Monday, March 31, 2014

Hola del zoologico! (hello from the Zoo)

I have the spanish-english song about the zoo stuck in my head [click here to hear it and get it stuck in your head, too :)  The second song in the video is the 'volar' song he liked as a kid.], the one from the tape with ´volar´ that I liked. Also recently I have had stuck in my head that´ve gotta work that brain-figure it out! There´s no need to scream or shout, you´ve gotta shake that thing you´ve got upstairs you´ve gotta use that thing that´s under your hair. [click here to hear it] jaja good times on road trips and driving home from soccer games...

Anyway, this week is going to be a little fast, we´re always dealing with getting our time cut short for different things that happen in the zone. As I get better with managing my time, in general and on the computer, the Lord sends me more trials to deal with.

Todo está bien aquí en Precursores!

This week has been really great for us! We have 7 on date, which is a record for me, and 8 progressing! To keep you informed on Rodrigo, I want to share with you what happened this Sunday:

After going to church with us and learning all about the Plan of Salvacion from premortal life to physical death,  Rodrigo left the chapel and decided to go with his friend to her ward in the afternoon. There, he learned all about the Plan of Salvacion from Physical death to the kingdoms of glory! After our lesson with his grandmother, mother, and he, Rodrigo expressed to my companion the following:

        ¨No siento que el dia 19 me debo bautizar. Quiero saber si puedo cambiar el dia.¨[I don't feel that I should be baptized on the 19th.  I'd like to know if I can change the date.]
        My companion responded positively, but obviouly concerned, to which Rodrigo responded:
        ¨¿Podría ser el dia 12? [Could it be the 12th?]
After talking about his schedule, he is planning on performing the ordinance that will seal the covenant he has made in his heart on Sunday the 13th, at 1:00, after the Sunday meetings. We might see attendance similar to that of general conference-he makes friends so easily with the members. We love him and are working our best to keep his family excited to learn more and follow his example when they too have made such a covenant in their hearts to follow the example of Christ.

So far, Elder Castro and I have improved greatly in our punctuality, and we are excited to see the blessings flow.

We´re super excited to learn in our leadership training meeting tomorrow!

I wrote a ton to President Borg today, I don´t have a whole lot to write. Things about mission things, so to not bore the audience, I have omitted it.

I´m sorry I didn´t share my testimony last week in my email! Time flew so fast I didn´t have time! And now my time is almost up, so I´ve got to testify:

Sé que la energía y el poder de amor es directamente relacionado con la fe. Al asociarnos con amor divino, seremos renovados, motivados, elevados, y purificados para ser mas como nuestro todo amoroso padre Celestial. El Libro de Mormón supera toda origino humano, y al ayudar a las personas a leerlo, les invitamos a venir a Cristo y al leerlo invitan un poder divino en sus vidas. A pesar de la carga que sea nuestra, podemos cambiarlo para un yugo ligera y fácil- la cruz que se nos dará por Cristo Jesús. Así hallaremos descanso en este mundo infiltrado con error y tinieblas. Dios mostró a José Smith las planchas 3 anos antes de dárselas para traducir. Dios no da mandamientos sin prepararnos la vía de cumplir. Esta vida es un tiempo para prepararnos para aparecer ante Dios. Dios es un Dios de preparación, lo sé. La fe es el primer principio del universo. Es el base de toda energía y acción. Por la fe andamos ahora pero en el futuro, no solo andaremos. Sé que la debilidad del ser mortal es la diligencia y por eso tenemos necesidad de enfocarnos. Al enfocar y crear hábitos, progresamos en una purificación que nos guía al salvador del mundo.

[I know that love's energy and power is directly related to faith.  As we utilize divine love, we become renewed, motivated, elevated, and purified to be more like our all loving Heavenly Father.  The Book of Mormon surpasses all things of human origin, and by helping people read it, we invite them to come unto Christ and upon reading the book, they are inviting a divine power into their lives.  Although the load is ours to carry, we can change it for a yoke that is light and easy -- the cross that Jesus Christ gives us.  That is how we will find rest in this world infiltrated by wickedness and darkness.  God showed Joseph Smith the plates three years before He gave them to him to translate.  God does not give us commandments without preparing a way for us to achieve them.  This life is the time for us to prepare to appear before God.  God is a God of preparation, I know.  Faith is the first principle of the universe.  It is the basis of all energy and action.  By faith we walk now but in the future we will not only walk.  I know that the weakness of the mortal being is diligence; therefore we must stay focused.  By focusing and creating good habits, we will progress in a purification guided by the Savior of the world.]
I just want to share with you one thing I fasted for this past week: the abilty to magnify not only my calling, but help others to be magnified by their callings, and in turn, to do the same. 
  • Joshua 3:7 -- And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
  • 2 Chronicles 1:1-- And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.
  • D&C 41:1 -- Hearken and hear, O ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of all blessings, ye that hear me; and ye that hear me not will I curse, that have professed my name, with the heaviest of all cursings.
  • D&C 76:5 -- For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.

