Monday, May 27, 2013

Hola de la última semana de Elder Pérez Albela

Well I was all prepared with all sorts of stuff to write home, but we decided to do internet late in the day this time, and so I left it all planning to return, and we didn't. Just another moment in the crazy life of being a missionary. I've noticed that it seems like all sorts of things seem to go wrong when it comes to writing home, and I'm beginning to wonder if it is an attempt on Satan's part to drive away the spirit while I am sharing my experiences here. I'm not positive, but I'm dong my best to retain my patience.

Speaking of patience, I've never been tried so thoroughly with tests of my patience. To try to maintiain the spirit, that's all I'm going to say and just leave it at that.

Google Mario Hart. 

Almost everyone tells me that I look exactly like him, and those who don't say that I seem really familliar for some reason. He's on a TV show right now that the whole country of Peru watches called Combate.  [What do you think?]

Soap operas are going to be the death of me. I just can't think about anything while people are whining nonstop on the TV. Definately is a spirit blocker for me.

So they love this beet salad here, and I just want to say thank you, Mom, for making me drink beet smoothie, because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to stomache the salad. I never thought you were preparing me for my mission through even that!

Hey, are the Villalbas from Peru? If so, where? If not, where? thanks. =]

Well I've got to go, so I'm sorry it's so short! My computer crashed, and then was really slow getting it back together. But I'm being patient so that I can have the spirit, even though I didn't manage to include a scripture. Actually, look up Psalms 119  versiculo 9. (in spanish). It's so true. But you have to look it up in spanish, and translate it, because in english it just doesn''t cut it. But really.

In Spanish:  ¿Con qué limpiará el joven su camino? Con guardar tu palabra. 
Literal Translation:  With what will a young man clean his path (or way)?  With keeping thy word.
English versionWherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Solo quiero compartir la importancia de la obediencia. Lo mas importante delmundo en todas las cosas. Siempre sea obediente. Para que tenga el espiritu de Dios, y ningun otro.
I only want to share the importance of obedience.  It is the most important of anything else in this world.  Always be obedient.  So you can have the Spirit of God, and not another.

Until next week! (with my sheet of things to write about! So you'll get a bunch more!)

Love, Elder Hicken

p.s. I got my hair cut today for about a dollar! So cheap here!

Last week at Matucana, Peru with Elder Perez Albela

 There was some sort of presentation that we walked in on in the square, and we asked some people to take pictures with us, here is one of my favorites
museo del congresso y de la inquisision
In the square in front of congress!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hola del dia 112

To start off, I have a list going of my favorite words! They're my favorites for different reasons, but see if you can figure out why.

  • escudriñar = to study, analize, and disect
  • profunda = deep, as in a pit or hole
  • tener que vs. necesito que = have to vs. need to
  • recordar = to remember
You need to watch the Gordon B. Hinkley documentary

I saw a little bit of it and it looks like the coolest thing on the planet. Yeah, that´s going to be the first movie I see when I come home in 2 years  (Click here to see a longer clip.). Superman and Ironman 3 will have to wait.

Random cool fact about Lima: the stoplights all have timers, like the ones that crosswalks usually have, to let the drivers know how much time they have until the light turns red. Cool.

I´m still waiting on that info from another elder about sending leters to the US.

Imagine that you are scuba diving in a reef, with all sorts of colorful fish and whatnot. Now imagine that same colorful reef is in Chatfield reservoir, with water as thick as mud. Yeah, that´s kind of how it feels to be a greenie missionary in a foreign mission. I know that there is a reef, and it's beautiful because I see it sometimes, but the water is hazy and so I don't get the full effect. But I'm looking for miracles, and trying to record them in my journal. 

Speaking of miracles, the biggest one that I have come to realize so far (yes, even bigger than the gift of tounges, which I am most clearly blessed with day by day, thank goodness) is the miracle that anything actually gets done administrarily in the work of the Lord here. People don't think the same as we do and 'administration' is a foreign concept. But somehow, the Lord makes it happen anyway. They have no idea that this isn't normally how administration works, but people just do things because "I had a feeling I should" and then it ends up saving the day. Crazy.

