Monday, August 29, 2016


I put the "x" at the end of "metas" because there are some kids in our ward that always say "elderex!" and se nos pegó [it stuck].

Right now there was some guy in the next computer over in this internet that it sounds like was listening to metal because he was doing those pig squeals over and over again and we were just dying of laughter.

The leaders of the mission have been stressing alot in the past weeks how to make and acheive goals. I´ve been taking thier advice and we´ve had a good last two weeks. We´ve met loads of fantastic kids.

One, Dayana Meza, was member of another well-known church that has a strong reputation in South America and part of the reputation is the amount of knowledge and ability to explain that they have. She´s the daughter of a sister less-active since 32 years, and in reality neither of them knows anything about the church now. Dayana and her mom, Irma had gone to loads and loads of churches before ending up in the most recent. But, they had found things in every church that les desagradaban [they didn't agree with]. We got to their house just at the moment in which she was in an emotional and religious dilema, about to return to her most recent afiliation. But, listening to the Restored Gospel, she´s been able to answer questions, calm doubts, and after much time, returned to pray last night.

I have strengthened my testimony loads in the last month or two, maybe more than all the mission and I am sure the church is true, the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Thomas S. Monson is. It´s based on that time I asked God and He answered. The mission´s real pailas without that testimony, and real powerful with it. 

Always Great,
Élder Hicken

Monday, August 22, 2016

Cambios!...No Cambios

Happy Anniversary Talon and Maddy!

So it's cambios[transfers], but probably the cambios least exciting of my entire mission because no one has cambio, not I, not my comp, not the other companionship. So, 6 weeks of the same kids.

We've been having challenges with the Flia [family] Rincón. It´s Mario with his three kids Dora, Juan, and Xiomara and only two will be baptized because Xiomara only has 6 years. Mario was interviewed for baptism on Saturday, but the new esposo [husband] of his ex-wife doesn´t like Mario much and the kids spend the half week with the mom and weekends with the dad and for problems with the stepdad, we had to postpone the baptism. 

But, the Flia Alzate Gañan is going well. Marlon said that he decided to quit his job that makes him work Sundays. And yesterday, as he had to start at 10, he came for the Sacrament. They aren´t even baptized, but they recognize the importance of the Sacrament. 

Miriam has now come 5 times and is just waiting her baptism. 

Henry Bermudez had a change in his work that they made him work Sundays and we, being worried about that, were praying. Turns out this week they fired him. Answers come in many ways. He already found a new job, and he has Sundays off.

Now that I've got 6 more weeks here, It´s just put everything I´ve got into the area and see what happens.

Always Great,
Élder Hicken

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

President L. Whitney Clayton

The reason for which I didn´t write on Monday is that Pte L. Whitney Clayton, the leader of the presidencia of the Seventy came to visit. Basically the person with most authority after the 12 Apostles. 

It was cool, a good motivating visit although short. We had to travel the 6 hours to Medellín and we traveled leaving a little before midnight Sunday and got there at 4:30 in the morning (a bit faster because there isn´t much traffic that that hour). In Medellín where all the missionaries stay in cambios and things like that is called the Casa Hotel and it fits about 30 elders with every inch of floor covered by a mattress and a sleeping missionary. 

We had 4 zones there: Manizales, Pereira, Pereira Lago, and Armenia. Every zone has an average of 15 missionaries, 11 elderes. We got there and Manizales was sleeping. My zone is only 10 elderes, but entering and moving about we woke up the 16 from Manizales. At about 5:00, the 14 from Armenia got there and at 5:30 the 14 from Pereira Lago. Super packed was this place and in the end, we all slept like 3 hours total before the conference with Pte Clayton. I hope the next week come pictures of the conference. He asked me a picture apart because he recognized my last name and realized the connection to Joe Hicken from Chicago, or Grandpa Hicken with whom he had done various assignments. It was also a blast seeing loads of companions and buddies from the last 21 months. 

We´re fighting for our baptisms, they never come too easy, but the people are excited and want to be baptized. Cambios are next week so we´ll see if I´ll still be here for the baptisms. I talked with Élder Velázquez about that yesterday, as he´ll be with the Pte doing cambios today and tomorrow.

Always Great,
Élder Hicken

Monday, August 8, 2016

Alli Vamos

Stuff is getting better, we have new investigators, a couple baptismal dates for the 27, and my comp is trying to be sociable, which seems difficult for him. He´s starting to say "it´s not a joke, why are you laughing" and we aren´t sure if it´s a joke or not because when something´s funny he doesn´t laugh and when it isn´t funny he laughs and so allí vamos [there we go].

Marlon Alzate finally found a way to get to church, changing turns (shifts) with other coworkers. They´re really pumped for their baptisms, and already said to their family that they are going to get baptized there.

I got to Matthew this week (trying to finish the Bible before the mission, let´s see if I beat Sierra) and I noted that there a loads of prophecies completed. It was prophesied that Christ would come from Bethlehem, from Egypt, and from Nazareth, and I´m sure no one understood how that would work until it happened. He was born in Bethlehem, they flew (fled) to Egypt and Christ was raised in Nazareth. Although they had the same prophecies, the people didn't understand without a prophet. Not even the Pharisees or Scribes or Sadducees understood although they were really studied. Today, people study and study, but as Nephi said, you need the Spirit of Revelation to get it down. 

Hey Happy anniversary MyD! We heard/saw little bits of olympics over the days, bomb that the Colombians entered with sombreros volteados (those white and black hats). I think Talon also mentioned having dreams swimming laps, but I saw a little bit of swimming in a service we did on Saturday and I almost died.

Always Great,
Élder Hicken

Monday, August 1, 2016


Well, the good news is that we have now lots of baptismal dates. Flia Rincón is still preparing for the 13 of August, but couldn´t come to church yesterday because Dora was sick and they went to the clinic and found out that she was born missing a kidney. Interesting, she has 12 years and just now they found out. Flia Alzate Gañan is going great, to be baptized the 27 of August. Marlon already arranged to change turns to be able to come to church. They came to a big Noche de Hogar -Family Home Evening] at Over´s house last night which was a big success and they really liked it. Henry Bermudez is the boyfriend of a young woman and will be baptized the 27 of August. He´s just now growing a testimony that God lives, after passing a couple years as an atheist. He´s been lost, but is being found.

In lunch yesterday we were talking with Elismar, who is from Brasil and was a missionary there, but now is over here getting married. He said that in his last area there were 4 in the house and the companionship that got home first would try and scare the other. So, when Élder Valenzuela and I get home after that Noche de Hogar and find the lights out, I say to Élder Valenzuela that either they are really late or are trying to scare us. We enter and find that all the lightbulbs are unsocketed. I said to Élder Valenzuela that they were trying to scare us. I said it and right them we heard Élder Pavez start to laugh from the stairwell. It was their intention to scare us but this Élder Pavez is a clown and can´t do anything with a straight face. I´m trying to find pictures from the last few months to send home.

Always Great,
Élder Hicken