Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week 83 February 1, 2016 "Let's go out there and be missionaries in all that we do!"

   Today is February 1, where did January go? Time just gets faster and faster as I move toward the end of my mission. I keep saying this same thing a lot but man is it true. If you were to compare my mission to my junior and senior year of high school there would be a huge difference in feeling of time. I look back and feel like high school took forever to go through but now I look back on my mission and it feels like I started just yesterday. We had an incredible week over here in Pyeongtaek. We have two Nigerian investigators now and one of them has already agreed to get baptized like I said last week and the other is one of the most God loving people I have ever met. Their names are Simon and Abby. Abby is 26 and we still haven't got to teach her with her husband because he works all the time. Foreigners that work in factories here in Korea get worked like slaves so they literally work all of the time. On the bright side they make pretty good money because they are like the only ones that will do the heavy labor. Koreans are hard workers dont get me wrong but the rich ones are lazy and just hire foreigners to work for them. Abby went to the Humphrey's ward yesterday and since we went to the Osan ward with Simon we didn't get to see her but at least she came to church. We played basketball Saturday with the ward and it was super fun. We invited a Filipino kid we met on the bus and he brought his friend with him. It looks like we will be able to pick him up as an investigator so woo hoo!! We are doing super good and seeing lots of miracles over here so don't worry about me I am doing great and happy as ever. 

     I came across this scripture today during personal study and wanted to share it with you all. 
36 And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.
37 And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace;they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.
Just a little back story of why I shared this scripture. This is after the sons of Mosiah turn to righteousness and we see that since they changed their lives they were blessed and they helped so many people. We as members need to be member missionary and help in bringing all of our non member friends to the truth and to the knowledge of their Redeemer. I can't think of any better motivation than reading and pondering the blessings spoken of that the sons of Mosiah received for being such good missionaries. Let's go out there and be missionaries in all that we do!

Elder Picard

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week 82 January 25, 2016 "I am now in Pyeongtaek"

     I am now in Pyeongtaek. Goodbye Seoul, hello not city! Seocho was super good and I had a really good time in Seoul but Pyeongtaek isn't as bad as I thought it would be. My new companion's name is Elder Andersen and he is from Utah of course. We have so many missionaries in our mission from Utah. So our mission totally fulfills the stereotype that all Mormons are from Utah. It was hard to leave Seocho and my 2 awesome recent converts but we have witnessed a lot of miracles here in Pyeongtaek this past week. They changed a few things up so we will be working with the Korean ward now here in Pyeongtaek. Since we are in Korea and speak Korean President Morrise after receiving counsel from the Area Presidency pretty much closed down the English area. We will still work with the military branches if they have work for us like if investigators are there. We only get like 2 days a week to work with the American or English speakers then all the other days will be spent trying to find youth Korean investigators. The church in Korea really needs youth so we are going to make finding youth one of our big focuses. On Sunday, we went to both the military branch and the Korean ward and man was that a lot of church. We met someone named Simon this week from Nigerian and taught him. He is so solid and accepted a soft baptismal commitment. So yeah this past week was one miracle filled week. 

     I was reading back in my journal from last year and I wanted to share something I wrote in it. I was serving in Gangnam at the time and not too much was happening so it was kind of a tough time. I wrote about faith and compared faith to being a game. If you think about a mission or life period is a big game of faith. Of course having cheat codes in this game would be nice but God doesn't make it that easy on us. Also if you think about it we kind of do have a cheat code or a help through the hard times. That help is Jesus Christ and He will always be there. We do of course have to be diligent, faithful, obedient, etc. to receive this blessing but it is available for all of us. We all can master this game of faith and power up to new levels each and every day!!!

Elder Picard

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 81 January 18, 2016 Well this will be a short one... sorry :(

     I don't have too much time today so this will be a really short email. I am leaving Seocho and transferring to Pyeongtaek! I will be serving in the 2 English branches down in Osan and Camp Humphreys. I was kind of bummed to find out I will be finishing my mission speaking English but if that is what the Lord wants me to do I guess I gotta do it. I mean now I can proselyte to all the black people down on the base and since I love African Americans I am pretty excited about that. I mean how cool would that be to say I baptized an African American on my mission in Korea!? President did say they may change a few things and we may help with the Korean ward too down in Pyeongtaek. Since this is Korea and all the Area President wants us to teach as many Koreans as possible so I think we will still proselyte to Koreans sometimes so that is good. I don't want all of my hard work in learning Korean to go to waste so I gotta keep it up. Which means more SYL with my comp and a never ending effort to master Korean before I go home. I will be going cosenior again with someone from my group I was with in the MTC. I will probably only get to serve with a young missionary for my last two transfers but I guess it is whatever. I mean as long as I do my best and work my very hardest that is really all I can do huh? When I started my mission I thought being DL, ZL, or AP made you better than everyone else but I have realized that it doesn't. We are all doing the same work and can all be leaders in our own way. Like we can serve our comps or those around us to make sure they are always happy and succeed. I have really been trying to do that these days like forget myself and serve others more. Doing this will help me more easily give up my will to God and accept His.  