Before next Sacrament Meeting, look up the painting by Simon Dewy of Christ breaking the bread of the sacrament (I think it is in the Gospel Principles Maual) and take five minutes to study it really well. 

If you can, print it out. And then during the sacrament next week, spend the peaceful time you have thinking about what Christ might have been thinking in that moment as he broke the bread, his own body, and poured the wine, his own blood, and distributed it among his disciples. Don't forget to bring your journal so you can record those thoughts and sacred feelings that the spirit brings to your mind in that holy moment.

Speaking of journals, I have yet to miss a day. (That means I have 112 entries so far). But I have decided to start some ¨small plates¨, following the example of Nephi, who began writing (before he was the prophet) the words which the Lord spoke to him, and the words of the prophets which inspired him, as well as his experiences learning through faith.

Ok! Time always flies by! And these internet café places are super loud and crazy, and most definitely don´t invite the spirit, but anyways the work is great! I only wish I could work harder!

Solo quiero compartir un pensamiento que yo tenía durante nuestro conferencia de estaca esta domingo pasado. Estábamos cantando Loor al Profeta, y un pensamiento vine a mi menta mas fuerte que todos, que lo que estoy compartiendo y predicando cada día es verdadero. Yo sé con nunca faltado, con cada fiebre de mi cuerpo y no puedo dudar, porque de esto soy hecho. Éste es el Evangelio verdadero, y no hay ningún otro manera, camino, o salvación. La felicidad que yo sienta, crece cada día, y mis experiencias están ayudándome en cada momento. Estoy extremamente agradecido por los dones de conocimiento que el Espíritu me brinda, y espero con todo mi corazón que estén sintiendo un deseo nuevo para estudiar, escudriñar, y orar con mas esfuerza con frecuencia y regularidad. No hay ningún otra manera.

Les amo. Gracias por todo, hoy, ayer, y siempre.

I only want to share a thought that I had during our Stake Conference this last Sunday.  We were singing “Praise To The Man” and a thought came to my mind forcefully, that what I am sharing and preaching each day is true.  I know without fail, with every fiber of my body and I cannot doubt, because of this I am made.  This is the true gospel, and there is no other way, path or salvation.  The happiness that I feel grows each day, and my experiences are helping me in each moment.  I am extremely grateful for the gifts of knowledge that the Spirit gives me, and I hope with all my heart that you are feeling a new desire to study, search, and pray with more effort often and regularly.  There is no other way.

I love you.  Thanks for everything today, yesterday and always.

Con Amor, Élder Hicken

Hola de Las Flores

Well it sure has been a while, and it seems like our internet time is always being cut short. Today we only have a half hour, unless we can somehow find more time. Pray for a miracle.

Well here are a few pictures for you! I would love to get some more pictures of things that are going on there! Pictures are worth a thousand words!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day Poem

So we got permission to write home today since we had our huge trip yesterday, but we only have a few minutes to do it. So I´m including a couple pictures, but mostly just spènding time writing today.

First of all, Mom, your poem! I can´t believe I forgot to read it to you during Skype! But here it is.

Every plant, fish, deer, and bird
Depends on loveing care from her.
Every wildflower or forest tree
Is nurtured well by only she.
Every weaning child and growing teen,
Screaming tantrum and bloody knee,
Bruised pride and sagging spirits,
Dirty socks and backyard merits,
Depend on the faith of the one who knows
To protect that of the one who grows.
We carry two debts we shan´t ever repay
To the two who gave lives to show us the way.
One paid in the garden and hung on a cross
And the onther paid daily sometimes sold at a loss
Both chose voluntarily, glory to God,
To care for god´s children, forsaking the laud
The first is our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
The second a woman to whom we owe life
A woman who chooses to do what is right 
In every situation, in trial, in strife.
God gave her a title more sacred than any other
The woman who loves us most, we call Mother.

Well I´ve got letters printed out, so I can respond to them next week! Thanks! I also got a bunch of of cousins and Jason. I also got the letter via mail from the Brasgas, but I don´t have their email to say I got it.

