Monday, September 26, 2011

general conference whaaaat?

Hello! Okay, who is excited for conference?? I am so excited!! I don't think I have ever been this excited for conference. We went to the General Relief Society broadcast on Saturday and it was so brilliant. PLEASE read President Uchtdorf's talk from it. It was perfect. He is so good, his words are really good. That was probably the highlight of my week, because it was just so filling. Alsooo we get to go to the temple this transfer! On James' birthday! Happy Birthday Jamesy! You all have birthdays coming up so soon. Dad and then James. So cool! Use the firepit for your birthday celebrations, okay? That is way too neato to have and not use.
I had a dream about Doug and Tammi and the boys. How are they doing? I hope they're good. They seemed good in my dream haha.
What else? This week things have been harder. It seems like everything is falling through and all of investigators have stopped keeping commitments. So that is a party. But we are just going to work harder with them and work harder to find people that are ready to recieve the gospel. This week we had a cool thing happen, Gladys Knight came to Houston with the Saints Unified Voices Choir. It is her choir that she travels with and does firesides. It was AWESOME. We are trying to get a hold of one of the CDs. It was a really cool experience. So many referrals come out of it. Which is awesome. Gladys Knight is like my hero. She is just breathes and music comes out. Like seriously when she sings it is effortless. So we went to that this Thursday. We were supposed to go with our investigator, but he never showed up where we had decided to meet him. Soooo..... ya. Awesome. James is doing great though! He has got a job now!! His life is just getting better and better. I wish people would realize that is why we are talking to them - not to bug them or anything, but to help them be happier.
What else happened this week?
Oh! My gosh! On Saturday the funniest thing. We were tracting and nobody was opening their doors. So I was like "Sister Cochran, do you think we needt o be somehwere else?" and she's like "Yeah maybe" and there was a cross street to the one we were on and I go "Do you think we need to do that one?" and she said "Yeah." So we go and the first lady we talked to, we had a lesson with. And as we were leaving, I asked "And what was your name ma'am?" And she goes "Patty." and I'm like "That's my mom's name!" so cool, right? But then the NEXT man we talked to, we had a lesson with HIM as well, and I ask his name and he goes "Ray, and these are my cats...' or something like that. And I am saying the prayer when we get back in the car and I'm like "we're thankful we could talk with Patty and Ray..." and I just started to laugh so hard. And Sister Cochran is like "oookay, weirdo." and I had to explain that we just tracted into my parents and it was so funny. I didn't even realize that until we were praying. So that, among many other reasons, is why you pray after appointments.
This week was not very eventful, so my e-mail is kind of lacking. Sorry! I will have an incredible one next week.
Mom, thanks for your letter! How was montana? did you guys get to watch the Relief Society Broadcast? I hope so it was so great. How is grandma? How is work? I bet they just fell right apart without you there :]. I hope you're good. I just adore hearing from you and I miss you a lot! Do yout hink you could track down mikelle's blog and send me her e-mails from that? Let me know.
Dad, thanks for your e-mail too! I wrote you one back. :] Will you get the family together and take a picture to send to me?? I want to see how yall look.
James how is school? How is the good old U? What are you taking, I don't think you ever told me? How is church? How are the ladies? How is life? Any good movies recently? I love you and miss you and really hope you are not wedded before I come home!! PLEASE. :]
Jonnay!!!!!! You finally wrote to me! I loved it. I am going to write a little letter back to you. I'm glad to hear you are good. You seem like you're loving your senior year. That is how it should be. Keep em coming. Of course I called you pumpkin.
I hope you all wrote down your general conference questions. I took mine with me to the RS broadcast and I'm SERIOUS President Uchtdorf's talk was magic. It answered specifically one of them. to the letter. SO COOL. I know if you do the same, you will have the same results. I love you all so much. I hope you have a great week. I will write a better e-mail next week. LOVE
Sister Hicken


Hello family! GUESS WHO I SAW??!??!??!!
