Monday, June 24, 2013

Hola de medio campio (Mid-Transfers)

We are esforzando con los menos activos, pero no con tanto éxito [working hard with the less actives, but without much success].  We´ve got a huge hill with shacks all over it. Poorer than poor, but wonderful people. Now to get them to church. Starting up home teaching and visiting teaching is a process, but one we hope lasts.

We´ve got quite a few people with family in Cuzco, and one of them wants to get married down there before we can baptize her. We´ll try and send references along, but it´s hard when they don´t know their own addresses.

This week was especially rough with lessons with members, but we are going to focus on that this upcoming week. We are working hard with less actives, and having quite wonderful success. We are starting up home and visiting teaching in our ward, and hope that the change will last longer than we do.

This Sunday one of our investigators on date [for baptism] lost her date because she didn´t come to church. We´ll continue to work with her to make sure she is prepared to covenant with God to follow the commandments so she can recieve the blessings of the spirit in this life, and of eternal life in the next.

Camila, a 9 year old daughter of a less active, is all set and way excited for her baptism this Saturday, and has already brought a friend to church, who we are now teaching with her mother. Camila's mom is now active once again, and we hope they continue to bring friends into the church. 

This week I have gained an incredible testimony que Dios me conoce [that God knows me]. That he knows my needs and desires, and that he listens to my prayers to answer all my needs, not just my requests. I have gained a deeper love for him as my God, and Christ as my Savior through this knowlege, and an even greater desire to share the gospel with my brothers and sisters here in San Silvestre.

I hope all is well on the home front! I love you all and hope you are feeling the joy of sharing the gospel through your examples and actions!

Con amor, 

Élder Hicken

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hola de día 138

How was Father´s day? Here it was asi-asi. Holidays are tough here because nobody wants to talk to us...yeah.

Here are a few pictures from a museum we went to last week. You have to go! Ask Kai for more details.

[pics to come]

Here is my email to the president!

This week was wonderful! 

We are siguiendo adelante with Camila and her mother to prepare for Camila´s baptism on the 29th. 

We also have another Sister who will be baptized on the 29th, named Edith. She has known the missionaries for 2 years now, but came to us a week ago to ask for our help to prepare to be baptized. 

Both Camila and Edith came to Sacrament Meeting yesterday, as well as two other investigators, Ashley and Trifina, and three less actives.

We are continuing to work with less actives, and we are finding more and more that as we work as hard as we can, God helps us with the work we just can´t get done in the 24 hours we have each day.

Thank you for your leadership, President! You are always in our prayers!

Hurrah for Israel!

-Elder Hicken

First of all...LILY! Wow! Now you are 5 years old! I´m glad you had a wonderful birthday, but I want to wish you happy birthday too! In spanish! ¡Feliz cumpleaños! This birthday is important because soon you are going to have kindergarten and you will have to be an example for other kids. Kids who don´t get to go to church, or to primary. And kids who will watch you to know how to choose the right. Now you´re a big(ger) girl and I know you can do it! Go and get ´em!

A few random things:

Is this ´Marks of a Man´ talk from President Priday´s personal experience?

Is Jason back home already? When did or will he get back?

If you hear of any cool tourist locations within 5 hours of Lima, could you send me information? We have these big P-days and we can ask permission to go somewhere special outside of mission boundaries. Pretty cool, huh?

When is daylight savings time? We don´t have it here, so when you change, we will have 2 hours difference between us. But I don´t know when that is.

Alright, last week I said I would share a little bit more about the talk Beware of Pride, because it is amazing. It is so essential to be stripped of pride in this life, so I think I´ll share a little bit every week! This week I have a testimony that we can be humble by choosing to recieve love. There are various ways to accept love, depending on how it is shown. One of these ways that God shows us love is by giving us commandments. When we choose to follow the commandments we are choosing to accept his love. When we choose to discard his commandments, we are discarding his love in order to gain personal pleasure. This is truely one of the reasons being humble is so incredibly crucial in this life, in our premortal life, and in the life to come. We can be humble by CHOOSING. Don´t forget to make a concious decision to choose.

Another scripture that I love this week is 1N22:17 

Wherefore, he will preserve the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire.

What a great promise! Just make sure you´re righteous, and you´ve got it made! 

Well time is short, and the work is long, but the fruit is sweet and the glory is God´s. 

¡Que Dios les bendiga!

