Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Here. We. Go. Tuesday June 21, 2011

Here. We. Go.Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tomorrow is the big day! I am feeling a lot of things about it right now, sad to be leaving this MTC that I love, sad to be saying goodbye to Sister Cochran and the rest of my district (even though some of them are coming to THE with me, it will still be different and we won't see each other all the time. Bummer.), excited to get out there and do this for reals, nervous to get out there and do this for reals, grateful that I am able to get out there and do this for reals. A LOT of emotions, as you can see. I have decided that I will call Dad since he's out of town first at SL airport and then I will call Mom from Denver at 7:30 - 7:45 ish. Sound good? That way you can sleep in a little, Mom. :]. Also, just have your phones on you always mmkay? Because if something changes I may switch that up. But I will be calling you BRIGHT AND EARLY. This is going to be so weird. But so good.

First and foremost, Padre I'm glad you had a good fathers day. I can't believe it snowed a Brighton Branch. Nuts. I'm glad you got to go see Grandpa. He has been a good Father to you. I love you and I'm so grateful for you. I'm glad you enjoyed me and sister Cochran's "From Both of Us" card. We thought they were funny.

So, I've said it before and I'll say it again Mom you were meant to be a missionary mother. You are the world's BEST. That book you sent me was so good, it made me cry haha. But I wasn't homesick, I just was like "oh, my gosh I love my mom." And then the BFF bars and slip I GOT SO EXCITED! I am loving them. Every day.

How was the cabin, mom and Jonny? I'm excited to hear about it. How was Grandma when she shipped out to Montana? I pray for her. How is everything at home? Tell me about getting ready for Trek and summer and work and everything. I want to hear.

The MTC really is so cool. I fought against liking it a little at first, but it didn't take long to win me over. We have had awesome Devotionals and Firesides and Relief Society Lessons. Some of the big names we've had are Ann M. Dibb (as in MONSON Dibb). That was cool. She had a Q/A about the prophet and it was cool. He watches Perry Mason from time to time apparently. Class act. We also have had the general Primary President Rosemary Wixom - hers was SO great! She talked to us about the song "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" and it was really great. At the end, she said "Remember that every primary child in the world prays for you." and I LOVED that. (Speaking of Wixom, tell Spencer Congrats! That is so awesome.) We also had Emeritus GA Yoshi-somehting Kikuchi. His conversion story is THE COOLEST. It was right after the end of World War II, and he and his father and his father's fishing company were on the ocean and they were hit by an enemy submarine, Everyone died except for Elder Kikuchi. It took him 2 days to drift to shore. After that, he had to go to work in the city, and he would get up at 4 am, work until 5 or 6 pm and then go to evening school til 10 pm so that he could finish high school. He got really sick after a few months of that. he was in the hospital, and the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. He prayed to God one night and asked him to spare his life. He was released from the hospital and was recovering at home when 2 missionaries from America knocked on his door. He said he was angry, because of everything that had happened to his family and Japan via America. But he said "you've got 10 minutes". And those missionaries came, and taught him and he started to accept the gospel. Soon after that he was baptized. His life, which has been so full and wonderful, could have been filled with bitterness and anger. But the gospel brought him a way to forgive and to move on. Such a cool story, I wish you could hear him tell it.

Dad asked the one thing that has changed about my testimony in the past 3 weeks. If i had to pick just one... I would say the power of prayer. I have always prayed, but here in the MTC I have realized how powerful it is. As in, it packs a serious punch with the Lord, he will do what you ask him to do for you, if it is right. I have never thought before that I should pray for what God wants me to pray for specifically - that I should listen to the Spirit and listen for what I should pray for. It comes. It's crazy, but it does come! Please pray for Sister Baldwin, she is having a hard time knowing whether or not she wants to stay and go on a mission. Also, my testimony of the Book Of Mormon has changed. I am started to understand what missionaries mean when they say "I Love the Book of Mormon". I think of the scripture that says "It beginneth to be delicious unto me." That's how I feel. It is filling, it is sweet. It is also powerful. God is waiting to bless us. That is all He wants to do, if we will just do what He asks.

