Tuesday, July 29, 2014


last night with fam. Hernandez
...and finishing that mondongo, wanting more! Crazy!

(Not my favorite Psych reference, but I'll take what I can get)

Hello! So I had cambios this week, which means here's Hermana Pickett, broadcasting for the first time from Santa Barbara (el Llano), zona Cofradías. Cool, right? It got so much cooler when I remembered what town Shawn Spencer lives in. C'mon, son.

There isn't a whole lot of time, when you live in Copan, to say goodbye to people, so I didn't do a lot of that last week. We had a lesson with fam. Hernandez (yeah, maybe I cried a little) and one last lesson with Sulma, and then it was already time to go home. Luckily, it turns out that I pack at the speed of light, so Hermana Miller and I ran a few loads of laundry in the machines (laundry machines are celestial. Go and hug your laundry machine for me) and then we took off nice and early Tuesday morning (although we did go running...for about 10 minutes). We had a nice miracle that morning, because we had prayed that we would be able to get me and the suitcases on the bus without any problems. I then said, Let's make sure to leave 15 minutes early, and then when we got out to the road, Hermana Miller asked if we should wait there for a taxi or start walking. We started walking, and then found a taxi after about five minutes. He got us down to the bus, we loaded my stuff on, we got in and sat down, and after about 30 seconds, the bus left. It was pretty great. I'm glad that our blessing came in a peaceful and orderly fashion, unlike the elders, who had surely said the same prayer and had to chase the bus in a moto taxi in order to catch it. Usually we do divisions with the sisters in La Entrada when we have a next day meeting in San Pedro, but they left us home because I was still sick with my pre-changes cold/fever combination. Good Miller/Pickett bonding time, that's for sure.

Changes meeting was very nice. President Dester is really an excellent mission President, and I am so glad to be here during his time as president. Hermana Miller, upon abandoning the idea that I was going to be a Sister Leader Trainer (I didn't ever think that was happening, but she didn't let it go until another sister was announced in that position) suggested that I might be going to Santa Barbara, because other sisters have made the Copán/ Sta Barbara jump before. I told Hermana Miller that if I was going there, Hermana Bahr (who was currently being transfered out of Sta Barbara) was coming to take my place. And exactly thus did it come to pass. So I am no in Sta Barbara with a cute little Catracha (o sea, a lovely young lady of Honduras) named Hermana Dávila.

Perks: this area is beautiful. Like it is seriously gorgeous here, and in a very Pennsylvania meets Utah kind of way, so that's really cool. I am still in a branch but it is huge and practically a ward, we just need our priesthood holders to pay tithing. Our area has practically no hills and there is a very large soccer field right outside of our house, perfect for running in the morning at whatever pace our hearts desire, no matter how individual it may be. That aside, I kind of miss Copán. Crazy, right?! I never thought I'd say that. I really, really miss Hermana Miller. I miss being so united with my companion. That's not Hermana Dávila's fault, it just takes a little while to get used to a new person no matter what and we're not used to each other yet. I miss having my footing. It's really lame to be a senior comp in an unfamiliar area. The good part is that we had a meeting with our branch president (who is the most pilas person I have ever met. I love having RM branch presidents) and he is all about la obra misional, so it's all going to turn out just great.

I don't have very many exciting stories this week. I'll work on that. It rains here every afternoon, and when it rains the power goes out, and the missionaries generally are not allowed out at night if there isn't power. Oh! Here's something. Upon coming home early one night, we made dinner with our neighbor, because she's got a gas stove and can cook without power. So we made crepes to share, and then she shared lunch with us in return. She made sopa de mondongo. Mondongo is the spanish word for cow stomach. Now, cows, fun fact, do not have intestines. So the stomach lining acts as the intestine. When Hermana Miller had sopa de mondongo, it wasn't quite clean, and I'm sure you can imagine what dirty cow stomach/intestine would be full of. So I was dreading that soup a lot. But it was actually really delicious! The stomach parts just tasted like very soft beef and our neighbor put in corn and platanos and yuka--yum!

I still love being a missionary. I know that the Church is true, so to me it is worth any sacrifice to be able to share the good news of the gospel with everyone I talk to. I know that God is our Heavenly Father, I love Him and I love His work. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Stay tuned for more adventures (and Psych references) soon!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Pickett

Monday, July 21, 2014

Five and a Half Months

This is where we live!