Love Elder Hicken

Hurrah for Israel!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Todo está bien aqui en Precursores!

Estamos viendo milagros aqui! [We are seeing miracles here!]  There isn´t time to write or read them all, but here´s the low down. 

Apart that we have 8 children of God with a set goal for baptism, 7 of which were there at church, and progressing rapidly, they each have their miracle story. I just want to share one of them.

Rodrigo is 23 and lives with his single mother and grandmother. Years ago he met a member of the church while working, but later lost contact. After several years, they reencountered recently in a plane, flying out of Lima. In the conversacion [conversation], she shared that she was working to be able to serve a mission--the church topic was out of the bag. Rodrigo, being a less active Catholic, was enchanted by the feeling of joy that his friend always seemed to feel, and asked if he could go to church some time. She invited him to her farewell talk (she has been called to serve in Temple Square). After church, as he was walking home with his mom, he passed us by [and] couldn´t resist a prompting to talk to us. He expressed his surprise on having encountered us, and that it must be a sign of something good. We set up a return appointment, and taught him the basics of the plan of salvacion [salvation] and the doctrine of Christ. He excitedly accepted the invitation to be baptised, and we set up a date for the 19th before commiting him to pray with all his heart to know if he should be baptised. The next morning he sent us a message expressing his positive feelings, and in the afternoon he ran in to the sister missionaries! He called us and we expressed mutual suprise, and invited him to read the pamphlet on the Restauracion [Restoration ... switching spanish for english is a good sign for a missionary being immersed in the language!]. The next day, on his way to work, he ran into the Elderes from La Libertad! He called us to express, once again, his surprise, and his feeling that God is putting all the pieces in place to help him know that we will guide him to his presence. We are excited to meet with him again this week and help his mother want to follow his example.

In the Work of Salvacion, not only our investigators are progressing, but our ward! Our ward council has been fantastically effective the past two weeks, and our missionary correlacion [correlation] is improving drastically. Our stake is very strong, thanks to the Relief Society, but the Priesthood pillar is hanging by a string. We hope to start the home teaching program this transfer in our own ward, and help the other wards to do the same. 

As zone leaders, Elder Castro and I have decided to focus our efforts in two main areas: (1) punctuality and (2) motivation. We want to keep a level of trustful respect between us and our district leaders, and the district leaders and their missionaries. Especially in a zone with many sister missionaries. We also want to comply with our responsibility to not only supervisar [supervise], or motivar [motivate], sino elevar, animar, inspirar, y bendecir [but also to uplift, enthuse, inspire, and bless]. Our main goal, is efficiently communicate ´la vista del presidente´ [the president's vision] that we recieve by way of the assistants.

Gracias por todo!

Elder Hicken

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hola de St Patrick's day

 Hola Presidente!

Todo está bien aquí en Precursores!

Everything seems to be taking a turn for the better. I feel much more comfortable as zone leader than at the beginning of the change. The worst part is how the whole change we haven´t finished our full hour and a half of internet. 

Other than that, our zone is picking up pace! Thank you for your help, we´re looking forward to changes next week!

Love, Elder Hicken

Hurrah for Israel!

Sé que maldito es el que hace de la carne su brazo, o que confíe en su propio habilidad. La carne es nuestra debilidad y será hasta que sea purificada. No podemos fortalecerlo hasta perfección, sino podemos dejarlo en el alcanzo de la Expiación. Este semana fortalecí mi testimonio do lo esencial que es la fe para el progreso. A través de actos de fe, vayamos cumpliendo con el plan de salvación. Sé que sin un plan nuestra fe (1-deseo) nunca se concentra(2) y entonces nuestras obras(3) son ineficaces. Así que enflaqueceremos la prueba(4) y no veremos milagros(5). Pero con planes, saldremos exitosos con los milagros que mereceremos. Solo al pasar la prueba de fe viene los milagros. Con fe tan fuerte como nosotros tenemos pruebas fuertes, lo cual nos brinda milagros grandes!