Yes. The Tingeys delivered a package to me successfully. It was so incredible to see them! Weird, but so good! Only weird because it was like "oh my gosh. life still goes on. you are kidding me." and they were like "we're going to go call your mom!" and i was like "that is nuts!" But it was fun to see them! They caught my awesome piano skills in action (We have a new district and I happen to be the only one who can sort of play the piano. So I do it a lot, which I'm happy to do, but it doesn't sound awesome sometimes. This was one of those times haha.)
Thank you so much mom for the package! You are literally the best human being on the planet. I am wearing the cute purple shirt and the green skirt. Adorable. Sister Crawford saw me the day I had the blue skirt and shirt on and she loved it! Thank you Dad and James for your letters! You guys are also the BEST!! Who is missing... who is missing... hmmm???
JONNY. On the real, yo. WRITE TO ME. Or else.
Last week was FUN.... but also SO stressful. I feel too new to be in charge of an area. And I don't feel like I'm doing things right. But I will keep trying. Sister Cochran is trying to help me do that. She is so great. We are having a fun time together, I'm just a mental case sometimes, so it's whatever.
James got the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday! I was so happy for him. He also has a job opportunity lined up by someone in the ward. Our ward has really embraced him with open arms. (OH. MY.GOSH. The dude next to me clears his throat every ten seconds. I am going to die.) And I really think that is the key to successful missionary work, getting the ward involved. James would not be where he is now without them. I am so grateful for our ward.
We have another investigator named Adam (young man in his 20s. Seriously?? I swear to you I do not flirt to convert!!) and we asked him to be baptized on October 14. He accepted. He was going to come to church yesterday but bailed last minute. Story of my life. But it's okay, he said he'll come next week.
We did have an investigator at church. He is an odd duck. After sacrament meeting, I asked what he thought and he said "Boring. And the music is lifeless." Then, we had to teach Gospel Principles and he just walked out in the middle of it. And left church. But he said he still wants to meet with us, so we'll go talk to him this week.
It is raining!!!! Like the past two days actual rain has fallen from the sky. AMAZING. I am so happy about it. What else is going on? Just missionary work. I am really trying not to stress out when I don't know what to do. But whenever that happens I feel like I'm being a bad missionary. There really is so much I could be doing better. But I will just always try harder, I guess.
Mom, you asked about me and Sister Cochran. Well. We were totally shocked to be companions. She was excited and I was nervous. I just feel so responsible for the area, you know. And I feel so new and like I'm being scrutinized. President Crawford said he wants us to be leaders, so he is putting us together to make us that way. And I'm excited, but nervous. I do feel competitive with her, but suprise suprise, I feel that with everyone. I am working on it though. And I'm grateful I discovered it. Haha, I forgot to ask Jon Tingey about his murse!! I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU GOT A FIRE PIT! I am so excited to use it!!!!!! I hope you are all still roasting smores on a consistant basis. (Talk about an awesome end to a date, boys!!)
Dad, thanks for your letter! I am so glad you are enjoying your new job. I pray for you, and God will help you in your career as well as your spiritual life if we ask him to! Prayer is just so cool. How was your standards night? I hope it was good! I always liked that especially when the topics were interesting. All of yours sounded just awesome. I heard about the BYU-UTAH game! Utah news travels fast to all over the country. I heard it was quite the defeat! did Wynn play the whole time? Where was it? Did you go?
James, thank you for your letter. Your advice is awesome. You sound like you are doing sooooo good and that is great to hear! I am proud ofyou. Brit is living with Ian and Brad?? Wierd! That is cool though. Do you go over there a lot? Thanks for committing Sar to write me :] (SAR???? Do you see this? Are you married? What is going on????) And I remember Jennifer Hansen! She is way nice. How is the Elders Quorum? doi you guys to missionary work, just wondering? This MTC thing is cool. The "Trainers" live with the APs and once a week they have a companionship with a greenie in it come and stay for a few days. They train them on how to do missionary things that probably didn't get attention in the MTC like working with members etc. I have not seen a tarantula, but I DID see a dragon fly that was bigger than my HAND. Literaly. Seriously. It sounded like book pages fluttering when it flapped its wings. I had to run up our stairs for like a week after that encounter. Maybe the tarantulas come out later. Did Matt get them in his apt??? Gross.
