Friday, August 22, 2014

Week 7 August 21, 2014 "pee ka du jang no nim, Elder Picard"

   My week was pretty rough but it also taught me a lot!! I have been struggling in my companionship and have felt targeted. Seemed like anything that went wrong was blamed on me. I felt as if my companions didn't want me here and that they were reporting any little thing to the Branch President just to see if they could get me to lose it. I didn't completely lose it and held in a lot of anger better than I usually do. My companions have said they haven't seen really any improvement at all since I have been here so that was hard to hear because I have honestly felt I have been doing a lot better than I was day one. Even after talking with the Branch President he blamed a lot on me. I will admit I haven't been the best I can and I am really disappointed to look back and see how dumb I was. He said that my district had a lot of potential and I pretty much screwed it all up. Hearing that was if a giant boulder just fell on my head. This experience has taught me that I really need to think twice before I do or say anything because you never know you step over the line until something like this happens. The Lord has really helped me humble myself through this and has shown me how important it is to always be doing that very thing. We will never be perfect until Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of this World, comes again and we are all resurrected and judged according to our works. Even then some of us still won't be unless we honestly took the time here on Earth to work our very best! So until then we constantly have to be evaluating ourselves and do all we can do be better! I especially need to do that very thing because in all reality I won't have a successful mission unless I do. I will not let that happen I want to be the best I can. I need to make my parents and more importantly my Lord proud!!
   I have been struggling to forget the world and focus all my attention on my mission but I have improved at it and have done better this week. I mean after all I am doing what I should be doing so the Lord will bless me and my family! It is crazy to see all these new Korean missionaries come in because it honestly feels like just yesterday when I was the new missionary. Time honestly does fly and I will really focus on not wasting any time now because time is not gonna slow down, it is gonna speed up when I am in Korea. I have been a missionary for like 2 months now, its crazy!! Friday at TRC we did a lesson over Skype and it was so awesome. Technology is amazing and it is incredible how even through a computer screen you can feel the spirit!! I am starting to understand and comprehend more bits and pieces of whatever I hear in Korean in my lessons. So that is kind of cool. I still have a long ways to go but I can put together a good amount of sentences in my head already! Korea is going to be amazing and I can't wait to get there!! I keep hearing that my mission is awesome and every time I hear about it I get more and more excited. 
     I met with a District President last Friday. He just wanted to check up on me and make sure I was doing well and emphasized the importance of being 100% obedient. Doing that very thing is so much harder than I thought it would be. Although when I have really tried to be I have sure noticed a difference. Like you always say mom, I must be exactly obedient and the Lord will bless me. Mom you are one smart lady and you always know what to say to cheer me up and keep me going!! I hung Dad's quote he sent about being an eagle in my closet and I read it everyday! I am trying to make that my motto because I wanna be an eagle, I want to run and not be weary, and want to walk and not faint. Like Sara said I need to take everything that has happened as a lesson learned and make it a goal to work as hard as I can so that it never happens again. I will always have trials and will we all. That is why we have the Lord, he will never leave us, and thanks to his atoning sacrifice we can be happy! That right there is all we need to focus our lives around. This gospel is incredible and we need to constantly be thanking God and his son Jesus Christ for all they have done for us. 
    Sundays are always awesome here at the MTC!! I wrote my talk for sacrament meeting on the Atonement just in case I got called up to speak because they don't tell you who is speaking till during sacrament so you always have to be ready! The good thing is this weeks topic is repentance so I can just use the one I wrote last week ;) haha. Temple walk was good we got some cookies from some girls that were trying to find their friends and couldn't so they gave us the cookies! They were yummy but not as yummy as the macadamia nut ones I just got from my family!! :) Jenny Oaks Baker, Dallin H. Oaks daughter, spoke and played violin along with her family at the devotional Sunday night so that was really cool. She told us God has a plan for me personally and I must submit my will to Him. Most importantly she said trust in Him and never lose faith! I watched Legacy after that. Legacy is always a good one. I saw Sister Huffaker my buddy and took a picture with her and caught up for a bit. It was nice seeing her, she is going to be a great missionary. 
      I was really worried this past Tuesday and I needed the extra blessings so I fasted all day! It was hard but through my fast the Lord truly did bless me and reassure me everything will be ok. I talked with one of the teachers, Brother Christiansen, just to get advice from an RM and that really helped. He said to steer far away from the edge of the cliff because we don't want to let the adversary have an easier shot of getting us. He said all the right things and truly helped me out! 
     Yesterday I met with a different District President, President Lindahl, he was awesome!! He was so understanding and told me I just need to learn from past mistakes I have made and move on. He compared life to a game and that we will always be having to work as hard as we can in order to win. He said everything that has happened wasn't all my fault so that was nice to hear too. He said Christ gave me this trial because He knows I will be a great missionary and he just needed me to learn how to humble and critique myself before I get out in the field. He also said I just need to learn how to deal with crap because throughout life we will constantly get junk thrown at us and we just need to learn how to deal with it. Life isn't easy and it will always be hard. There will always be some one who doesn't like us for whatever reason but that is them. You are you and have to power to do your very best!! He lastly said I need to develop charity for my companions and grow to love all of them that I will have. Any other 18 year old kid would of gave up by now and quit he said. He said that is what is cool about missionaries. They are all so strong and will be successful the rest of their lives because of all they have learned throughout their missions. At the Tuesday night devotional Bonnie Oscarson spoke. She spoke on the importance of always having the spirit with you at all times! The spirit is our guide and how we teach. She also said I have to always strive to go the extra mile and look for any opportunity to teach and bring people unto Christ. I will strive to make it my goal to do that very thing because there are people in Korea waiting for Elder Picard and I can't let them down. God has prepared those elect that are ready to hear the Gospel and it is my job to bring it to them!! Mission are not easy but they truly are amazing! I can't wait to get to Korea in 6 days and start sharing the Gospel!! 
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Picard
Hey look who I found, Sister Huffaker!! :)

