Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Well, I only get one of those

 We were just like little girls, waiting for Christmas morning!

We had a tree for decorating!

Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone is passing an excellent holiday. Mine was certainly pretty sweet, but here's the kicker: I only get one Christmas in Honduras, and that was it. It's pretty crazy that I've already done enough mission that I already get to say "Next Christmas, I'll be home." Weird, right?

Christmas PJs! Thanks, Mrs. Claus!

This is how we sister missioanry!

So this week was pretty great and a little insane. Turns out Hondurans take Christmas very seriously. The best part is that they don't celebrate Christmas on the 25th, they celebrate on the 24th. So we wished everyone a merry Christmas on the wrong day, and when we explained to people that we didn't celebrate until the 25th in the States, the majority said "That's weird, you celebrate on the wrong day!" Yes, us and most of the other countries in the world... Anyway, it was great! We had to come in early on Tuesday night because, of course, a key element of any good Christmas Eve party is alcohol. But we didn't get to hang out for that part. (I did ask Sister Harmon if she wanted to teach the men in front of us at the grocery store what the Word of Wisdom had to say about their 500 lempira worth of beer. She didn't want to) So we went home early and make our Christmas feast (flour tortillas and tajadas de guineo), decorated a little Chirstmas tree her family sent and put out our presents, opened one gift each (Mrs. Claus found me in Honduras to give me Christmas PJs! It's a Christmas miracle!) and watched Rio. Quality film. We woke up like excited little girls to open up our Christmas presents (thanks, parents! It was magical!) and then a few teaching appointments later we went to video chat with our families. I am so thankful for the incredible technology that made that possible. Even though I did start crying twice, and then after we hung up I might have kept crying for five minutes. Whoops! I have discovered on my mission that I am the kind of person that doesn't realize quite how deeply they miss someone until they see them. But now I have fun stories for all the Latinos, because they think it's really funny when white people cry. We have an appointment to watch the video of Joseph Smith's life with some our investigators and I have already warned them that I'm going to be a wreck at the end. It will probably be pretty entertaining.

The other big part of Christmas here is the traditional food: tamales and sandwich. I'm definitely learning how to make those at some point, because Hondurans know how to eat yummy stuff at Christmas. Family, how do you feel about tamales for Christmas lunch next year?

After Christmas, we really cracked down on working harder, because people aren't really at home and ready to hear us during holidays. But we did find an epic new family this week. The mother, Julia, has a sister who is a recent convert and has recently moved in with their mom. She came to church with her sister last week and since then, she and her four children have all been interested in coming to church and listening to our message. One night we went for a lesson while she was making tortillas to sell, so we just cooked tortillas for a while. I asked if I could take over "en hacer la vuelta", or flipping the tortillas over, and I told them I can't form the tortilla but I can flip it over. Julia handed me the knife to turn the tortillas (I'm not quite hard core enough to just use my fingers yet) and Julia and her sister, Gladis, both watched until one of the tortillas was ready. I flipped it right over and started pressing on it so it could puff up (when it puffs up, it means it's cooked on the inside) and both of them exclaimed "Si, puede!" They were pretty surprised. We got to chat with Julia and get to know her better. She's definitely passed through a lot of hardships, but rather than making her bitter or cynical, she has allowed herself to become humble and she is truly ready to receive this gospel. I love her already.