All is well in the work in Peru! We´ll get the full hour to write after we go to the Temple on Tuesday next week! Just as a general rule of thumb, if you don´t get a letter on Monday, it´s because for some reason we´re writing on Tuesday that week. Sorry I couldn´t write more! It was really short today to make up for skipping yesterday, but we were lucky to be able to write at all! Thank goodness we skyped yesterday! 

(P.S. it costs $5 to send a letter to the US, and I was told it´s like $5 an oz for a package. So....I´m going to be sticking to email if that´s alright!)

 Plaza de Armas with a waitress outside of a restaurant
 Us with Mauricio, the 12 year old kid in our investigator family
 I FOUND the fruit!  We have them at our churches!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Missionary AND Photographer

 Me in front of a huge Cathedral in downtown Lima.  The Plaza is called Ovalo Gutierrez.  I'm not sure what the statue is in the back.
 Breakfast!  Fruit Salad!  Mine doesn't have papaya because I can't stand it!
Elder Perez Albea's birthday.  It's tradition here to smash eggs in their hand when it's their birthday.  The Zone Leaders did it to Elder P.A.  and he said it's the first time that's happened since middle school :)
Some kids playing in the park in front of our dorm.  I thought it was  a sweet picture, which I took incognito.
La familiar Villarde:  our golden family that just neeeeeeeds to get baptized ASAP. 

La familia Molina:  first counselor in the bishopric.

Waiting in a HUGE line to get our Peruvian IDs.

 What is this?
What IS this?
Granadia! It’s soooo good. It’s a fruit. I’m bringing some home.

Hola de San Silvestre :)

Hola todos! How´s the Spanish coming?

Sierra, how is that method of studying Spanish with the notebook of words going? It was such a good idea that I decided to start doing it, and it has helped me a lot. I pull it out to study a little all the time, and all the investigators and missionaries love it! Thanks for the idea!

Kai! I need you to do the ward young men a favor. Teach them the habit of keeping their shoes polished! This is how I think would be the most fun way: start a shiny shoe contest. Kindof like how you, Nate, and I would always have cool knots and ties and whatnot? Well now start comparing how shiny your shoes are! Really, it makes a bigger difference than I thought. Start the tradition!

Dad, did you ever get in contact with your companion from your mission that lives in Colorado Springs or something? How many people have you contacted, missionaries, investigators, members, from your mission since you left?

The past few weeks I´ve been thinking a bit about resillience. There´s an article in the March Ensign that talks about raising resillient children. M&D, how did you teach me to be resillient? I don´t know how you did it, but I want to see if I can teach it to my companions. The culture and lifestyle of many of the native missionaries doesn´t exactly mesh with the ideal of missionary WORK. It isn´t easy, if you're doing it right.

Random (outdated) question: How do they choose the Hymns for General Conference?

Random (outdated) comment: I have decided I want to wear white shirts with cufflinks from now on; class.

 31 Now, I, the Lord, am not well apleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are bidlers among them; and their cchildren are also growing up in dwickedness; they also eseek not earnestly the riches of eternity, but their eyes are full of fgreediness.

Careful! This is talking about you kids! Make sure you´re seeking first the kingdom of God. It´s so important that we are instructed in both 3 Nephi13:33 and Matt 6:33 to seek the kingdom of God first. And the promise we are given allows us to act, or learn by faith (I absolutely love this talk by Elder Bednar). We must make sure that the spirit is louder than our wallets, and that our scriptures are closer than our phones.

In the WVCM (West Virginia Mission) we were instructed to spend an hour each week watching Mormon Messages, and to share a MM (the movie clip, not the candy) every time we had dinner with a member, which for us was every night. Through this, I have developed a testimony of the power of everyday feasting on the words of the living prophets. 

A grand question that has been recirculating through my head time and time again recently is: Can I recognize the bessings of those who are praying for me? And from a different perspective, can I feel the prayers of those whom I serve? I don´t have a lot more to say than that the perseverance for a positive answer to these questions.

Sorry I don´t have more about what I´m actually doing! I´ll work on that!

¡Que Dios les bendiga!