Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hola despues de la communion

Today we met with President Soares of the Presidency of the 70. Great man. He´s Brazilian. Surprise: I can understand almost 95% of Portuguese now!
On August 23, 2014 we were blessed to have President Soares with his wife and President C. Scott Grow visit the mission.  They are both members of The First Quorum of the Seventy. 

Elder Grow also came (Mom, he remembered Sunny right off the bat when I met him) and in his talk shared the same scriptures and the same principles as Elder Castro and I in our capacitationes this past month. Incredible. 

Needless to say, praying for the answers to questions, and then listening with faith, produces testimonies and spiritual experiences.

One of my questions was with regards to the relationship between the two Christlike attributes of patience and obedience. Up until now, that has been a big question in my mission. A question I asked my first President and he responded with a "only time can tell" answer. Now I am beginning to understand. It has to do a lot with charity. Everything is un gran giro eterno [a great eternal round] and everything ties in. The spirit makes connections that we ourselves as veil-experienced humans cannot make (such as the comprehension of "eternity"), through the which we can testify of and teach eternal principles to others--always depending upon the connection that can be made if our words invite the Spirit to do it´s work.

Both President Borg and President Soares talked about their wives. Many times I have experienced a type of love that comes from within me, but from a source much greater and much more powerful than myself. It´s a feeling that doesn´t translate well into telestial terms. It was interesting to see my President feel that same big feeling of love and try and let it out. It seems to me that it is most frequent to feel in such a way in concordance with a foreign demonstration of piety.

 34 Nevertheless, so great and marvelous were the words which he prayed that they cannot be written, neither can they be uttered by man.

I love the mission. It is nothing like what I wanted, but my Heavenly Father knows me better than I do, and certainly better than I did. I had no idea what he had in store for me. I am beginning to realize that my most wildest dreams are really not as far away as they´re made out to be. 

Love, Elder Hicken

Friday, August 29, 2014

Re: Parent's letter

It´s Pday today because tomorrow we have our meeting with Elder Soares  . 

Thanks for the pictures.  Everyone looks so different. It´s amazing how things change in just two years. 

Renen is into swimming AND diving! Awesome! I hope he doesn´t expect to be amazing at either. It's a choice between being a star, or a jack of all trades. I decided a little late that I like being a jack. I'm super excited to record with him! I´ll have to ask him how the sound studio is going.

Speaking of one thing that has changed, I like even MORE food than before. We just ate Subway, including lettuce, cucumbers, and jalapenos. Now I´m drinking apple juice. (which is called crazy water here, if you didn´t already know) I eat everything, hasta las patas.

When does marching band go into full swing? What´s the show this year again? Finals are in September or November, right?

Well, I´ve got to agree that the more people I become in charge of, the more "unplanned" my days get. We actually struggle to make time to plan because it is so rare that anything we plan less than a few hours in advance actually happens. That also means that we bring to pass changes al toque . For example, we´ve been talking about a few elders who could be the next personal secretary.  Yesterday we met with the President, he asked us if we were ready to make a decision, and we gave Elder Chatwin a call. He was in the office by 3pm yesterday, moved into our room at night, and now he´s being trained. Crazy.

I love the scripture! Thanks!

Love, your son,
Elder Hicken

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekly Update

How are things going? This week has been kinda crazy, I´ll share the details later on.

Nope, I don´t get fed by members any more. Except on Sundays. So I do a lot more cooking than I´ve ever done on the mission. But I have more time to do it. That´s the nice thing about being an AP. I have the ability to do what I´ve always wanted to do, and what I´ve always been good at. While I was a zone leader it was so hard to live up to my potential for all the red tape. Now that I´m the one who deals with the red tape, I have time to cook, to relax, to exercise, to write in my journal, etc.

How did the western welcome week parade go? Does Renen seem more like Kai in person, or is it just the pictures? Where is his recording studio going to be? I´ve got some songs that I would love to play/record with him. I´d need Kai on the piano, but maybe Dad can step in while he´s in Columbia. 

I imagine you´re all in the Temple right now, and that´s why nobody has responded. I hope you´re having a wonderful time. I love you all for being worthy to go!

Talking about the videos-my dropbox is overfull, but we have permission to go on youtube to watch family or church videos. It´s amazing how much trust they have in us, even through really that can´t keep anyone from not obeying the rules. Really, I´ve gone this far without watching videos, and I´m sure I can go the rest, but now it´s an option if you really want to send something.

Hmmm, who is Madeline Wallis? and company? 

Well I hope all is well, I´m doing great. I´m living the life, and feeling more comfortable than ever as a missionary. I feel like I could take on the world. Well, at times I feel like I am but I´m happy, and that´s what matters. I can´t be with President and Sister Borg on an almost daily basis and not be happy. 

So you asked about a day in the life of an assistant. Well, I´ve come to experience that no two days are the same. Let me just list off a few of the activities that we participated in this week.

  • multi-zone meetings, like this one:
(me right in the middle, 3rd row)

We did a title of liberty vs. nametag simulation. Fun stuff. Love it!

  • meetings with stake presidents
  • taking missionaries to the airport who have to leave early
  • blessing the apartment of a companionship who felt a malicious presence
  • fixing a simple power outage
  • serving 1000 hotdogs to a mob of missionaries
Aug 13, 2014
Elder Castro and a triple hotdog.
We eat hotdogs for the multizone meetings, and there is always more hot dog than bun.
This is what we do with the extras
  • teaching taxi drivers who ask us what they need to do to go to our church
  • overhauling ancient mission excel forms to be more usable
  • suggesting changes for the president (we´re only halfway through!)
  • sending visa waiting missionaries to their respective missions in mexico
  • closing sectors to accommodate loss of missionaries
  • organizing a choir for a special fireside this Saturday
and much more, besides the normal, everyday mission life things. 