And speaking of people I love already, we have also had several lessons this week with an investigator inherited from Hermanas Bahr and Gardner. Her name is Lucy. She is always so happy to listen to us and she has already told her anti-Mormon husband and neighbor that, no, we don't worship the Devil and she would like to keep hearing our message. In one of our lessons, we came in to start and before we even got going, she starts saying "Sisters, before we start, I'd just like to say how much I appreciate you, how glad I am that you came, how much respect I have for you..." and I'm thinking, Great. This is when she tells us she doesn't want anything to do with the Church. But after expressing sentiments such as those for a little while, she says: "But I just can't know if this church is true, because I can't pray. I don't know how." Oh, we solved that problem. And after teaching a lesson on prayer and having a demonstration prayer before asking her to pray (which she did beautifully!) she said, her face lit up with a smile, "Thank you for teaching me to pray, Sisters. I will pray about your message." The Spirit is so strong every time we visit her home. But as strong as I had thought I had felt the Spirit there, she totally topped it last night: She hadn't been able to come to church because of a high fever and a sore throat, and she accepted our offer to bing someone to give her a blessing. So when we came later that night with our two companions of the ward missionaries and another young man with the Melchezidek priesthood, she sat quietly and smiled and just accepted everything with absolute faith. We talked about how Christ healed the sick, how He gave that power to His apostles, and how He gives us that power today because He wants us to be happy. And then Cris, in what we think was his first blessing of health, laid his hands upon her head and gave her a blessing that she would rapidly recover to her health. We asked if she would give a closing prayer and she said "Thank you for this blessing I have receieved. I know I will heal." I felt like Ammon with King Lamoni's wife, when he says, "Woman, I have never seen such faith, no, not among all the Nephites." I am so excited to see what it is that Heavenly Father has in mind for this remarkable daughter.

We got to go to a Christmas party on Friday, and that was fun. We didn't get to stay for the dancing, but we did the musical program before hand, the food, and the five minute fireworks. Pretty sweet. Oh, Lucy came to that as a direct result of prayer. That was pretty cool, too.

And here's the kicker of the week. For church yesterday, we were feeling pretty confident before hand that at least 12 people would come and we would meet our goal. And then, during the first 10 minutes of the meet, that confidence had just about depleted. Of course, we were really happy about the 4 people who were there. Especially because one of them, a woman named Araceli, told us that she had wanted to come for the last 2 weeks but had slept too late, so we called to wake her up and she came, no problem. She also said, "There are baptisms on the 25th? I want to be baptized that day." This is when the hard part (getting married) kicks in, but the desire is the first step and now she's got it. So we were feeling kind of set with those four, and then there was a Christmas miracle. People just started showing up. People that I have not expected in church for weeks just started showing up. And when the last wave poured in after the doors were reopened at the end of the Sacrament being passed, we had 21 investigators in Sacrament meeting. 21 souls who came to be fed by the word of God. We didn't do that. The Lord did. But He let us share in the joy of His success.

That is my big light bulb moment of this week's letter: When we accomplish something in the Lord's kingdom, we aren't really the ones who accomplished it. Of course, we have to thrust in our sickle with our might. But the person who is really going to make the difference and the change necessary, the convincing power, is the Lord. So I can't ever say, even if I reach a point that my Spanish is perfect and every person in Honduras adores me and will follow my every whim and I have every word of the scriptures and Preach My Gospel memorized (this hypothetical situation is never happening, but regardless), I still cannot say that I converted someone, that I baptized them, that I got them to come to church. The Lord does that. But He allows us to share in His joy at the harvest. How merciful is the Lord that He augments our joy by allowing us to share in His joy and the joy of His children. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I, like Alma in Alma 26, am feeling so grateful that the Lord is allowing me to share in His success. It really is the most incredible experience to be here and to be serving and sharing the gospel without ceasing. And here's the cool part: It doesn't have to end! There are children of God who need service and need His gospel in every corner of the world! Even people who are already in a church, including this the true church of Jesus Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, need to be served and invited to come closer to Christ. The Lord is ready to allow all of us to help Him bring about His work and His glory. All we have to do is accept the call.

I am so grateful to be here. I know that this is Christ's true church and that, as such, it is the only thing that can bring us true and lasting happiness forever. I know that it was reestablished in this dispensation by the prophet Joseph Smith and that it stands today on a foundation of living prophets and scripture, including the Bible and the Book of Mormon, which both contain the word of God. I cannot imagine a better job that to have the opportunity to go forth and tell the world about this incredible message! I love the Lord and I am so glad that He is trusting me to labor in a part of His vineyard.

I love all of you and I hope that you have a happy New Year! Hra Harmon and I have to come home early on New Year's Eve, like we did for Christmas Eve, and we are already planning on counting down the seconds to 10:30 and celebrating the commencement of 2014 an hour and a half early. All in the name of obedience!

Que el Señor les bendiga a todos!