Les amo a todos!

[I know that cursed is he who puts his trust in the arm of the flesh, or who trusts in his own ability.  The flesh is our weakness and it will be until we are purified.  We can not strengthen it ourselves unto perfection, rather we need to leave it in the reach of the atonement.  This week my testimony has been strengthened about how essential faith is for our progress.  Through acts of faith, we will fulfill the plan of salvation.  I know that without a plan our faith (1-desire) never is focused (2) and the then our works (3) are ineffective.  This is how we reduce the test (4) and do not see miracles (5).  But with plans, we will succeed with the miracles that we deserve.  Just  pass the test of faith and then come the miracles.  With faith as strong as we have strong evidence, that faith will bring grand miracles!  I love you all!]

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hola...tarde :) [A Late Hello]

Sorry for writing late this week. This mission is a one of a kind experience.

Todo está bien aqui en Precursores!

We´ve had an interesting week, but it´s been more productive. We still have yet to set a matriage date for the Isasi family, which means they don´t have baptisimal dates either, but they have the idea of getting married and baptized the same day in their heads, which is great.

Teresa gave in on her iceberg this week. That´s the miracle of having a date set, is that it helps them progress! She loves the Catholic saints. She feels like they have protected her and answered her prayers all her life. We are going to try to convert her faith in the saints into faith in Christ. If you have any suggestions for us, we´re looking for divine help!

We´re trying something (regretably) new! No quemar a los misioneros! [Do not burn the missionaries!]  It's working miracles, or at least that´s how we feel. We´ve yet to see results in baptisms, but slowly but surely it´s raising the numbers that really matter. As we keep in mind that we are personal representatives of Jesus Christ, and that the missionaries we are speaking to are his sheep, we are feeling the spirit much more as we work together.

The big news this week is that I´m learning sign language. We have a few members in the ward whose parents are deaf and mute and we´ve gone to look for them, because their kids are less active. So now I´m learning and practicing with them. The teaching process is slow.

My companion and I are working a lot with learning english. We´ve been improving both our english and our spanish speaking, los dos [both of them]! I didn´t realize how much english I´ve forgotton (especially about the gospel) until a new sister from the states asked me to give her a blessing in english. It wasn´t the easiest thing. Elder Castro says that the spirit manifests itself differently through me when I speak in english as opposed to when I speak in spanish. Any thoughts on that? Interesting, is about all I´ve got.

Sorry it´s short! I´ve only got a half hour this week!

Sé que como representantes actuales de Jesús tenemos la habilidad de solidificar la fe do las personas en preparación por los milagros. Esto es nuestro primer propósito. Sé que quienes ensenan mas o menos del evangelio de Jesucristo no son suyos. Que tenemos que ensenar con el fin de aplicárselo el evangelio a ellos mismos por medio de aumentar fe y cambiar por arrepentimiento.Sé que las escrituras nos dirán todo lo que debemos hacer. Sé que según mi voluntad hoy Dios se encargó de mi aprendizaje para que aprendiera lo que el quiso. Sé que dios requiere todo y es posible darle todo por medio de la expiación. En ella debemos tener esperanza.Se que los dones del espíritu son disponibles a los hijos de Dios según so recepción del espíritu por la obediencia. Sé que los patriarcas son inspirados por un conexión fino con el espíritu, lo cual brinda poder según los dones del espíritu. Al ver nuestros investigadores en la capilla de su propia voluntad, y los lideres participa en el consejo de barrio, sentí la gratificación y gozo de saber que los había inspirado y motivado para cumplir con lo que el señor espera de ellos. Sé que planes son necesarios para lograr metas dignas: metas que requieren un mayor esfuerzo, pero son posibles. Sé que dios tiene un plan perfecto para nosotros que si o si se cumple. Cuando estemos donde y como debemos estar, recibimos las bendiciones. Mientras estemos en el horno de la misión, Dios tiene su receta y se está cumpliendo para que seamos una creación suya listo para la pastelería de la ¨vida después¨.

