Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 105 July 4, 2016 "This church is true and I look forward to be a SUPER member when I get home!! "

     Well this is my last email as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in South Korea. I never thought I would say those words. I have absolutely loved being a representative of Jesus Christ here in South Korea and teaching His gospel. My opportunity of being a missionary here and being able to experience all that I have has brought me to truly find joy in the gospel. Before my mission sure I went out to church and did the motions of being a member but I feel like now I am more firm in the faith. I don't just do things to make my parents happy but now I do things because my mission has brought me to an understanding of the gospel. I am so thankful to my parents for raising me so well. Ever since I was a little boy in nursery my parents have talked about going on a mission and how important the gospel is. They have played a big part in a lot of my progression and for that I am forever grateful. My parents were there every step of the way cheering me on through life and especially my mission. During the hard times I was always comforted when I thought of my parents and how much they loved me. Another thing that helped was I know both of my parents believe in me. Even when it was hard to believe in myself and my ability they always believed. I couldn't have asked for better parents. I don't even know where to start if I were even going to try and attempt to thank them because they have helped me so much. Seeing my family this Friday in the airport is going to be awesome. What a happy homecoming it will be!! 

      We ate lunch with a brother who just got released from the bishopric and his wife today for lunch. They took us out to this really good restaurant where we ate a lot of meat. This particular brother and I had a hard time getting along at first but now we are super close. We must never give up on relationships. Heavenly Father expects us to love and forgive all men even if it is hard. Sometimes we will have difficulty getting along with someone but that doesn't give us an excuse to give up. A lot of the times we don't get along with someone because we are prideful, stubborn, selfish, etc. At least I know that I have been like that many times throughout my mission. Also before we blame others we need to humbly look inside and see the fault on our behalf. I love learning new things and being able to grow, it is great!! Heavenly Father has blessed me so much. 

       I will end with a scripture that I may have shared before but I am not sure. Actually no,  just read 3 Nephi 13 the whole chapter is really good. I read it a few weeks ago and really liked. I would lastly like to thank everyone for all the love and prayers throughout my mission. I always felt them in one way or another. This church is true and I look forward to be a SUPER member when I get home!! :) 

Elder Picard

***He flys home this Friday night, July 8th into SLC airport. To say our family is excited would be an understatement!!! PLEASE COME THIS SUNDAY, JULY 10th @1pm as he reports.
ALL ARE WELCOME, 2030 W Chapel Ridge Rd, LEHI, UTAH 84043, 360-798-1931 is my cell, if you need additional information.

The last two weeks our cute little missionary has been unable to send pictures. Over the past two years he has sent LOTS of food pictures, silly pictures, scenery pictures but here are a few of my favorites, and remember I'm his mom so of course grandma, temple, stores of our family name and baptism pics would be my favorites. Especially his Korean grandma picture, I love that one!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 104 June 27, 2016 "He truly does love me and has blessed me with a lot of trials"

     Well this is my second to last email and I can't believe that I go home in 11 days. I have said this many times but I will say it again time flies when you are having fun. I think time flies extra fast when you are having fun as a missionary. Being a missionary in South Korea has been such a good experience and I have loved every minute of it. I for sure had a lot of hard times but I was able to learn a lot. For that I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father. He truly does love me and has blessed me with a lot of trials. Yes I did just say trials. In my opinion you cant receive blessings without getting some trials here and there. Life isn't supposed to be easy and I have came to receive a testimony of that on my mission. As I look back on my mission and the hard times I had now I realize how important they were for me in that time. I feel like Heavenly Father knew exactly when it was time for me to improve and he helped me in every instance. I am in Gangnam right now and just ate lunch with the Seocho bishop. We had a good meeting and I took the opportunity to bare my testimony. I love the Seocho ward and being with the Seocho bishop got me all choked up. I couldn't help but shed tears of gratitude for the Seocho ward and for all they gave me. That ward loved me for who I was and they appreciated all of my hard work. I have been blessed to serve around and with so many awesome members here in South Korea. The church here has some amazing members. Kevin and Grace were baptized two days ago Saturday. Their baptismal service was super spiritual and an experience I will never forget. Our other investigator, Christopher, will be getting baptized this Saturday so I am excited for that. A member in the Humphreys ward referred us Chris a while back and now he is getting baptized. The military branches here are very good with investigators and have been such a good help. I love this gospel and look forward to being a member missionary back in America. I can't wait to start the next phase of my life and continue trying to become the Daniel Jackson Picard my Heavenly Father desires me to become. 

