Monday, September 30, 2013

Jose C Paz/Elder Paricaha

Dear Mom and Dad and family!
I received the letter from Makenna and I still need to read it, I will read it right when I get home, but I will read it right when I get to the apartment. And the photos are amazing! I love photos also!
Thank you for the advice Mom, and I can´t believe we had so much family visit us! It is great to see that our family is so close and that Grandma and Kari and Vicki can visit us! How long are they going to stay?
Thank you for your prayers, they are helping me so much.
Well, I had an interesting week also, lets just say I let my pride get to me a couple of times throughout the week. Also opening an area is a lot more diffclt than I thought it would be, we only have one investigator right now, But the members are helping us a lot. I am in a place called José c. Paz. We live with the zone leaders, so it is 4 in the house, and I am training Elder Paricaha from Peru, he is so excited about the work and I love him a lot, But how I need to be better with my patience. This week the members helped us out so much with less actives that we should visit and the ward is set up very well, it kind of reminds me of our ward. I met the bishop and he is great, and there is a member named Patricia that likes to go and preach with us every day, she is so great.
In our ward in Jose C Paz we have 4 missionaries Elder Pittard from Utah and Elder Carvajal from Chile, and they are the zone leaders, and me and Elder Paricahua. and he is from Peru and I am training him. I never thought I would worry about someone so much and my love for him is so great but I am not super patient, he has a lot of questions and I am not very good at answering all of them... I know through prayer the Lord will help me. but lets just say I am far away from being a good father and I need to explain things a lot better!
Also in José C. Paz it is similar to Pilar. It is not big city more like a town. We live close to the Plaza and it is a super nice area is great also, this week we spent a lot of time looking for the less actives and nobody seeemed to be home. the good thing is that the Lord is helping us, for example this week we were looking for some menos activos for a couple of hours and nobody wanted to answer the door, but as we were walking we saw a family and started talking to them and they were less actives!  We are going to meet with them tomorrow, and this family is a part member family. The lord works in mysterious ways but i know it is for our best!
My companion is great and I love you so much, always remember, if we want to be happy we need to have the spirit, and the sprit comes from our faith in the lord Jesus Christ and we show our faith by our actions, and if our actions and in accordance with the laws of God, or if we are obedient, everything will be okay, the lord loves you all and I love you all, and I can´t believe time has gone by so fast.
Elder Hicks

I saw Elder Barragan at the meeting where we retrieved the new missionaries, he is going to be a trainer again, oh how I have missed him, also I am going to take more pictures of the area today it is a lot prettier than Pilar.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sept 24

Dear Family,
This week we have the opportunity to see 3 baptisms, the family Caceres was baptized, also we baptized a great kid named Thomas who is a kid of a member that we had the opportunity to teach, he is such a great kid. Today is transfers and that is why I am writing you on a Tuesday.
Yesterday I received the surprising call that I am going to be a trainer in the mission and I am going to open an area. I am so excited for the opportunity that I am going to have as a trainer. I don’t know who my companion is yet, I will figure out tonight at 6 30 after preparation day is over. And also tonight I will go to my new area called José c Paz. I have never been there and don’t know much about the ward but I am so excited to go.
I am sending some photos to you, one is of the Caceres family of their baptism, the other is of Thomas with his mom, he is such a great kid and I love the Caceres family so much. I am so sad that I have to leave this area. Seriously yesterday and Sunday I said bye to all of my converts, it is sad right now because only Elba is going to church each week right now. But I have all of their addresses to continue writing them. Also, the Caceres family is going to continue strong in the church all of their lives and Thomas is going to continue strong also. But Elsa and Carolina and Bronco and Niels are not going to church right now...
The good news is that the Caceres family is going to the temple this Saturday with the ward, it is such a great opportunity that they are going to have.
I love you all and I am so glad that you are going to finish the Book of Mormon with me! Continue reading and the lord will help you.
Please tell me if you get the photos. They are really good photos, One is of the bishop, and one is of a sister named Hermana Brites.
Also Dad I will talk to the mission president in what I need to do with the money, I love you all so much,
Elder hicks

This is me in a preaching the gospel, Mom, also I really need your prayers this week, I am kind of nervous to train a new missionary and to open an area. Please have me in your prayers extra strong this week.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sept 16

