Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


Glad to hear dad had a very happy birthday! Jonathan’s bball tournament sounds awesome. Can´t wait to play some bball and tennis with him. That’s great that you served food to the homeless with the Fairbournes. Jaime, the mission´s taxi driver, is really good friends with them. Maybe you´ve heard them talk about him? It seems like everytime I talk to Jaime he tells me all these great things about the Fairbournes and all the good they are doing back home. Shout out to Brother Arbuckle for his willingness to dress up in your class mom. Almost confused him for the real Moses. Jaja  It’s neat that we have temples just like Moses and the portable tabernacle.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all! As you would expect, it’s not a real common thing here but there are some who celebrate it. We´re hoping to make it a big deal because we feel so grateful!

I love the mission! The Lord has blessed us so much. The Miranda family is really special! They are super receptive to our message and such a great family. We had the opportunity to go with them again this last week. They are excited about their baptismal date and are reading and praying about the book of Mormon every day. It’s neat to see their lives changing. Funny detail-since the first day we visited them, they offered us orange soda. Every time since, they´ve served us orange soda and bread. I guess it´s a tradicion. jaja

Elder Flores and I are also working with another awesome family, the family Sapón. The wife was able to come to church yesterday. The husband is really interested in theology and is confident in telling us how he feels. They are also reading and praying about the book of Mormon every day. And the ward members have been great in helping us out with this family. In every visit, there´s been a member present. Really helps a lot when the members get involved with our investigators and testify of the things that they know are true.

And then, there’s the Sanchez family. They’ve also been great! They were a reference from a member family. Shout out to members who give the missionaries referrals. It’s so helpful! Anyway, when we first met the Sanchez family we could only speak to the mom and the son. But as we gained more confidence, the mom allowed us to meet her husband. Now we visit the whole family regularly. It’s awesome! The dad and son have been coming to church! Unfortunately the mom can´t come right now because of work but I know the Lord knows she is trying. They are also trying to read and pray every day but it´s been hard for them because of the long work hours. What a blessing to have time to read the scriptures and pray.

Today, the whole zone got flu shots! When we showed up, I thought it was only going to be our zone. Little did I know half the mission was there. It was awesome to see elder Hohman and other guys from my group that I hadn´t seen in a while. After getting the flu shot, as a zone we played volleyball! It was super fun. Then we went to lunch at Portal.

In my Book of Mormon study, I´m currently reading in Jacob chapter 5. I love the Book of Mormon! The resounding message seems to be the love our Heavenly Father has for all of his children. Many are called but few are chosen. As we are called to work in the Lord´s vineyard, may we work with all our heart, might, mind and strength.

Have a great week! Be´naj

Elder Hicken
Pics--I saw a cat that looked like Sally so I picked it up. I don´t think it´s ever been held in it´s life cuz it sure wanted to get away. The picture is kinda of deceiving...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Miracles teaching families

The stake fast day sounds awesome. Fasting is such a powerful tool. I hope everyone in the stake will find someone to teach! Elder Ochoa, a member of the Seventy, will be coming to Guatemala in a few weeks. We also will be having a unifying fast as a mission to be spiritually prepared for the conference. Can’t wait. It´ll be great! Sounds like you had a good time with the Moores. Anytime with the Moore family is time well spent. Glad Jonathan got to go camping. Camping trips are the best! And that’s so cool Jonathan found tennis playin´ time outside this late in the season.

So, it was a great week here. After trying out some new techniques to find families to teach, Elder Flores and I have really seen progress. It´s been a miracle to see how the Lord has put so many opportunities in our path to find His prepared families. On one occasion, my companion and I went to an appointment we had planned. Finding them not home, we felt impressed to contact around the home. The second door we knocked, a man answered the door and was really interested in what we had to say. He said we could come back Sunday. Yesterday, we found him, his wife and two little kids all waiting for us. Wow! He had already read the better part of the pamphlet we had left. And after we had finished teaching he said he really liked our emphasis on families and was touched to hear our invitation to pray to know if our message was true. He, as well as his wife, accepted a baptismal date and were really excited to have us come another day! I know the Lord is preparing families.

The family we were able to find last week while trying to find Lucero was really receptive too. Emerson, one of the friends of the member family accepted a baptismal date and committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray. Awesome! The difficulty will be Sabbath Day observance because of his work schedule, but I know the Lord will help Emerson.

There was a big, multi-stake conference this past weekend. Bishop Davies, Sister Marriott, Elder Martino and Elder David A. Bednar all came! It was amazing!  Each talked about the new training, which is what has been the focus for the whole year, Sabbath Day observance. They also talked about tithing, self-sufficiency, sacrifice, and the law of consecration. Elder Bednar said, ¨The best that we have is sufficiently good for the Lord.¨ I’m feeling so blessed to be out here. I feel as though I progress everyday, I learn something new, or receive a new impression to be better all the time. It’s great. I´m so grateful for this gospel and for our Savior Jesus Christ.

Hope everyone has a great week! Nos wachamos

Elder Hicken

Shout out to Elder Flores officially with time in the mish! Ordered some pizza and the next day a member gave us an entire cake! (not for the one year mark but it worked)

Monday, November 9, 2015


Shout out to mom and dad. Your date at the new Sherlock Holmes exhibit in the science museum sounds pretty interesting. I was excited to hear that the bball season is starting once again for Jonathan. Send updates. And even though I´ve never met Steve, I´m so happy he went to the temple. It is such an uplifting and spiritual experience, something I´m sure he´ll never forget.

Guess what? Lucero got baptized! 

