Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 29

Oh how i love the letters from you all,
and wow that is a lot of chocolate!!! so much wow!! and thank you so much for the umbrella!
So yesterday i got the best package ever from you all, thank you so much, and did you know Lauren was going to send me a backpack full of goodies also. I was so surprised to recieve so many thgreat things from you. thank you so much. And don´t worry i will share and i will eat it slowly. Sharing is the ony way to be happy. I was so surprised though. Also i am glad you liked my spanish, if i can rememeber right i said ¨ we are baptizing many in PIlar and we are trying our hardest.¨maybe some more but i can not remember correctly. thank you thank thankyou. i really love the pictures and was so glad, more happy ot get the pictures than i was to recieve the chocolate. I love you so much.
Our investigators our doing great, we are teaching some kids from Peru, Branco, Bruno, Selene, and Niels, they are such chosen souls of god. Every time we come over they tell us something new that they have read in teh Book Of Mormon. And they are so excited. We need to work on there AUnt and Uncle ( they live with their aunt and Uncle) and have them be converted or these kids will og inactive, that is something we are going to work on this month. I am always so excited to teach them.
Also we are teaching another family who right now are less actives who has a kid who is not baptized. We are working ot get the mom and dad converted so they will in time go to church each week. Pelase pray for the family Brites and their son Ariel to have the desires to be baptized. I know with your prayers they will change. This week i told sister Brites by her faith her family will all return to the church and i know it will happen if we prayer for her and for her deisres to increase to go to church, she wants to go but it is super hard for her.
Also to answer some questions i had in tge letters, yes i still have milk duds,
Makenna you asked me if the food is good, compared to Chile the food here is a lot different, the food in chile is more like mexican food, or at least that is what the chileans tell me, but the food here is more noodles and chicken, it all very good. but the best food is the food from peru. There are many peruvians here and theyfood that is so good. i hope in teh video it did not looked like i gained weight. Also i told elder barragan to aks his mom if she know sis randall. and yes his moms name his Linda. 
Our nwly baptized sister named elba, is great, she missed chruch because a family member died, but she is converted and this next week she is going to go. Mom, i love hearing about your spiritual experinces in your letters. you are such a good mom and never look down on yourself for anything! I love you and thank you so much for all you did for me, it must of been hard to change my diapers but hopefully i turned out okay fo you!! i owe you  so much and i am so gald you were stern in this gospel

This week we saw many miracles i am learning so many things. as Elder  BArragan and i were talking we realized the importance it is to always be praying. We were talking about how for us satan is always taempting us, and we are always sinning no matter what we are never perfect, it is impoissible, but as we keep a payer in our heart and in our mind too, as we cry to the lord for help every second, we will always be improving and happy too, This week i have tried os hard to keep a prayer in my heart always and it has gone really well, it is so much easier to smile. I challenge you all this week to keep a praye in oyur Heart to god always, to be humble and to remeber we literally can not do this by ourself, we have to rely on Christ, and oh how much easier it is when we rely on him. I love you all and i hope you can try your faith this week and pray all the time. ( see Alma 34:17-28) For me this week i have recieved many negative thoughts from satan and that is why i have instituted always praying into my life. Each thought that i have i have to think wait is this from Satan or from god? for example, I had a thought that i wasn´t tryin ghard enough has a missionary... or that i was not saying the right thing, that i was not testifying enough, or that i was not talkin genouhg... but that is not how god talks to us. he will never say anything to us in a degrading way. he will only enocorage us to move on and do better because he knows we can.
I love you so much and i am so surprised how fast the mission is whipping by and i want it to slow down, i am trying to figure out as much as i can from elder barragan. I really love you all so much and i am so greatful for your support. I know that the plan of god is perfect and every temptation we have, as long as we have the spirit, we will be able to overcome if we are reading teh scriptures, praying, and going ot church, This plan is perfect and we can always be happy in it. I know it is true and i will never deny it. I know the gospel is true and perfect,  
Elder Hicks

This family were in Buenos Aires for a couple of days and took a package to Troy from his family.  We loaded it up with some of his favorites and He sounded excited to receive so much Chocolate!  So grateful for friends who did us a big favor and took a little bit of America to our son. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 22

