Monday, October 26, 2015

Callings and Baptisms

Way to go Jonathan- the oncoming official organist! What a champ! Happy to hear the ward was able to get into the spirit of missionary work by giving away a pass along cards. Way to go mom!

The zone had interviews with Pte. Smith this week. My companion and I didn´t have to stay in the chapel ALL day! Wooh! We were able to go out and work and then come back. We showed up in the morning got everything set up and then left when Pte. got there. We went back in the afternoon for our interviews. I learned so much! Pte. Smith allowed me the better part of the interview for any questions I had. I was really grateful cuz I did have some thoughts on my mind, all of which was made clear.

Guess what? René already has a calling! After church last Sunday, we overheard that he was to be interviewed by the bishop. We just assumed it was to receive his temple recommend. When my comp. and I heard he was called to be as the 2nd counselor in the new young men´s presidency, we were super surprised but really happy!

Another recent convert, Freddy, whom we´ve worked with a lot, was called as first counselor in the young men´s presidency. It’s neat to see these recent converts helping in the ward so much.

Imanol was baptized!

 Imanol Cristian's Bapitsm

His family was super supportive. I felt like we didn´t do anything to prepare for the baptismal service. It was pretty much,
Q:¨Brother Cristian, how can we help out?¨
R:¨Don´t worry about it elders! We already have the baptismal clothes, the refreshment, all the invites to our family, the video to be shown, and my mom to share a short message.¨
They´re so awesome! The best part is that Elder Thorne got to baptize him! He´s the elder here in Garibaldi sharing the area. He was kinda nervous being his first baptism and all, but he did a great job. The Paniagua family were so happy! They told us they were so grateful for everything we had done. They said they were preparing to enter the temple and be sealed as a family. Exciting!

My companion and I have been trying to focus our efforts more on the family. As we see a family walking in the street, we make a conscious effort to contact them and share the gospel. We´ve also continued to work with the family plans. A couple times we´ve offered to show how to do a family home evening. As we teach, we´re trying to ask more inspired questions and use the scriptures in every aspect. More than anything, we´ve been praying and asking God to help us find families, and to teach them with the goal of baptizing 2 families before the end of the year.

All the best this week!

Elder Hicken
Changes are tomorrow! Elder Chirinos here in Garibaldi is the only one going. We celebrated by going to a restaurant with an American style. 
 Found the MN license plate! 
Thanks again, Midgleys, for the Signed D-Day shirt!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rene's Baptism

I guess it was MEA weekend at home. Sorry you were sick dad. In case you want to know, hot water, with a little lemon and honey mixed in goes a long way. It´s the cure to EVERYTHING here. Maybe you might want to try it out to help with the cough...

Great week here! So René got baptized! He was so excited! At the end of the service he bore his testimony. He shared his life story, how he grew up in the church. His mom and dad were both active members. However, when René was 4 years old, his mom began to work on Sundays and gradually they fell away. A short time after, someone offended his grandmother, who at the time was an active member as well. She stopped going as well and so did many of his other family members. Over the years, his dad would go every once in a while but his mom became a member of the Evengelico church. René wanted to be baptized when he was 8, but his mom wouldn´t let him. Again he wanted to be baptized when he was 12, but again he was denied the opportunity. Gradually over time, it was little experiences like going to other churches but never feeling that it was 'right', that prepared René when he found us in the street. It’s exciting that he’s made this desicion with his new family to be a part of the Lord´s church.
Me, Rene, Elder Flores

Side note-His baptism had to be performed twice. I guess his forehead didn´t go under the first time. When he got out of the water, he was smiling and just said that all his sins weren´t washed off the first time, hence the second baptism jaja.
Me, Rene, his wife, daughter, and Elder Flores

And still more miracles-my companion and I found a new family! She is a single mom with 3 daughters. We visited them last Saturday and when we invited them to church they accepted! I love inviting people to church. All of them came and had a wonderful experience. We challenged them to be baptized and all of them accepted to be baptized in November! They are a great family who wants to do what´s right. The mom is really struggling right now, but she knows our message can help her and her family. I really want to help this family.

Then there is Christina, who is super pilas. She reads everything we leave her, sometimes more. She shares her most spiritual experiences with us. She has a boyfriend who is already a member of the church but she wants to make the decision to become a member for herself. We invited a family to come with us to teach her, and they all hit it off together right away. So much so that Christina went over to their house to make a cake. I guess that´s what friends do. Thank you for members who joint teach with us!

