Life is wonderful here in San Silvestre, and we are recognizing it. We baptized and confirmed Camila this weekend, and are looking forward to several more investigators with whom we have planned to set a date for baptism.
Our biggest challenge right now is that we don´t have a ward mission leader. Our ward has a lot of potential, but we can´t adaquatly tap into that great resource without a ward mission leader. We have been working with the bishop, and expect to receive a new leader soon.
Another challenge is encountering our investigators and members. We´ve had quite a few appointments fall through this past week, and almost all of our members we had scheduled to come with us fell through as well. However, we are pressing forward with faith, and good expectations. Our bishop is amazing, and he is leading a growing, improving, transforming ward to the CelestialKingdom. We are striving to support him in his endeavors.
We have an investigator, Francisco, who is about as prepared as it gets. He has an incredible knowlege of the gospel, even though, or maybe because, he has relied on personal study and experience to teach him the way to Christ. When we read the Book of Mormon together and pause mid-chapter to review, in our conversation he explains to us the next few verses without having read them! Certainly prepared by the Lord, and taught by the spirit. We hope to be instruments in the Lords hands to lead him through the door of baptism on the 20th of July.
Well, if I had to guess, I would say that I weigh almost 200lbs now. I´m running about every other day with Elder Eklof, and every other day dryland. The swimmer in me doesn´t know what else to call it than dryland. But we eat like kings, and my companion is tiny, so I eat what he can´t. And I´m huge compared to the people here, so they think I need a mountain of food. I also eat a lot faster, becasue I´m used to eating being a chore, not a hobby. I´m not complaining, but it sure is hard to say no when they ask if I want more...
Ok, so about my companion. I can´t remember what I´ve told you. His name is Elder Gaete (like galleta) and he is from Santiago, Chile, but he lived on Easter Island until 4 years ago. He is 21 years old and was inactive until he moved to the mainland because their branch on the island consisted of his family, 2 missionaries, and 2 other members. He is super cool, and we get along great because we really work. He is one day younger than I am in the mission, so I´m senior companion! haha. But really we´re eaqual because we balance each other out in everything.
Yesterday I did something hard for maybe the first time in my life. I don´t want to share a whole lot of details, but I want to share the testimony that was strengthened. Sorry enlish speakers, but I´m not sure I can do it justice in english.
Yo sé que Dios me ama, que Él me conoce, tanto que pone detalles en mi dia que Él sabe solo yo reconocería. Yo sé que Dios escucha a mis pensamientos tanto como mis oraciones, y que está ayudándome a desarrollar un voluntad semejante suyo. Alegramos a Dios cuando ayudamos a otros de sus hijos acercarles a Jesucristo, pero nuestro converso más importante es nosotros mismos. Dios está preocupando para mi todos los dias, en un manera que no puedo entender. Yo sé que Jesucristo pensó en mi nombre, nuestro amistad, cuando estaba orando en el Jardín de Getsemaní, y que tengo su esfuerza por un apoya cuando mio está débil. Yo amo a mi salvador. Yo amo a mi Dios. Yo tengo su amor para ustedes y quiero ayudar a ustedes tanto como mis vecinos acá a conocer a Cristo. Creed en Dios; creed que él existe, creed que él tiene toda sabiduría y todo poder, creed que el hombre no comprende todas las cosas que el Señor puede comprender. Sabed que yo lo creo, yo lo sé, y yo lo quiero vivir.
I know that God loves me, that He knows me, such that He puts details in my day that He knows only I would recognize. I know that God listens to my thoughts as well as my prayers, and that He is helping me develop a will similar to His. We please God when we help His children come closer to Jesus Christ, but our most important conversion is ourselves. God takes care of me every day, in a way I cannot understand. I know that Jesus Christ thought of my name, our friendship, when He was praying in theGarden of Gethsemane, and that I have his strength as a support when mine is weak. I love my Savior. I love my God. I have His love for you and I want to help you just like my neighbors here to know Christ. Believe in God; believe that He exists, believe that He has all wisdom and all power, believe that man does not understand everything that the Lord can understand. Know that I believe it, I know it, and I want to live it.
Cuidense--con los mandamientos.
Con amor, Elder Hicken
Pictures! Sorry there aren´t very many, we just played soccer last week, so I don´t have a lot of pictures.