions. I think He’s a little weary of me: one night, He told me just to go to sleep, that things will be better tomorrow. I think I’m getting to know Him better. But it’s very true that God has a sense of humor.

With only about 5 months left to live, things are getting a little heated down here. It seems like there are a lot of people worrying about the things they always should’ve been, which is good. But also, Satan’s no fool, and he’s convincing a lot of these people to cling tightly to the easiest way out. I’ve found in my missionary journey that a lot of people do nothing. Almost literally, they do nothing. Work and sleep comprise their lives completely, with occaisional breaks for eating. To compensate for a lack of a fulfilling life, they fill their precious spare time by breaking the Word of Wisdom and the law of chastity a lot. It seems like those are the favorites to break. But there are still rays of hope breaking through the darkness! Linda and her kids are doing splendidly, with the obvious occaisional roadblock. She’s come a long way, and I’m really proud of her. I’m meeting new people that the other Elders are teaching, who are super cool and I have high hopes for. It always takes me by surprise when I realize how totally awesome God is and how totally insignificant we are, yet how much He still cares. It blows my mind. Pay attention to what you’re saying when you pray, and it’ll blow your mind too.

I love you all, and I thank you for your support!

Elder PICkett

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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in general




That means ‘yikes’ in Spanish. This week… man. Hijole is the best way to describe it. Elder Bath set up an interview with President, and he went home to take care of a couple of issues there in Mississippi. So that left me without a companion. Man, do I miss him! He was an awesome missionary, and a great guy as well. I’ve asked President to make him my companion when he comes back. But for now I’m working with Elders Parker and Smith. It’d be fine, but they had to move in with me, change everything around, and we have to split the Work between the two areas, and do so justly. So it’s hard. And I don’t think it’ll get any easier. But after it’s all said and done, we’ll probably be better missionaries and better sons of God for it.

So, I’m not training anymore. I don’t know if that means I couldn’t cut it as a trainer, or if it was just one of those times where God was proving to me that He can do whatever He wants, and that I’m more prepared to do it than I think I am. I definitely learned more how to rely on Him, even though it was only for a week and a half. Also, it could have absolutely nothing to do with me at all. But, man… I’m pretty confused. I don’t get how He does things sometimes. Pretty much all the time. I don’t have too much time… we’re running around everywhere trying to do everything we need to.

I can’t say anything more than this: just do what’s right. Live what you know to be right. You have absolutely no excuses. Even if you’re confused as to what exactly is right, just do your best with what you’ve already got, and in time you’ll get more; you’ll figure out what’s wrong and what’s right. And it won’t take too long either. Please. Don’t sell yourself short. If you’re really having trouble finding an answer, just go ask Him. He’s got all the answers. And He loves you. He will answer. I know it.

Elder Duncan Pickett

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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in general