Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This is a letter -- week #2

This is fun, but I get where Talon is coming from in not being able to think of what happened during the week and so it's hard to always write a letter that has something. 

My companions are Elder Nae'ole and Elder Anderson and it's a bit of a struggle sometimes because they are very different than me, but it isn't that bad so I'm alright. 

Elder Lauritzen has been really struggling for the last week with the stress and considering going home and talking with the President and other dramatic things, and we fasted for him twice now but he's really doing better. 

My district is also picking up the language just fine, and I'm fairly proficient at carrying a decent conversation with natives. I am also good with using a Peruvian accent and not worrying about the Colombian accent and it isn't hard to understand either. 

We have three latin roommates and they are way fun and they are also good to practice the language with. Elder Herrera (one of the latin roommates) got his endowments when we went to the Temple today and we were so happy for him. I gave him a tie and he wore it -- (yay fun!) It was an ugly tie so I didn't have withdrawals yet, so not bad. Also they took our cameras and candy and we only get them on P-day (still friday) so too bad. 
Selfie with me, my companions, and my latino roommates who were in a trio like us

Elder Alvarado, a missionary that lives in Talon's ward found me on our first day and gave me a package from Talon and now we're buddies and I talk to him all the time and he broke his glasses when he got hit in the face with a volleyball today. Volleyball is intense here. My glasses are staying intact so they must be stronger than the volleyball. The other missionaries here are great (yay). 
 Me with Elder Alvarado, a missionary that arrived from Talon's area in Peru!
The Bogotá Temple president came and talked to us on Sunday and he gets released this weekend. The Bogotá temple is way big compared to Denver and is really great. Our teachers are super fantastic. Hermana Rangel is super great and apparently half the older elders have a small crush on her. That's all about her. Hermano Mendoza is also great and really animado [energetic]. Like actually way animado. 

I've gained 5 pounds the food is good.
Not anything like Lima Temple housing.

I also type faster than the other elders in my district.

It's so hard to find personal study time being new at the CCM because they pack your schedule with language studies and other things like that. But time is beginning to move fast and it entertains me. 

Dad, Andres emailed me asking about meeting up and I just told him to arrange a time with you and I'll just comply with that and talk to the authorities here. 

I'm also great and doing well.

I also didn't think that having 40 ties would be that much more than other missionaries but I'm glad I have them.

Everytime we have meat for lunch, one of the CCM cooks tells all the gringos it's gato and I believed it for like 10 minutes the first time and then I ate some and it was just beef. 

Everyone is great here, and some people struggle hardcore and some people don't. That's just how life works. 

Some people find it easy to type with a Spanish keyboard and some don't. I don't see why people keep not getting how to do that.

Remember how I said that here we use stickers as a commodity? The CCM basically stopped supplying the JetBars that come with the stickers and so they're really valuable now. Dad, tell Andres I'll give him $10,000 if he brings me a package of a bunch of JetBars because those stickers are like a way of survival. I traded away my puma and I want it back. This is actually like a really big deal in the CCM. Like money in the real world. We really, like, never leave the gates. I have done it twice. Once for immigration (to stay past our visas, we are getting a Colombian citizenship) and then for the Temple.

Our "investigator", Javiera (Hermano Mendoza dislikes the name) is very easy to work with and she committed to baptism, but my companions haven't been able to participate in the discussions until today and still they're rough. I've done a couple solo lessons now. Also Elder Tolman (the canadian) is super canadian. [As training, missionaries are paired with fake investigators.  The experiences he shares here are mostly for his training purposes.]

The Younger Elder Hicken

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Letro Numero Uno

[Yes, Letro means Letter, but as in a Letter of the alphabet.  No biggie, these things will work themselves out.  In the meantime, enjoy Letter #1 from our favorite Elder Kai Hicken!]

 The Missionaries in the CCM upon arrival Oct 22, 2014
Kai front and center, third in from the left, first row.