Had to take a selfie in my room with my new camera!

​My buddy Elder Hernandez. He keeps my Spanish up to par and is one cool dude!

​Elder Turner, Elder Wright, and I. Yeah we got swag haha

Elder Haskell and I at dinner

​Elder Godfrey and I trying to look all sophisticated like at dinner

​My teacher Brother Campbell. He is the best teacher ever and has taught me so much!

​Elder Jensen and Elder Cook 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Week 6 August 14, 2014 "Swaggy Tag"

   I got my Korean name tags and they are so cool!! In two weeks I will be headed for Korea!! It is so crazy. Time here at the MTC flew by! I believe I get my flight plans tomorrow and head out August 28. I can't believe I have been on my mission for almost two months now! Missions definitely are not easy and it has been quite a learning experience. 
   The natural man really tries to get you down out here and it is extremely difficult finding the strength in yourself to push it away! I have come to find out that the only way I can push off the adversary is with help from God! I can't do this on my own... We are so blessed to have guidance and love come from a Father in Heaven that wants us to be happy and successful. The last thing he wants to see happen is any of his children fall away into darkness. He loves all of us the same. I can really see that here at the MTC because there are so many different kinds of people and I know God views them all the same as me. I am not better than anyone. A concept that has been hard to process in my brain and realize the importance of loving everyone no matter what. We all have our differences. It has been a struggle sometimes to get along with my companions but like my Mom said love them no matter what! After all charity is the pure love of Christ. 
   The week overall has been a lot better and I am doing better with loving my companions. I can't change who they are but I can change who I am to adjust to them. So I must do that very thing. TRC was amazing once again! It is crazy how much stronger the Spirit gets every time. My brain is starting to think Korean so that is pretty cool. I still have to think about and run through my head pretty much everything I want to say but it is getting better. Sometimes I will not even think and the right words will just come out because of all the hearing and repetition of saying things! During personal study on Saturday I was reading out of 2 Nephi and had a really cool experience. It said that if I have faith and press forward with steadfastness in Christ he will make my weak traits strong! Which is pretty dang cool to hear because I am far from not having any weaknesses. It is really reassuring to know that all I have to do is have faith in Christ and He will help with the rest. I will learn Korean! It will take sometime but I can do it with God! 
   I go around campus sometimes during my study time and practice bearing my testimony in Korean! I am getting pretty good at it. Even if I say the same things every time, it is a start haha. Oh yeah and I am saying the Sacrament Prayer in Korean the last Sunday before I leave!! I'm so excited, it is going to be awesome! Korean is an amazing language and I absolutely love learning. The only bad part is that your brain can't take it sometime and you think it is going to explode haha. 
  God has been really testing my faith and the MTC has been an absolute roller coaster. I haven't been the best missionary I can and it is time for that to CHANGE! I need to be the missionary my Momma knows I am and never go away from that. I had the chance to be raised by two incredible parents and disappointing them is not an option!! I need to be the Elder Picard I know I am. I need to remember who I am and start thinking twice about whether or not things I say and do are appropriate for missionaries. It is going to be hard but like my Mom said I can do this with 100% obedience. 
   Richard I. Heaton spoke at that devotional Sunday night. He was a Mission President in Spokane! He spoke on how God knows all of his children personally and how you never run into investigators on accident! God has prepared people to hear the word of the God. He also said you can never go wrong with love which is absolutely correct. God needs me on his side. It may seem dark at times but God promises He will illuminate the way no matter how long it takes.
