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

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