Monday, August 25, 2014

1 more week in the CCM!

Hola Hola Hola!

Qué pasa calabaza? Learned that means "whats going on pumpkin?". It rhymes and I thought it was funny!

Our district got to walk down the street to a local mall this last pday to get anything we needed. Of course my companion and I loaded up on some food! I got shout, shampoo as well as some pencils to mark my scriptures. Felt good to walk around outside the CCM. We don't get out much other than pday and temple trips. Still, so grateful to be here in Guatemala!

President Cox got back and is doing well! He arrived last Thursday night to all of us waiting in el comedor to surprise him. He was surprised! It was his birthday last Saturday too so we got to surprise him again. The chef made him a GIGANTIC birthday cake that said "Happy Birthday President Cox!". To top it off, a mariachi band strolled in singing "Feliz Cumpleaños!" haha the look on President Cox's face was great!

We do A LOT of teaching in the CCM. We've been teaching Oscar for the past 2 weeks now. 3 days ago he committed to be baptized. We taught him for the last time yesterday. Sad to see him go! We've also been teaching Miguel. You should know Miguel's blind. At first it was hard to figure out how we would teach him. But with the Spirit we were able to give him a Book of Mormon in Brail and committed his kids to read and pray with him. He's always cracking blind jokes so it's pretty fun teaching him! We teach him for the last time to on Friday. Going to miss him!

One more week in the CCM (Missionary Training Center in Guatemala) ! I'm a little nervous but WAY more excited to get out in the field. The CCM's been awesome in preparing me. Everyday I learn something new whether it's something to do with Spanish, the culture, or with the gospel. Our district's gotten super close as well. But all of them are going to Xela (Quetzaltenango) so I'm sure I'll see them there.

Just want to share my testimony that I know this gospel is true. I know Jesus is the Christ and suffered for the sins of the world so we can return to live with our Heavenly Father one day. I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Keep pushing on! No matter how inadequate you may feel you can always  the Atonement.

Hope your all doing well!


Elder Hicken

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chipped Tooth!

Hola amigos!

Cómo le va? A lot has happened these last 2 weeks. Btw thanks everyone who wrote me letters before the mission and for letters you are sending me now. Means a lot!

We went to the market! All the elders piled in buses and drove through the city to get there. There were so many people! It made me want to be out in the field preaching the gospel. The market consisted of seemingly endless stores of hats, souvenirs, shirts, blankets, machetees and much more. Bought a small keychain of Guatemala's national bird, the Quetzal. My companion got a jersey of Guatemala's national soccer team. Going to the market pushed me to learn the language.

Aug 5, 2014: Elder Hohman y yo enfrente del mercado [in front of the market]

I chipped my tooth biting down hard on my fork. I guess it was bad enough that I had to go the dentist. I drove downtown again to have the dentist look at my tooth. Took just 5 mins to get it fixed. Felt bad cuz a lot of the other Natives with me had to get wisdom teeth pulled or major cleaning done.

New elders arrived! We got 6 new roommates, 4 natives and 2 from the States. Elder Pugmire from Minnesota arrived with the new elders too. It was awesome to see another Minnesotan here in Guatemala.

One night as we were preparing for bed, Elder Winward from our district tried to climb on top of my companions and I's bunk and broke off the guardrail. Oops! Another elder down the hall had a screwdriver and tried to fix it but ended up screwing in a screw in the wrong place and got it stuck. For the next 30 mins, the Natives in our room took turns trying to pull out the screw. After banging up the wood pretty bad, the Latinos got the screw out. The next day the janitor fixed it but it was a funny experience.

Another night, one of the Latinos in our room couldn't sleep and asked for a blessing. Together my companion and I and the other Latino companionship in our room gave him a blessing. He never had a problem sleeping the rest of his time in the CCM. The priesthood is real.

We watched a devotional given by Elder Bednard on Christmas that was SO powerful. He had the elders and sisters from many of the MTCs in the world send in questions that he would then answer on the stand. I would encourage everyone to look it up and watch it. One question that he answered that stuck out to me was "What is your favorite scripture and why?" He then went on to read 3 Nephi 11: 14-17 and pointed out "one by one". He said this phrase defines the Savior. Christ didn't teach to groups but rather to the individual. Perhaps he suffered the Atonement one by one for each of us. Elder Bednard said the phrase "one by one" is written 5 more times in the BOM. Try to find them!

Ahhhh theres so much more I wish I could say if I had time. I miss you all!

Elder Hicken

Monday, August 4, 2014

I'ts all Coming Together

Hola mis amigos!

I'm emailing today because all us 2 weeker missionaries will be going to old Guatemala tomorrow morning. So excited!

President Cox went back to the States this week for a surgery. He was doing P90X with some other missionaries then his left shoulder started to swell. Turns out he had some sort of blood clot near his heart. He'll be gone for a few weeks while he returns to the doctor for post surgery checkups. In the meantime, President Pitcher has become our new President. Funny connection: President Pitcher used to be my companions Stake President in Pleasant View, Utah before he and his wife's mission here in Guatemala.

All the 6 weeker missionaries and Native speakers enter the field tomorrow. It reminded me how much I'm going to miss the hot showers, clean water and good food of the CCM when I'm out in the field. It's been an adventure trying to talk to the Natives these last 2 weeks. Everyone in me and Elder Hohman's room are leaving. I'm going to miss them so much! A lot of missionaries have had rough times before coming on the mission. For example, Elder Perez, a missionary in my room, grew up in the church. However, he and his family fell away when he was 12. In the years that followed, Elder Perez got into all sorts of drinking and drugs. Looking back, he describes those years as "awful and dark". Just 10 months before coming on his mission, he prayed and wanted to change. He confessed his sins to the bishop and totally changed his life around. Now he heads out tomorrow to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Guatemala. What a turn around! The gospel works miracles in peoples' lives. Although I've never experienced a life changing experience like Elder Perez that I can share, I've been blessed with a life of less guilt, hiding from my parents, and more blessings from living the standards of the gospel.

We've been teaching Hermana Lopez (our "investigator") for the past week. In our last lesson with her, we taught her about the Doctrine of Christ and why she should be baptized. She said she would think about baptism and continue to read the Book of Mormon. The BOM is such a powerful tool in conversion. In my own life, it's answered questions that I've had, comforted me in times of hardship, and brought me closer to Jesus Christ. I know it's through this book that the investigators we teach can come unto Christ and His gospel.

Know that I'm doing well, working hard to learn the language and learning to listen to the Spirit as I read the scriptures everyday. Adios!

Elder Hicken