    On Tuesday David F. Evans spoke. He spoke on the importance of using the Atonement to our advantage. It is there so we must use it. Christ died for us because He loves us so we must show him we love Him by using His Atonement. God gives forgiveness and He is the only one that can. I must seek for that forgiveness. The Spirit will never leave me, it is me that chooses to leave the Spirit! I need the Spirit everyday of my mission so it is vital I stay worthy to have it with me. I have to stay within the circle of righteous and never leave it. 
     It has been hard not to get down on myself because of the person I was in the past. Thoughts of doubt come from Satan and like you said Mom, I can't let him win!! FOCUS ON NOW and don't dwell on the past. I can't change the past but I can change what I do now in the present. 
    The Church is true. God loves every single one of us. The Atonement is real and works. The Book of Mormon is 100% true and was translated through Joseph Smith by the power of God. I love this gospel so much and can't wait to share it and bring joy into many lives in Korea!! Hurrah for Israel!! 

Elder Picard
I got my Korean name tag!! I be looking pretty swaggy!
My temple wall in my room that has been passed down from older missionaries!
Me and my buddy Elder Haskell

​I ball out in my room! #ballislife

Elder Johnson, Andersen, Schulz, Warnick 

​My boy Elder Uasike! He is going to the same mission EJ went to but English speaking. Riverside-Cali

​Just another amazing Temple walk!! Elder Andersen and Elder Johnson 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Week 5 August 7, 2014

There is only one word to describe the MTC. Crazy. Lets just say it has been an awakening experience haha. It has had its ups and downs but there is honestly no place like it!! You learn so much here, it is insane! It is really easy to get tired and drift off in class... but I have learned when I push myself to stay awake, alert, and happy that my days end up being so much better. I'm getting better at staying focused but it is hard sometimes haha. My frustration has showed a little when I dont understand something but I'm starting to get better at holding it in. In all reality here at the MTC, the best way to pick up a language is by listening to the spirit and doing all that you possibly can then leaving the rest in the Lord's hands. I'm at the point where I have realized I won't become even CLOSE to being fluent here at the MTC and for that very reason is why everyone always stresses. You never get fluent until you are in the field for quite sometime. The MTC will give me ENOUGH of a language background to get around and not be completely lost. I have kind of taken the liberty to embrace that fact and just do my best. You get so exhausted studying 24/7 so I can kind of get lazy sometimes. Like my Family said though, "I just gotta on my knees and pray then get up and do work!" I have tried to embrace that and the days I have prayed as much as I can I have really felt the difference. The Spirit is AMAZING you feel here especially at the devotionals. 

This morning I got up and lifted so that was nice. I came in like 210 and now I'm like 200, lets just say I have been trying to eat really healthy here and exercise as much as I can because I do not want to get fat here at the MTC. You eat so much here that it is REALLY hard not to!! Especially when EVERY single meal they have all of my favorite deserts and fatty foods. Satan is real and he tempts me on the daily with those stinkin cookies!! For exercise time throughout the week I play basketball, soccer, or I run around the track. Sometimes if I'm really feeling it I go over to the volleyball court and just go BEAST MODE!!! The nets are a little shorter than normal size so I can lay down some hard spikes and man does it feel like I'm flying!! I can't jump so if playing volleyball on short nets makes it so I feel like I can jump I'm going to do it. 