      The message I want to share this week is one I shared a few times with members this week when we met them. The scripture is Joshua 1:9 and I really like it. We honestly do always have to be strong and of good courage because when we are not Satan can tempt us easier. Also when we are strong and courageous we can progress better and the Lord promises to always be with us. So that blessing in a way should persuade us to be not afraid and have courage. There are a lot of people here in Seocho who want to meet me before I leave. It is Pday but we have appointments like all day long haha. I love you all and appreciate all the support. I got Sara's package and the PJ's thanks a bunch!! Also tell the ward thanks for sending me a Christmas package too :) 

Elder Picard

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 80 January 11, 2016 "Well folks my Mom is 50!"

     Well folks my Mom is 50! She may be getting old but she sure doesn't look old. My parents are just too beautiful to look old. I can't believe Elizabeth turns 13 in a little over a month, that is crazy!! I still remember when she was the cutest little baby sister, why do they have to grow up? :( She is still the cutest and best baby sister though. It sounds like you all had a wonderful Christmas season and I was glad to hear that. My last Christmas season as a missionary was also amazing!! Seocho ward is the best and I don't want to leave. We get transfer calls this week and since I have been here for 4 transfers already and only have 4 transfers remaining I think I will be off to my last area. I would love to stay in Seocho for the rest of my mission or at least 2 more but that most likely won't happen :( Seocho ward has spoiled me so much and I ate like a king here. I didn't just eat like a king but also learned a lot from serving in this ward. Seocho ward is full of supermembers that love the gospel so much and are always willing to help us missionaries out. It is such a blessing when members help us out because us foreigners can only teach so well in Korean. Plus this is the first ward I got a baptism in. Out of the 4 transfers I have been here we had 3 baptisms so that was pretty sweet. We have a few guys that are retired that always come to the call even if we call last minute needing help teaching someone. Missionary work progressing okay with just missionaries but with members helping that is when the work flourishes and hastens the most. I cant wait to get home and be a member missionary. Come to find out being a member missionary isn't as hard as I thought. I of course will finish off strong and work my butt off in Korea but I can't wait to go home and help my friends come to know about this gospel and more importantly come to know Jesus Christ and His importance in our lives. 

      God truly is good. I have realized this on my mission more than ever in my lifetime. I know He is always there and will help us all the time. "When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is remember the teacher is always quiet during the test." I came across this quote and was like "Wow that's deep" but man is it true. God is our Mighty Teacher and He knows what we can handle. Even if our mortal human minds can't grasp everything He can. So for that reason we have no need to worry. I love my Heavenly Father and am grateful for all of the hard times. I for sure am not too grateful for them during them but after I always realize how loved and blessed I am. 

Elder Picard

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week 79 January 4, 2016 "It is 2016!"

     It is 2016!!!! I go home this year... I never thought this year would come but hey it is here haha. This past year was full of a lot of ups and downs but I think I learned more this past year than I have in my whole life. The mission just teaches you so much, it is great!! It is kind of hard to believe that for this whole past year all I did was missionary work. It makes me tired just thinking about it haha but not everyone gets this much time to do missionary work all day every day so I consider myself pretty lucky. It is Mom's birthday this week so I just wanted to give a shout out to her! My parents are so old these days haha. They may both be around half a century old but they are healthy and most definitely dont look that old ;) I keep hearing stuff about America and am scared to go home because I dont want Clinton or Trump to be President haha. I honestly think Dad would do a better job leading America than those two crazy pants. What do you say Dad? The first Native American President? My New Years was good and was filled with a lot of good missionary work. On New Years Eve we did stickerboarding on Gangnam Daero and talked with a ton of people and a lot of them were foreigners. Since my bed time is at 10:30pm I woke up the next morning and didn't realize it was 2016 for a few hours.

     My message I wanna share this week is pretty awesome I will say. My mom sent me a bunch of quotes in my Christmas package and I read one this past week that knocked my socks off! I read it and immediately was like "that's a super good one!" It hit me deep down and I want to share the quote with you all. I dont know who wrote it but it goes a little something like this, "When you feel like you're drowning in life, don't worry- your lifeguard walks on water!" After reading this it made me remember how truly helpful, loving, and powerful our Savior is. I know we have a superhero on our side and His name is Jesus Christ, He is the only Begotten of the Father, and He will never forsake us.   

Happy New Year!!!!
새해복 많이 받으세요!

Elder Picard