Monday, September 29, 2014

Hola Hola Hola!

           Another great week! To get to the multi-zone conference this week in Wayway (about 2 hours away), we went to the terminal to catch a bus. 

The Terminal

          As we were waiting for the bus, drivers heading to different cities would come up to us and try to convince us to go with them to wherever they were going. I’m like, "Your right! Even though I'm supposed to go to Wayway, I think I'll just go to Xela instead." I thought that was funny.

        The multi-zone conference was awesome. Because it was in Wayway, all the missionaries in our district came to our area and stayed the night. Half stayed in the zone leaders apartment and the other half with Elder Golledge and I. Super fun! We woke up early to catch a bus to Wayway. We got to see a lot of missionaries from my district in the CCM. The conference started at 9:30 and lasted until 3 in the afternoon. During that time President Smith set a standard of excellence for the entire mission- 1 new investigator everyday, 10 progressing always, 6 attending church every week, 4 baptismal dates always which should lead to at least 2 baptisms a month. He also spoke of a few changes. It was announced that lesson 5 of PME would be taught both BEFORE and after baptism. Also, we need to help people know and fulfill the baptismal requirements described in DyC 20:37. The basic message was "Baptisms are great but means nothing if they don't stay in the church.'' The goal should not be baptism, but the temple. We’re going to do that better. The assistants focused on ''How to find investigators?" TALK TO EVERYONE! Often times we miss crucial opportunities to talk to people in our everyday activities. We don't need to be afraid to share the gospel of Jesus Christ!  It’s true.
Our Zone:  
 Nathan in the back right

Nathan in the front, 4th from the left

            Elder Golledge and I recently came across Juana, Mateo and their 3 kids. They're Catholic but love having us come over. They're always smiling! We see them practically everyday. We've shared the message of the Restoration and have given them a Book of Mormon. When we came back, they had read the chapter we gave them and gave a perfect summary. We are going back this Wednesday for an official visit. I’m excited. We also planned a time when Elder Golledge and I will cook an American dish for them. My cooking isn't the best. Neither is Elder Golledge's. Can't wait!

Juana (un investigador) y yo

            We  met with Jesus and Abraham this last week to prepare them to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. They were so ready! They understood what the priesthood is, why it's important and necessary and they were excited to learn more. During priesthood at church, they received the Aaronic Priesthood. We plan to continue meeting with them and teach them about the temple. They are so awesome!

Hope all is well! Muchas gracias for the e-mails and letters. Means a lot! Nos vemos!

Elder Hicken

 Volunteer Firefighters of Quiche!

Somos Bomeros!
We're Firefighters!

 Un insecto grande

Monday, September 22, 2014

Jesus and Abraham's Baptism!

Mi español está mejorando cada día! [My spanish is getting better every day!] ''japín'' is slang for Guatemalan, kind of like "gringo'' is for american.

For pday today, we played fútbol with all the other elders. Couldn’t believe I hit Elder Golledge in the face! I felt so bad. Elder Pinchi, one of the Latino Elders, couldn't stop laughing. Pdays are always great cuz we get to the see the other elders in our area.
Fútbol  [Soccer]
Both Jesus and Abraham were baptized last Saturday, 20th of September, 2014!
Jesus and Abraham, Elder Hicken and Elder Golledge
We prepared all day to get the church clean, buy food and ensure people would come. There ended up being a lot of people that came to the baptismal service. 30 minutes after the baptismal service was supposed to start, Jesus and Abraham still weren't at the church. That's Guatemala for you! We had to run to their house and get them. The baptismal pants were HUGE on them. They just laughed it off and rolled up the pant legs. At the end of the service, both Jesus and Abraham bore their testimonies that they know this gospel is true and how they feel really blessed that they found the true church. It was so powerful! There are people prepared and looking for the gospel. Its our job to listen to the Spirit and find them.
Sorry that’s all the time I have today! Sent a ton of pictures which took up a lot of the time. Love you all! Thanks for the letters, cards and care package. The gospel is true!
Elder Hicken

Monday, September 15, 2014

Independence Day in Guatemala

Hola hola hola!

Earlier this week I said ''Que chevre!'' thinking it meant ''How cool!''. Turns out in this part of Latin America, chevre means ''hot dog''. Guess I said "How hot dog!'' Definitely knew I said something wrong by the look on their face. They were nice about it though. One day I'll get this language!

        It was an awesome week. So much happened! Today is Independence day here in Guatemala! Its been pretty crazy.

        People run in groups through the streets waving flags, blowing whistles, ringing bells, carrying torches and throwing water. Almost got nailed! Throughout the week, banners and flags have been put up around la parque central and la governencia. Today there was a huge parade with soldiers, marching bands and muchas personas waving flags. It seems every 1 minute there's a firecracker or some kind of firework going off. What a fiesta!
  Enfrente la gobernante [in front of the government building]

 Día de Independencia [Independence Day]

Elder Golledge, Hohman, Galbraith, Jerez, Pinchi and I got to visit the ruins here in Quiche. Que pilas! It was amazing to see the remains of the people that used to live here in the Americas, the ''history'' of the people we get to share with the people here in Guatemala. I know the Book of Mormon is true.