Dear family,
Sorry for the weak letter last week... Of the Church i am not sure of the address but i know the cross streets it is on sarmiento and 3 de febrero, in the neighborhood villa morra, pilar, buenos Aires, Argentina, and the meetings start at 9. you should be able to find it with those directions pretty easy. If you can send pictures of you all with the box that would be great! and maybe... oh an umbrella, if you can, i lost mine in north carolina. if you cant it is okay.
this week has been great we are working as hard as we can. this week we we walking down the street to go find a less active family and a middle aged guy saw us and we said hi, and as we were passing he calle us over. He want a litte pamphelet. We started talking to him and told him alittle about the church and then he invited us inside. And we met his whole family. It was so great and such a happy day. we returned on saturday to start teaching them but only the kids were there, we taught them a little english and talked to them about the gospel and church is. they had to ask there aunt for permission to go to church, once they got the permission they were so excited. probably the most excited i have seen kids get to go to church. The kids names are franco and niels.
Sunday morning we picked them up to church and their brother bruno came ot church with them. once we started to get to know them. we figured out that they live with the aunt because their dad lives in Los Angeles and their mom killed herself. the ages of these kids are bruno:16 Franco:11 And Niels:9, thry are all from Peru. It was so hard ot imagine how hard it is for them to live with there aunt without a father figure. These kids are such good kids but their life is so hard. we challenged them all to bebaptized and right now they have dates to be baptized on the 10th. I can´t wait to see the change in their lives that the gospel can do. I know it will help them be so much happier. Please pray for them.
But this week was great, during divisions this week i was with the zone leader and i had to manage pilar, it was something hard but i learned so much. To manage an area to plan who we are going to visist and what we are going to do. It is fun!
Anyways i love being a missionary and i love the people here.
Looking at the picture of makenna and Raquel is so cute, i just can´t see makenna´s pants? ja but i ma so glad she is doing well with the sergury she is so tough and such a great young women. i love recivening your letters so much. How is dad? how is the scriptures and prayres as family? i bet it is super hot there and something i miss a little bit is those monsoons i feel like i have not seen one in forever. But it is all good. Im glad brennan is doing good also, i love hearing about him and it sounds like your week was very good.
i love you so much mom and family! and i am so glad you are happy! this week was awesome for me and i am growing so much!
Elder Hicks your son!
P.S. those directions should get you there to the capilla. i love you!

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15

Mom we went to capital today! It was so great! We went to the center of Buenos Aires. I cant send a long letter but i love you so much and i will plan better to write a better e-mail next week. I love you all so much as a family and I am going to print out all your letters! 
Elder Hicks
And do not take that LOVE ALWAYS PART LIGHTLY it is true!! 

Since we received a very short letter this week.  I wanted to add some pictures Troy sent us in May.  This is his restroom

This is a trip he took to the Buenos Aires temple, the temple is in the background

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8

Dear Family!
I have not yet recived my garments, and i probably won´t get them until we travel to the offices. maybe at the end of the transfer. Also if i could hafve anything sent to me, it would be beef jerky! nutella!! snickers,crunch bars, and milk duds! there are no mily duds here!! send me anyhting here with real chocolate. The chocolate here is so much different and so expensive!! BUt dont worry to much about me eating all the food here is so good, and the ice cream, wow!! it is out of this world!
 I love you all so much and we had a great week this week! 2 baptisms! Elsa, and Oriana! everything went through and next week we have 2 more lined up. 
This week we have really concentrated on our exact obedience! And let me tell you the Lord has blessed us so much!!!!
Our mission President changed the rule of reading 3 pages in mission rule book to 8! and we have been applying every single rule we can apply! And this week we have been exactly obedient. the first obiediendce issue we chagned was in the rule book we are suppose to only plan for 30 minutes each night and we have been planning for like an 1 hour fo r our day. So we shortened our planning to 30 mins. At first it seems that it doesn´t make sense but as we have shortened our planning we have been planning more thorughout the day. and the Lord has given us so many blessing.
The first and most obvious blessing is hte baptisms, and the next was our attendance to church, we had 5 at church. Also let me tell you as a companionship we have been so much happier. The Lord really works in mysterious ways but i LOVE his ways. 

Yesteraday we had the oppurtunity to eat in the home of the Costa´s. He is one of the 70s inour ward. Right now they have a son on a mission in france and one of the son´s friends named santiago joined us for lunch ( who is not a member) . after we ate lunch we started to teach him and we set a baptismal date! It was such a great experince. After we taught him, just this morning sister Costa called us and said that us teaching him was an answer to their families prayers! she was crying and she siad she had such a great experince! Also their son challanged her to keep inviting SANTIAGO to things and checking up on the readings of the book of mormon for him. I know our family can do the same thing we can invite people to our home and have the same experience with the missionaries and our loved ones can recieve the gospel! 

Each week as i keep repenting and growing os much and i am understanding the plan god has for me! i dont think i have ever been so happy for so long! and the secret is.. to stop thinking about yourself and think of others.. Mom you might not like this story but i am going ot tell it anyways..
This week i have been working so hard to think of others first or to have charity. This week i started cleaning my companions clothes and i have felt so good every time i clean his clothes.. But this morning i realized that i forgot about myself and i didnt have anyclean garments... haha let me tell you, it is so much better to forget about yourslef and as long as you are serving and thinking of others you are going to be happy! mom thank you for your example to me of service as my mom! i know i couldn´t of done it wihtout you! 

This week also with are 5 investigators we brought to church ew had a great experince with one of them during hte sacrament. During the last song, on of our investigators started crying and she was filled with the holy ghost. her name is patricia and righ tnow she lives with her boyfriend. We had a chance to talk to her after the baprismal service about her experince furing the sacrament and she said´´i want ot change my relationship with my boyfriend and i want to be able to trust him more. i kow that the spirit was working in her to give her the will to change and to live the law of chasitiy. During our next visit we are going to help them change and hopefully get married!!

