Monday, September 29, 2014

Hola de lunes!

 Todo está bien aquí en Misión Lima Perú Central!

This week the Lord saved 63 souls in our mission! A whopping number. 

It´s been a busy week, and we´re ready for another. Just letting you know that I´m alive and well, and that the Lord is speeding on his work. What a great opportunity to see it in HD, 3D, real-time and with 100% spiritual effects.

Here´s the spiritual thought of the week:

Thank you all for your hard work to choose the right!

Love, Elder Hicken

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hola de la semana loca

Todo está bien aquí en la oficina!

Well this week has probably been my most crazy week in the office yet. We have done everything from run around the golf course to sit for hours in the airport. But while in the airport, who should we run into but Victor Hernandez and his family (my ward mission leader from Precursores with E´Castro) who were finally on their way to Rockland, CA. It was so great to wish them on their way-definitely a tender mercy for us as well as them. 

They are amazing people and their family has changed so much since when I got to their ward. It´s amazing to see how the Lord took them from trial to trial like a stepping stone trail (with the stepping stones sometimes seeming very close together if you ask them) until they could be led to their promised land. I´m so excited for them. While in my mission, I´ve never felt so much like family than I did with them. 

Big news: We got a new projector this week! It´s about as thick as a ream of paper, and runs wirelessly with our laptop. It´s pretty awesome.

Other big news, I did my first vicarious endowment for a family member! 

Outside the temple about to go through for Johan Simonson (my 4x great grandfather)

It was an interesting experience. It is so important to help our ancestors on their way to the celestial glory. I had the opportunity to feel like how one of them might feel, sitting outside of where great and sacred acts are brought about, wondering what was going on, why, and why everyone was so excited but at the same time focused on bringing to pass some important, urgent work. I felt so anxious to know, and to know how I could participate. Maybe I could help, but I didn´t know what to help do, or who to offer my service. Why didn´t I know what to do, or why? I know there are many people who are kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it in this world, but I am aware now that the number might be much larger in the spirit world. 

Here´s a picture of the office in front of the temple. Me, Elder Chatwin, Elder Vergara, Elder Cornejo, Elder Castro, Elder Gonzalez

We trained the new missionaries yesterday morning. I used a video that the President liked a lot. 

This morning I tried a new food! Fried banana with cheese. It was pretty good! I didn´t ask for the recipie though, sorry. 

Thanks for everything you do! I love you!
 me eating a pela-pop (never seen that before, have you?)

  E´castro and I with a monkey (which punched me in the face shortly beforehand) 
in Gamarra this morning.

Love, Elder Hicken

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tyler Balli and JWs

 The arrival of new missionaries from the CCM, Sept 9, 2014

[Talon refers to the letter he received from Brent where he shared some gospel sharing experiences he had last week with some Jehovah Witnesses.]
What amazing experiences! I love it!

I´ve still got 5 more weeks with my companion, and we´ve got plans to have as much success as possible, both in our sector as well as the mission!

You have a member missionary class? How does that work out? I would love to try and involve that here if it´s working there! I have seen that book on your shelf, you got it for Christmas recently, am I right? 

Yesterday we trained the Callao zone. It was incredible, because we have 4 hours of straight training. My voice was absolutely dead at the end of the day. We taught them how to plan for miracles. I see miracles every day. We saw the miracle yesterday that although we basically singed their spiritual eyebrows, they loved it. I thought they were bored, but apparently they were feeling the spirit. 

Afterwards the President took us out to a expensive restaurant. It was incredibly good, and he bought us the buffet. I ate 3 platefuls. I´ve got a big bellied reputation in the office. Sister Borg loves to tease me about it. 