Jonny. Seriously. Write me. This is not acceptable. Send me a picture of homecoming. Was it fun? Tell me about how you like American Problems?? or can you talk about it yet? I love the chairman, right? All hail. Hows basketball? Hows seminary? How is LIFE? Seriously, you are way too silent. Write me. Many thanks.
Okay, times almost up. But you should know that I am GIDDY for general conference! AH! I can't WAIT. We have been talking to everyone, sharing President Uchtdorf's message from the ensign and telling them to write down their questions and go to conference listening for the answers. He will answer, I know it. I am so grateful. It is like going to be Christmas - that is how excited I am.
I love you all. Here's some pictures. Horses when tracting (of course) and us in the assistants "transfer hats". haha swiped!
LOVE YOU. Have a good week and know that I am praying for you and am so grateful for you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

aaand my new companion is...

Sister Cochran.
Not kidding.
Me and Sister Cochran are companions!! AHHH! We are so excited. I am also nervous becuase this means I have got to step it up so much. I want to be so good and we just have so much fun together... but we will work hard. I just need to relax.
Transfers still are the worst. I hate them. Even though I am so excited to be with Sister Cochran, I will miss Sister Lundgren. And Elder Jenkins and Elder Olsen! I love them so much. But I should think about the positives of the situation instead of all the things I'll miss.
So this last week was a good one. It is still drier than a bone down here, which means that everything is dying. Like as in TREES are dying. Crazy. We need rain so badly. It's getting a little cooler, last week was genius - so nice and cool. But yesterday it was 101 again. Sick. I'm so tired of this weather.
We are still working with James, but he is doing very well. We're hoping to start teaching his family soon because it is stressing him out a little bit. He wants them to know the truth so badly. Last night Sister Lundgren was saying goodbye to him and he was like "will you explain to my uncle..." and then it got into a little bit of a bash. And that was so not good. We left his uncle fine and happy, but the whole situation is just difficult. Because they are uninterested, or misinformed, or whatever. And it upsets him. Hopefully his little sister and her daughter will start coming to church.
Karen is doing good. Today is her 2nd day without a cigarette! Awesome!! So we are hoping she will be able to be baptized soon. And since Sister Lundgren and I literally just switched companions, she is close by! We will still see her occasionally, and she can come here on exchanges, and she can TOTALLY be at Karen's baptism. So perfect.
The mission is doing this cool thing now called MTC - Missionary Training Camp. And it's happening in our Zone, with the Kingwood 3 Elders. So.. our Elders too I guess. What it is, is new greenies will come with their companion for a few days to the MTC and do a workshop with the Elders here. I really like the Elders that are there, it is Elder Kafusi and Elder Archibald. We helped them get the apartment ready this week. It was supposed to be "the model missionary apartment." And so we made it pretty.
So, I'm nervous to not be with my trainer anymore. And I'm a little nervous because me and Sister Cochran are companions. I just have to keep telling myself that the Lord is in charge of transfers. And the Lord wants us to learn something from eachother. And I just hate transfers because people go away. And I will miss them so much when they do. I just really want all the people that I like to get together in a room and stay there. Perfect.
Yeah.. transfers are freaking me out. Help?
I just feel like there is so much on my shoulders now. Because if things don't go right, it's because I didn't work hard enough. I want to work hard. I really do. But I'm just going to have to accept the fact that I will fall short in some things. And in some areas. And everything is going to be fine. I am no longer a "greenie" so I will just have to toughen up and find some more people to teach.
Also, i don't want to get competitive. and I am so competitive. I will be studying pride a lot this transfer, i know.