The Weavers get here TOMORROW! I am so excited for them! They are going to meet the Prophet and the Apostles! Can you even imagine??? That would be the ultimate. I think about them a lot. They will probably have a time adjusting but they are going to LOVE it. I know it. They will be the best mission presidents. Every time I talk to someone goign to Tacoma, I have a minor heart attack and gush about the Weavers. I tell them you are going to have the world's best mission president and wife. And it's true. As much of a sacrifice as it is for them (and I can't imagine how it feels, it's huge) I think about those Elders and Sisters whose lives they will completely bless and change. I pray that somone in New Orleans is saying all these kinds of things about President and Sister Crawford. I'm sure they are.

Yesterday we had our "In Field Training" Day. And two of the missionaries from "The District 2" were our teachers. It was bizarre. But the whole day was awesome. James, do you remember that day? It was long, but so full of awesome advice and instruction of how to work with members, expect miracles, and contact etc etc. It was fun. the man in charge, though, was named Brother Littlefield and he looks and talks EXACTLY like Bill Murray! Seriously. It was the funniest thing. At the end, he asked for questions and one Elder raised his hand and said "Can you do a Bill Murray quote please?" and the whole place errupted. Everyone was laughing and clapping. It was funny. It was very missionary-ish, but still it was funny. James did you ever see him?? I hope so. I think you would have really enjoyed it.

Well, my time is running out. I am going to try so hard, I want you to know. I want to work every day, all day. I want to ask everyone to be baptized. I used to think that was so weird, but I understand it now. It is vital, it is important. And people will want to be baptized as we teach them and reintroduce them to their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. I believe that people will want the gospel as I offer it to them. It is such a blessing. I am scared a little bit. I'm trying not to be, but I'm sort of scared. We watched an Elder Holland talk and he said "This is the big time." This is the big time, family! I'm excited, but nervous because I want to do it well. NR, right dad?

Okay, I'm sorry that my e-mails are on crack sometimes. Hahah. I love you all and I'll talk to you TOMORROW!! Keep your phones on and close by. I'll give them a ring starting way too early :]


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jillian's first email home!!!!

Flag this messageOn a scale of 1 to 10 how much i hate the mtc...Tuesday, June 7, 2011

ZERO. Ha. Scared ya. I like it.

Anyone else feel like I've been gone for one thousand years? It hasn't even been one week yet. Sheesh. It's good though.

First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the letters, dearelders, and prayers. I adore getting mail- you have no idea how much! I have gotten so much mail and support from everyone. I truly feel so humble and grateful and like I could never deserve how much love you guys give me. So thank you. All of those words seem lame compared to how grateful I am.

Mom, you asked who I've seen, and let me tell you it's a LONG list. Another way I've been SO blessed. I have seen Clara Toronto (tell her mom she is doing great and I love seeing her). Whitney Nelson from high school, Steph Osborn from London (I pretty much ahve a heart attack every time I see her because she's from London). Jane Packard who is Brianna's good friend and roommate, Bryant Regehr from high school, Mack who is Sam and Jenna's good friend, the boy I fell in love with at work is a teacher here in my building, so that is just... a treasure. I also have seen the Oswalds and it was SO good to see them! I saw the Robinson's last night and I abou died! Elder Robinson gave me a hug from you guys. Three actually haha. I was so happy to see them. I have seen a girl from my Creative Writing class last semester (WHO IS GOING TO ROSEVILLE JAMES!) A kid from my English class last semester, and a bunch of Randos from BYU like the Elder Facer who is going to my mission and I took his deferment form at Student Services. Needless to say, I have been beyond blessed to see them. The first couple days were rough, so it was like a lightening bolt whenever I saw someone I know - so happy..

Let me give you a play by play of the first 5.5 days of the MTC. Wednesday, I was pretty okay after you left, I just walked around and then I went to class and it started to get a little bit more painful. Wednesday night was bad. I felt sad, except for when we taught as a big group of like 40 missionaries. It was a workshop of a guy named Carlo and I felt so excited and happy. Then I went downhill again, and when we went to our room Sister Hawke (one of the Branch Presidency wives) came and told us she had a hug from our mom's for us. That made me cry haha. But, right before I went to sleep I felt such incredible peace and I feel to sleep like a rock and immediately and had one of the best night's of sleep I've ever had. I felt your prayers and I felt calm. It was so cool!

