Monday, February 16, 2015


Well, Luz Mary didn´t come to church yesterday, so that baptism isn´t happening this weekend. We don´t know what happened with her, but she hasn´t answered any of our phone calls for I think now over a week. Also, we´ve never taught her in her house, only the house of her mom, so we can´t go directly to the source. 

On the bright side, Regina finally came to church! We invited her again to be baptized on Saturday, and she said practically that the only thing holding her back was that she wanted to go to church to make the decision. So, she went and she´s got a friend there and all. But, she left right at 12 so we weren´t able to talk to her afterwards. 

Basically, the most difficult area in the mission is going through a hard spur. Cambios are in a week, but they´re already all figured out because Elder Waddell of the Area Presidency will be here with us on Thursday so the Pte and APs are traveling through the mission with him all week. But, it does mean that all the missionaries are sniffing for leaks in the Mahonri-moriancumr barge secret holders that are the APs. I don´t think there´s ever been a leak about cambios. 

In this part of the letter, I´m going to talk about the out of the ordinary bad things that have happened, and the good things that I see in them. As you may remember, an Hermano in the ward dissapeared January 6th, and for over a month no one had heard anything. His wife lives in San Rafael, he has a married daughter with two kids, and two sons in the mission, and two Young Men. Also, like 4 of his siblings and his widowed mother live in the ward. A week ago, the family put down their Pit Bull because it was too dangerous, attacking children and such. It was essentially the dog of the father, but since he was gone, they didn´t have much stopping them from putting it down. He was super old anyway. But, we got there right as the man was putting the body in a plastic bag and we talked a bit with the family that was there, and then went to Hno Torres. We got there just as he was washing blood off his hands after nearly cutting his arm off with a power saw. (He´s a carpenter). If anyone wants pictures, I can get them to you. And when I say nearly, I mean that literally. It´s a nasty cut. He´s the Elders Quorum president, and this made it a bit more difficult to magnify his calling. Well, the Franco family, (the family from which the Hno disappeared) I know I have mentioned before because they are in my top 5 list of strongest families in the church that I have ever met. On Thursday, they received the first word of their father in over a month. His bones were found in a forest and they really just identified him by the documents he had on him. Obviously, this was a bit sad and disastrous for the ward, considering the quality of man that Hno Franco was. A fantastic Hermano, he was. But, with these two families, we have seen marvelous strength through the difficulties. Hna Franco still has never ever missed a Sunday since her baptism, and the Fast Sunday after the disappearance of her husband she shared her testimony about eternal families, and continues magnifying her calling as Primary President. Her daughter invited missionaries over to her house for lunch yesterday, and Hno Franco is fulfilling his calling as Elders Quorum President, and is still eager to assist us with the missionary work. The Franco kids continue to be great influences in the ward, and the missionaries all marvel at how these families become stronger through their trials, which are just magnified if you consider the economic condition that everyone lives in here.  Hno Torres can´t work for a month, and the oldest Franco son at home has taken the role with his mother of earning all the money to support the family, and the two sons in the mission. Here, everyone hardly earns more than they need. 

These stories also make me feel a bit ashamed for the people I´ve known that gave up on everything because of something difficult, or decided that something wasn´t worth it because it required more time than was convenient. To me, those are two signs that could indicate an undedicated and often weak-minded person. Every good thing comes through rough bits. And, the rough bits just make it better anyway. 

This week, a less-active Patricia Moralez passed as rescatado, or reactivated. She´s a great person and knows really that it´s important to go to church, though she wasn´t going. But, all it really took was us to go, give a little service, share a little of the Book of Mormon, invite her to read and pray everyday, and invite her to church on Sunday, and she was there within two weeks. She´s really like the dream rescate [Re-activated Member] that we want. It was great. In the zone, we have the problem that out of the like 15 fechas [dates] we had for February, all but like 2 fell, and no one´s happy with that. I think a lot will change in the next cambio [transfer], with a bunch of missionaries that don´t know the past of Poblado. I hope they leave me here in Envigado, to be honest. 

Don´t do things you´ll be ashamed of in 100 years.

Always Great,
Élder Hicken

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