Con mucho amor,
Hra Pickett

 We had another trip to the beach this morning and had a fun time playing in the sand! (because the water is dirty and we aren't allowed to play in it anyway)

Friday, December 27, 2013

¡Feliz Navidad!

 Also, our lovely capilla here in Campana

A confession: I opened one of my presents early. But the paper was all torn up so I could already see it and I just couldn't wait! But thanks for my Christmas dress! It's really cute and I got compliments from everyone!

It's almost Christmas here in Honduras! Cool, right? And we had a pretty crazy right before Christmas week. But we like to keep things kind of crazy here in Campana. It's just what we do.

So last Monday, Hermana Gardner sent some pictures of her dog bite to our mission nurse. I would include them in this email, but a) they would be rated PG for disturbing images and b) I don't have them. Darn. But she sent them to the nurse and our nurse called us about two hours later to inform us that we would be coming to San Pedro so that Hermana Gardner could visit a doctor. Our nurse was thinking it was a small bite from a small dog. There was nothing small about that situation.

So anyway, on Tuesday, we went to San Pedro. Earlier that day, by an incredible miracle, I had received a sizable box from my parents (thanks, parents!) for Christmas when we attended our district meeting in Choloma. But here's the rub: we did not have time to go home from Choloma before heading in to San Pedro. So as you proceed in this story, dear reader, keep in mind that I am holding a medium sized box. All day. So we took the bus in to San Pedro and while the conductor dropped us off on the right side of town, he left us about a mile south of where we wanted to be. And that area of town is pure market. The streets are just covered with people in booths selling everything from food to fireworks, clothing to cooking gear. And while that was pretty cool, I started to get this bad feeling. So I mentioned to the other sisters that I thought it would be better if we found a taxi than walking around, trying to find the building we were looking for. And they nodded but just kept walking. And then, moved upon by the Spirit, I yelled up to Hra Gardner (she gets pretty ahead of the pack, that one) that we needed to stop where we were and find a taxi. So we did, and he got us right to the building, no big deal. But later on, upon describing that situation to our mission nurse, she responded with "You were WHERE? Hra Pickett, that is a really dangerous part of the city." So yes, I feel totally vindicated in using the phrase moved upon by the Spirit.

Our banana bread was totally delicious! With just a little bit of help, we ate both of these loaves in about a half hour! But we also had to say goodbye to Hra Gardner, which was heartbreaking. I miss her already!

The trio of Campana! It was an awesome two weeks!

And then for the rest of the day, we learned a long lesson in patience. The doctor with whom our nurse had put an appointment had already left for his Christmas vaction, so we took a cab and then waited about 2 hours for Hra Gardner to see another doctor. He looked at her bite for about 2 minutes before deciding that she was fine and writing her a perscription for some anti biotics as an after thought (personally, I don't agree. If I had a suture kit, I would have stitched that thing closed. I do have a sewing kit...). We then went to the pharmacy so Hra Gardner could get her medicine and a tetnus shot and then we started waiting for a bus. In the rain, and the premature darkness that is 6:00 in Honduras. And I'm still holding this box (Mom, I wrapped it up in my emergency poncho). So after about 20 minutes of standing on the side of the road, our nurse called the mission president's wife, Hermana Dester, to express her concern that we either wouldn't find a bus or that if we did, it wouldn't be safe at this time of night anyway. And here is the miracle: because I have the best mission president and wife in the whole world (!), they told us to wait at the nurse's appartment and they would come pick us up and drive us home. The 20 minute walk through the rain with the box was kind of tough, and our nurse was very concerned that I was just going to relapse into my fever, but it was worth it for the ride home with the Desters. They even brought us granola bars and string cheese and gave us the left over food from the activity they had attended in Copan so that we could eat it for dinner. I just love them!

After that, our week was pretty ordinary. We are having a string of rotten luck lately wherein no one is at home lately, so getting in lessons and finding new investigators has been pretty tough, but number do not define success. I just read in the Book of Mormon about the difference in areas between Ammon and Aaron, and the fact that Aaron was having a tough time was not due to any fault of Aaron, so it was a nice reminder to be a little kinder to myself and stop stressing.

