Monday, January 25, 2016

Foto Fresca de Hoy

Crazy weather on the East Coast! Glad you made it home mom. Way to go Jonathan for working hard and playing your best. Hope dad, grandma, and grandpa enjoy the Angle meeting in Florida.

My new companion is Elder Rojas. He is from Panama, my first companion from there. He has 3 siblings: younger twins and a little brother. He loves to eat. He talks really, really fast, which I like because it helps me with my Spanish to speak faster and clearer. He has lots of desires to work and we`ve already seen many of the Lord`s blessings as we`ve worked diligently and lived worthily.

Speaking of blessings, we found a great family who was willing to listen to us! Answer to our prayers. We had received a reference from a guy in the Brasilia ward, Estuardo. He came with us to contact the reference. It`s the Claudio Castillo family. We were able to talk to a lot of them, and the 3 adults that were listening all accepted to be baptized! It was incredible! Estuardo is an awesome teacher. It was incredible to see him bearing testimony of the restoration of the gospel knowing that soon he too will be a missionary.

Then Yamilet is a young girl who has attended church for the past 3 years. The missionaries have been teaching her and her mom during all that time. Yesterday at church, she told sister Alma, the president of the young women, that she wanted to be baptized! She even picked her own baptismal date. It was incredible to see that after so long, the spirit was finally able to touch her in a way that she wanted to make the commitment to be baptized. Really cool.

Elder Rojas was here in Huehue in the same zone a little less than a year ago. The first day together, he was showing me a lot of investigators that he remembered teaching. A few of them were positive. For example, he had taught a family in his old area, but turns out that the daughter of that family started working in a mechanic shop here in Centro. She said she would start reading the Book of Mormon again and that we could pass by again later tonight. Awesome.

Then there was a Worldwide Broadcast for all the missionaries in the whole world. It was amazing. Part of that broadcast was a pre-recorded face to face discussion with Elder Bednar and about 20 missionaries. The topic was about the Spirit. Elder Bednar described how we can`t force the Spirit into the hearts of those we teach. If that were so, every person who talked to Pte. Monson would fall to their knees and beg to be baptized. But as we know, that doesn`t happen. If we live worthy, obedient lives, we will have the Spirit with us, and that allows the Spirit to reach closer to the hearts of the investigators we are teaching. Everything we do should be focused so that the Spirit`s influence can flow into the hearts of our investigators. Faith is a principle of action, and as we act there comes a power. We should do all that we can to help us and our investigators act to be able to invite the Spirit in all our lives.

I know that this is the Lord`s work. I know that as we live worthily, the Lord`s promise is fulfilled and we are guided by the Spirit. May we all live worthy to allow the Spirit to guide us and to help those around us feel the truthfulness of the gospel.

Hope y`all have a great week! Nos wachamos

Elder Hicken 

Monday, January 18, 2016


I'm really sorry to hear about Grandma. I’m not sure I understand what Hospice is but I will pray for her.
Jonathan is doing a great job with basketball! Honestly, the huge organ looks kind of out of place to me in the music room. Maybe just because I`m used to seeing the keyboard in there. Cool there`s now an organ in the house though!

Changes are tomorrow. After passing 6 weeks of laughter, trials, fun, Christmas, new years and lots of food with Elder Cevallos, he`ll be gone tomorrow. Gonna miss that guy! But it only means that I`ll have a new comp. and who knows how long I’ll be here in Huehue. A lot of the missionaries in the zone are going home tomorrow as well. In fact, all the sister missionaries from my group are going home. Kinda freaked me out how fast time has gone by. We`ll be renting a bus and heading out around 5:30am to head to Xela and split.

Yesterday, my companion and I were walking and saw a family having a bonfire. They allowed us to stop by and warm up a bit. We began to talk and we introduced ourselves. Huddled around the fire was a family of 5, the parents and 3 little kids. They accepted to hear our message. We shared a little of the Restoration and in the end, both parents accepted a baptismal date for the month of February. The Lord is preparing His children to listen to us.

Hope y`all have a great week! Chao!

Elder Hicken

Monday, January 11, 2016

Spiritual Experiences

In Susan's email to Nathan, she asked "What spiritual experiences are you having?"

Hello mom

Thanks for asking. So here’s a spiritual experience coming to mind right now...

