Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Airport Farewell

Elder Hicken entered the Missionary Training Center on January 30, 2013!
Saying Goodbye at the Denver Airport
In his dad's words : "He is where he needs to be, doing what he needs to be doing".  We all are excited for Talon and for the blessings that lie in store for him.  We will all miss him, and will be a bit more grown up when we see him again, but we wouldn't trade this time for anything.
Goodbye Lily!
I love you, Sierra!
Keep it real, Renen!
You're the best.
Don't touch my stuff.
Just kidding :)
I'll miss you, Kai!

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for all your teaching, love, support, and patience.
For seeing the best in me.
And for raising me to know my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 Our favorite version of Where's Waldo:  Can you spot the missionary?

As we watched from above, we noticed an amazing thing happen with Talon.  He was talking with the couple you see below and we watched as the man in the cap generously handed Talon his own nice, expensive backpack in exchange for Talon's less sturdy and uncomfortable one.  We were so touched by this.  The man found us in the crowd above, gave us a big thumbs up and called, "He'll do GREAT!"  No doubt he will, with the Lord on his side!
We will always remember this man and his kindness.  We stayed and watched as long as we could.  And as he cleared through the lines and made his way to the corridor, this was the very last glimpse we had of our missionary as he left to Provo, UT, and then onto Lima, Peru:

I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go, Dear Lord,
Over Mountain, or plain, or sea;
I'll say what You want me to say, dear Lord.
I'll be what You want me to be.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A few last minute touches

One last Missionary Haircut before the MTC:

The guidelines state: Missionaries should always maintain conservative hairstyles. Hair should be relatively short and evenly tapered (as shown). Sideburns should reach no lower than the middle of the ear. Hair should normally be long enough to part and should be combed to the side or the back. Extreme or faddish styles, including bowl cuts, crew cuts, shaved or bleached hair, or wet-look styles, are unacceptable.  No doubt, Elder Hicken is one stylin' missionary!

One last hug from cousin Aspen, who came over at 10:00 pm the night before to say goodbye!

And one last group picture on the night Talon was set apart as an official servant of the Lord, a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Thank you everyone who came!  He was set apart by the 1st counselor in the stake presidency and long time friend, Lane Anderson.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mission Call

Dear Elder Hicken,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You are assigned to labor in the Lima Central Peru Mission.  It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language.  Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president.

You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored gospel.  You will be an official representative of the Church.  As such, you will be expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and appearance by keeping the commandments, living mission rules, and following the counsel of your mission president.  As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs, the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the Restoration and of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  As you serve with all your heart, might, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized.

The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life.  Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children.  We place our confidence in you and pray that the Lord will help you become an effective missionary.

You will be set apart as a missionary by your stake president.  Please send your written acceptance promptly, endorsed by your bishop.

Thomas S. Monson