Monday, June 29, 2015

Changes were great! Caribaldi

Changes were great! Turns out I ended up crossing the street to get to my new area. haha It´s called Garibaldi. I´ll still be attending the same church building just with a different ward haha and I´m with the best comp. evah. His name is Elder Doty. He´s from Sandy, Utah, He is a super fun guy, always joking but really focused on why he´s out here. Mom, you asked about his family-He has 2 younger sisters and is really into skiing.

It´s been a week full of new faces. I´ve already gotten to know a lot of the members and all of our investigators. With the changes, Elder Doty and I ended up taking all the old and current investigators of Elder Sanchez. (the old Zone Leader)  Elder Doty´s trainee is working with the stuff he already knows. It’s great. Hope that all made sense!

Want to tell you about Familia Monteroso. They are really special. The four kids were baptized as of 2 weeks ago. We are now teaching the mom and dad. The mom has come to church nearly every Sunday, whereas the dad just once. We´re definitely excited about the potential there.

More to come on what´s happening in Guatemala area Garibaldi!

And just something that has been on my mind-one of the great blessings we have each week is the opportunity to partake of the Sacrament. It is a really special time to think of the Savior, His life, His love, His sacrifice, His example, etc. We are given the promise that if we remember Him always, we will have His Spirit to be with us. Just thinking of Him allows us to be guided constantly and become even as He is. Like it says in Doctrine and Covenants 6:36-37,
Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.  Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit thekingdom of heaven. Amen.

I know that Christ lives. I know that as we remember Him and follow His example we will be guided and blessed.

Have a great week!

Elder Hicken

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What makes the Book of Mormon important to you?


So this is good-bye to the area las Américas. I´ll be heading out tomorrow. President Smith mentioned that I´ll be serving as a zone leader. I’m very humbled. Also, that kinda limits the options of where I´ll be able to go, but wherever will be great! 

Goodbyes to Familias Signor, Ixcot, and Rodriguez

Us missionaries with the Ward Mission Leader

For the first time, I got to see German with his family at church on Sunday! Elder Salazar and I have really tried to help him over the past month and a half. He is the father and husband of an all member family who just became less active. Before Sunday, he hadn´t gone to church for 2 years. It was truly a miracle that he came. And the best part,  he really liked it! He already knew a lot of the members and stayed for all of church. The members were great as well, talking, smiling, showing him around. That is so helpful when members make a point to talk to those we invite to church.

Fernanda is a friend of Mike, who is a less active in the ward. She has a real interest to learn if the church is true but she has been really busy with school and work. We had asked her to read the Book of Mormon last week but she didn’t have time. We invited her and Mike to come to a family home evening in the house of a member Sunday. They both came! We talked about the Book of Mormon and the role it plays in our conversion. Every person bore their testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Spirit was super strong. It was awesome. I love the Book of Mormon! What makes the Book of Mormon important to you? Do you feel the need to read it everyday? When you read it, is it a drag or is it a delight? Do you feel the Spirit as you read? Do you begin and end your study with a prayer?

Maria has been a new investigator as of last week. We had given her a Book of Mormon in quiché and a hymn book as well. She really likes the hymns. We end up singing at least two hymns every time we go. She had read a little and was excited to learn more. Unfortunately, she had to go back to the village where she´s from because her mom got sick. She supposed to be back by the end of the week. We´ll see what happens.

Father´s Day here is always on a Wednesday. To celebrate it with all the fathers of the ward, the sisters prepared an activity for Friday. There were games, food, performances, etc. It was fun. 