It's pretty cool to see Christmas happening here. Everyone has lights and trees, even if it's just the one strand of lights or the tree is miniature, and people are going crazy making tamales. Because that's what they do for Christmas here, they make tamales. So people are butchering their pigs (one day we saw a pile of meat and behind it was the pig head and four little feet) and cooking their banana leaves. The actual tamale making happens on the 23rd (that's very important) and apparently the consumption is generally on the 24th. We have been singing Christmas hymns all week and we had a mission Christmas party. We watched It's a Wonderful Life, but we watched it in English with Spanish subtitles instead of the other way around. I was grateful for that. It was pretty sweet.

We did have one bad Christmas surprise, though. Another sister in the mission broke her leg and was only six weeks from going home, so she got sent home early. And trios are a pretty easy target for emergency transfers, so we lost Hermana Gardner. That was heartbreaking. She had to say goodbye to everyone and pack and we got up really early to make the banana bread we had been wanting to experiment with. Hermana Harmon and I both had to take ten minutes to collect ourselves after she left this morning. It was a pretty bad emotional shock, but I have complete confidence in the Harmon-Pickett companionship and I'm sure there will be a pile of awesome stories next week!

I love being a missionary. I love that, especially during this wonderful time of year, I get to spend the whole day telling people about Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us, and how wonderful is His love! I am so grateful for this time I have to serve and for all of the blessings that are continually showered upon me here. I love all of you and I hope you have the happiest Christmas! Just take some time to remember, really, why it was that Christ was born, and you won't be able to contain your joy!

¡Feliz Navidad!
Hermana Pickett

Monday, December 16, 2013

So, five months ago today... letter from December 9, 2013

Five months ago today I got on a plane to Mexico City. Five months! It definitely doesn't feel like I've been doing this for five months. If this were a normal year, I would have already passed another sememster at BYU and I'd be studying for my finals. I have to keep telling myself to have a perspective on the amount of time that is actually passing. But that's the only reason I bring it up, because this isn't an ordinary year. It's the most extraordinary year (and a half) ever!

So this week was a lesson in the miracle of something we call LPE. Those three magical letters stand for lecciones para encontrar and signify every time that, out of the blue, we just start talking to someone or serving someone or receive a reference. And this week we rocked LPE like a couple of bosses. The real goldmine of this experience was centered in a place here called Baracoa. We had two investigators there, but that's not really enough, because Baracoa is one of the furthest spots we stretch out to in our area. So as much as we'd just love to hang out there a lot, taking the risk of spending a great deal of time and 26 lempira each is a little chancey. But this week we went to Baracoa and, because our actual appointments had fallen through, we just contacted people in the street. And the first miraculous day went like this: we went to our appointment and a kid in the street (his name is Alan, and he's about 12) told us the people we were looking for weren't home, so we asked if we could come see his family instead. His mother wasn't there, but we set an appointment. Then, upon departing from Alan, a man who had heard us talking to him asked if he would come teach his family. He asked us to come (imagine a lot of stress on the words "asked us to come", because that's how I would say it if we were talking about this face to face). And THEN another person in the street overheard us talking and asked us to come teach him. ASKED US TO COME. (Imagine a lot of stress this time). And we walked away from that trifecta of awesome saying, "Okay, but really. What just happened?" And due to the simple magic of talking to everyone and inviting the whole family to our lessons, this week we found 22 new investigators. Twenty two! I had to type out the letters, that's much I wanted to stress that! I'm not trying to say that the number in and of itself matters but that is so many people who want to hear the gospel!! How awesome is that?! So those of you who are missionaries of the full time or member variety, talk to everyone! It's a miracle!