As I was reading the other day in the Book of Mormon, I came across a scripture in Mosiah chapter 15 that talked about those who will rise in the first resurrection. It said that those who keep the commandments and follow the prophets will rise in the first resurrection and receive eternal life through Jesus Christ. I had this overwhelming feeling come over me and I knew in that instant that Jesus loves me and knows me personally. He wants me to receive eternal life. It was such a warm feeling. It`s not the only spiritual experience I`ve felt in this past week while reading the scriptures but it`s one that really impacted me.

Anyways, that’s all the time I got for now. I love you!

Elder Hicken

We are a Mission of Miracles

Cool to see Jonathan playing so much bball. And I’m really gonna miss Brother Plante. Sad to hear he passed away. Sure going to miss him, his jokes, his smile, his laugh and of course his excellent cooking. He really meant a lot to me. Sounds like his funeral went well.

This week, my companion and I were off to Xela for the leaders meeting. It was great. Getting there is an experience itself. For my comp., the bus rides are the worst. He says there`s no room, it`s always pacted [packed], the music is really loud, the driver is crazy and so on...which is all true. But honestly I kinda like traveling cuz we pass by a bunch of small towns, we get to see different people and the countryside, and when everyone winds down a bit, it gives me time to read. Right now, I`m reading the 4 books from the mision library in Spanish. It’s great. Anyways, the leaders meeting was awesome, even though we were pretty exhausted after the bus ride and having to wake up really early. Pte. Smith talked about the accomplishments of last year and the goals for this year. He also presented a new standard for the mission. ¨We are a mission of miracles¨. It then consists of two scriptures:

D&C 29:7  And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;

Moroni 7:37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

Also, there are four main points. I`ll just sum it up into one. We are to find families everyday and teach repentance by the spirit and to baptize each week. Pretty big vision right? But I know it comes from God. I have faith that it's possible. The assistants talked about the Book of Mormon. Could you teach any topic just from the Book of Mormon? Our investigators need to be reading the Book of Mormon everyday. And we can help our investigators do that by the way that we present and invite them to read and pray. We practiced and did role plays on how to invite our investigators to read and pray and to spark in them a desire to read it. All in all it was very good. This work is exciting. And an extra bonus was that there was lasagna for lunch. Delicioso!

The next day, we did divisions with the assistants. Both assistants came to our area. It was cool because we`ve been working in San Lorenzo and in the main city. With all four of us we could cover even more ground and teach more people. Elder Chavez and I taught a woman named Ilda. She was very receptive to our message. Unfortunately her husband doesn`t want anything to do with us. We also taught a woman named Alejandra. She accepted a baptismal date and we planned another appointment! Awesome. We were able to stop by and share a quick message with Yamilet and Fernando. They were baptized last month. We`ve been trying to teach the mom, Lilian, as well, but just when we got there, she took a phone call and didn`t come back until we had finished the lesson. Anyways we were able to contact a lot of people on the way, people who in the following days turned out to be positive! Miracles. I really liked the way in which Elder Chavez taught. He used a lot of inspired questions and really got the listeners engaged. Hope to improve in that aspect. 

Side note. At the end of the day, Elder Perez, the other asistent, had to sleep on a broken cot because we didn`t have anything else. He just put one of our suitcases underneath to help support it. Woke up pretty sore poor guy. I should have given him my bed.

My companion and I were able to find a couple to teach. Oscar works selling perfumes and fragrances whereas his girlfriend, Yojaira, attends a small store selling american products. They’re not married, don`t live together but are expecting a child. We`ve only had one lesson with them but they`re interested. Can’t wait to teach them about eternal families. And the other day, we passed by with Yojaira and she had already read the Restoration pamphlet and had some good questions. It’s great when investigators have good questions. We hope to continue working with them this week, help them accept a baptismal date and to come to church.

I`ve been reading in Mosiah, the Abinadi chapters. My faith was strengthened as I read Abinadi’s bold words spoken to king Noah and his priests. He declared repentance and the absolute need for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. Even by keeping the commandments, it`s not enough. I know we need Christ.

Hope everyone has a great week! AdiĆ³s!

Elder Hicken

Monday, January 4, 2016


Since a picture says a thousand words, this may be the longest letter yet :)

Great view of Huehue, only that it was super cloudy. Seems like everytime we go to something amazing it`s always really really cloudy. Bad luck.