Élder Hicken

Here is a giant alfajor that we saw downtown!
[An Alfajor is a cookie with dulce de leche/caramel in it.  That is bigger than any I have seen, says Brent.  Multilayered, even.]
And a picture frame that the Socidad de Socorro [Relief Society] made for you, Dad! I´m going to put that picture of us in front of the temple in it.  Speaking of that picture, can you send me a copy of it?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dear Dad, Happy Father's Day

Happy Father´s day Dad!

I have never been so grateful to have a dad that isn´t ensnared by a worldly vice. I think above all the things that I have learned on my mission, I have learned the most about the importance of the family, and furthermore the importance of the father. 

This Father´s day I can´t do much more than write home, however I have a gift for you. Possibly the most important and most valuable gift I can ever give. Through my study of the scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have learned that I need to give my will to my Father in heaven. I have also learned that we are placed here on earth to learn on a small scale the principals we will need in the eternities. Through personal studying, pondering, and praying, I have learned that to fully be able to surrender my will to that of the Lord, I must first surrender my will to you, my earthly father. 

This year my gift to you is my will; that as you hearken unto the will of the Father, so shall I, hearken unto your will. I may not understand why, but I understand how. I hope that now I can become an instrument in your hands, as much as a instrument in the hands of our Heavenly Father: a tool to do good with more than I have in myself. 

I hope this Father´s day you had a wonderful time with Family, as I know you would like. We are so blessed to have a Dad with a deeper desire to spend time with family than with friends, videogames, or sins. Thank you for all of your dedication.

Love, your son,

Elder Hicken

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hola del cambio nuevo

Everything is going splendidly here in San Silvestre!

Brilliant Idea! I´m going to try and remember to include parts from my letter each week to President Borg. 

Everything is improving here in San Silvestre II. Elder Gaete is settling in just dandy, and we are already working excellently as a team!

Our first day together after cambios, we met with the Bishop (new as of two weeks) and asked for a blessing, as he holds the keys of missionarywork within San Silvestre. We have continued to see the blessings from this blessing throughout the week, and expect to experience many more in the following months.

This week we challenged a new investigator Camila with preparing to be baptized the 29th. She accepted, and is learning faster than we can teach! All because of the spirit. She is 9 years old, and we are reactivating her (widowed?) mother. 

We also had 6 less actives at church yesterday, which was wonderful! Another way that we are seeing the blessings of the spirit, because we just have too much work to do, even though we are working as hard as we can, so we need the Lord´s help, and as we ask, He gives.

Thank you for my surprise, President! He is wonderful! He is most definitely distracted with girlfriend problems back home, but I think the Lord might have prepared me for this opportunity to share what I have learned about devoting a life to serving the Lord. Especially on a mission.

Here is last week´s:

How is everything? We are doing great in San Silvestre. This past week we saw off Elder Perez Albela, and I worked with the Zone Leaders EE´Eklof and Sagostume and Elder Fankhouser. I did have the opportunity to work a little bit in my sector, but obviously not as much as I would have liked. It´s actually been really hard to not have a companion. This past week fue duro. But we had some wonderful lessons in the other sector, and I am determined to improve my sector to contribute at least as much as they have. 

I´m excited to have a new companion, and I can´t wait to work harder,more efficiently, and more obediently with him in the cambio que viene!

Well at least that gives you a basic thought about what I´m doing here right now.

Now to share a bunch of the random things that I´ve noted down throughout the weeks.

Normal is the enemy of progression! If you find yourself using the word normal, rethink if ´normal´ is a good thing or not. Another word to look out for is ´but´. If you are thinking of making a decision, and you find yourself saying ´I should....but...´ then rethink! You were probably right when you said I should the first time!

Sisters! I realized something this week, that is absolutely wonderful! There are several sections in the D&C that are directed towards Emma Smith. These sections are spectacular becasue they are directed solely towards the women of the church--YOU! If you study these sections dilligently, you will come to understand even better the relationship that you have with your Father in Heaven, as his daughter, and the responsibilities that you do or will have as mothers and daughters, sisters and wives.

DENTAL FLOSS IS SO EXPENSIVE. When you come down, make sure to bring plenty of dental floss. A little free thing that you get when you go to the dentist costs almost as much as breakfast here...

Could you send me a map of where Cajamarca is? Just an image from google maps or something? And I´m also going to have to let my mission president know that you will be changing your address for a few months, so once you have an address and dates and whatnot, the sooner the better! Plus I´m dying of couriosity!