I can see why everyone says sometimes you have companions on your mission you just have to grow to love and get along with. They all weren't lying that's for sure. It is not like my companion is one of those that I absolutely don't like but we have kind of different personalities so it is hard to agree and get along sometimes. We have done a lot better and this week went great! We had an Elder go home for medical reasons so I might have another companion here soon, making it a 3 way companionship. So we will see how that goes. I have always been one to love everyone but for some reason I have been struggling more with that since I have been here. Like my Momma said I just have to develop Christlike charity and do all that I can to make everything work. My heart has been quick to harden at times here and feelings of discouragement come and go. So my goal for the rest of the MTC is to love everyone and try to keep my heart as soft as I possibly can. I'm a representative of Jesus Christ with his name on my chest so I must strive to be like him and make him proud of the missionary I am! After all this is NOT my mission but the LORD's, I am just an instrument in his hands. So in that case I have to be a working one not a faulty disobedient one. 

Every Wednesday and Saturday we do service around at different buildings so that is always a good way to start off your day. I'm starting to grow and love doing service so much!! You feel so good when you are serving others, it is great. On our P-Days we get to go to the temple so that is always a great thing to look forward to each week. Temples are amazing. I really wish I would of took the time like my Momma said and went more when I had the Temple 5 minutes from my house in Spokane! The Provo temple is so much bigger than Spokane, I was in shock when I went in haha. The Provo temple is a really pretty temple and it is so cool to see that like the whole endowment session is full of missionaries! It makes me so happy to know that so many people want to serve their Lord and leave their families for 2 years of their life so that others may be with theirs for eternity. Knowing that I am a missionary and that I am being prayed for in the Temple is pretty cool! 

Thank you SO much for the package!! I loved it! All of the jokes and saying made me laugh so hard hahaha lol. It was nice getting something like that and it really put a smile on my face. It has been rough but all those notes of encouragement and jerky will keep me going for sure. I also got some cookies from the William's Family and those were pretty yummy. So thank you to the Williams for sending me those because I loved them. It is always nice to get mail and stuff to reassure me how much I am loved just in case a ever forget haha. I love my family so much and will work hard so blessings are sent your way. EJ and Sara will find jobs and spouses because they are awesome. Hanna's baby girl is going to be sooo cute. I can't wait to see pictures of her!! Is Joey doing better? How is my old man? Is he loving his new TV? I guarantee he spends lots of time on the couch watching it and eating some popcorn because he loves that stuff!! I love all of Elizabeth's letters, they are hilarious lol. 

I really do need to work on listening instead of talking. Thanks Mom for that letter of advice, it really has helped me. There is always room for improvement like you send and God will bless me with strength to push on. I have took your advice and have looked for ways to serve my companion and the times I do my days go that much better. And yes I need to stop being silly because a mission isn't the place for that but it is HARD because I have always been the jokester. All of the quotes were right on the money of what I need to hear so way to pick the good ones. You are the best Mom ever and I am so happy to be your son!! I have gotten better with not getting frustrated easily but I am still working at it. I just need to do all I can and if other missionaries are doing something that bugs me I just can't let it bug me. Yes Mom you are correct I DON'T roll that way and I will not let Satan win! 

Last Friday at TRC I had an amazing experience! The first Sister we taught came in with an actual question that her friends had asked her but she couldn't answer. I was totally caught by surprise but the spirit was so strong and I was helped through it. She spoke some English and we are supposed to do as much Korean as we can in our lessons so I did the very best I could but had to use some English. Her question was reading the Book of Mormon sometimes gets boring and you feel like you are just reading and not understanding. She asked, "What can I tell my friends to help them as they read?" I answered that the very best thing you could do was have a question on your heart as you are reading because then you are reading with a purpose. Also that if she and her friends read in the faith, the Spirit would be in them and answer their questions. Even though the investigators here at the MTC are actors you never know if they really do have a question that needs to be answered. So I can't take it lightly and go in there like they aren't members and teach by the Spirit. This past fast Sunday I got up and bore my testimony in Korean!! It was so awesome and felt so good afterwards to hear that it actually made sense and that my pronunciation was on the money! Learning Korean is so awesome and being able to do all I can in just 5 weeks of being here is incredible. The gift of tongues is real for sure! 

