Monday, August 24, 2015

10 meses [months]

Well, I hit double digits in months this past week. Cool. So, there´s not much I can write here. It´s been a super interesting week, but most of the things I´ll have to talk about in Navidad or afterwards, p.20 MM (español). Short story is the Stake and Mission are getting involved because of cosas [things] in the ward and it´s way being more a detriment to the obra misional [missionary work] than a help. On the actual missionary side, we´re doing well. Being a trio, it´s easier to do divisiones because we only need one guy to make two companionships instead of two. So, we´re taking advantage of that, just that we only have like 5 members who put energy towards the obra misional. There´s almost a complete lack of support from the ward, though they do still give us lunch. It´s just rough. It´s on the point of being downgraded to a branch for a bunch of reasons. 

Well, CONGRATULATIONES TO TALON AND MADDY eternal families you know what´s up. Lily is a riot in the pictures I miss her. Also, buena suerte to Kenzie starting BYU this week. Sounds like the wedding was a bit crazy, and I´ll be waiting for that slice of frozen cake when I get home. Just two years left. That´s what I tell the people when they ask how much time I have left and they get confused when I say I´ve got 2 years left.

I got the email about Bro Scarbrough, and it´s good and bad new that he passed away. I always remember his gratitude when we brought him the Sacrament every week. I think he introduced me to the pictures of all his children like 5 times, and he´s got like 7 kids. Always a sweet old man, he was. I always admired his wife for her constant smile and support through everything. 

We had a couple of investigators that came to church this week, but they had to go after sacrament meeting so it basically doesn´t even count. This week we´re going to drop a couple people and meet a bunch. Attached are a couple of pictures.
 The sunset after coming out of an appointment

The lights along el Caño Bugre, which is filling back up finally. 
We joke about how filthy that thing is. 
We´re pretty sure you  can get sick by looking at it. 
It looks better in the dark.
Always Great,
Élder Hicken

Monday, August 17, 2015


I tell the short version. Pezo left to Manizales, the cold corner of the mission. They announced my comp as "el gran y poderoso Elder Reyes." [the great and powerful Elder Reyes].  Immediately, almost every missionary gasped and started warning me of what was about to come. It reminded me of when they announced Rios as my comp, but like the triple. He has a massive amount of fame in the mission for being one of the worst comps, and least obedient. 6 weeks left in the mission, and as trunky as can be. Not even wanting to get up in the morning at any hour. Also a mountain of other things that are things you don´t want with you 24/7. Basically, they sent him home before he ever got here, and the APs say that they´ll probably not send me another comp. En fin [In the end], I´m in a trio now with Elder Muñoz and Elder León working between two areas. I told more deets to Kenzie, so if you really want to know more...but it´s been a massive change in Cereté. When I left Envigado, Elder Bleazard told me that houses of 4 elders are cool, but one missionary can turn it into a detriment easily. I didn´t believe him until Pezo left. The change was massive. Starting the next morning, there´s been hardly any issues with obedience, and everything good is better. Not saying that correlation is causation, but it happened.

So, this week has been awesome. Trio is a bit rough, but we get along real well, and all have desires to be obedient and work hard. Pezo confessed to Muñoz that he didn´t have either of those desires. At least it´s cool in Cereté in one sentido [sense]. Last night, a member who works as a chef invited us to his home for Mote de Queso. It´s a traditional food from the area (the colombian coast has a massive love affair with their local cheese, fried, soup, solo, with dessert...) and it´s one of the most delicious things that exists. Basically queso costeño and ñame, but I don´t even know how it´s so good. I should of taken a picture, but I didn´t. Maybe next time. But this guy cooks real well. He invited us to a crab ceviche/cocktail the other week and it was real good.

Mote de Queso (Google images)

So, another change this week was housing. Really,  just in the organization. When there were two companionships, we used two rooms. But, now with one companionship, we have to all sleep in the same room, and three beds don´t fit in the same room. So, we took the beds and put them in the living room, but the desks in my old room, and use the other room as storage. There´s only three salones [rooms] and a small kitchen, but now the house feels a lot cooler as well.