I love you all so much! i know you can all be happy this next week if you are always obedient and always thinking of others instead of yourselves! LIFE is so much easier and fun when you do little acts of service and see the ways others react.. take the advice of moroni when he was talking about charity in Moroni 7: 48, ´´Pray unto the father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love´´ Really praya unto the father WITH ALL YOU HEART and have this gift bestowed upon you! look for ways to serve adn io promise you will be happy! and always be obedient

I love you so much and i am having so much fun as a missionary! read every day and repent always after every mistake!
Elder Hicks

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Mission President

Dear Loving Family, 
This week we had President Guhlbrandsen leave and President Ayre Arrive. Our new president is so full of energy and very cool. I think you might like this dad, He said to us the first day while he was talking to us about himself. ´´I am more like you missionaries`` and then he said, looking at his wife ´´ she is more like my mom, and keeps me in line`` all sister Ayre did was shake her head yes at the comment. He is so fun and will be a great leader for our mission. 
Also mom we live in an apartment it is on the second floor of it is so great. Our ward is so great we have a young bishop who is very determined. But by the end of the year we need to have an average attendance of 140 and we only have 80 right now. We are praying very hard to help out this ward reach that goal or they will be combined with another ward. We are trying right now to work closer with the bishop, this week Elder Barragan and me started a plan to get the members more excited about the work. We gave a sticky note to each president of every auxiliary that said 
1. Pray for guidance of spirit
2. Read Alma 13:24
3. Pray for families/people we can visit together to help this ward grow
And then we put 2 spots to put names.
This means every auxiliary is going to give us 2 names and the bishop and his counselors are going to give us 6 names to visit together. This is our plan to get the members more excited about the work. The leaders are going to bring us the names on Sunday and then we are going to start working with goals we can plan as a ward. And right now are ward is making a ward mission plan. And once we set that up we will be able to do a lot better. I know that each ward is a reflection of its leaders so we are working really hard to strengthen the leaders first and we know the ward will follow. Also in our ward we have 2 general authorities. Elder Costa and elder Sppannaus.

With our baptism it was a little girl named Oriana of the age of 9 and she said I don’t want to get baptized anymore... it was a hard moment to take when she said that. I know she needs to get baptized to have any chance to live with heavenly father again. Also this girl is the grand daughter of Elba, our first baptism, so we still visited Elba every once in a while and every time we went over, Oriana would avoid us. So all we have been doing is praying! And guess what happened this Sunday. She showed up to church with Elba. We were so excited and we reset her date for next Sunday. And she said yes! And is she is so excited to get baptized now! I know the lord was working on her with the spirit to help her come to church. 
Also transfer day was amazing! We didn’t receive al call to see if we leaving until last night at 11... and I am staying with Elder Barragan! I am so glad I am staying with him! I love him so much! He is such a hardworking missionary and we really want to grow this ward together. So hopefully we have another 6 weeks together of hard work! With all the changes in the mission and with so many new missionaries coming in we might be changed half way through the transfer. Either way I am excited for the work! 
I still haven’t received my garments, but that is okay ill tell you when I do.

I love being a missionary, it is so fun. We have been working a lot in a place called Villa Rosa. It is kind of like the hood. Has dirt streets, but the people are so humble. and we have been working with a family named the family Ledesma. I wrote in my journal this week that I don’t think I have loved a family so much that wasn’t my own. I know that the service I have been giving them has opened my heart to love them. It is so great when people progress, but this week they have stopped progressing and have not gone to church. It was too hard to see them not progress and not take any more steps of faith. For yourselves don’t ever stop taking steps of faith. Keep listening to the spirit and the lord will bless you. If you look first for the kingdom of god, you don’t have to worry about anything else, it will all fall in to place. Easier said than done I know that. But I am working on being exactly obedient even if I don’t have the opportunity to brush my teeth some nights, but I know it is the plan god has for me to be happy if I follow him first and always! 

I challenge you this week to be exactly obedient. Read every day in the scriptures, pray at your bedside right when you wake up and right before you go to bed. And always serve others (Makenna serve mom=)) and if you look first for god and love him with all your heart, he will bless you with the sprit and joy. Don’t ever stop your progression and I know you will be blessed, Endure to the end and have hope! 
I love you all so much and I love your stories you have written me about your week they sound so amazing! i laugh and i cry every time i read these letters from you. Dad: keep telling me how the study goes of preach my gospel. And mom and makenna make sure you read from teh scriptures every day with a prayer to start and the end. And Brennan I did not receive an email from you. I love you so much and I hope you can send me an email about your studies of the gospel this week

Love you family,
Elder Hicks

Oh for exercise I do a lot of pushups, oh and Mom my mission president said to have your moms not update your facebook while you are on your mission. Some people might think I am getting on. Thanks a lot! Love you so much more!