Thursday.... oh Thursday. Let's just say it began with a visit to the Health Clinic and culminated with a bang when I threw up in the bushes. Yeah. Not a good day. But I guess I got all of my awful in the first couple days.

Friday was like the LONGEST DAY EVER. Sixteen hour days feel like a thousand hours long. Our teachers are Brother Depperman (who served in London, go figure) and Brother Lisonbee. They are such effective teachers and I really like class! Maybe I will be an MTC teacher when I get back? We'll see.

Saturday was super weird because it wasn't a Saturday. It was just like the other days. Every day we're in class for ever and I look outside and expect to see that it's dark and its 3 in the afternoon and bright. It's bizarre.

Sunday was perfect. I loved Sunday. We had a mission conference and then at night Elder Wayne S. Peterson came and talked to us. He talked about Nauvoo. It was cool President Hinckley was super invested in Nauvoo, more than I had realized. We sang "Called to Serve" and I was so energized. I love singing because we don't get music other than that. It makes such a difference when we sing.

Yesterday was the blink of an eye. So fast. We taught two times, Our investigator John (who is really our teacher) and Jose in the TRC.

Ah! there is so much I want to write you but I am running out of time! I want to tell you about my District before I have to go thogu so I'll do it fast. It's me and Sister Cochrin (who is an absolute angel. I am so lucky to have such a great companero). Sister Hurren and Sister Baldwin. And the Elders. Oh, the elders. I love them. We have Elder Bagley (the first words I heard from him were how his father was sending him a coin purse made from the scrotum of a bull. nice. haha) and Elder Dixon - who is 23 so a little older. Then we have a trio of Elder Curtis (the DL) and Elder Curtis (with classes) and Elder Leishman ( a fellow ginger). Then we have Elder Meng who reminds me so much of JAMES. I loved him from the beginning for that and elder Piena. And then we've got Elder Beohmer and Elder Cox (Cox was added to our district later becuse his mission was changed to T.H.E. from Zimbabwe), And Elder... I forget. I 'll write you a letter. I have have 57 seconds left.

Before I go, just know that I'm okay. And I'm good. and I feel happy and energized to do this. I will wrte you all a letter and all the people who wrote me this week as well, cause I've had a lot and I'm so gratful. I'm about to get kicked off lvoe you./

Fourth Floor, Last Door June 14, 2011

Fourth Floor, Last DoorTuesday, June 14, 2011 3:11 PMFrom: "Jillian Hicken"

Another week is over! Everyone was right about how time goes faster after the first four days - it does! I can't believe I leave next week. Speaking of, I leave June 22. My flight out of SL is at 5:50 so I'll probably call you from our layover in Denver? But I'll tell you for sure next Tuesday what my plan is. And I did get my release date... Mom, I'm sorry to tell you that you're going to have to add 18 days. It is December 19th. So basically, I will get home and have Christmas and then go to school. Nuts. But that will probably be good for me, I think.

So, more on my companero and the district. Sister Cochran is from Bear Lake originally, but has lived in Logan since she was 15. She is blonde, is 5'3. I will send a picture soon! I should have done that today. She went to Utah State for a couple of semesters. And we laugh SO much. Like as in, we are worried that it's a problem sometimes. But we also are both really committed to what we are doing and want to be the best missionaries that we can. So I am so blessed. Can you believe it?? Sister Cochran is convinced that our next companions are going to be lame because we lucked out this time. I am hoping they're all like this. Sister Cochran is going to THE with me, along with Elder Curtis with the glasses and Elder Cox, the addition, and Sister Baldwin. Headed to Texas Houston Mission are Elder Curtis the DL and Elder Leishman the redhead, and Elder Boehmer (who is an organ performance major and who played prelude at the fireside on Sunday! I was so proud :]), and Sister Hurren. I am like, beyond bummed that they are not all going to the same mission as me. Then the Elders going to Lansing Michigan are Elder Piena and Elder Meng (who is acutally nothing like James after all haha) and Elder Dixon and Elder Bagley (who, I'm sorry to report, had the coin purse sent to Michigan directly. Believe me, I let him know how disappointed I was.)