I love Elder S.G. Nielson´s advice to hasten the Lord´s game plan. He says: "pray for the missionaries serving in your area and their investigators by name every day." How I wish the members of my ward knew my name. How I wish the members of my ward knew the names of my investigators. It would be easy, if they would just take the time to ask "who´s the new guy?" or if I have a family to do FHE with this Monday. After all, we both have needs, and we can´t resolve them without each other´s help. Just as much as missionaries never stop being members, members can´t ever stop being missionaries without being any less a real member.

I love this work. It is so pleasing to the soul. I am flooded with a constant peace. I am overflowed with a constant desire to share with those I love, love those I meet, and meet those who need-for I need them as much as our Father does.

I love you!

Elder Hicken

Hurrah for Israel!
Me, right now.

Dinner, last night. 
We don´t have a pension, so this is my favorite pre-pday activity.

Pday in the fun.

 Shopping with the President Borg, the office Elders and Assistants

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hola de La Semana LOCA

Well here I am writing on Sunday night. Sorry if you thought I wasn´t going to write, sometimes things get a little crazy here in the office, and now that we have computer access 24/7 our pday gets shut down sometimes.

Well, ¡todo está bien aquí en la oficina!  [All is well in the office!]

I spent my time writing to Kai, but I´ll be talking a bit tomorrow as well. Love you!

Love, Elder Hicken

Hurrah for Israel!

It was E´Castro´s birthday on the 14th

We eat in Chili´s at least 3 times a week, even on pday.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Letter to the Family

First of all, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! On the 8th I heard one of those songs in spanish that Dad gave you for Christmas so long I can´t remember how it goes, but it set off a spark in my heart and lit a little fire inside.

Mi compañero Elder Castro es increíble [is incredible]. Lo amo tanto, y me ayuda, y me ha ayudado tanto volverme más como Cristo. [I love him so much; he helps me, and helps me come to be more like Christ.]  The travel is just fine, we go all over the mission every week, but it takes only an hour to get from the office to any part of the mission. Many times less if there isn´t any traffic. 

 The office is great, because I finally don´t have red tape to do what I´ve always wanted to do. And it's normally really stressful, but somehow I´m less stressed right now, and maybe more patient than I have ever been in my whole life. It´s incredible. Elder Castro is my best friend, and I know he loves me to death. I think that has a lot to do with how comfortable I feel. I also get to be with the President a whole bunch. I see him almost every day. The only thing that is sad is that it´s been almost 2 weeks since I´ve taught my own investigator. We don´t have them. We don´t have a sector, well kind of, but we share it with 2 of the secretaries.

Well it´s great to know that Luke was born! I think I found out that Tauna was embarazada [pregnant] two weeks ago...

Love the shirt Renen! We got permission from the President to watch videos from family, could you send me them? Super excited for my Hicken shirt! My old one´s out of date....

Speaking of knowing people. Do you know President Hawking? He served as temple president here in Peru a few years back. I think he lives in CoSprings, but he works in the temple. I have yet to meet President Grow, but I´ll have the opportunity when he speaks to our mission at the end of the month with Elder Christofferson (the Apostle, who is coming to speak to our mission. Later on we find out who he´s going to eat lunch with....) And the mission office for Lima Este is a little far from here, but if I see the President, I´ll tell him "hi"!

I´ll prepare to send a little explanation about a snapshot of the life of an AP, but every day is so different. Nothing is ever the same, and nothing is ever like we plan it to be! It´s a life of fancy footwork and strong toe muscles (from being on them literally 24/7).

Lily! I don´t remember how I lost my teeth, but I kept them in a little lego box to keep them safe after I had cleaned them off well. I´m glad you like legos!

Mom! I loved reading your mission journal! 12 baptismal interviews sounds like the end of the world! Please send more! I love to hear! I´m going to try to get our ward to do a treasure hunt!

I love you! Thank you for all your support and love!

Love, Elder Hicken

Today we went to Gamarra! 

We found my restaurante. Sr. Pollo. 

My companion´s birthday is the 14th and his mom sent him money
...from my country
...that I´ve never seen

And I´m starting to cook otra vez!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hola de la Oficina

Todo está bien, pero estoy aqui en la oficina![All is well here, but here I am in the office!]

I think you might recognize my new companion (see attachment).
[It's Elder Castro, who he has served with before!]

How´s the reunion going? Did Tauna already have her baby? I bet it´s crazy having those two things going on at the same time.

I´ll talk to Grandpa Steimle later today I think to coordinate a bit of the Family History work. I have the goal to take an ancestor´s name to the temple to do their endowment the next time I go with the Zone. 

When do you go back home from all your traveling?

Today I went to the pedologist. I think that´s what a foot doctor is called in english. I don´t think I ever learned how to cut my toenails, but make sure Kai knows before leaving! It´s more complicated than just ctrl+C!

This week I strengthened my testimony that whom God calls he qualifies. Sometimes responsibility entails pride, but when one´s heart is in the right place, and has righteous desires, responsibility entails humility. The key, almost always is prayer. 

Love, Elder Hicken

Hurrah for Israel!

 Shopping with the President Borg, the office Elders and Assistants