Elder Picard

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 103 June 20, 2016 "Happiness is essential in progression"

    We had Zone Conference yesterday and hiked 남한산성. It was a decent hill but for sure wasn't a mountain if you compare it to any mountain in the states. Everyone there, sweats like crazy but it was really fun. We had some really good trainings and I got some nice tips on how I can finish off these last 3 weeks strong! I also received a lot of revelation on things I need to continue to do after my mission so that my progression of becoming who God wants me to be isn't stopped. 

    One thing President testified on is how important our ability to choose is. He talked about how it is a choice to be happy and a choice to be angry. We must choose to be happy and doing so will make everything go well. Happiness is essential in progression. So let's just be happy. Sorry this is really short but I gotta go! 

Elder Picard

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 102 June 13, 2016

 I don't have too much time left so just let everyone know I am working to finish strong. I have appreciated all of the love and prayers throughout my mission these last 2 years. I don't have any big spiritual message this week but I will think of a good one for next week. You can just write a little message for me Mom that sounds a little like this. I don't know if what I am typing is making sense because I am typing so fast because I don't wanna think about home too much today. Email time is still kind of hard because everytime after email I just wanna see my family. I don't wanna stress or be anxious so for the next few weeks my emails may not be the longest or the most in depth. I apologize in advance. We can talk when I get home and I will answer all of the questions you have. I love you Mom!!  I bought two suits and ordered my Mission plaque this week. I will be sending home another box this week, of books. I didn't ever realize how much stuff I have picked up throughout my mission. My interview with the Mission President is on the 24th, and Kevin and Grace are getting baptized on the 25th! I imagine that I will be very busy, these last few weeks!! 

Elder Picard

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 101 June 6, 2016 "Pat yourself on the back every once in a while"

     I am down to the last month of my mission and man is it hard to believe. I am so excited to see my family but I may be more excited to finish my mission out strong. My message today is simple. Pat yourself on the back every once in a while. This for me has been hard. I always can notice the things I am bad at very easily which leads to me putting myself down. In my opinion putting yourself down and being hard on yourself is not the best thing to do. Since I am about to go home and all I have had a lot of good talks with my companion about life and stuff. Talking with my companion and getting another person's opinion on things has helped me to realize a lot of things. One of those things was how hard it is to see the good in another if you can't even see the good in yourself. Just think about that for a second. If all you do is put yourself down and never look for the good inside you will never learn how to do it. Looking for the good in yourself will help develop the skill to look for the good in another. This is one thing I have realized lately and am trying to do a better job at. My companion believes that there really is no need for negativity and even though at first this was hard for me to understand I think he is right. Being positive is always the way to go and it all starts with being positive about yourself. I know Heavenly Father views all His children as wonderful individuals that are so full of good. I know that by seeing the good in yourself will make it easier to compliment others and see the good in them. Also by doing so I know that relationships with others will be strengthened. 

Elder Picard

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 100 May 30, 2016 "Time is just such a blessing, never take it for granted!!"

     My new companion is awesome and we are doing great together. We have seen a lot of cool miracles together and it has only been a few days. The Lord for sure is blessing me with a lot of happiness and success my last transfer!! God is good and I know my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, loves me and will be with my every step of the way as I finish my mission. We have really been trying to work with the youth lately and have seen quite a bit of success. No baptisms but we are building really good friendships with a lot of high schoolers and they even view us as their older brothers. We have been playing a lot of basketball and proselyting at this one park in particular so now pretty much everyone knows us and likes us. I am not sure where my basketball skills have gone and hopefully I can get them back soon. I haven't played in too long and I need them back haha. The military branches are helping us out a ton with our investigators and there are so many great member missionaries. Members are necessary in missionary work and finding success in teaching investigators without members I have found to be very difficult. I can't wait to go home and help the missionaries in my future wards teach their investigators. It will bring back so many happy moments and I cant wait! 

      Time is a hard concept to grasp right? I think it is for sure. I remember coming out on my mission and thinking it would never end and that I would never be in my last transfer. Thinking like that was foolish of me. Instead I should of realized I can't control time and the only thing I could do was work and be happy. I didn't focus too much on the end because I never wanted it to happen but now that I am almost there I am realizing a lot of things. I think it is good to view a certain future goal or event with happiness because then you know all you have to do before you get there. Focusing and working hard in the present allows God to bless you later on because He realizes you aren't worried or scared of the future. Moving on from the past is tough and not worrying about the future likewise is difficult. Understanding time and how to view it period is tough. I have came to know that God knows all and He will help me find success and happiness. My head hurts haha. So I have no idea if I am making sense or not but hopefully you get my point. Time is just such a blessing, never take it for granted!!