The best part was that we were able to bring Cerjio and his dad German. They both know how to play the guitar really well so they played a bunch of songs by Carlos Santana. I had the honor of accompanying them on the tambourines! We got to see a lot of familiar faces and meet a lot of new ones as well. All and all a great activity!
Cerijo and German at the Father's Day activity

We are all servants of the Lord in His great work. We all have a role to play in nourishing and strengthening our little part of the Lord´s vineyard. The olive tree is commonly used in many parables and allegories throughout the scriptures. Why is that? Maybe because it will begin to decay if not taken care of (hope I said that right in English). If we don´t magnify our duties in which we are called, the olive tree begins to wither away and perhaps grow wild fruit. May we all do our best to learn our responsibilities, wherever we are serving, and do all we can to fulfill them.

Making Pupusas

 Ran into Elder Pugmire! GO MN!!!

I love this gospel! I know it is true. Have a great week!

Elder Hicken

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Read the Book of Mormon

Hola amigos y familiares!

Hey Jonathan, way to go bud! From now on referring to you as All Star. Nice plants mom.

So Maria went to church this week! Exciting! We had given her a book of Mormon in the Quiche language. (Seriously, still super impressed that she can read in Quiche.) When we stopped by after church, we continued to read the Book of Mormon together. (a verse in Quiche and then in Spanish so we could all understand.) She told us that she really liked our church, especially the hymns. So, we plan to give her a hymn book and continue to invite her to read, pray and come to church. The gospel is awesome.

Funny story-While we were there, we helped Otto, the head of the house, put on some sort of cream on his windshield so headlights at night wouldn´t reflect. Weird. I don´t think it worked but we´ll see what happens!

So, Fernanda has been looking really positive. She has struggled with reading the Book of Mormon but we talked to her about it on Saturday to help encourage to read it. She said she would. Unfortunately, the next day, right before we had a family home evening planned, she got super sick with a migraine. Mike rushed her to the hospital where they injected her a few times. We passed by late that night and were able to give her a blessing. There is power in the Priesthood. She said she felt better and again was willing to read the Book of Mormon. We know it can bring her peace.

German has been progressing as well. When we had lunch with him and his family this past Saturday, chapin (the dog out front) tried to eat my comp. and me. I forgot to mention that last week this dog chewed up the umbrella I was using for protection. So anyways this past Saturday we were determined to make a stand. But as usual we got scared and ended up calling German to come outside and calm the dog. He has questions about the Book of Mormon and is reading it but not consistently. We want to help him read it every day.

Consistent work ethic is so important in all aspects of life. It is our choice to be diligent and work hard. It´s an opportunity to stretch ourselves and grow stronger.

 26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things, for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

 27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

 28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.
Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-28
I know when we consistently work hard we become better. And the spirit is strong when we consistently read the Book of Mormon.

Anyway, this week I was able to try pupusas, a special dish from El Salvador. My comp. has always told me how good they are and boy was he right. Definitely recommend them!

 A Noah's Ark making activity

On the Roof hangin' with the sun

Have a great week!

Elder Hicken

Monday, June 8, 2015

My Comp Celebrated 4 Months on the mission!

Sounds like you guys had a great tirp. It brought back some good memories seeing the pics of the Great Canyon and more. Mucho respect Jonathan for cliff jumping! Glad you could see Joseph in Provo.

Gotta tell you about Hna. Fabiola Signor.  She wanted to start a food chain selling coffee, but when she was baptized she was challenged to not work on Sunday nor sell coffee. She decided to take the challenge from her bishop. Awesome. But her company tanked. Bummer. However, when she was in the U.S. for a while she learned how to make crepes. So she has started a little business with her husband selling crepes out of the back of their van. It’s going well. When we went to eat crepes, she pulls out this legit crepe maker and whips us up some delicious strawberry Nutella crepes. Cool that she has found a way to keep her covenants. And the amazing part is that she introduced us to her new friend, Maria, working to help take care of her kids. We were able to stop by with a Book of Mormon and she was able to read it. Can’t wait to teach Maria more.

Fabiola, the crepe lady

Nutella Strawberry crepes. Yum!

My comp celebrated 4 months in the mission. Fun to serve him. Made him pancakes. Service really brings you closer to people.