[I know that as actual representatives of Jesus Christ, we have the ability to solidify people's faith in preparation for miracles.  This is our first priority.  I know that people that teach more or less than the gospel of Jesus Christ are not His.  We have to teach with the in a way that they learn to apply the gospel to themselves in order to increase their own faith and to change unto repentance.  I know that the scriptures will tell us all things which we must do.  I know that according to myown will today, God took charge of my learning in order for me to learn what He wanted me to learn.   I know that God requires all and it is possible to give it all through the atonement.  In it [the atonement] we should have hope.  I know that the gifts of the Spirit are available to the children of God according to their reception to the Spirit through obedience.  I know that the patriarchs are inspired with an acute connection to the Spirit, which brings power according to those spiritual gifts.  Seeing our investigators in the chapel by their own free will, and the leaders involved in ward council, I felt joy and gratification to know that He had inspired and motivated them to fulfill what the Lord expects of them.  I know that plans are necessary to achieve our worthy goals:  goals may take a lot of effort, but they are possible.  I know that God has a perfect plan for us and no matter what it will be fulfilled.  When we are where we should be and doing what we should be doing, we receive blessings. While we are in the "furnace" of our mission, God has His own "recipe" and it is being carried out in order that we become His own creation, ready for the "bakery" in the "after life".]

Thank you for all you do!

I love you!

Elder Hicken

Hurrah for Israel!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hola de Stake Conference

Todo está bien aquí en Precursores!

All is well, but just because we´re doing fine. Logros this week were a lot lower than we had expected, and we´ve spent a lot of time this morning searching for revelation. After studying a list of ´La Vista del Presidente´we have a few crazy ideas to try and edify the faith of our missionaries so that they can produce miracles. One thing we want to try is ´blitzkreig´ sectors by sending an entire district to work for a morning in one sector, focused on setting people on date and setting up return appointments. It inspires to have 6, or 8, or 10 people on date, even if only 2 or 3 end up preparing themselves to be baptized.

We´re going through the trial of faith with our golden family, and it´s going to be a trial of longanimity. We´re going to press forward!

Our investigator on date for this weekend is thinking twice-she used to be a hard-core catholic, but her less active granddaughter has softened her heart a little with a touch of humility in trials. We´re doing our best to help her recieve an answer.

I´m not sure why this came to mind this morning as I thought of what to write, but I feel that the Lord has something particularly unexpected ready for me. I am ready for whatever it might be, although I feel that it will be right where it will be most incomfortable.

I finally feel like I´m a good missionary. I´m ready to invite others to come unto Christ and help them receive the restored gospel. 

This past week was stake conference! Something I really liked was how President Borg, and also Elder Espinoza (70) made the members want to have missionary experiences, and then invited them to do so. It makes me want to do the same with every invitation I make as a missionary. Elder Espinoza invited me up on the stand to explain to everyone what an ´informe de progreso´ [progress report] is. 

Hooray! I sent messages to almost everyone in my inbox today! Which takes a lot of stress of my shoulders, so that I can feel the spirit and share my testimony.

Sé que las santas escrituras y el evangelio que se encuentra a dentro de ellas son infinito y perfecto Dios ha guardado santo esos libros para nuestro capacidad de necesitar. Martes aprendí la importancia de todo el ministerio de Jesucristo que no fue su expiación. Ahora comprendo mas la grandeza de llegar a ser mas como Cristo. Sé que la diligencia nunca es tarde. si perdimos una oportunidad de hacer algo puntualmente, no significa que ya no vale hacerlo. Sé que Cristo nos está edificando un ´ladrillo´a la vez. Cada desafió es engerido por el, para nosotros, y a medida que oremos nos será consagrada nuestra obra. El conductor del espíritu es la humildad, y que sin ella somos siego, más oblivio. Sé que hay un principio eterno atrás del poder de la voz cantante, y las palabras que emplea. Dicho principio inspira, motiva, eleva, y bendice, a los oyentes según el espíritu de la comunicación. Se que la obra de Salvación es una obra de amor, la cual no se puede cumplir en su extenso sin un porción de la caridad que Dios brinda a los que verdaderamente le siguen.

Les amo mucho!

[I know the Holy Scriptures and the gospel that is within them are infinite and perfect .  God has kept these holy books for our need.  Tuesday I learned the importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ that was not the Atonement.  Now I better understand the grandeur of becoming more like Christ.  I know that it is never too late to be diligent.  If we lost an opportunity to do something on time, it doesn't mean that we can no longer do it...I know that Christ is building us, 'one brick at a time'.  Each challenge is engineered by Him, for us, and through our prayers our work will be consecrated.  The spirit is based on humility, and without it we are blind.  I know that there is an eternal principle about the tone of voice and words that we used.  This principle inspires, motivates, uplifts, and blesses those who hear according to the spirit of the communication.  I know that the work of salvation is a work of love, a love which we can not be fully met without the charity that God gives those who truly seek it.

I love you very much!]
Love, Elder Hicken

Hurrah for Israel!