Elder Picard

Our family LOVES watermelon! 

New companion, Elder Young from Vernal, Utah!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 99 May 23, 2016 "I am not just going to finish, I am going to finish STRONG!"

     Well Ladies and Gentleman, Elder Picard officially has one transfer left starting Wednesday! I have flat out loved my mission and learned so much! I do not regret one bit coming out. It has been the! So we got transfer calls and I will be getting a new companion. His name is Elder Young and he is from Vernal! Crazy huh? Who knew that on my mission I would end up having a comp from Vernal, Utah? I sure didn't.  Elder Miller is also getting a new companion. His new companion will be Elder Arredondo who was trained by Elder Knapp back in Gangnam. I am pretty stoked to have two new Elders around and it should be way fun serving with them. I may have Elder Arredondo even teach me some Spanish. Since we will be loosing a lot of Elders next transfer when my group goes home they will have to shut down a lot of areas. Since we were aware of that we were guessing that two new missionaries would come in to become companions next transfer when Elder Miller and I go home. I am not sure if that is what will actually happen but that is what we were guessing will happen. So if that does happen there will be only 2 Elders and 2 Sisters here meaning that the military branches may officially lose missionaries for a bit. They still have the McPherrrons, the senior missionaries, so I think it will be okay. Also when I leave our mission will get a new mission president. President Morrise leaves before me so I will know the new mission President for about a week. President Morrise will still do my exit interview so I am stoked about that because it would be weird doing it with someone who doesn't even know me. I look forward to my last transfer and am going to leave it all on the field for sure. It is time to FINISH! I can't give up now. I am not just going to finish, I am going to finish STRONG! I look forward to a transfer full of proselyting and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have found so much happiness in teaching the gospel and will continue to do my best inviting others to come unto Christ! 

Elder Picard 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 98 May 16, 2016 "I have come to learn on my mission that the hard times are the best times."

  I know the Lord has a plan for each and every one of His children. What He has in store for us may not be what we expect but what we need. I know that to be true. We must trust in Him and not think we know what is best for ourselves because we don't. In those times we think things should be a different way, we miss so much. When we are focused on ourselves and the most ideal life situation with no problems or trials we miss all that we could learn in the hard times. I have come to learn on my mission that the hard times are the best times. I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father so much! I also know they love me because they have helped me grow so much these past 2 years. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true and although I take this badge off my chest in a little over a month and a half I will never stop being a missionary!! 

Elder Picard

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 97 May 9,2016 "We do not doubt our mothers knew it."

     I love my mom, she is great!! My parents are the best and they raised me so well. Even in times where I was a little rascal they still loved me. They always pushed me to become who they knew I could become. They loved me no matter what. This is the scripture I shared yesterday when I spoke in sacrament and it is the one I want to share today. It is Alma 56: 47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it. 

Elder Picard

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Week 96 May 2, 2016 "Lots of love, multiple cakes & most importantly an interview with President for my 21st birthday!"

My message this week is just this scripture which I read this morning in personal study. It is D&C 81: 5 Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees. I believe this scripture to be a big blessing. As we serve others I know the Lord will bless us and that we will find happiness. We have to make the choice and say "Yes, Lord, I will follow thee." The choice is ours and no one will choose for us. We have to take the first step. As we take that first step I know the Lord will help us take the following steps. 

Elder Picard

He had an awesome birthday! So many people showed him love, thanks from his momma in Utah!

We have been placing this special Barbie on birthday cakes for almost 20 years, a fun family tradition. We figured Barbie needed to travel and mailed her all the way to South Korea to celebrate with our missionary.  He is very good at taking good care of things, and I have every confidence in the world Barbie will be back July 12th to celebrate Dan's 54th birthday :)

Another awesome family taking good care of my boy.

Special permission to attend the wedding of someone he friendshipped in Seocho.

He was so worried about this picture he wrote me "Mom I had no idea I was standing this close to her, it looks like I may have my arm around her and I promise I don't." So funny he thought I would be worried, she is married DJ you're good.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 95 April 25, 2016 "Bummed about my cyst"

      This week was a party. You know why? It is because I got a cyst on my bum and had to go to the hospital. Yes I did get an ultrasound of my bum and then a shot to follow. They almost had to do surgery but lucky the inflammation settled down after a few days. I probably was blessed because I have so many people back home praying for me everyday. Thanks everyone. Elder Yates gave me a blessing because the cyst was pretty painful and I couldn't really sit down comfortably. I just hope my cyst doesn't get an attitude and inflame again because that was not fun. This past week overall was a pretty slow one. We didn't get too many lessons or meet many people. Hopefully this week comes around and we can find some Korean investigators! 