So, 5 and a half (ish) months ago, when I had five and a half (ish) months in Campana, I got sick. Why? Because I was going to leave, and a fever with a runny nose and sore throat was my body's way to complain. Turns out that my time in Copán has come to a close, and for the first time in 5.5 months, I'm good and sick. I don't like this tradition.

Anyway, also for the first time in five and a half months, I have a family steadily (and happily!) progressing toward baptism. We finished teaching lesson 4 (commandments) with familia Hernandez this week and they received all with attention and gladness. We talked with them about tithing and they said "Yes, hermanas, we've been wanting to hear about that. We want to start paying it." We talked with them about missionary work and they have already given us 3 referrals (that's considerably more than we have received from any of the members here). In Alma 19:33, it talks about the experience of the household of Lamoni: "that their hearts had been changed, that they had no more desire to do evil." In a later chapter, we read that the converts of Ammon and his brethren "never did fall away" (Alma 23:6). That is the sort of conversion that we are seeing in familia Hernandez. As Hna Miller has often said, I may be leaving Copán this week without baptisms, but I am not leaving without converts. And that's enough.

Also, for the first time in five and a half months, Luis came to church. Luis was baptized quite some time ago, and spent at least some amount of time as a faithful member. He even baptized one of the boys in my primary class. But due to an addiction to calcohol, he hasn't come to church in a very long time. in all my time in Copán, I had never seen him come. Usually when we go to see him, he is either out drinking or already drunk. His father has told us "Just stop coming sisters, there's no hope." This is always hope! And that hope was fulfilled when Luis walked into church yesterday, wearing a smile and a white dress shirt, and was greeted by his friends in the elders' quorum.

A fin de cuentas, five a half months later, I think I finally like this area. It finally feels like home. I don't want to leave, and that's how I knew I was going to. I was expressing that last night to fam. Herandez and they said "It's just like Nanny McPhee!" (Nanny McPhee, evidently, is universal). But it really is just like that. The Lord is merciful enough to give us what we need, even if it isn't what we want. He loves us enough to take us out of our comfort zone in order to help us grow. He knows, like Parley P. Pratt knew, that we "have all of eternity before [us], in which to enjoy [ourselves]." Even though staying here for another six weeks (to see the Hernandez wedding/baptism, to use the WASHING MACHINE AND DRYER that were just installed in our apartment, etc.) would be really, really awesome, I know that there will be something about my new area that I need, and something about it that needs me.

I love the Lord, and I love to be in His service. I love Hermana Miller and I love the people that we have been able to serve here in Copán Ruinas. I even love this little town, which I really never thought was possible. I will never cease to be grateful that God has entrusted a little part of His vineyard to me. I love this gospel and I know that this church is true!

¡Sean firmes en la fe!

Hermana Pickett
My last primary class--we learned that we can all be missionaries!

I just LOVE Hermana Miller!

I reunited with my buddies at the bird park

And I tried to make a new bird friend, but he bit me. And then he laughed in my face about it. Rude. 
We practiced the Honduran woman skill of carrying everything on one's head, even the Gospel! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hermana Pickett Turned 1!

Hermana Porter and I climbed a mountain to contact a reference, and there was a pretty sweet view of the entire city of Copán Ruinas

1 year with a candle and carrot cake! Hurray! 

We'll bring the world His truth! 

Here's your daily dose of insanity--I've been on my mission for a whole year! Isn't that crazy?! Fittingly, our week was full and fantastic. Numbers wise, this week marks the collective most I have ever done in Copán. Turns out five months of hard work really do take effect. 

Following with the usual, we've been working a lot with inactive members. Hermana Pickett life lessons: 1. If you have a questions about doctrine, ask someone! They can help! 2. If you are the one being asked about doctrine, tread carefully and please rely more heavily upon scripture than upon your opinino. Luckily, the Spirit can teach truth in all things, and we are blessed to be accompanies by Him in our lessons. So it turned out fine. And oh, I forgot lesson #3: If you ever find yourself saying to two sister missionaries: "No, I don't like forgiving. I'd rather just go to Hell than forgive my husband" you should probably take a minute to sort out your priorities. 