Also, this week, I have noticed how much I just adore the people here. Like really, I am just overcome with love for them. Every time we visit one of our investigators, I am just so happy to be there spending time with them. And when we visit our new converts, there is no limit to how happy it makes me that they are still solid in their testimonies and coming to church (Victor was ordained a priest yesterday! How cool is that?!) And every time we meet someone new, I can just see them in white at their baptism, and that image never goes away. I really think that that is how the Lord sees them, too--ready to make and keep sacred covenants, so that they can come back home to Him. We talked with Diana Buh about eternal marriage the other day and then with her and her husband about the Authority of the Priesthood last night, and my mind graduated from seeing them at their baptism to seeing them at the temple. So, with that image in mind, you may be able to imagine that I was a litte overcome with joy when they took each others' hands and said "Good news, Hermanas. We have decided that we are going to be baptized on the 28th." I was pretty close to crying, the Spirit was so strong in that moment. I had another minute like that when fam. Huezo showed up, plus a cousin and a friend, to the Christmas Devotional last night and each one told me how beautiful it was and how much they enjoyed it. (Devotionals from the first presidency are the best finding opportunities ever. Can we have more?) I am amazed daily by the humility and the gratitude and happiness that the people here live each day with, and I hope they can teach me how to do that before my work is finished.

I love these people and I love this gospel! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that He is trusting me with His children here and that He has made me worthy for this work. I hope that all of you are well and I'm worry this letter is so wimpy and short--longer letter next week!

¡Que todos pasen buena semana!

Hermana Pickett

Sick Days Stop Being Fun After High School

Intrigued, aren't you? I know. But that story doesn't start until Wednesday, and all things must begin at the beginning.

Entonces, after writing last week, there was a MINDBLOWING surprise. Hermana Gisseman and I were both absolutely sure that we wouldn't be getting transfered. Sin ningun duda. So when we went out to work on Monday night and Hermana Gisseman was feeling a little frustrated with herself at the end of the night (for those of you who have never been a new missionary, especially a new missionary speaking a new language, it's an incredibly oportunity to be frustrated with one's self) we were prompted to have a long talk about my job as her trainer and that I was indeed there to help her, and we talked about how we could improve our communication skills in order to improve our companionship and get her off to sailing smoothly as a missionary, and it was a very tender experience, and we hugged and told each other we loved each other and it was great. AND THEN about an hour later we received a text message (note: we had already received the text message with the names of people who were getting transferred that day) that said "Surprise! Hermana Gisseman also has changes" Que!? But Hermana Bahr made the suggestion that we had learned something from each other between 3pm (when the first text came) and 9pm (when the second text came) that was all we needed to learn from our time together as companions. We think it was the hug. And probably the conversation helped, too. So that was my mission movie quote moment that can only be explained by the wisdom of Nanny McPhee: "When you need me, but do not want me, then I will stay. But when you want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go. It's kind of sad, really, but there it is." It is kind of sad, Nanny McPhee. But I am glad, at least, that the lesson was evidently learned and that my first attempt at training a nuevacita did not end in her calling the president and asking to go home. Or dying. Those are the two worst case scenarios I was dreading.

  here is the bus ride to our last district meeting and the bus to cambios meeting

On Wednesday, then, we embarked for San Pedro Sula at 7ish and arrived without any problems. I think the other sisters were a little wary of my ability to tell the bus conductor where to let us off after my story of last time, but I learned from my bad experience and we successfully did not get lost. Transfer meetings get more and more fun as I gain more time in the mission, because there are just so many people to see that I haven't seen forever! Sister Porter and Sister Curtis were both there! It was so magical! And I just about died when Hermana Escalante showed us, and I sped walked right up to her and told her "Estoy veniendo para usted!" And there was hugging. That meeting was marked by lots of hugging. But Hermana Gisseman was transfered to Santa Rosa de Copan, which is actually really cool because that's where the Mayan ruins are and it's not very hot there, so the people who serve there all say it's paradise. I've started referring to it as the land Bountiful. But for my new companion I receieved the "hija" (trainee) of Hermana Gisseman's "madrastra" (not the person who started your training, but the one who finishes it). So the two of them sort of switched places. And this new hija is named Hermana Harmon and is she down right adorable. The next two months are going to be a blast. Especially because we had another mindblower and we received Hermana Gardner as our third companion and we are now a trio! Crazy, right? Just living la vida misional!