Today for P-day we all went to the chapel to play some games. First we played Jenga but it was Jenga UNO style. I think it’s called UNO staco. Then we ended up playing soccer for a good while. It was a blast. We gringos sure get schooled when it comes to soccer. We ended by ordering pizza and watching Meet the Mormons. The mom of a sister missionary in the district had sent her the movie. It was so cool to watch the whole thing! I´d only seen parts before. Great movie.

Update about Mike’s friend, Fernanda. We invited her to the baptism of Sara, David and Marisela on Saturday. She came with Mike! Awesome. It was great to see both of them there. We were able to meet with her again the next day and got to show her the video of the Restoration. She had a few questions but was satisfied with our answers and was willing to keep reading to find out for herself. That is so great when people seek answers from God for themselves.

and Me and a squirrel

I was reading President Eyring´s talked entitled, “Is Not This the Fast That I Have Chosen?”  He begins by reading Mathew 25:34-40 and then continues,

¨You and I want that warm welcome from the Savior. But how can we deserve it? There are more hungry, homeless, and lonely children of Heavenly Father than we can possibly reach. And the numbers grow ever farther from our reach.

So the Lord has given us something that we each can do. It is a commandment so simple that a child can understand it. It is a commandment with a wonderful promise for those in need and for us.

It is the law of the fast.¨

I know that fasting and donating fast offerings brings many blessings towards those who keep it fully. When I was younger, it was not an easy thing to fast, nor would I say it is now. However, I know the Lord keeps his promises, which promise is to give spiritual revelation and power to withstand the temptations of the adversary. I´m so grateful for living day prophets who guide this church and invite all the world to be partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Savior, our advocate, our redeemer. I love Him.

Have a great week!

Elder Hicken

Monday, June 1, 2015

Keep the Sabbath Day Holy

Hola amigos y familiares!

So it´s off to the Grand Canyon. Have fun. Neat that Johnny went to the temple. Way to go mom for sharing a Book of Mormon. I was thinking the other day how great it would be if every member were to give a Book of Mormon to someone not of our faith. I think Jonathan gets taller every week. haha

We got to go on divisions with President Smith this week! It was awesome. We met up at the temple at 4:40 PM. As we got in the car we started with a prayer. Our first appointment was with the mom and son that we´ve been teaching. It went well. After that we went to visit Germán, the father investigator of a member family who we´ve been teaching. He had a few questions about the law of tithing. I felt so blessed to have President there. It was amazing to see the President´s use of the scriptures. I came to realize that he only referred to scriptures in the Book of Mormon. Later he taught us that our investigators shouldn´t get baptized unless they receive an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, no matter how many times they have attended church or received the lessons. He also encouraged us to pass by our investigators houses every day. If that wasn´t possible then to send a text message or give them a call. Such great advice.

Turns out the Temple is closed Sundays and Mondays so we weren´t able to take the mom and son on a tour of the temple. Too bad. It’s o.k. though. We talked about the temple.

When Sunday came around, we had a miracle! We had planned to pass by our investigators to bring them to church. It so happens a less active down the street, Mike Merida, wanted to help and so he offered to take us around in his van. So nice. The sad part was that ALL our investigators cancelled. Bummer. But Brother Merida had invited his friend to come with, and she came! Hooray!  After church we were able to visit with Brother Merida and Fernanda. She is excited about her experience and wants to learn more. It was a miracle!

I have been thinking a lot recently about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day Holy. In Neh. 13: 17-18., it reads, 

17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?

18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.

When someone or an entire nation turns away from this commandment, religious as well as all other aspects of life begin to decay. I know it’s so important that we keep the Sabbath Day holy. It truly is a reflector, or a SIGN as Elder Nelson says, of our personal devotion to God. The Lord promises great blessings to those who keep the Sabbath Day holy. I know this to be true.

All the best! Have a great week! The gospel is true.

Love, Elder Hicken