Monday, January 26, 2015

Collecting the Lost Sheep

Hola amigos y familiares! 

Dad´s off to his Angel Meeting again? Those were some of my favorite memories, going to a few of those meetings together. I´m so happy Jonathan is working hard with basketball and it´s paying off. I hope he ends up joining this special travel team. Sounds like dad is doing an awesome job helping with Journey for Joseph! How is Jonathan liking it?

This week has been somewhat of a difficult one health wise. I came down with some sort of cold towards the beginning of the week and it still hasn´t gone away. It just happened to be the week the Assistants went on divisions with the zone leaders as well. During district meeting I was struggling to talk and coughing a lot, but Heavenly Father blessed me. A little cold never stopped me! I’ll be fine mom.

We´ve been trying to track down references and names in the area book. President Smith has received an inspired idea to double and triple results. It requires asking for references from members, less-actives, and recent convert families. We are to ask them which families they know that don´t know God, and then to write down their names. Each family member takes a copy of the collective list of names in hand, then we pray, together and individually, inviting the Spirit. Once done, we circle which names we feel are ready to hear the gospel now and compare the lists. It has happened a couple times where everyone has one or two similar names that are circled. The spirit is so strong when that happens. And so that´s where we start. We then make plans and set up activities to fellowship the future investigator families. 

It´s been helping us branch out as well. My comp. and I have found names not in central Santa Cruz. We are beginning to find people prepared on the outskirts of the city and beyond, another indicator to me that the work is expanding.

My companion and I have met with a lot of less active members and recent converts this week, collecting the lost sheep. We’ve seen so many miracles. For example, we found Oscar Chavez as a less active member on a list. We asked around and found out he worked in the market selling corte. We went and checked it out. When we stopped by his wife was the only one working at the time. We got their phone number and address and she said we could stop by later that week. No one was home on Tuesday, but being persistent we stopped back again the next day. They were there and invited us in! We got to know the whole family! They are so neat. Oscar and his wife have 4 kids, two of whom were baptized just last year. We got to meet Oscar´s mom who is also living with him. We planned a family home evening before leaving and promised to help Oscar´s mom dehusk corn later that week. We ended up doing all of that and invited them to church. They didn´t come but my comp. and I are determined to keep working with this family. 

I´m so grateful for this gospel and for all the blessings it has brought in my life as well as the lives of those my comp. and I are teaching. The work moves forward! The gospel is true.

Love, Elder Hicken

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