But, as to the sick days referenced in this week's title: we came home from cambios meeting, excited to see how this three missionaries/combination of two areas thing was going to work out, and took some time for Hermana Harmon to start unpacking. And I just started feeling weird. So I sat down and then laid down, hoping that the weird feeling would go away. But it didn't. And by the time that we had planned to go out, I was shaking uncontrollably from a fever. Awesome, right? I know. So, owing to the fact that I was shaking too hard to walk, the other sisters informed me it would probably be for the best if we just didn't go out that day. I didn't love the idea, but I thought "I obviously need a little time. So I'll stay down for an hour, and after that we'll go out." That is never a good strategy. I didn't wake up until 7:30. But I would not let my sickness deterr the work! So for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, various Young Women and younger members of the relief society came over and babysat me. I can't find a better word for that. And while the other sisters went out with an attitude to conquer the world, on Thursday night, Hermana Gardner got bit by that same dog that got me. But he got her really, really good. So that impeded the work, and me being sick impeded the work. Hermana Harmon is doing great, though! And I finally got out to work yesterday, but some YW came anyway because pobrecita Hermana Gardner was in too much pain to walk. Sounds like a really great week, right? I'm feeling like I'm living in the Isn't It Ironic? song again. But the consensus between me and Hermana Gardner that staying home from a day of missionary work is the worst ever. You sit/lay there, trying to sleep but failing, and thinking "This is so not what I should be doing right now." And that's frustrating.

But there was a very sweet miracle this morning. My mission president called me up and said "Hermana Pickett, I've had the prompting several times this last week to give you a call. How are you doing?" And he assured me that it is more than okay that we give ourselves time to heal when we are sick or dog-bitten, and that both he and the Lord were so happy with the work that we are doing. So I feel a lot better. Parents, if you are ever worried about me, don't worry. The Lord gave me a pretty great mission president.

I hope everyone's week and everyone's health is a little bit better than mine! Even with all of the fun times I spent with my fever and upset stomach, I am so grateful for all of the blessings that the Lord has given me, including my trials. The mission is a time to become the person God wants me to be, and He knows just what I need to go through to get there, so I have no doubt that the last four days of feeling pretty bad did me good in the end. And here's a life lesson: find out what pills you are taking for sure before taking them (because acetomenaphin and anti-diarretics are different things) and if you must take pepto-bismol, it's a lot easier to swallow if you keep it in the refrigerator.

I love the Lord and I love my mission! I can't imagine anything I'd rather be doing than serving these people right now. Next week I'll be sure to fill up my email with stories of wonderful Hondurans--I just didn't have the opportunity to interact with too many of them this week. But shout out to Carol, Ruth, Katerin, y Lilian, who all served a term (Ruth did three!) as my caretakers and never complained about it once. That's Honduran charity for you. I hope I'm as good as begrudgingly giving service as the people here are when I get home.

Love you all! Beware of stomach flu and dogs!
Hermana Pickett

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's already December!

Hello, hello!

So best news first! This week we were incredibly blessed to see the baptisms of Angie and Victor! Apparently the water was freezing, but they were both happy and glowing with the Spirit. Victor stood up to bear his testimony yesterday for Fast Sunday (the last one of 2013--pretty crazy, right?) and said "I would just like to give my simple testimony that I know I have just been confirmed a member of the true church of Jesus Christ." That was pretty cool. I have this fun habit when we first meet people of imagining them in white at their baptisms, so it is a beyond fantastic moment to actually see what I had imagined. But so much more than people being baptized, it is a miracle to watch people being changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and choosing to follow Him. I know that this week, two more precious children of our Heavenly Father entered in by the gate to the path to eternal life. And I am so grateful that I could be even the smallest part of the circumstances prepared to help them along the way.

And now the funny story for the week (because it involves pretty much the whole week and a bit of the previous one). So two Wednesdays ago, we were approaching the front door of an investigator and as I stepped around their sleeping dog, she jerked awake and snapped at me. And with the snapping, one of her teeth scratched me. But there really isn't a word in English or Spanish that can say "scratched me with her teeth" and communicate very well what happened (the closest I can think of is grazed, but that still necesitates mentioning teeth), so I had to call the nurse and use the word bite. She was a little worried, but she told me that if the dog lived a week, I would be fine. So last Thursday, when we saw that said dog was still alive, I was feeling pretty great about not having rabis. But then, we went to visit this kid named Danilo (he's the one who came to church and had Breny ask if we could visit his family) and Danilo's rather violent dog was not chained up. Why he was not chained up, I will never know. But I took one step inside the yard to verify for Hra Gisseman if he was chained up, and the rather violent dog came running. Most of the bite was deterred by my skirt, which now has three little holes and one big one, but he got me a little bit. Whoops. So I was properly bitten by a dog this week.

 here's my dog bite! Mostly, it just looks like a bruise, so that's anticlimatic. 