      The military branches had district conference in 영등포 and we watched it here at the Pyeongtaek ward building. One of Elder Whiting's counselors gave a really good talk. I can't remember his name but he is the one who is not Korean. He compared a testimony to a bike. There was a guy whose bike maybe wasn't in the best shape. The handlebars were a bit crooked and the seat wasn't right but he was still able to ride it and enjoy himself. It wasn't until the tire blew out that the fun was gone. He didn't want to go out of his way to change the tire so he just put the old bike in the garage. Sadly that is what some of us do with our testimonies. We must keep our testimonies in check and constantly working on them. There will never be a time where our testimony reaches its' peak, we must always have our testimonies under construction. I hope that made sense haha. Also we as members need to help those who may have their "bikes" broken in the garage by always having our tools sharp and ready to go. As I listened to that talk I received a thought that really hit me. Satan always wants to be a Wreck it Ralph and make people miserable. The Lord needs more of us to be like Fix it Felix! He needs us to help those who are in need of repair. Just like Elder Wong said a while back in one of his talks "As we help in the rescue of souls we too are saved in the process." I know this to be true and I myself am trying to be more like Fix it Felix!!

Elder Picard

My dream Happy Birthday car!!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 94 April 18, 2016 "I will just simply share my testimony"

     Well my first week of my 15th transfer was a good one. Kevin and Grace are on date for June 18th so that is pretty exciting. Kevin is straight up golden and so ready to enter the waters of baptism. Grace is a little more hesitant but she will for sure come around.  Zach Brown is doing well too. We taught him the Plan of Salvation this week and the lesson went super good. We have still been trying to figure out how to proselyte here because there is like nobody on the streets ever. Well there is one place that people always are but we don't want to go to the same place every single day to tract because that would get very boring. We are still trying to play basketball and soccer with kids and that is going well. We haven't been able to teach much but we are getting known and a lot of the students around here recognize me every time they see me so that's a good thing. I feel like a celebrity sometimes here, it is great. Like right after school this week I ran into some kid I have met before who was with a bunch of his friends and they all freaked out when they saw me. Plus right as that was happening a group of girls walked by and when they heard we speaking Korean they went crazy and started telling me I was so handsome. Yeah the struggle is real for sure ;) haha. 

      I will just simply share my testimony. I know Jesus Christ lives. I know we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. He wants us to be happy and will never leave us in times of trail. I know the footprints in the sand message that my Mom has hanging up at home in America is reality. In our hard times we look and don't see anyone walking next to us but what we don't do is look hard enough. He isn't walking next to you helping you along, instead He is carrying you. I know the Atonement is real and that it truly is infinite. I cannot fully understand the Atonement but I know it can make you clean just like it has cleansed me many times. We are so lucky to have a Savior that suffered beneath ALL things for us. We must repent or the Atonement is useless in our lives. I know that as I have repented in my life that I have seen a huge change and was always able to progress and live that much more happily!! 

Elder Picard

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 93 April 11, 2016 "Loved Conference, so blessed!"

     I hope you all had a great week because I sure did. I watched my last conference as a missionary here in Korea! I can't believe the time has flown by so fast and that next time I watch conference I will be in America. Who knows maybe I will have a girlfriend by then too ;) I will be staying in Pyeontaek until I go home and we will be getting sisters back this transfer. One of the sisters is Korean so it will be nice having a Korean missionary around. They are always great to have because they speak Korean so well. We will for sure be trying a lot of group proselyting activities now that we have a big district again. A missionary named Elder Miller who is in my group that came to Korea with me is transferring in to greenie break Elder Yates. I will miss having Elder Doyle around because he is a funny one. Next transfer will be my 15th and then I will only have one more left. I guess we will see if I get one more companion. I am hoping I get another companion because I want one more before I go home. 

       My message is simply that the Lord loves all of His children and I know that for sure. As I listened to Elder Holland's talk it opened my eyes on things I haven't either noticed or thought about for a long time. The Lord knows what we are going through and He will not get down on us if we fall. However, He for sure will be disappointed if we stop trying. God loves us and is proud when we keep trying each and everyday. We must live for tomorrow like Elder Holland said and not let failure get the best of us. I think that is what he was trying to say but if I didn't get the whole message my bad. 

Elder Picard
My little saver worked hard saving his msf and know can live like a king the last two transfers.

A little break between conference sessions, I believe he said this is the Ricks family.

Getting food ready for the Priesthood session.

All the brothers to enjoy the Priesthood session.

Priesthood session in the background. Love conference!!!

All the little guys.