Sept 15, 2014:  A Trip to the Ruins of  Q'um'arkaj

Sept 15, 2014: Una planta grande!
[Nathan standing by a giant plant]

 Las ruinas

 Elder Hohman y yo a las ruinas

 Elder Hohman, Elder Gailbraith y yo sobre una colina [on a hill]

Todos los elderes enfrente de una caverna
[All the elders in front of a cave]

 Una fantasma
[I'm a ghost]

Remember Jesus and Abraham?? They're two investigators progressing super fast. Last P-day, we had a lesson with them where we talked about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, the importance of the sacrament and baptism/confirmation. We asked if they would be baptized and they said they would! Their baptism is this Saturday, September 20th and their confirmation the day after. Elder Golledge and I plan to visit them everyday this week to answer any questions, serve them, put away any doubts they have and be a friend. I know this gospel will bless their lives so much!

Remember Carlos as well?? We met him last week as he was bringing in groceries to his house. We offered to help and told him about the message we carried of the Restoration of the gospel. He didn't have time then but said he wanted us to come back later that week. Anyways, this week we stopped by his house and he wasn't home but his wife was. Her name is Carmen. She invited us in and told us she wanted to hear what her husband was so anxious to here from us. We only gave a short intro to the Plan of Salvation then a pamphlet, but we stopped by later and both Carlos and Carmen were there. They invited us in and we taught them the entire Plan of Salvation. They really liked what we had to say and together we set up an appointment for next week. I know it's the Spirit that testifies to those we teach that the message we carry is true (2 Nephi 33:1). Truly a miracle!

Anyways gotta go! Miss you all! This is the Lords work!

Nos vemos!

Elder Hicken

Monday, September 8, 2014

Elder Nathan in Quetzaltenango (Xela)

Hola cada uno! [Hello to each one of you!]

Que calidad! Its a phrase they say a lot here which roughly means AWESOME or COOL.

Last Tuesday I left the CCM and drove four hours to Xela!

We had an overview of the mission from the President and the assistants. During that time President Smith interviewed everyone for about 2 minutes. Once he'd interviewed everyone, he announced where everyone was going. I got called to Santa Cruz in Quiche, Quiche.

El Quiche, Guatemala

My companion is Elder Golledge. He's from San Diego, California. He's been great! He's been out ten months so he knows a lot. Funny companion from the CCM, Elder Hohman, got called to the same district too! So excited I'll be seeing him more!

Mi nuevo compañero, Elder Golledge [my new companion]

Sept 2, 2014: Elder Hohman y yo estamos iendo al campo [in the mission field]

To get to Santa Cruz, my companion and I went to the terminal. It was crazy! There were buses and people everywhere! We ended up on the same bus as Elder Galbraith and Elder Hohman who are companions. We weren't going to make it to Santa Cruz in time so we slept at their apartment that first night.

The countryside is so beautiful. It's very green and there are mountains and volcanoes everywhere. It rains a lot on and off. 

Mucha lluvia  [A lot of rain]

Mucho lodo  [A lot of mud]

There are Tuks Tuks everywhere in the city, which is like a motorcycle taxi. There's also microbuses and chicken buses if you want to get to farther places. There is a huge plaza (la parque central) in the center of Santa Cruz. There's always a ton of people there.

Our apartment is really nice. I feel so blessed. It has a bathroom, study room, sleeping area and separate kitchen. We also get the roof all to ourselves! The view is amazing! Hermana Marisol (a member) rents the apartment to us. She owns a photography shop and lives on the first floor. She's super nice! She always invites us over to talk or for food. She lives with her daughter and her mother. It's been great getting to know them.

 Mi lugar favorita cada noche
[My favorite place every night]

 La lavandería sobre el techo
[Our laundromat on the roof]

[How WILL those white shirts stay clean??]

The culture is very different. A lot more chaotic -- haha -- but I love the people here. Everyone is open to hear about God. We opened our area so we've been doing A LOT of contacting. We like to contact in la parque central because there's always a lot of people there. We've done a lot of door knocking too.

One night, it was around 8:30 and we were knocking doors. We knocked on the last door of this street. A man opened the door and after talking to him for a while he invited us in. We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and bearing our testimonies that we know Joseph Smith is a prophet. We haven't been able to meet with him since but I hope he reads the Book of Mormon and comes to know it's true.

Another time, we were walking down the street in the middle of the day and saw a man opening his door with groceries. We quickly offered to help and started to talk with him about the gospel. His name is Carlos. We gave him a pamphlet of the Restoration. The next day we stopped by to see if we could teach him more about the Restoration but he was sick. He did tell us he wanted us to keep coming back because he wants to hear our message. We hope through the Spirit we can help him know of the truthfulness of the gospel.

We do have two investigators, Jesus and Abraham. Jesus is Abraham's dad. They've gone to church these past few weeks and have progressed a lot. We taught them a lesson on the Restoration last Friday. The Spirit was so strong! We challenged them to be baptized. They said they would pray to know if they should. We are teaching them later today so I can't wait to hear what they have to say. I know it's through prayer that we can receive revelation.

Gotta go! Thank you for all the letters at the CCM.  I miss you all!