We certainly have our share of JW experiences. There are all different sorts, just like there are Mormons. Some of them love to see us out working and consider us part of their team against sin. Others won´t respond even if we just say hi as we go by. In our old house they passed by about once a week, and some tried to share a scripture before running (sometimes literally running) away from our house. Many of them are quite afraid of us. I don´t want to know what their preacher tells them. I have always wondered what it would be like to have an experience similar to yours. I had never noticed them in the states. Then again, I hardley noticed our own missionaries in the states.

I´ve got one question, were you nervous when you invited them in? 

I love you! 
Your son,
Elder Hicken

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hola de [Mom's Visit in] California

Man you guys are the best!
Mom, of course I´m jealous that you´re driving the truck. There aren´t very many of them here, but whenever we see one, the president and I get excited. President misses his truck.

I sent Chris an email, but he hasn´t responded yet. I don´t want to add to his stress, but if you can find out if he at least received the message that would be great.

Tonight there are 12 baptisms in my old zone with my old companion. I want to go see, but I think we might be looking for a new apartment still for the new missionaries. It´s change day this Tuesday! I don´t have a change. I know that, but Elder Castro only has one change left here before he goes back down. He wants to be a district leader again. Things are pretty crazy. I´m writing today, but we don´t get pday this week. 

Pouch mail, I´ve gotten letters/pictures from Lily through pouch mail. This week I actually got a lot of letters! I got the picture from Grandma, my companion didn´t recognize me. I got the letter from Shaun and Suzan, and yesterday I got the package with the pillowcase! I slept on it last night-never slept better in my life! I also got the letter from the 11 year old class from church (thanks Millers!) and the letter from Renen and Noah. Looks like all of us have converted to the all capital handwriting like Dad. Noah reminds me of Renen´s handwriting a year ago, so I guess he has hope for future improvement. 

I love to read your missionary experiences. I´m sure you´d like to tell me the same, so here´s one for you. This past week we presented "Missionary Contacts": the new referral system run by the MTC. It's a huge network to get referral data from mission to mission, or sector to sector, or to missionaries, etc. It´s a huge project, but now that we have access to the sometimes year-old referrals, I set up one appointment for yesterday morning. Turns out he works right next door to us! We went over and talked to him, and he excitedly shared that his friend gave him a business card and he checked out the site. He loved how happy the families are, and wants his family to be just as happy! That was two months ago, and he forgot about it until we called him, but when we met him he asked us for "one of those books that we have that help people be more happy". I knew exactly what he was talking about of course, and we were more than happy to share it with him.

Later yesterday evening, we took a taxi to get some of the new apartments ready for the new missionaries. The taxi driver jumped right into religion and we started talking about his beliefs. He condemned worshiping images and praying to saints, and told us that he was just too plain lost to be corrected, literally "you can´t make a crooked tree grow straight". I shared my testimony about the Book of Mormon and the divine power that it offers; he was intrigued. I gave him one, and he was touched and expressed his sincere desire to read it. I was impressed by the spirit that inspired him to accept the book and have the desire to test the promised that I have received. Although I don´t know if he´ll be baptized in a month, I know he´ll read the book. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and his diligence to provide us this powerful and ancient record.

Mom, how much time did you have in the mission when you wrote these? I especially like your opinion of senior and junior companions. In our mission we don´t have senior and junior companions. What do you think about that? Of course, they exist for us in the office, but the Elders and Sisters don't know who is who.

Speaking of President, or Elder Grow, he invited us to do exactly the same: open our mouths. Did I tell you that he remembered you by name? You must have been a great missionary. I love to use those same lines, mainly with taxi drivers. I guess I was present in that zone conference as a spirit child. I have the goal of always having a Book of Mormon to give away.

Kai´s a temple worker? What! That´s awesome! I wish I could have done that. One day for sure. He´s sure on a much higher road than I was getting ready for takeoff.

Well, I love you. You´re the best. I hope you are loving life, because it´s the best. Share the gospel while you can, the days go by fast! Don´t achieve meaningless goals! Be smart, don´t do dumb things! Pray daily! Plead bravely! 

Love, Elder Hicken