Did Jessica leave for Washington already? When did/does she leave?

Reading assignment for this week: Beware of Pride by Ezra T Benson. Oh my goodness so wonderful. I´ll write more about it next week, cause time´s up!

I love you all and I´m so grateful for all of your prayers! I can feel them every day! We are receiving so much help from the Lord, and there are all sorts of miracles. Some of them you´ll have to wait another year or two to hear, but everything is in my Journal, don´t worry! I haven´t missed a day yet!

Hurrah for Israel!

Love, Elder Hicken
Baptism of Hermana Silvia

Hemana Silvia and Jeffer, Elder Perez Albela and I 

 Hermana Silvia and Jeffer

 Lunch with Stake President, Presidente Manuel De La Cruz

In the bus or taxi or something, from a long time ago.
Elder Obeso, Gutierrez, Eklof, Me, Lopez (then my District Leader), and Perez Albela 

The wall says KAI !!

Elder Fankhouser ate too much!

Contacting Practice

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hola del día 124

Can you believe I´m 124 days old? crazy. I remembered my cheat sheet this time! So here we go...

I got your dearelder that says you´re dissapointed that I haven´t gotten any dearelders! So I´m getting them. Haha, it´s dated the 11 of May. I like the story! Made me laugh.

I´ll write my own noticias [news] before responding to your letters, that way you hear what´s going on.

I think I´ve figured out a way to send letters home, but It´s easier if I have American stamps, so if you could send 20 or so in the next letter that would be awesome!

I have a less active who is a high class chef. 
Dinner at his house.  I want to bring him back with me to start a Peruvian restaurant in Provo!

He wants a recipe for BBQ sauce.  I told him that we´ve made it a few times, and so he asked if I could give him a few. But! they eat a TON of oil with their food here, so if you could send 2 that would be awesome. One that is healthy and Mom-approved (and preferably tested), and one that is as unhealthy as delicious calls for. Thank you so much!

Also, if anyone sends letters, could you do me a favor and include your email? Thanks! (P.S. can you send me Braden´s email?)

I would love it if you could also send me FHE activities! We love to play torre de arena, and cat and mouse, but that´s about all I have up my sleeve! Preferably something with a doctrinal base! THank you!

I was thinking this past week about something that would be so amazing if you could do as a family. If randomly throughout the day, you would share scriptures with each other. Just a short 2 minute read the scripture and explain why you like it. Just really quick, but if you start talking about the gospel, well then that´s great and you can talk longer. But just think about how awesome that would be, and how much more the spirit would be present. Now this would be cool if Mom and Dad did it, but how much cooler would it be if Renen, or Sierra, or Kai, or Lily (?) came into the office one day and said, ´´Dad, I was reading the scriptures and I just want to share this scripture with you that is in Proverbs chapter 4. The whole chapter talks about the instruction of a Father to a son, but I really like verse 18. It says But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. I just love the thought that we have this grand potential to shine more and more, and never stop until we´re perfect, like the light of the world.¨ Wow, what a great spirit would be there.

Random Peru fact: car mirrors all have a chain attaching them to the car, so that when they get hit off because they drive so close together, they can just reattach it, and not have to buy a new mirror.

Big favor to ask! Could you send me a calendar more or less of important dates? Birthdays in the family, in the ward, holidays, and anything else that I would love to know. Thank you! You could even do it monthly, or weekly if that is easier.

Another random Peru fact! They don´t sell those silky garments here, so sad. 

They love to have quotes and stuff on their cars, and here are two that I´ve seen quite often. ¨Esfuerzo es exito¨ [Effort is Success] and ¨No se gana, pero se goza¨ [One doesn't win, but one is happy] just a little saying for the day.

Another saying that is my own, but reminds me to think of the importance of humility: No olvide su exito por sus pruebas, pero no olvide humanidad por su orgullo. [Don’t forget your success because of your trials, but rather don’t forget humanity because of your pride]
[Not all idioms can translate quite correctly into English and have the same effect, but this was the closest we could translate]
Well I made some good progress on this list, but my time is up, so I´ll save the rest for next time!

I love you all! Stay strong!

Love Elder Hicken
Caricature of Elder Perez Albela and I

Brandon Palomino and Daniel Melendez, two members

Service Project at Hermana Betty's!