Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Transfer Day/Elder Barakat

This week we did not have a baptism. But i have a new companion. His name is Elder Barakat, and he is from El Salvador. He is such a great missionary. Really, he is so nice. He speaks a lot of English, he helps me with my words and hopefully I can help him learn even more english. Also we confirmed Branco and Niels this week. It was such a great confirmation. Their Uncle came to the confirmation and he felt the spirit so strong in the church. We asked him how he felt after church and he said ¨ I feel at peace it was such a tesimony builder for me.
Oh I would love for you all to send me photos of you! I love photos and the people here love photos of families also. I want you to know that I am proud of you Dad that you that you are working out. With the help of the Lord I know you can stop eating as much if you want to. When I first arrived in Argentina I ate so much food, and I would always look forward to eating lunch or dinner. But with prayer and fasting, The Lord has helped me realize that food is not that important and if we follow the word of wisdom and set a plan for what we are going ot eat, we can feel the sprit in our lifes even more. What a blessing it is to have the opportunity to have a grocery store right next ot our house to buy all the things we need. But also with many blessings comes much responsibilty in our own chiçoices. I know with prayer dad you can lose weight and continue looking and feeling better about yourself with the help of the spirit, listen to him and you will overcome.

Something that my teacher from the MTC sent me:
Élderes y Hermanas,

Yesterday we had a great class with one of the districts that I am with about the Atonement.  It is amazing how many purposes the Atonement fulfills.  It redeems us from the fall, cleans us of our sins, complements justice in helping us find help and peace when the decisions of others directly effect us, empowers us when we do not have the capacity to accomplish something, and transforms us- literally changes our nature.

I love the story President Monson shared in conference:

"During the 1940s and 1950s an American prison warden, Clinton Duffy, was well known for his efforts to rehabilitate the men in his prison.  Said one critic, 'You should know that leopards don't change their spots!'  Replied Warden Duffy, "You should know I don't work with leopards.  I work with men, and men change every day."

One of my favorite blessings of the Atonement is its ability to transform us.  In John chapter 2 we read about Christ's first miracle- when he changes the water to wine.  This small miracle, not understood by everyone present, shows that Jesus has the ability to change things. "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory." (vs. 11)

Marvin J Ashton (of the 12) said:

C. S. Lewis indicated there is often pain in change when he wrote of God’s expectations for His children: “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan Co., 1960, p. 160).
Yes, there is pain in change, but there is also great satisfaction in recognizing that progress is being achieved. Life is a series of hills and valleys and often the best growth comes in the valleys. Change is a meaningful part of repentance. Some are unable to repent because they are unwilling to change
I hope you like the message behind this, sometimes  we don´t realize we can be so much better and Jesus has to help us realize this little by little. I have learned so much with Elder Barragan and i am ready to learn so much from Elder Barakat. 
This week was such a great week, My love for all the members in the ward have grown so much. 
I am still in Pilar and I love you so much, 
Elder Hicks

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