Every fast Sunday they have mission conference which is like a devotional. The topic was that we need to go out there and find ALL of the lost sheep and bring them unto Christ. Also of the importance it is that I remain worthy all of the time so that I can bring the lost unto repentance. At the Sunday night devotional the President of BYU, Kevin Worthen, and his wife spoke. The main theme of their talks was to teach with the power I have been given. He said, "My calling gives me authority but keeping my covenants gives me power." That really hit me and I need to better keep all of my covenants. They said also not to compare yourself to others and to not get discouraged because the Lord is on your side. While you teach and throughout my mission they said I must be happy, friendly, and polite. On Sunday nights after the devotional we get to watch a movies or a talk that has been recorded so it is pretty awesome! I watched the Joseph Smith movie and it was a good one. I had a really cool experience while I was watching it. I had an overwhelming feeling of the truth of Joseph Smith  as a prophet and the Book of Mormon. The Spirit literally burned within me and I had chills all over my body!! I know without a doubt now that Joesph Smith was a true prophet of God and that he did translate the Book of Mormon with the power of God. Also that the Priesthood truly does have power far beyond any power here upon this earth. A power that can't even be fathomed until you experience it. Bruce C. Hafen spoke at the Tuesday night devotional. He and his wife talked on the importance of temples and living by your covenants. Then when you do that very thing it will give you strength. They also emphasized that this isn't my mission but the Lord's and that I won't be truly successful/happy until I give up myself and let the Lord take control!!  

I did laundry so that was fun. Oh yeah and I straight balled out in soccer! I had 4 goals. So yeah I guess I was born to play soccer or something. I will probably play in the Olympics! ;) Well that was my week! 
Only around 21 days until I head for Korea, it is crazy!! I can't wait :)

I love all my family so much!! You all truly are great. Thanks to everyone that believes in me and prays for me. Thanks to the Saltese ward for all you did for me and a special thanks to my main man Bishop Ballif, he truly is an amazing man and helped me so much! :)


Elder Daniel Jackson Picard
Elder Haskell

Elder Haskell and Elder Butterfield

Left to right. Me, Elder Dayley, Miller, Jensen, Cook, Schulz, Andersen, Cooper, Dent, Smith, Haskell, Butterfield 

My Temple walk on Sunday

Elder Johnson

Elder Cooper, had to leave for medical reasons :(

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week Four July 31, 2014 "Keep praying for me"

It has been a rough week.  Good thing the devotionals were amazing! On Sunday we heard from Stephen B. Allen, he talked about how our main purpose is to find, teach, baptize, retain, and activate. At the TRC (teaching resource center) last week I taught one of Sara's old roommates from BYU, too fun! I saw Matt-U Gilbert yesterday so that was cool, I didn't even recognize him. haha! I got to escort and host new missionaries yesterday so that was super cool! It felt good being the veteran and being able to give words of encouragement to the new missionaries.  A sister recognized me and said we grew up together in Moscow but I don't remember her name, my brain is too full of missionary stuff :)
This past Tuesday John H. Groberg came and talked.  It was about "The Other Side of Heaven" and his mission in Tonga.  He had some incredible stories and I hope I have some like that when I come home. He talked about the importance of always bearing your testimony. Through what you say, what you do, how you act, how you pray, who you are and what you sing. He said that when you bear your testimony, investigators will feel the warmth and vibration of it and respond having felt the Spirit. HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!  My work isn't done until each lost soul is found!
You all seem to be having a great summer! That makes me happy. Hann is having a girl, that's awesome! I'm going to be an uncle! I think we have a quorum of the 12 coming Tuesday!!! Tell the ward and everyone I love them and thanks for the support! I have the greatest family!
Elder Picard

My buddy, Elder Josh Williams from Vernal.

Spending P-day with Joseph Smith.

Since I won't be doing any biking in Korea I thought I should at least get a missionary bike picture.