Right now I´m studying chapter 8 in Preach my Gospel. At the end comes a part where it talks about accountability. It talks about how we as missionaries are accountable for everything we do, first to the mission president and also to the Lord. How do we report our dealings with God? Through prayer. At the end of each day, we can kneel down and tell our Heavenly Father about our day. What did we do? Did we push ourselves to work hard? Did we help someone in need? Did we stand for what´s right? What direction were we going that day, towards Christ? These are just a few questions we can ask ourselves at the end of the day. I´m so grateful for repentance. When I ask myself these questions and more, it´s through the Atonement that I can be forgiven and continue to progress.

I know Heavenly Father loves each and every one of His children. I know that he sent His son to pay the price of our sins. I know the Atonement is real. We can be cleansed from our wrongs and sins. I know that God has called a living day prophet to guide us in these latter days. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. What a blessing to be a part of this work!

Have a fantastic week! Bendiciones

Elder Hicken 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Importance of the Family

The youth, 3 week mini-mission activity sounds like it was a fun and edifying experience for everyone. Thanks for ALL the birthday wishes! It made my day.

Well why don´t we start there. The birthday. It all happened way back when a child was born...his name was Nathan Hicken. “Ok I won´t go THAT far back.” jaja  My comp. and other elders in the area bought a small cupcake. That was fun. Thanks again mom for the package. It was fun to open the gifts and share the candy. It was a great birthday. We worked hard, got a lot done, and ate A LOT of cake.

Isaías got baptized! Best birthday present ever! He was super excited, as was his family. We had a lot of support from the members as well at the bapismal sevice. That’s so good when members support investigators. I know this is only the beginning for him and his family. It makes me happy to know that the whole family is on the same path, with the goal to be an eternal family. We plan to help the ward keep working with them.

He was super excited, as was his family.  

René is awesome! He is really excited for his baptism this Saturday. The members have really taken him and his family under their wing as well. He has become a lot more involved in the activities of the ward. He came to play basketball this morning with us. He´s really good.

In counsel meeting this week, Pte. Smith talked about the importance of the FAMILY. Between the sessions of conference a world report talked about the growth of the church in Mozambique, Africa. They have created 2 new STAKES there in the last 3 months. How? Well, 600 families were converted to the gospel. I know the family is the key to reaching the highest degree of glory. Pte. Smith also talked about the importance of good, well thought out planning, especially when setting goals. It was great! Got me pumped to pray and look for families to teach.
Our Mission Consejo

This is the Lord´s work! He loves His children and He wants us to get back to live with Him as complete families.

All the best!

Elder HIcken

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Confernece

Well hey there!

Sorry bout´ not writing last week. Being in Guatemala, of course the power went out due to a fierce thunderstorm, soooooooo I wasn´t able to write.

And unfortunately I don´t have too much time today, but General Conference was really great, every single session! I mentioned to my comp, after the first day that I didn´t want it to end. I could just feel the power of the words of all the speakers and know they are called of God. It was interesting to see as well the interview with the three new apostles after the Saturday afternoon session.

Here´s a few General Conference quotes that stood out to me...
       ¨Our desicions will determine our destiny.¨
       ¨Be not afraid. Only believe.¨
       ¨Fear not. The future is as bright as your faith.¨
       ¨Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.¨
       ¨If there be no rightouesness, there be no happiness.¨
       ¨One in complete submissvness with God´s will is sanctified.¨
       ¨It will all work out!¨
       ¨Exaltation is our goal, discipleship is our journey.¨
       ¨Do not be too critical of the barrier.¨
       ¨When you cannot do what you´ve always done, you do what matters most.¨

We had a wonderful miracle this week! Isaias´s son, Fredy, called us and said it was an emergency. We got to their house as fast as possible and saw the whole family huddled together crying. Isaias was feeling really down and said he wanted a blessing. We gave him a blessing and  his wife a blessing as well. He calmed down. Then he told us he wanted to be baptized! We all smiled, grateful for the Priesthood.

René also wants to be baptized! He put his own baptism date for later this month. This was after he took time to think about it and to read and pray. We were so excited when we got to his house this last week, and he told us he was going to be baptized! I love sharing this gospel.

Hope everyone has a great week! Hasta luego

Elder Hicken