Monday, October 13, 2014

Preparing for Take Off

Domesic missionaries, gaining investigator's trust with french toast

Here's the proof I'm Jeanne Pickett's daughter--drawing during general conference! 

So the only water that makes it to the second story is the rain...
But I had a creative moment, and we have a rainwater collection system! Crazy what you can do with a poncho, mop, broom, some hairties, and a few strips of old pillow case.

Hey, I completed another month in the mission! That means I've got 15! Is that NUTTY or what?

We had a lovely week, full of good times and surprises. The climax of both good times and surprises was a visit from the Sister Leader Trainers, Hermana Porter and Hermana Ugarte. Here's the surprise: owing to the fact that Hermana Porter and I have gone out on exchanges in the last two consecutive changes (very unusual), and we spent three straight days together when I was in bed with a sprained ankle, I was pretty sure I would be spending this exchange with Hermana Ugarte. But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and the two of them said one last prayer before telling us who would be going with whom, and with laughter in their voices said "Ok, Pickett's going with Porter." But that's okay! Hermana Porter and I always hoped that we would be companions in the field, but that hasn't proven possible. So we think the Lord is answering our prayer on a small scale, one day at a time.

We had a very funny day, in the which all of our lessons were clustered around two points, the two of which are at opposite ends of a stretch of highway. We started at one, and they all told us to come back a little later, so we went to the other end. While we were there, here's a surprise: Navidad, the mother in fam. Quintanilla Garcia, listened very attentively to our lesson on the restoration of the Gospel and then said to our baptismal challenge "Hermanas, I'll be honest. I can't get baptized again. I already got baptized in the church in Choloma." But then, before we could get too disappointed, "Your church, I mean." What? Turns out she's already a member. Surprise! But what a blessing she will be to her family. We did another lap back to our earlier lessons, and within that neighborhood we were doing loops as certain families were coming and others leaving. But it was a fun time, and we spent the afternoon with a woman who is just like my sister Annie, so that was wonderful, of course :) All four of us got caught in a very powerful rainstorm in the evening, but we came home to dry clothes and arroz con leche knowing that we had passed another day in the service of the Lord, so it's fine.

Hermana Porter and I have too much fun. But at the same time, it is such a strange mirrior for us to be together and to look back to 15 months ago when we were just starting out. We're both a lot different than we were then. As a sister leader trainer, Hermana Porter has the responsibility to conduct a companionship inventory at the end of our exchange, in the which she points out a few areas in which I could improve. We always mean to have that talk, but we usually get distracted or tired. This last attempt went like this.

Pickett: Ok, what can I do better? After all, I've only got three more months to become the perfect missionary, so I need all the tips you've got. What 'cha got?

Porter: I don't know. What do you think you need to work on?

Pickett: Porter! This is your job!

But we got around to constructive comments eventually. Sure do love that kid. I am grateful that it will be so easy to keep in touch with almost all of the people that I meet in the mission, but even more that a lot of my good friends will be relatively close by.

Another good surprise this week: President and Sister Dester came to church yesterday, and President conducted interviews. I've heard that other missionaries in other missions get really nervous about interviews, and I just don't get that. I love interviews. They're my favorite. President and I talked about the incredible potential that this area has, and the miracles that are ready to come to pass here. President listened to the 50 baptisms goal and told a story about a solitary companionship of missionaries that had 25 baptisms in just one month, so he believes in the goal. I believe in it, too.

But this was my favorite part: I asked President what I could do, now that I only have three months left (ugh, I hate saying that sentance. It's scary) and he, in a very President Uchtdorf move, started talking about airplanes. He told me that I am one. He said that right now, my engines are kicking into a new gear, and I am not going to walk or even run through the rest of my mission, I am going to fly (yes, Hermana Behan, that made me think of you). He said that, according to my faith and diligence, all of the obstacles are going to fall away and I am going to soar to heights so much greater than I had ever imagined. He said the Lord is ready to lift me up.

Do you get why I love interviews now?

So here goes the flightcraft H. Pickett, revving up the engines and spinning propellers. I'm ready to take off. Stay tuned for news on the flightplan--it's a figure it out as I go sort of thing.

Last thought: we were in a lesson with Bairon and his family last night, and we talked about progression. Not the way that missionaries talk about progression, but the way the Lord talks about progression. Acting on the Spirit and an idea from President Dester, we started describing a long hallway with various doors. The first is labeled, a knowledge of Jesus Christ. The second, a knowledge of His true church. The next, repentance. The next, baptism and confirmation, then entering the temple, then serving a mission, temple sealing, vicarious work, serving in the church, etc. We explained that as we travel along this hallway, which in the end will take us to the goal of becoming like God and being with Him always, we have to keep opening doors. If we never open the door, we can't progress. We beat against the wood, yelling at someone on the other side to let us through. But the only person blocking our progress is us. We have all of the power to turn the knob, go through, and joyfully continue to the next door. So we invited Bairon's famiy to come to church and get to know it better. But then we turned to Bairon and said, you are already at a different door than your family. We know you want to progress more before you are baptized, but you won't. You are already at the door. If you want to go forward, you've got to go through. Bairon's got a baptismal date for Nov 8, so his friend Johnny can baptize him before leaving on his mission.

The church is true. Jesus is the Christ. God lives and loves us. I love Him, and I love being in His service. Ask yourself what door you are at, and go through. Go forward. Go toward the Savior.

Have a wonderful week!
Love, Hermana Pickett
We figured out that the storage cabinents in the church are big enough for a person to squeeze into

Turns out our DL needed a little help squeezing in :)

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