Monday, April 14, 2014

The Hottest Week of the Year

Heat shaped rocks! I've been collecting them, but we decided that this one was too big to take home

this is how pinapples grow! HOW COOL IS THAT! This person's yard was just covered in growing pinapples! 

What nine months of mission does to a pair of crocs

Hello from Copán! The sun is shining, the heat is turned waaaaay up (for Copán, anyway) and the power has only gone out once today!

For my entire 9.25 months here in Honduras, everyone has told me "Oh yeah, it's hot today. But just wait for La Semana Santa (the Holy Week). That's when it's hot." And after some amount of time I figured out that said Holy Week is the week before and including Easter Sunday, and I kept thinking, Well that's not until April, so it's fine. Yeah, it's April. And it's getting a little warm. Dad wrote that it was 68 and sunny at Annie's house this last week. I could go for 68 and sunny. Even though I would probably die of cold and wear two sweaters and my rain coat. What I really don't want to think about is coming home in January, when there will probably be snow...but that is why we focus on the now!

So what is happening in the now...Well, I have listened to all of the sessions of conference three times through now. And it keeps being awesome! I love--no, that deserves all caps-- I LOVE Elder Holland's talk, Elder Ballard's talk, Elder Uchtdorf's talk, Elder Bednar's talk...I think I just loved them all. But I have found it so much easier to be focused on the work and positively hopeful about the progression of this area as I immerse myself in the words of the prophets. So, life tip from Sister Pickett: If you're feeling down, pick a random session of conference and crank up the volume. It's a fail free pick me up :) Also, I am very excited to hear about what all of you are studying in Preach My Gospel. It's pretty much the best book ever, not counting the scriptures, so yeah. Read it, live it, love it!

The work carries right along in its usual way out here in Copán. We didn't have very many opportunities to see our investigators that we were really excited about last week, because they were kind of hiding from us. Lame. But we prevail! On Wednesday we had the kind of day where everything, point blank everything, falls through. So at 5 pm when we arrived at the Church to watch the General Women's session (because we missed it the first time) and no one was there...well, we both sat/lied down on the floor of the Church and thought, really? But about 15 minutes later, one of our members showed up, and then some of our investigators came (YAY!) and more and more women and girls filtered in until there were 14 whole people there. That's pretty impressive, because if we say that with two missionaries we had 16 people, and that our church attendance this week was 27 people, that's a pretty big percentage. And apart from the fact that seeing the adorable elderly couple in the second video presentation of that broadcast (Ladies, you know what I'm talking about) made Hra Cumatz and I a little baggy (trunky), it was wonderful!

Oh, I totally forgot! We had interviews with President Dester this week. We all went into La Entrada (which is 2.5 hours in a bus for us) for our district meetings and President and Sister Dester and the APs came to visit us. I love so much the opportunities that I have to talk with President Dester. He reassured me that the success in our area especially is not measured in statistics and that he is overjoyed with the work that we are doing. Sister Dester brought us apples and donughts to munch on. She's so sweet--as she passed out these beatiful, frosting covered, fried dough bits of heaven, she was apologizing that she couldn't bring more. We reassured her that donughts were pretty much Christmas. Second Sister Pickett life tip: Donughts are really good almost frozen. I can't explain it, it's just delicious.

And speaking of the wonderfulness that is the President/Sister Dester combination, today they came out to Copán with our mission nurse to find a good clinic out here, just in case, and they took us to lunch. And not just any lunch, like Super Pollo Express. They invited us to lunch at the restaurant of the nicest hotel in town. And except for when we used to eat at the country club in PA and Kelsey's wedding reception at the Joseph Smith building, that restaurant is the nicest place I have ever eaten at in my life. So parents, please know that not only was I well fed today, I also had a refresher course in how to use table manners.

Well, that's just about all of my news this week. I fell down yesterday and cut my leg up a little, but it was worth the pain just to hear Hra Cumatz rattle off on me about how I should be more careful walking, how I was going to break my ankle some day, about how I needed to stop and clean it out better (I used my water bottle), etc. Every other sentence was punctuated with "Que barbaridad!" She's got a sweet heart, that Chapina. I also found out that a person can be allergic to mosquitos and I am, which is why my bites swell up so bad. But Sister Dester gave me some stronger repellant and our mission nurse, Sister Bayles, told me that I should be able to use an anti-hystemine or anything to treat allergies and that should help. And, due to some very overly enthusiastic exercise, I made myself a heat pack and finally figured out a feasible way to make an ice pack. I put that ice on my achilles tendon and this morning I could see my ankles. I have not seen my ankles in a long time. That made me pretty happy.

Oh, and just for giggles, we heard the mission legend of the ghost who used to live in the building where we have church. Elder Polendo saw him. It went down. But apparently there haven't been any problems since the building was dedicated, so it's fine.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Enjoy the words of the prophets--they are the mouthpiece of the Lord! I know that Christ is our Savior, that God is our Heavenly Father, and that this church is Theirs and it is true!

Con mucho amor,
Hra Pickett

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