We had a great week this week!
I don’t know if I have explained our ward but it is growing and we our so excited with our growth. We have a bishop who is super young, he is about 31, and he is so great. He is starting a ward mission plan so our ward can grow even more. His name is bishop Funes and he is so great, Right now we have about 100 in the sacrament meeting and we are going to grow even more with our ward mission plan.
I have learned so much from Elder Barakat and this is the last week of the transfer, He is probably one of the best missionaries I know. He is from El Salvador and is 21, we are always joking and talking about the gospel. This week we have decided to only speak Spanish because I need to have my Spanish be so much better to be able to be a senior companion pretty soon. Maybe. But he is always getting after me for how I say the R in Spanish and I am trying so hard to be better. HE is another on of my best friends. 
This week the boyfriend of C., Our investigator returned to live with her. Right now she can’t get baptized and it is so hard to see.
This week it is raining but it is not to bad, because I can grow so much mentally as we walk in the rain, haha... 
This Sunday morning when we woke up we received a text from Sergio and Roxana that said they could not go to church and we were so worried because this week they have to go to church to be able to be baptized next week, Right when we saw the text we started to pray and then we left the house to go look for them. The neighborhood where they live is called Villa Rosa, and it is about 15 minutes from Pilar where the Church is. So we went to Villa Rosa and we went to their house and when we arrived we figured out that Sergio had a Migraine and didn’t want to go. So we left with only Roxana and Sergio told us he would come in a little bit if he felt better. When we got to church we had a great service, and the sacrament was great but we were so worried about Sergio. And then we had a miracle, about 5 minutes before the sacrament ended Sergio arrived at the church and we were so happy, I looked at elder Barakat when he walked in and he had such a big smile on his face. We were like little kids who just received candy. 
It truly was a miracle that he arrived and every time we talk to Roxana she is talking about the 21st and her baptism. Also she talked to our bishop this week about how she can get married in our church and they started talking about the temples. This family is truly one of the greatest families ever. 
Not better than our family of course but we love them so much. 

Dad, I don’t think I will be able to sing in church and you know in 2 years I will still be able to beat you at ping pong ha, maybe but you should tell them to bring an investigator to play ping pong with you. Wouldn’t that be so cool to share the gospel while playing ping-pong? And thank you for the news from Brother Wood; he is such a great man. How is our ward doing is it growing? How is it being Secretary dad? I know you will be bishop soon! Dad also I need some advice this month I don’t have much more money and I would like to ask for your forgiveness but I need to take a little money out of the bank to be able to last until the end of the month. I need the money because we bought groceries for Celia that one week and now I don’t have a lot of money. I would like some advice form you do you think it is bad that I use money from you while I am on my mission?
I love you all so much and I hope you liked this letter! Keep working on your six-pack dad, 
Also I am going to write one more email to you after this that is a challenge I would like to give you, for Christmas when we talk on the phone.
Elder Hicks

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sept 9

Dear Mom,
Thank you so much for your e-mail. I love receiving an email form you each week. This week has been so good. Thank you for your words of encouragement, I have already wrote so many times about 6 or 7 my goals for after my mission and president Ayre is helping each missionary set goals for the end of their missions and who you want to be. Also I am so proud of dad. I really need to see a picture of him and his 6 pack. 
The new family in the Ward sounds so great, And is so true how the mission is going to shape my life... I never thought it would change me so much, But it is like I started life over when I started the mission and now the lord is shaping me into who I need to be with the talents that I have. I have no idea how to explain it, but it is a miracle what is he is doing. Because I never thought I could be so happy, waling around for 4 hours looking for less actives that don’t want to go to church. This week we look for 4 hours for less active families, and either they didn’t want the gospel anymore or they didn’t live in the same house... IT is sad to see that they don’t want the gospel. I know it will help them. 
It is good to hear all my friends are doing great, I think about them a lot and I hope they are having success. 
To start out this week we made tacos with the family Caceres, our investigators.
I’m not sure if I have told you about them yet, but they are a family of 4. The dad is named Sergio and the mom is named Roxana and they just lost a baby and the have 2 sons named Jonas and Juan Lucas. The story of how we found them is amazing. Last week when we were in the bus going home to our apartment, Roxana started talking to us and she asked us to come to her home and bless it. So the next day we went to her home and we blessed the home and started talking about the book of Mormon and the restoration. After we introduced the restoration and the book of Mormon she told us something super great. She told us that 2 days ago she saw us and she saw that we were getting along so well and she wanted to have the happiness that we had in her life. And she told us she had a huge urge to talk to us but she just couldn’t... After she got of the bus she said she felt so bad for not talking to us and she promised herself if she saw us again she would talk to us. Then, the next day she saw us again and she started talking to. I know god works in miracles and I know god wants us to talk to this family. They are going to have their baptism on the 21st of September. We are so excited for them and we love them so much. 
Also this we are still continuing to work with another investigator named Celia. She is going to be baptized this week. When we were talking with her after a lesson one day we asked her if she needed any help with anything, and she told us, what do you mean, what kind of help.  Like I might need a little bit of food... then she said oh no never mind... and mom it is so much different how these people live. Especially for Celia right now, Her boyfriend just left her and she barely found a job and she has nothing. So what we did was after we left we sent her a text and asked her if she really needed anything, and she said some noodles and some bread... so we went to the store and bought her the things that she needed and some other things that would help her. I thought about what we do during Christmas to help other families have a good Christmas. I am so grateful for your example to me to help other when they are in need.
 Also Elva came to church this week the ward is also asking how she is doing and visiting her, she has such a strong testimony. But Elsa no, she had a family emergency. Niels and Branco did not come to church this week, they couldn’t go...
But I love all of our investigators so much and the converts so much.
Also this week on Saturday it started raining so hard and all my stuff got wet. Except for my scriptures. Luckily they were in a case in my backpack. The umbrella helped a little bit:) 
This week has been so good and I love you all so much we are going to baptize Celia and I will tell you how it goes and send you some pictures.