So that's the end of the story. I'm so blessed, way more blessed than I deserve, and I am a little freaked out by being "on my own" in Porter. Please send advice and I will try to have faith instead of be afraid.
And Mom, if the tingeys want to bring me something - they can bring me another missionary journal. mine is full. already. haha. It would be so cool to see them!!!

you are never going to guess the temperature here...

When we got in the car this morning, at 10:55, it was 77 degrees outside!!!! AH!!!!!! I am so happy. We had a teensy bit of rain this weekend (which was cool, because the Stake held a fast on Sunday to get rain) and today it is only supposed to get up to 85! Perfecto! I want to go tracting for 4 hours - that is how happy I am about this weather! I don't know if I already told you, but this has officially been the hottest summer Houston has seen in 150 years (since they started keeping track of the temperature). Yeah. Welcome, Sister Hicken, to Texas. There was ONE day in the entire month of August that it was under 100 degrees. Sick. But, I survived. And I sweated. So so nasty.
This last week was a good one! I am feeling much better, and this may be retarded, but SO much of it has to do with the cooler weather. Seriously, I don't like the 100 + humidity, and it makes me in a bad mood. This weather, though, is gorgeous. And next summer will be cooler.
My second transfer comes to a close! Weird! I only have 10 more. (Mikelle has been gone for SIX MONTHS!!!) Me and Sister Lundgren both don't know about transfers, we both could stay, or one of us stay, etc. We don't think they're going to flush us, though. So I'm nervous, but I don't think about it too much cause what can I do about it? Nada. We are loosing one of our Zone Leaders, Elder Serdar, and we know for sure they are flushing two of my FAVORITE Elders. I'm so bummed about it. Elder Jenkins is such a bold straightforward missionary, and I have learned a lot from his example. And Elder Olsen is just really really funny. He lives in Alpine, Utah, so you will get to meet him someday when I get home. Speaking of home, you guys and Sister Lundgren's family should meet sometime! For dinner or lunch or something! Wouldn't that be cool? They live off of 94th somewhere. They went to Alta high school. What do you think? If you want to, let me know and I'll get their address.
Well. Last P-Day we played that bubble game that you sent, Mom. And it was such a hit! You're the best. Elder Olsen won! He shared his prize with everyone, though, cause he was like "I wasn't in it for the Razzles." It was so funny. Man, I am in the best mood today! It was also good becuase Sister Cochran's companion doesn't ever really get involved too much on P-Day and she got involved with the bubble game. So, Mom, you are a miracle worker and I love you! I'll send just a few of the gazillion pictures I have.
James is doing so well! I am so happy every time I see him, becuase I see how happy he is becoming. His life is still hard, he still has a billion challenges with school, and family, and everything, but he is so happy. Brother Arnsten gave him a suit to wear to church, and he wore it yesterday and he just looks like a completely different person than who we met a few weeks ago. Not him, so much, but his countenance. He has such a light in him. He bore his testimony in Fast and Testimony meeting, and it just about blew the entire ward away. He was so composed, and has such a solid testimony. This is an incredible blessing for me to be able to witness. And how great is our ward? We got a new ward mission leader! His name is Brother Bowers and he just moved here from Oregon, where he was the bishop! He is diving in to this calling, and I am so grateful for it. We are now trying to "detach" from James just a little, because we are transitory as missionaries and we want him to be solid in the ward. But I think he will be, the ward is so wonderful and involved in his life. Someone is even looking into helping him find a job. He always talks about how cool it would be to be a missionary.... but he understands that he has 2 kids and he needs to be responsible for them. He is going to have the best life, though! I am so happy for him.
We haven't been finding other people to start teaching very well. But we will, we will find them. Karen is sick right now, and she has lost a little fire that she had before. But we are hoping that as she starts to get better phsycially, she will regain that. We hope.
Yesterday was a fun p-day too. I love P-day. I like, NEED P-Day. I'm grateful that there are so many missionaries close to us.
