Monday, April 27, 2015

de Cerete

So this week is not counted in my top 10 weeks of the mission. We spent a good bunch of time in Montería in the clinic doing x-rays and other health things were awry this week. In the midst of all this, my fan overheated on Wednesday so the heat I was feeling in the house hiked up like a million degrees. Finally when I got a new fan on Friday, we put it together, I pointed it towards my desk, turned it on, and went and studied on Elder Sanchez´s desk and Elder Pezo walked in and was like what is this. They remind me of it everytime the fan is over blowing at my desk and I´m somewhere else and apparently it happens alot. Actually, apparently I only use my fan when I´m sleeping.

A member provided cena [Sunday] for us on domingo [Sunday] and we spent the time cuenting [telling] him of the ridiculous and hilarious stuff that´s passing between the four of us in the house and the members were laughing like mad.

Hey, something cool is that Alain was baptized this week. Something not cool is that his dad is in the hospital and Alain went there after the baptism and couldn´t leave him and therefore was not confirmed yesterday. So, that was unfortunate and so we´re working with him so he can be there next Sunday. Also, Nuvia didn´t come to church due to a visit from a friend and so she doesn´t complete the requirement for be baptized and so she will not be baptized on Saturday.

Alain's Baptism, me in the orange tie
This morning, I realized how ridiculously fast the time is passing, that we´re already in week 4 of the cambio and that I completed 6 months last week and all. Hey, how did Senior Ditch day go? Also, yay for new Alena Moore, and for Cammie Linford.

A really cool thing that happens here in this time of year, is that about a bajillion of mangos are ripe. We´ve got about 100 in the house and we can´t even eat them all. I´m eating like 2-3 mangos everyday, but somehow I still haven´t found a good or clean way to eat them. I always need to wash my arms and head afterwards so I try not to eat them while proselyting.

Oh, the story behind the picture with the puppy. 

So, the girl that Elder Sanchez and Elder Hernandez baptized this week is named Karina. Her dog died the same day as her baptism. The elders decided to passivly search for a new white dog to give to her. We were visiting with a family on Sunday (Pezo and I) and they mentioned that they had a couple puppies in the patio that were left. We went back to play with them a bit and I remembered that the other elderes were looking for a dog and so I asked the hermana if they could choose one and she said yes for free and so we basically put the dog in my backpack and went to the chapel and surprised Karina after institutes with a new puppy and it was awesome she was like crying I think I´ll give another girl a puppy someday in my future because it´s fun.

The weather's been almost 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit) this week and it´s really great. Here, we contact by going to a house and ask for a glass with water and they give it to us and we start to talk and share the gospel and it´s way fun.

Always Great,
Élder Hicken

Monday, April 20, 2015

Stake Conference

They called me this week to play the piano for Stake Conference and for the choir and that sacó (how would you say that in english?)  [took up] a whole bunch of time out of working and I was upset about that. We also had interviews with the Pte Pitarch and the Hna this week and they were great. The Hna authorized reimbursable massages for me because of my back and those may start this week. The Pte asked me the biggest thing I´ve learned so far on my mission and I told him that it´s loving people, having a genuine interest in their welfare. I changed from trying to be sure I was comfortable in my situation, which I was very comfortable with, to willingly and willfully sacrificing my welfare for the welfare of others. I actually really like doing it, it´s fun.

So, our investigator Alain passed his interview yesterday after stake conference so he´s going to be baptized this weekend. This weekend we had and activity with the Pte watching Conozca los Mormones [Meet the Mormons] with all the investigators with fecha [baptism dates] that we could get to come. It was awesome and helped a bunch of people on their paths to baptism. I realized the value of those stories that they have for the investigators.

The talks in stake conference were awesome. They almost all talked about the Temple and missionary work, and so from a missionary prospective, it was super stellar. After conference on Sunday, we were outside waiting for a bus for more than 20 minutes and it was doing nearly 100 degrees and we were like dying.

So, I can´t actually use glasses here. It´s hot and humid enough that when I try to use glasses for an extended period of time, they just fall off my face because of sweat and so I have to use contacts always. Elder Hernandez was drinking cocacola the other day and it was fuming like dry ice because of the coldness of the drink and hot humidity of the air.

Hey, fun fact. Remember when Talon wrote home saying that people always thought he looks exactly like Mario Hart and he was like who the heck is this guy? Well, now that I am living with 2 peruvians, they say the same thing. It took like 2 seconds for Pezo to say hey Hicken, look a little to the right...yep, Mario Hart. They say I look exactly like Mario Hart and when they tell that to the people, they have no idea who he is because he´s only famous in Peru. I don´t remember If I´ve mentioned this in my letters, but just about everyone calls me Chicken. In Envigado, it got to the point that even the bishop and mission leader just called me Chicken and so basically everyone calls me Elder Chicken or Mario Hart.

I hope I mentioned the other week how awesome the area is and the people and the dirt roads and dirt floors and super friendly people, but I don´t know if I mentioned that when it rains, the water doesn´t drain much, it just gathers about a foot deep in the streets. 