On Tuesday of this week, we had divisions with the Sister Leader Trainers, one of whom is now Sister Porter, my companion from the CCM (a year ago!). Pickett/Porter reunite! As it turns out, we still love working together. The only differences are that we now know how to be missionaries and we're fluent in Spanish. That helps. Sister Porter and I had a first lesson with a woman named Sulma, who is incredibly ready for the gospel. She, in fact, is on our big three list this week. Hence (in no particular order):

1. Sulma. Used to be Catholic, couldn't find lasting happiness in that church or the Evangelical churches she has attended, devours reading assignments, and is anxiously awaiting a spiritual green light to be baptized. 

2. Lesly. Still really pilas, but was invited by two other muchachas to a different church and went with them...but still promising. Alwasy feels an incredible spirit in our lessons (as do we) and is also waiting on baptismal green light. 

3. Familia Hernandez. Talk about saving the beset for last! We have seen so many Hernandez miracles this week. For example, Julio is still alcolhol free. That's two weeks sober. That's awesome! Even more awesome was the story we heard on Saturday: Julio and Sonia were evidently passing through a moment of strife, and in an act of impetuous anger, Juliostormed over to the cantina, determined to drink a beer. His lovely, wonderful wife goes to their room, falls to her knees, and begs the Lord to help her husband. At that exact moment, Julio was raising the first bottle to his lips when a friend (the same friend who has been trying tirelessly to make Julio drink) says, "Man, haven't you been going to church? Aren't you with God now? People are praying for you. Don't make their prayers in vain." In an instant, Julio remembered how much he didn't want the beer in his hand. Without so much as a drop, he went home. 

Second miracle: yesterday morning, we beat fam. Hernandex to church. That hasn't happened in about three weeks, and as it got closer and closer to 9am, we were quite distressed that they hadn't arrived. We were ready to go to their house and get them, buyt there wasn't enough time. Finally, just before the meeting started, we knelt in the primary room and pleaded that they would come. And come they did. We worried all the way to the last verse of the opening hymn, but they came. I never cease to be amazed by the blessings that are being poured out upon that family, nor by the labor and faither they are putting in to deserve those blessings. 

As Hermana Porter and I celebrated together our One Year mark (a very happy coincedence), she said something a little foreboding: "I don't know, but I've hear that at a year, your body just shuts down. It can't keep going." Well, body, if that's true, that's too bad. I've got less that six months to serve the Lord as a full-time, authorized representative of Jesus Christ, and I'm going to use up every bit of those six months in His work. I love my Heavenly Father, I love my Savior, and I love to be a missionary of this true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week! 

Love, Hermana Pickett

Pickett and Porter, together again!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

She didn't put a title, so call it Happy 4th of July

We found this INSANE hill to climb and had to take pictures. Solo para que sepa, the ones looking up the hill are only from 1/4 of the way down. It's pretty much a mountain. 

Also, going down that hill. Very, very dangerous. Hermana Miller fell down one day and describes that experience as "I slowly fell into the mouth of a shark"

Hey, did everyone have a great 4th of July? Hermana Miller and I were watching The Restoration with an investigator and there is a scene wherein the inhabitants of Palmayra are celebrating Independance Day, so that was pretty much our moment of recognition of America's birthday. That and me summing up Bill Pullman's character in the film Independance Day. But moving on from there...

We had a wonderful week! The work is pressing onward, ever onward out here in Copán Ruinas. We visited almost all of the inactive members that 1. we're aware of and 2. we can get to (there are some good hiding spots up in the mountains). One family, la familia Lucero, is working on getting ready to go to the temple. It might take a while longer because of financial problems, but they're definitely excited to go! The mom of the family asked us the other night, "Hermanas, we know it's important to go to the temple and we want to go, but what do we have to do, other than get to Tegucigalpa?" Good question, Myrna! We're going to look into a temple prep class for couples like this one, because I think there are still a few.

 We also found a new investigator named Lesly. There is a promise in Alma that the Lord prepares the hearts of His children, even sending angels to prepare them. I think if I've ever met someone prepared by angels to receive the gospel, it's Lesly. She read the pamphlet that we left with her family and then waited and waited until we came back so she could meet us (fortunately, I have a wonderfully inspired companion who said various times "I want to go see familia Verganza again"). When we arrived, she opened up that pamplet--she had taken notes! She had compared passages with the Bible and wrote them in the margins! The didn't just have questions, she wrote them down so that she wouldn't forget! That doesn't happen here! (I had an English teacher once who said a writer is only allotted 4 exclaimation points in their lives, so I guess I just used mine...but Gifford S. Nelson used exclaimation points all over the place, so I feel justified). We love her already, she is so excited to receive more knowledge about the gospel (like when we talked about the Book of Mormon and she said "Oh, so it's just like a third companion to the bible? Great!" NOBODY says that), and vosotros (y'all) can expect lots of good news about her very soon.