But the fun doesn't end there! So after determining that we could not teach that lesson with Danilo (Hra Gisseman blatantly refused to come within twenty yards of that house) I was taken to Hra Breny, who is a nurse and a kind soul. So she washed my wound out pretty well and put some gauze on it and fed us some hot chocolate for the shock and sent us on our way. But I called up the nurse again to tell her I had been bitten again (she was the first of maybe five people to say "Are you kidding me?" I don't see how that would be a funny joke) and she wasn't satisfied with saying "Okay, well just watch it and if it's alive in seven days you're fine." So on Saturday, we took the bus to San Pedro Sula and, after getting lost and spending about 20 minutes hunting for the stake center and asking for directions in Spanish, we met up with the nurse and I got a tetnus shot! But I'm counting that as a blessing because my last tetnus shot hit five years on Nov 10 or something like that, so I needed one anyway. And then, just to wrap up the list that Hra Gisseman and I were making of things we weren't sure we could write home about, the crazy bus drivers of Honduras finally went one step too far and the front end of our bus drove into the side of another bus attempting to merge. Nobody got hurt and the busses weren't even that damaged. It was just a funny sort of day. I kind of felt like I was living in that "Isn't it ironic?" song when everything goes wrong at once.

So, yeah, those are the highlight events of the week. We are continuing work with fam. Buh because even though they are really ready to be baptized, they need to come to church so that we can be confident that they are ready to come every week after being baptized. We are pretty excited about fam. Huezo, although we have a bad habit of being there for more than an hour answering questions. It's not that the questions are bad. It's just that we need more time in the day! We also have a new investigator named Carol who is really progressing rapidly. She can totally already feel the Spirit testifying of the message and I really have high hopes for her.

We took a day trip today to a place called Omoa and saw a fort that was built there in the 1700s. It was pretty fun to keep saying "We're just on a roof. On a castle. In Honduras." We definitely had a party taking pictures. We went to the beach for lunch and ate at a restaurant that is right on the water. Normally people get seafood when they eat right next to the ocean, but our bus ride to San Pedro and some other circumstances this week had put me a little low on funds, so I opted for the cheaper carne asada plate. But it was still wonderfully delicious so we're good. It smelled just like it smells in Edmonds, though, so that was a moment of me feeling a little baggy (that is the name here for the emotion of "Oh, I miss home!") But it only lasted a second.

 here is the picturesque beach at Omoa!

This is how we sister missionary!

I love being a missionary. I am so glad that I am here and that the Lord is trusting me with this work. Claro que sí, I love and miss all of you, but I am so happy to be here. I know that the Lord is blessing me in this service and that He will continue to do so for the next 13.25 months and beyond!

I know that this church is true. I know that it is the same church that Jesus Christ established personally upon the earth and that it contains the same gospel that He preached. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us, and He has given us His Son so that we can come back to Him, and He gave us this gospel so we can know how to follow Him. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that today, this line of prophetic authority continues in Thomas S. Monson. I know it, I live it, I love it!

I hope you are all doing well and not being bitten by dogs or mosquitos or hormigas. But if you are, welcome to the party! Viva la misión!

Love, Hra Pickett

So we missionaries are pretty good at funny pictures when the opportunity presents itself! Hra. Gardner and I got "locked in" to one of the armouries

 Our ZLs, Elders Williams and Bailey, opened the scriptures and laid down the doctrine when we visited the fort's chapel

I had to document how nuts Hra Garner was about being precariously close to the edge of the roof. Hra Bahr was pretty scared a couple of times!

Turns out Hra Gisseman is a pretty handy photographer! Fun pictures in a castle!