Always Great,
Élder Hicken

Monday, April 13, 2015


Well, I´m now here in the hottest city in the mission and it´s also ridiulously humid. They told me it does like 40 everyday with alot of humidity, but it´s going into winter so it`s more like 30 now. The cold showers we have feel so good in the heat, it`s like swimming in a pool on a really hot day.

So, we have a baptism scheduled for the 25th, and the prospects are faily good to have a couple more before the end of the cambio. It´s cool because the missionary who was here before me was Elder Nae´ole who was my comp in the CCM so I can see the type of missionary that he is by talking to members and investigators and the other elders.

There are 4 of us in the ward and we all live together. The other companerismo is Elders Sanchez (the LD [district leader]) and Hernandez, and then my kid, Elder Pezo. Pezo is a total change from Elder Rios. He´s a riot, energetic to work, humble, gets along well with everyone, and I really hope I can be the trainer he needs.

This week, one of our investigators, Nuvia, gave us a reference of her son´s girlfriend, Lorena, and she came to church! She accepted the invitation to be baptized, but didn´t accept a fecha [baptism date]. Nuvia has fecha though.

Also, Cereté is beautiful. I noticed pretty quickly that there aren´t any mountains, but it´s like a little town and there are alot of dirt roads. This place is awesome and the people are really friendly. I will have a lot more fun here than I did in Envigado. I still spend time thinking about the investigators that I was teaching there, but there`s alot here. I was transferred from the area that baptized the least of all the mission, to the zone that baptizes the most in all the mission. The only downside to being here is the killer hot humidity and the constant layer of sweat that is impossible to quitar [avoid]. The Church building is air conditioned, and it´s really comfortable in there. But, when we left church yesterday I was like "oh gosh it is so hot". Each one of us has our individual fan that we keep constantly blowing and that helps a bit. I really just look forward to the cold shower every morning.

To answer Mom's questions, there was like 10 of us or something that traveled together to Montería, and it was about 10 hours. We are in a town called Cereté, about 18km from Montería. The area is in way better condition than I found Envigado, but it´s got investigators that will be baptized igual with Envigado, but that the investigators will be baptized here first. I´m a bit anxious to see if Rios will be able to get those people baptized. 

The living situation is really hot, and I´m really hot. We have more room than our house in Envigado, but it´s a bit lower quality. I bought a hammock and now I find that they don´t have hooks to put it up. I was really looking forward to using the hammock in the coast because they told me that all the houses have hooks for the hammocks. It´s true, with the exception of our house.

Always Great,
Élder Hicken

Monday, April 6, 2015

New Cambios

So, I´m not left heres [in this area] to baptize. This week I go to Montería to finish training a missionary who Elder Nae`ole (my comp from the CCM) started to train. Montería is in the coast and is insanely hot. Apparently they baptize a lot there; it`s actually the most baptizing zone in the mission, but I really just want to be here in Envigado and baptize the investigadores we`ve got. 

 A guy named Rodolfo came to conference yesterday and he has a baptismal date, and he`s progressing real good. He`s got good questions, and really wants to know the truth. I have a lot of hope for this guy and I`m really dissapointed that I won´t be here. I guess being here to finish what I started isn`t what I need. There must be something in Montería that I need more, may it be the companion, the people, or whatever. But I am actually upset. 

More than half the zone is getting transferred out, and most of them south to the Eje Cafetero where they grow coffee like you can`t imagine. So, I have to be in a meeting for trainers tomorrow afternoon and then I spend like 12 hours in a bus going to the coast and I´ll be able to work again on Thursday. Lo bueno [The good thing] is that Elder Routson will be my LZ again. 

Lately, we`ve been meeting people who have already been taught by the missionaries like a year ago or more, but thought the missionaries were partial failures. One said that the missionaries just wanted to baptize him, and that he wasn`t ready and wasn`t sure he knew that the Book of Mormon was true, and the missionaries were like no just get baptized and you get your answer later and so he didn´t want to put a date with us. But we talked it over and explained how we will make sure that won´t happen, and so he put a date with us. 

Also, Rodolfo I explained. Haiderson, the black kid, didn`t come to conference and he has a situation that we`re still trying to figure out, but he`s living in a casa hogar with a pensionista that is apparently tyrannical. This week was really difficult with Semana Santa because loads of people left Medellín to fincas and stuff and didn´t have time for us, so that was rough. Thursday night there were tons of processions and we almost couldn´t get home. I took a video of a procession that passes our house. I don`t know if it`s sinning to do that, but they were playing "Hey Jude" by The Beatles and "Imagine" by John Lennon and I just thought that was funny and ironic. 

General Conference was great, though it seemed like Saturday was mainly concentrated on marriage and the missionaries who will die [go home] this week or the next cambio were freaking out. I really liked Monson´s from the Priesthood session and Holland`s on Sunday.

Always Great,
Élder Hicken