I be here. I`ve got two companions: Elder Anderson and Elder Nae`ole. Elder Anderson is half ginger. 

Also the keyboards are Spanish, so that is really great. 

It`s so great being back in South America. It feels so similar to Peru so I actually feel like partially at home. 

Also Elder Anderson snores. 

They took my chocolate and camera and we only get them on P-day so that`s a little rough. Also they use stickers as a form of currency in the CCM which I think is hilarious and you get them out of chocolate bars (Colombian equivalent of Sublimes) and the design on the sticker dictates their value.

The Colombian


The Peruvian

 I`ve only been here for like two seconds and we haven`t even been to a class yet because we`ve just been doing immigration and introducing stuff, but it feels nearly normal. 

I also woke up like on time this morning too which was totally wild. 
My District:  Me, Tolman, Nae'ole, Anderson, Lauritzen

There`s only 5 Elderes in the district (only 5 Norte Americanos in the CCM that came yesterday) and we are all going to Medellin and the elder Elderes make it sound like it`s a really big deal that they finally have a big group going to Medellin, so it makes it sound like there aren`t all that many missionaries in Medellin already. 

Also Talon was right about the water bottle -- which is good. 

Elder Tolman is from Vancouver and really likes Behind Sapphire and has a friend or something in the band. His name is Joseph Ward whose sister is Saundra Ward and her good friend Iyslen Tolman`s brother is Elder Tolman. 

Do you know Elder Mazankowski`s mission email? 

I actually like these people, so that`s fun too. Actually we have been great and It`s great to be in Colombia. Everyone actually is super impressed with my Spanish and I`ve been able to speak in normal conversation with taxistas and hermanos that work here and los Elderes Latinos. 

A missionary from Talon`s ward brought a package for me and we talked for a bit and it`s way super cool. His name is Elder ______ [Alvarado].   Everyone is telling me their names and so I literally know only the names in my 5 person district and then Thomas S. Monson. 

Also it`s raining. 

I`ve not really gotten time yet, and if I asked everyone to raise their hands if they`re surprised, no one would levante sus manos because I`ve been here for less than a day and we`ve been doing all the logistics. I think I`ll be able to do something like look at that package or write a letter tonight perhaps. 

Also the food is about a bajillion times better than the Lima Temple Housing food which is a plus. They also gave us Granadillas (I actually am having legitimate trouble pronouncing the `ll` as `j` and I`m considering just speaking with a Peruvian accent for the next two years) and Elder Anderson calls it a snot fruit but I don´t think about that. 

I laughed at the new elder`s reactions to the Granadillas and then I`m like I`ve done this all before so everyone is like you are the coolest,

and my Spanish is better than a couple gringos that have been here for six weeks

but I`m all humble and all helping people and conversing with natives in minor fashions. It just means I can spend extra time studying Gospel instead of language. Also studying the specifics of Spanish because I am bad at that but at least I`m not awful. Next P-day is I think next Friday. 

--------Elder Hicken

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Farewell

Elder Kai Hicken left for Columbia on October 21, 2014

Being Set Apart as a Missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Sunday, October 19, 2014
Those present include:
Stake President Priday
Enoch & Janae Fredericks, Kyler, Aspen, Ryden, Jordan, Cameron, Jayda
Mom & Dad, Renen, Sierra, Lily
Tauna Wilkinson, Claire, Ike, Luke
Elders Belding and Cochran
Bishop and Sister Archer
and friends Mackenzie Macfarlane, Nathan Anderson, and John Michael Galloway

Last words of Goodbye from Lily on the front coat closet!

The Airport Farewell was touching and memorable.
Renen and Kai

Sierra, Lily, and...who's the mystery brother behind Kai?

Lily and Kai

Sierra trying to lift Kai..
...maybe she'll be successful when he returns!

He does not doubt the faith, testimony, and love of his mother.

Having been raised by goodly parents, therefore he was taught.

One last family photo before saying goodbye.

I Spy the Missionary

Cleared through Security

And off to serve the Lord.