It was also a highlight week because President Dester came to visit us! It was once again time for interviews, and he said he's been wanting to come out to Copán for some time now (the last time he came I was still with Hermana Cumatz). We took turns having wonderfully uplifting talks with President Dester--this just struck me as odd, but I think other missionaries get nervous about their interviews with the President. We love them--and then got to eat really fancy dinner with President and the APs, Elder Ro and Elder Juarez. And then something really REALLY cool happened, which will be mentioned below.

Easily the best part of this week, which is really saying something because my interview with President was awesome, were our lessons with familia Hernandez. Neither of the parents came to church on Sunday, and they seemed to be losing a little bit of focus/enthusiasm as of late. But on Tuesday, we went to follow up with them on a prior conversation we had had about priesthood blessings. Our branch president and his brother came to the lesson with us, which was awesome because both of them had problems with smoking and drinking that were really tough for them to kick before they got baptized. We could tell that it meant a lot to Julio to talk to people who get him. But even better, after the lesson Julio and Sonia took turns sitting under the hands of men ordained with the Melchizdek priesthood and receive blessings by the power and authority of God. Among other wonderful things said, Julio was blessed that his addiction would disappear from his body and Sonia was blessed that one day, not far from now, her family would be sealed in the temple. And with that, we put a baptismal date for the 19th and left them alone for two days. We got back on Thursday, a little bit wary about the last time we had left sure that Julio was done drinking, and that house was stone cold sober. He could tell story after story about his friends trying to get him to come drinking and he had no interest in going. My favorite was when he had to wait for a stone to be delivered for him to cut, and the guy was going to drop it off in front of a bar. He knew that was going to be tough, so he bought an orange juice and a bag of chips and handled it. One of his friends tried to beckon him inside, yelling "Hey, man! You can't get drunk off that!" Julio raised his orange juice, as if in a toast, and yelled back "That's okay! This tastes better!" WOW! And on top of that, the entire family could says "Yeah, hermanas, we read the chapter you left! It's about faith, right? How you have to plant the seed and use your faith to let it grow!" Awesome. Just, awesome.

And then the awesomeness was compounded on Saturday night, when President Dester, el Presidente mismo, came to teach familia Hernandez with us. He told us that one of the reasons he wanted to come to Copán so badly was just to meet Julio Cesar. He expressed so beautifully the love that God has for all of us, the meaning of Christ's atonement, and how we can find happiness in our lives. And then the next day, when the entire family came to church and stayed for all three hours, President sat next to Julio in Sunday School and Priesthood meeting. My mission president is friends with one of my investigators. Julio knows him as Jamie. No big deal.

The Lord has not been short on miracles this week. It still hasn't all been easy, because it's not supposed to all be easy, but it's right. Hermana Miller and I have started singing All is Well while we climb the really big hills, and our favorite line is the one that says "¿Por qué decís que es duro la porción?" which in English, I think, is why should we whine nor think our lot is hard? The Lord has asked us to do hard things sometimes, but we don't need to think that that is unfair. He has never asked us to do hard things alone. He has never asked us to do hard things without a purpose. Above all, He has never asked us to do something too hard. I love Him and I love this work. President Dester pointed out a scripture I hadn't noticed before in D&C 97:8-9, which says:

 8 Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me.

 9 For I, the Lord, will cause them to bring forth as a very fruitfultree which is planted in a goodly land, by a pure stream, that yieldeth much precious fruit.

And that was pretty much just what I needed to hear. The Lord does indeed ask us to make sacrifices, but He accepts what we can give, even though it isn't perfect, and it is counted as a righteousness for us. I love Him and I am so grateful that He trusts me with His children here in this corner of the vineyard.

I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week! Think of me on Wednesday when I complete ONE YEAR in the mission!

The Church is true!


  1. Hermana Pickett

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Some things are worth 10 hours on a bus

We figured out how to make applesauce on the stove! Extra delicious because that does not exist in this country! 

Helping out in a standard Honduran kitchen--I was assigned to fire duty. Thank you, girls camp.