There's a term we use alot in the mission "cortando cabezas" or cutting heads, which I think coordinates well with the term "making heads roll" in English. Basically, it´s the way to corregir [correct] people. Well, over the months, I´ve gotten really practiced. Having had my head cut off a fair number of times and having cut off a fair number of my own, it´s now something I do instead of just letting things fly. I made the decision to cut the heads off of the ward council yesterday and got congratulations afterwards. There were just a bunch of problems there, and I got on their case. I´ve been trying to focus on the leadership tactics of Jesus Christ. He cuts heads like no one else, but he has so much wisdom and love and humility when he does it. Sometimes, we try to cut heads off from above, but it doesn´t work. You can´t get to the neck to do it well that way. You should be on the same level. Interesting way to look at it, but if you correct people pridefully, they rebel. If you do it humbly, they follow. 

Hey, congrats to Talon and Maddy this week! I´ll be awaiting pictures!
Always Great,
Élder Hicken

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cambios [Transfers]

Well, after 18 weeks, I´ll have a new comp. I guess the zone leaders think it´s funny to tell us the bare minimum about the cambios because we don´t know where he´s going, who´s coming, we only know that Pezo has to pack his bags.

So, I don´t know if I´ve mentioned the name of Diogenes before, but we´ve been working with him for a while. Like 6 weeks I think. It´s been really rough trying to get him to Church, and he commits every week and assures us over and over that he´ll be there, and time and time again he doesn´t go. Well, I got sick of it and took a member of the bishopric and talked straight with him and told him we were disappointed that he isn´t fulfilling commitments and played with his self esteem, basically helped him realize that he isn´t and doesn´t want to be someone who doesn´t keep their commitments. Well, he came to church finally and he liked it. We´re planning on going with the Elders Quorum President this week and hope that he´ll start a trend of keeping commitments.

Last week, while working in a pueblito [little village] 10km outside of Cereté called El Carrillo, we contacted a family, the family Durango Galban and they are super cool. They just live super far and have 4 kids and so pasaje [price to travel] isn´t very cheap, but they are super receptive to the message of eternal families. It was actually a family I contacted with Elder Eno a couple of weeks before, and returned with Elder Pezo. Basically, they said that first day they were completely weirded out at these two gringos showing up in shirt and tie looking for a specific familiy in this small town. They said the other gringo really weirded them out. It was funny, and we joke about it when we visit. 

Elder Muñoz, one of the other elders in Cereté has been really rough for a long time. Just flojo and ocioso [lax and lazy]. But, he´s made massive progress in the last two weeks, starting to become a power in the district, and I´ve learned a ot from that experience.

I´ve been getting on people´s case for losing focus. What do we actually want? We know how to get there, but are you working towards something else? I know plenty of people who just don´t understand the Gospel, because they don´t do anything. They don´t understand the massive part that action plays. God didn´t create us to be acted upon, but to be our own agents, free from other acting forces, that we can make our own decisions. He gave us all the steps to happiness, had them written down, hasdthem announced time and time again, and then we do the repetitive and senseless question of what should I do to be happier? How about forget about being well-liked and turn to being trustworthy, respected, and worthy? God has it worked out, just that we´re often complete idiots and try to get man´s approval without realizing that man doesn´t actually know much, they just know what their five senses tell them, and make their own story. If your wishes go farther than a couple years down the road, perhaps into eternity, you´ll realize what you want has nothing to do with being popular or well-liked. That lack of faith causes problems in families, in missions, in careers, in studies, and in personal lives. 

2 Nephi 8:12 "Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man, who shall die, and of the son of man, who shall be made like unto grass?" 

Enos 1:23 "And there was nothing save it was exceeding harshness, preaching and prophesying of wars, and contentions, and destructions, and continually reminding them of death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God, and all these things—stirring them up continually to keep them in the fear of the Lord. I say there was nothing short of these things, and exceedingly great plainness of speech, would keep them from going down speedily to destruction. And after this manner do I write concerning them." 

I know that if we do what He wants, He´ll bless us, and that faith has nothing to do with seeing the consequences before doing something. 

Ether 12:6 "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."
It´s always a step into the dark, it´s an act of trust. The pansies are the ones that can´t do it. 

Just something I´ve been raving about for the past couple months, I hope y´all understand it and put it in practice, it´ll make a difference. Don´t do dumb things. 

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, and sorry for not writing last week, there was confusion but the zone activity was fun, we went to a finca [farm] in Monteria and it was super super hot, we almost actually died playing capture the flag in a field with a bunch of cows and they didn´t bring enough water.

Always Great,
Élder Hicken