Monday, May 11, 2015

One standard, one message, one mission!

Hola amigos y familiares!

Got a chance to talk to the fam on mother’s day. It was so great to Skype with them! I love our family.

 Skyping on the Big Screen for Mother's Day

From Susan about Skyping:
Our conversation with Elder Nathan in Guatemala was awesome!  Joseph Face Timed in, while Shaun, Jonathan, and I skyped.  (see photo attached)  It was so good to see Nath and hear his voice!   Hard to sum it up—he shared some really neat stories that have strengthened his faith. (and now ours)  Two in particular about tithing.

•          There was a lady who owned a restaurant.  She was trying to decide if she should buy a stove or pay her tithing.  She really needed a stove but she decided to pay her tithing.  A few days later one of the customers finished eating and then came up and said to her, “I feel like I should give you a stove.”  She did!  The restaurant owner went to this customer’s house and got a stove.  Wow!
•          Then, there was this poor farmer.  After paying his tithing he bought a cheaper seed than his neighbor and went ahead and planted.  It didn’t rain very much.  Yet, somehow the farmer had a great crop, while his neighbor did not.  The farmer knew he had been blessed for paying his tithing. So neat!
Nathan talked about realizing that the Lord pours out blessings even with a small effort!  It has made him want to give even more effort.  Love that boy..
Let’s see, a few other “housekeeping” type things we learned from Nathan:
1.       Nath is in a very wealthy area with plenty of food.  Everyone feeds him all the time. There are tons of stores with almost everything we have here in the states.
2.       His Spanish is amazing.  Native companions really help with that.
3.       It was cute--he couldn’t remember certain words in English—like “teenager”
4.       Natives don’t like to exercise or work out at all.  No more morning runs.  But he is doing lots of walking—on dirt roads and up steep hills. 
5.       Basketball P-days are awesome, even though Natives don’t really know how to play.  Nath likes being the tallest!
6.       He LOVES his mission president, who follows the Lord through the spirit, and really sets high goals for the mission.  President Smith has helped the missionaries see that now is the time for the work in Guatemala to grow!   President Smith is strict and organized and Nathan loves it!
7.       There are 4 sister missionaries in his District right now.  Nath isn’t quite sure what to do with struggling sisters.  But Joseph gave some great advice… So glad he could be on the call with us.
8.       Yikes—a little scary.  When I asked if Nath felt safe he said he’d share those stories for after the mission.  I told him that we pray for his safety every day.  Nath said he knows the Lord blesses and protects the missionaries.  I guess they’ve been in some sketchy situations and they’ve felt the Lord helping them get home safely..
9.       Nath skyped from his Bishop’s house, and the Bishop and his wife LOVE Elder Hicken!  They said he is a hard worker.  Shaun was able to speak Spanish to them-which was neat.
10.      Guess what?  Nathan is done with fans!  Shockingly he no longer sleeps with a fan!  Guess it’s actually quite chilly there.  (not that MN was balmy—ahem!)
It was sooo…wonderful to talk to Nathan.
 My companion is going this change, meaning tomorrow. He has been an awesome comp. We found this groove that worked really well. Gonna miss all the joking around. You can have fun and still obey the mission rules -  haha - He says he’s going to Momostenango but I think he´s going to Totonikapan. We´ll see what goes down. Sad to see him go but pumped for what this new change will bring.

We haven´t been able to meet with Andres. He went out of town with his aunt to Guatemala City, the capital. But we´re going to have the Zone leaders interview him this week, one week before his baptism. I think it´ll help him a lot.

We’ve worked really hard this week. We did A LOT of contacting. It was helpful because we literally did a loop of our entire area, some parts in which I´d never gone before. We found two new positive investigators. They both excepted baptismal dates! The Lord has blessed us so much as we´ve done our very best.

President Smith is amazing. He had all the district leaders come together for a meeting last Wednesday that really pumped me up. It was very helpful. He talked about many things. Just to mention a few; what we have done in the past has been good but we can do better-one standard, one message, one mission! He told us to look at missionaries as to what they can become- a good leader, etc. Our greatest example is our Savior Jesus Christ. Now is the time to keep the rhythm of the Lord and reach the mission standard. Great stuff.

Anyways time to go! I think my companion wants to go say goodbye to a few families.

I know this work is true. All the best!

Love, Elder Hicken

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