So, Mom asked what I do every day. ALL THE DAYS BLEND TOGETHER. It is nuts. But we spend a lot of time doing this pilot program called "The 8 Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel" and they are fantastic. I am learning SO much. I've already discovered so many weaknesses. For example, I am horrendous at listening. I just like to talk to people. When I watched "The Distrcit" and Elder Moreno did that, I was like "what is his deal, why is he always talking??" but I completely do that. So, Sister Cochran is helping me work on that. We teach our "investigators" who are our teachers and then randos in the Teaching Resource Center. Some of them are volunteers and some of them are employees. It is so cool. Teaching is BY FAR my favorite thing to do. If I'm having a bad day, and we teach, it flips it completely around. I am excited to teach real people and get to know them and help them. SO EXCITED. And we study. A. Lot. But that's really important because there is so much to know.

Our teachers are the world's best. Brother Depperman served in (guess) London. and Brother Lisonbee in Oakland San Fransisco. Brother Lisonbee is my very same age, which i can't think about because it is too weird. He graduated in '08. Brother Depperman is married and Brother Lisonbee is "working on it". haha. I hope he gets engaged before we leave. That would be so cool. They are such good teachers and I am so grateful for them. One thing that Brother Depperman (who has been working her for 2.5 years, so he's a little older) did for us is let us watch Elder Holland's address "The Miracle of Your Mission". OH MY GOSH. I was so incredbly fired up to get to TEJAS when we watched that. If there is anyone you know who is contemplating going - PLEASE find that and have them watch it. Not just read it, but watch it. Elder Holland is amazing. I loved it.

So, good things about this week: last Tuesday we went to the temple and it was the best. I love the temple. It is the hardest thing not to fall asleep though! haha I'm hoping I'll be better this week. I didn't sleep last week, but my eyes would close and I'd be like "uhh when did that happen??".

SO. the Weavers are coming when to the MTC? I would absolutely freak out if they came next Monday!!! Cause then I would see them for sure. Please let me know. I bet their talks were incredible. I have met a couple of missionaries who are going to their mission and every time, I freak out. I'm like "You have the WORLDS best mission president and mission mom coming your way! You should be so excited." So the missionaries are pumped to get them. They will be so great.

I'm glad you're going on Trek, Jony. I LOVED Trek. I think you'll love it too. I can't wait to get home from my mission so that I can study church history and pioneers more in depth. There's so much to study, so it's not like I wish I could just study that, but I thought this week how cool it will be to get home and study whatever I want to.

As for the mission being "hard", you know I hate that word and I think it's because it is so not descriptive of what we do here. It's not enough. It is strenuous, wanting to give 100% every day after day after day, and then sometimes just not having the guts to. It is nerve wracking meeting someone whose progress depends on how well you teach them and invite the spirit. But it is GOLDEN teaching someone and forming a relationship with them. It is hilarious to be with my district. I can't say how much I will miss them and adore them. We laugh so much. Seriously. I am smiling just typing about it. I love em. And it is humbling - SO humbling - to realize that so many people are praying for me. I feel like I wish my letters could do half as much for you, as yours do for me. I almost feel bad that they're not as wonderful. I LOVE them. Even when you say "I didn't do anything exciting" I still can't get enough. James, your letters are so great. I'm sorry that Tony is... Tony. Maybe you can mute him haha. Mom, I seriously think you were made to be a missionary mom. You are the best , I feel bad for everyone who doesn't have you as a mom. And Daddy, I just gulp your letters down. You always know what to say to get me thinking in a long term perspective and and remember that both you and James have been down this road before. That just leaves... who....? Just kidding, Jony. I know you're busy and mom and Dad tell me about your basketball etc. But I want you to know that I think about you a lot - how well you'll do here and how much you'll add to YOUR district.I'm so excited for you.

Can you tell that I love the MTC?? Cause I do. I am overwhelmed sometimes that I have been so blessed in my life. I want to work hard adn be the kind of missionary the Lord watns me to be. That brings me to the title of this e=mail. I heard a story about Elder Uchtdorf's wife, that the missionaries were trackinga nd not having success anywhere and they were on the Fourth Floor, the Last door of this enormous building when they knocked on his wife's family's door. I WANT TO BE THAT KIND OF MISSIONARY. Fourth Floor, Last Door. I want to go as many hours and doors and people as I can. Because I already love it. okay 10 seconds got to go. love you.