A little scary that when we went to pick her up and bring her and her mom to the chapel for her baptismal interview, she wasn´t there. We said a prayer. She doesn’t have a phone so we tried walking around to find her for about 20 mins. Then, when we came back to knock on her door she was there! Thank you Heavenly Father for answering our prayer, and in more than one way. She had gone to get her identification but the line was super long and so she got back late. It all worked out though and at last she was interviewed and baptized. The baptismal service was really special. There were a lot of people who came. One sister in the ward was able to play her violin as a special number. (I thought of you mom) The most important thing was that there was a great spirit of love there, from the members and from our Heavenly Father.

I have to mention another miracle. As we were looking for Lucero, we met a family who seemed really positive. We went back on Sunday to visit them and figured out pretty quick that one lady was a member of the church. She had followed her husband with their two kids and two of her friends here to Xela for her husband’s job. They’re all living together, but only she is a member. She fell away for a time and wasn´t able to locate the church when she got here in Xela. She is really excited to have us continue to visit and to teach her two friends who seem interested as well. The Lord is sure in charge of this work.

It was a week of divisions. First, I stayed in the area with Elder Cudney, while my comp went to a different area. One of the greatest moments with Elder Cudney was that we were able to find and teach a whole family, who all accepted a baptismal date! Miracle! Then, later this past week, Elder Chavez, an assistant, came with me here in Garibaldi. I learned so much from him. I really wanna work on the way I teach, focusing in more on the investigator and teaching in a way that they can better understand. It was great that Elder Chavez and I had a lesson for every hour of the day and everyone was home! Miracle! Elder Chavez was able to help out a lot of our investigators. He had great insights and commitments. I really learned a lot from him. I know it’s so important to work with the members!

Leader´s counsel was also this week. The assistants focused a lot on remembering what we had talked about in the last counsel, that of finding and teaching families. Then Pte. Smith talked about the doctrine of repentance. He talked about five crucial steps. First, we need to recognize the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Second, we need to be born again. Third, true repentance requires change. Fourth, Godly sorrow. Fifth, allowing Christ into our lives. He finished by talking about a scripture, Galatians 5:25. If we live by the Spirit, we must walk by the spirit. Are we living beneath our privileges? He said if we don´t listen to the spirit as we live worthy, then we are. Pte. Smith also added if there was one thing we could learn in the mission it would be to receive revelation, recognize it and act on the promptings we receive. I’m trying to do that.

Anyways, I love being on a mission! I know this gospel is true. 
Hope everyone has a fantastic week! Todo chequeleque

Elder Hicken

P.S. I forgot to mention last week that we got a new Elder in the area.  Elder Peinado. He’s not only new to the area, but also new to the mission. He´s been with his trainer, Elder Thorne, this week. It´s awesome sharin´ the area!

Monday, November 2, 2015

More Baptisms

Glad to hear everyone had a fun Halloween going to Valley Scare and other parties. Wooh! 2 Book of Mormons given away in one week. Way to go, Dad! Sharing the gospel can be hard when it´s forced, but it seems to become a lot easier when the topic is brought up and questions are asked. We just need to act. Super happy you took the chance to share when the opportunity arrived.

Happy Halloween! Although it was a normal work day, we made it a fun time. In a bakery shop we found pumpkin pie! Of course we bought it. For everyone who doesn´t know, Halloween is not a national holiday here. The actual day everyone celebrates is the 1st of November. It´s called the day of the dead, or the day of the saints. It´s a day of celebration and remembrance, not so much a day of mourning and sadness. The typical food is fiambre, a mixture of just about every meat and vegetable ever heard of. As long as there´s not too much vinagre [vinegar], it´s pretty good. A traditional desert is sweetened squash. And very common are kite festivals.  Another elder was with us for a few days. In that time we ended up going to the mission office for some interviews he had. While he was with Pte. Smith, sister Smith took the time to show us a few of the kite festivals they had been to years before. I was impressed! The kites are about 8 meters high, made of this thin Chinese paper and bamboo backing. Each is decorated with an ornate design and then judged later on in the day. None of the big kites actually fly. The biggest kite sister Smith had seen fly was about 2 meters high.

Kite Festival - (Google) - Just for an idea!

 My comp and I with the elder who stayed with us a couple of days, Elder Herrera!
Guess what? Lucero wants to be baptized! She is the daughter of an already member. The mom was baptized when she was a little girl with her parents, but when her dad left and her mom started to drink she never went back to church. It wasn´t until now that we found her and her now 19 year old daughter, Lucero, which is about 20 years later!  The Lord sometimes takes His time.  They´ve already been to church a number of times and they love it. They don´t have running water. They don´t have electricity. They cook over a wood burning fire. The mom works making tortillas and washing clothes whereas Lucero makes and sells handcrafted baskets in the market. They are such a sweet, humble family. I really love them. It is a testimony to me that even in hard conditions, one can find peace through the gospel and Atonement of Jesus Christ.

The recently baptized Monteroso family has been super pumped lately to share the gospel. It’s awesome! One night this past week, we were over talking to them about a plan to practice how to share the gospel with family and friends who are not members of the church. After only about 30 seconds into the lesson, Isaias and Fredy said they were already working with someone who wants to be Mormon! Then Floridalma pipes up and says that a neighbor had recently asked about us, seeing that we had always come to visit them, and that she was interested to hear our message. Then the other kids listed off about 5 other names of friends and neighbors who they wanted us to meet. It was a great moment to see the desires of everyone to share what they knew to be true.

Some thoughts on my mind. The Savior has asked us to be perfect, even as He is perfect. I know we must follow His example and His teachings. We must become like Him in our thoughts, desires, words and actions. Asking questions such as, ¨How would Christ think?¨ or ¨What would Jesus say?¨ has helped me a lot in this past week.

Have a great week! Adiós!

Elder Hicken

Also shout out to Aunt Diana for sending a bday package! The shirt is awesome! I use it almost everyday! THANK YOU!