 Hello! It's another sunny day out here in Copán Ruinas and I am just loving life!

This week we had the TREMENDOUS blessing to have a conference with Elder Adrián Ochoa of the 70. Turns out he was in town to talk to the San Pedro Sula East mission (whereas we are the West mission) (West side=best side) and President Dester asked him if he might be able to find time to address us. Well, President must have asked really nicely because on Wednesday morning, only a few hours from his flight home that afternoon, Elder Ochoa and his wife Nancy joined President and Sister Dester in one of the best conferences I have attended in my life! It was absolutely wonderful!

Just a few key points:

1. President Dester incoked a blessing from heaven for us that we would be surrounded and protected by angels, but bore testimony that their job will be a lot easier if we will just be obedient! There are so many times in life that we put ourselves into dangerous situations because of our own disobedience, and then we expect the Lord to work a miracle and save us. Maybe He will anyway, but it is so much easier if we will just be obedient! We already have the instructions to safety and happiness--why not just follow now?

2. Sister Dester read to us from 3 Nefi about how Christ looked upon His disciples praying and "the smile of His face fell upon them." We talked about working hard so that we may live in the light of Christ's smile and shine with His happiness. That became one of my new mission goals.

3. Sister Ochoa descibed her conversion story for us, and while she had never talked to the missionaries before she was taught, she had seen them. They had never stopped to talk to her. And when she heard the gospel, she accepted it right away because she received a testimony that it was true and there was nothing left for her to waste time over. There really are prepared people waiting for us. We just check for them in every nook and cranny and then we see mighty changes of heart.

4. Elder Ochoa expressed so much love for us. He described the goals of the mission and the area (like all of Central America, that area) and said we were already doing what we needed to be doing. He told us that he loved us, that the Lord loves us, and that if we will keep doing what we're doing--keeping our covenants and helping others to make and keep covenants--we will be more than successful.

So anyway, really awesome day. The process of getting there was less awesome: bus to la Florida for a meeting Tuesday morning (2 hours), another bus to La Entrada after that meeting (30 minutes), afternoon and night spent in La Entrada, waking up at 3:30 to catch a bus to San Pedro (3 hours), no time for breakfast, bus terminal for lunch, 5 hours home, no time to go work Wednesday night...but it's alright! It was totally worth it! And we heard from President Dester that he's going to come to us to conduct tri-monthly interviews, so we won't have to travel for those and Sister Dester, like the wonderful mission mother that she is, reimbersed our bus. So it's okay. We even almost got done what we get done on a week that we don't miss two days, so it's fine.

We found a few new neighborhoods this week. I say found because they are so well hidden in the mountains that we had no idea they existed, and yet they are no further than 10 minutes from places we have already visited. One sister in the ward, Juana, towed us up the mountain (although we handled it a lot better than we have in the past) to meet several of her children. She and her husband just recently were sealed in the temple and suddenly more than half of her children have expressed interest in investigating the church or reactivating. Blessings! We were really glad to meet them, especially a daughter named Adelina who is really showing a true desire. I'll keep you posted.

We're pressing right along with fam. Hernandez. Julio Cesar walked his kids to church but didn't stay. He also hasn't been in our lessons this week. BUT President wrote in his weekly email that he would really like to meet this family and suggested that he and Sister Dester could accompany us to have a lesson with them when they come for interviews. OKAY! So that should be awesome. We also talked with Sonia about receiving a priesthood blessing for comfort and direction, and that's happening tomorrow. I know there's a miracle waiting for this family. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for them.

Other random news: we finally had a semi-legit branch counsel meeting and it was a hit(!), we found a lot of new invesitgators this week, they are FINALLY calling someone to the Primary so I'm not teaching this Sunday (Word up!) and Hermana Miller is completing her 8 months on the mission today! Next Wednesdsay I'll have a whole year! SCARY! I am shocked and amazed by how time is just flying but I am so glad that I can be here in the service of the Lord!

I love this Gospel, I love my Savior, and I love this mission! The Church is true! Go tell everyone all about it!

So much love,
Hermana Pickett

The Miller/Pickett companionship! It's the greatest!

We found my prince charming in the bathroom, but then I remembered missionaries aren't allowed to kiss their princes. Shame.

I reunited with Hermana Gardner, and she shared her new mission motto: Slacking off never was happiness