The family Caceres!!!! Sergio is papa and Roxana is mama
I Love you all so much and I am so glad you are doing great mom, 
Elder Hicks

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sept 2

Dear mom,
This week has been great we found 2 families and they went to church. they are both so great and i love them so much. 
Before i answer your questions i want to say that i love you so much, all of you. And i am so glad i have the gospel and my family in my life.
OUr day consists of a lot of walking and also we ride buses. our ward is so great. Probably the best ward in the mission., Right now it is growing so much. This week it was the biggest i have ever seen it since i arrived to Pilar. 104 people for Sacrament. By the end of the year we need to have 140 to stay a ward, if not we will become a branch. WIth our new bishop many people are returning and we are trying so hard to help him. HE is so loving and such a hard worker. Shopping is same right now, But about 10 years ago they only had little side shops to by everything. Right now they have a walmart that is close by, and a place like walmart called carrefour, things are a lot different here like the food but right now i think i am acustomed. My clothes are holding up great and my shoes. I think by 1 year and a little bit i might need new shoes but i will tell you how it goes.
The thing i am most worried about is my investigators. The next thing i am most worried about is after my mission i will return to who i was before my mission. I literally have fear of going home already because i want to be a man of god after my mission. I have a vision of who i want to be after my mission and i know it will take a lot of planning but i want to be that man. Right now, each day i am more and more clos to who god wants me to be.
Transfers are every 6 weeks. also our new president is the greatest, He went out with this week, and me and my companion asked him what can we do to do better. And President Ayre said keep doing what you are doing i learned a lot today as i worked with you. I know he is the mouthpiece of god for us and i was so greatful to hear that. But i know their is so much more i can do better.
Also the members always feed us everyday, My favorite food is the food from peru, we have some peruvians in our ward and their food is so good. 
Each day is so hard, but i love it, Yesterday we were walking from in appointment with 1 of the families that we just found and in teh lessson she told us she knew the book of mormon was true. As we were walking i felt so physically beat up. But my spirit felt so the scripture says come to me and i will give you milk and honey without price. I know if we look for spiritual things first god will provide for physical things. IT was such a great experince to have. Also with the other new family that we have is having a couple problems. THey are married which is so good, but they had a disagreement the other day and they got into a fight, i love them so much and i have no idea how to help them. I know the gospel can help anything in this world but i am only a 19 year old boy. i know the lord will help us this week to be able to talk to them and my companion is doing so great. I love him so much. 
Sorry if i am not telling all that is happening during the week, Basically for this week the lord has blessed us with 2 families, one is a single mom, and the other is a family, they are named roxana and sergio, they have so much faith in christ but they just lost a kid and the mom wants a girl so much. and she is having a toungh time and she cries alot and it is really hard for the husband to have her cry and he has no one to talk to. we are working really hard this week to share the plan of salvation with them. THey are such great people. also with the single mom her name is celia and she has 3 kids and her boyfriend moved out the other day and she is really sad, She is so great and is doing much better since she has read teh book of mormon.
I think i am gaining a little weight also mom and family i am not really sure what to do. I often feel stressed but we will see what happens as we continue this next week. I love you all so much and i am so thankful for your prayers
I have to go but i love you all so much
Elder Hicks

Tell brennan i am glad he got accepted to byui! i love you all so much,