Dad! Dad Dad Dad I am so happy for you!!! I have prayed for you a lot, and hoped that this would be what you would choose! And I can tell already that you are happier. I'm sure it is difficult and overwhelming at times, but I see that you are happier! And that is the best. How is the Stake? You asked about the Doctrine of Christ, and the cool thing was that we learned in the MTC, it is our purpose as missionaries. The Doctrine of Christ is Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentence, Baptism, Recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. And, as the first page of preach my gospel states "Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel, through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentence, Baptism, Recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End." How cool is that?? I love it.
Did you guys like the U game?? Please tell me that they won! The funny thing was that I got Dad's letter on Thursday when we came in for the night, and it was a little after 9 o clock, so I looked at the clock, and realized that you guys were all at Rice Eccles! It was cool. But I wished I could have come too :] No big deal, I'll be there in 2 seasons. Marcus sent me a PAC-12 UofU shirt! I love it! I'll send a picture.
Mom, I LOVED your description of the backyard at the Churchs! Maybe we can talk them into serving Peanut Butter Sandwhiches. I can't wait to go see it. How is the rest of the ward? Cool that there is a new couple in the ward, how are the Robinsons doing? How is Taylor smith doing? How are the Crowleys at their new ward and how's Dominic (at West Point, right?) I would love to hear about all the happenings in the wasatch 8th. My supply of pills is gone! So have Sara Kate come help you :] I would love a copy of that picture of you and your girlfriends at the wedding! Can you get one for me? Thank you for telling me about your talk with Sister Weaver! I hope she's doing good, and that President Weaver is sleeping at some point. I just adore the Crawfords. I know that God knew I would benefit from being close to them at the mission home for this first haul. Also, I have yet to see a Zupas in Texas. But we eat mostly with members. We try not to eat out too often because we're trying to be healthy :] aaaand.... Porter is extremely limited restaruant wise. I'm so excited about the skirts! I will not care about the sizes. :] I still fit in all my clothes that I brought with me so far, so I think I'm doing well. How is work? How is Wilsy?
James! Way to go man! You sound like you're doing good! And you're DONE WITH p90x!!! WHAT?! That is so intense! How do you look? How do you feel? Are you doing a supplemental program now? How is the U? What classes are you taking? How is work? Are you a chief runner yet? You should be. I love your letters, and I read them over and over again. Keep them coming please.
Jonny, how was homecoming? Or has it not happened yet? How is basketball? Are you growing still? Mom told me that James says you are a "freak of nature" because you're so tall. Are you taller? Why don't you and James take a picture together and then send it to me. So I know what my family looks like. Gracias. How is senior year? What are you taking? I hope you're having fun and being good.
I love you all so much. You are the best. I am in the world's best mood today, which is so great. I pray for you, and for the things you guys come up against. I know God loves each of us. And I have wanted to know that personally for so long, and now I'm positive of it. Because I know that now, I know that God will help me gain all the knowledge that I ask for. He will help me where I am weak. I will be strong in those areas someday, but I will have to grow (which is uncomfortable sometimes) to get there.
Thank you for supporting me. I am trying to live worthy of all the blessings I receive. I want to hear about all of your lives, and whats going on. Please tell me!
St. John 3:30 was shared in a conference a few weeks ago. "He must increase, but I must decrease." That is how I feel. That is my goal. To be like my Savior and have my weaknesses decrease. I love you all.
Write to me! And TAKE A PICTURE! And send it. Love you.
Elder Paletu'a ordered a one pound hamburger. And demolished it in like 10 minutes. He is awesome.
Elder Olsen with the razzles and the winning bubble.
Sister Lundgren and Elder Sadleir
Porter Texas. The Perfect amount of country for me.
oh, PS remmeber the sausage guy my first weekend in porter? Well, we stopped by last weekend and he was playing the fiddle with a bunchof his friends accompanying him! Ooooh, it was so cool. It was like a movie. I got a video.