Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012 let the good times roll!

hola! guess who is still just happy as a clam? Sister Hicken. She loves it :] still. I think this bodes well. I think I'm gonna love it from here on out. I hope.
So. this last week was wonderful! I will tell you all about it.
Monday was p-day and we went to the church in Eagle Springs. They have a park nearby so the elders go play rugby (Thanks to we have an overabundance of polys in our area. it's great) and me and Sister Baldwin went to the park and swung on the swings. Swinged on the swings? Anyway I'm like 7000 years old and swinging makes me motion sick. super duper. I'm an old woman. But it was great.
Tuesday was Sister Baldwin's brithday!! It was so fun! I WISH I could send you the video that Elder Axtell took at her birthday lunch at La Madeline's cafe in Kingwood Texas. It's funny. Sister Baldwin was sick in the morning (awesome.... not awesome.) but she got better in time for us to go teach Trina our new investigator! She is so awesome. She is already working on her family tree - the sweetest lady. She was a referral from the aps. :] so you gotta know it's gonna turn into a baptism right? Just kidding. Then we went to lunch with the Elders from our District and since the MTC is in our District, they had their greenies with them. It was a great time, I love this district I really do. Love all the missionaries in our mission. Every single one - being a missionary in THE is so sweet. After that we went and met with one of our investigators Brenda. We helped her plant flowers. She is not progressing in the gospel, but that may be our fault. We have a more casual relationship with her and that is not good. Not how it should be. Then we went over to Sister Kretschmer's house she taught us how to sew. Sister Baldwin got a handmade bag from her and I was so jealous ( like green monster jealous - I want a bag from sister kretchmer! i got over it though.) Then we went to the Cassidy's and taught them! They are doing so so well!! We love them. Cutest children in the world. Yesterday they met with President Paulsen (the stake pres) about getting married (cause it turns out they're not actually married). Things are going pretty well with them. We just adore them. We finished off the night by going to dinner at The olive garden with Jonathan and Tatiana ( you know, boys, your fb friends? yes them) i lvoe the baxters. they are really great. apparently they know about my blog so if yall see this hola. i love yall.
Wednesday we had the final choir practice so I got to see Sister Cochran I just love love love her. We went out to lunch at Fudruckers and one of the managers is a member so when he works and we go we get 50% off!!! SO great. So I got one of those huge fudruckers burgers and fries and a drink for under 5 bucks - holla!
Thursday was fine. Weekly planning. I am not the biggest fan of weekly planning but i'm getting better at it. We met with Doyle and Deborah that night and Deborah is doing very well progressing toward baptism very nicely. Doyle couldn't come to church yesterday and Deborah didn't come either which concerns me a little bit but we'll jump that hurdle when we get to it I guess.
Friday we had District meeting and it was really good. I gave a talk on working with the members. We played pictionary. Yall remember how really truly great I am at pictionary right? Well, I was thinking how could I tie in pictionary to working with members? It was so fun! But the elders caught on that the theme was members so they just started throwing out "Ward Council! Ward Mission Leader!" toward the end and not really guessing by what people were drawing... but it was okay.
Saturday was interesting. We saw the Cassidy's in the afternoon and then I was way sick. I have never in my entire life had the kind of ailments I have here. I have a lot of headaches! They are super awful. I was having a way bad headache (the light hurt and my eyes hurt when they were open. not great from driving) and was super nauseas so I just laid down and went to sleep for a half hour when we got home. We had a dinner appointment with the heinzes (whom I LOVE) and they let us choose where we could go to dinner (and I chose applebee's cause I love me some Oriental Chicken Salad and NO ONE ever wants to go there after meetings. So I chose applebees and got the salad and then the molten lava cake thing, you remember mom? I told them you bought little bunt cake makers so that we could do it at home. They were impressed :]) So we went. Probably not the most genius thing to do, but we did it. I was still sick on the way home and then sister baldwin was sick and so we just went home. Well 3:15 inthe a.m. rolls around and I'm wake up cause I'm sick and Sister Baldwin has not ever been able to go to sleep :[ So after trying a couple things we call the mission home and talk to sister crawford and she has us come over there and then at 8:00 sister baldwin finally falls asleep til 2 pm. So we didn't get to church. But we were up in time for the FIRESIDE!
The fireside was soooo cool! I was pretty nervous to sing - but only because I didn't want to mess up and distract people you know? I just wanted them to feel the message of the song - and it's Come Thou Fount so it's BEAUTIFUL. Anyway it went fine and the fireside itself was a hit and there were so so many investigators, less actives and potential investigators there! It was wonderful. Oh, I just love to sing. If we get to continue to do this i think it will really snowball and become such a beautiful thing. Let us all pray I will be transferred to an area where they still do this choir thing. so that means either baytown or humble (please no) or la porte. The final song we sing in the fireside (after watching the mormon message called "Lifting Burdens" one of my favorites) is " I know that my Redeemer lives" and it is wow! I can't describe how cool it is to hear 50 young men singing that they know Jesus Christ lives :] I LOVE IT. I love these Elders they are so good. Also one of the mormon messages they played was "Good things to come" and I was remembering June 01 when I watched that mormon message at home and I was a huge wreck and terrified and emotional and upset. And compared it to how I felt almost 9 months later in the Kingwood chapel watchign it again. And it was worlds better and I am so grateful that I'm here. So grateful that I'm a missionary. So grateful so grateful so grateful! I know I say the same thing every e-mail, but things are still a challenge and I still have moments or even days when I'm like "Yuck - DO NOT want to do this right now." But overall and more than anything I am grateful and I love it and cannot believe what a blessing this will be for the rest of my life. I will just write a few of the things that I have learned.
I've learned more of my relationship to God. That He is my Heavenly Father and that He only has good in store for me. He never punishes He just blesses. I've learned that I'm not going to be perfect and neither is any one else. We just need to be improving and trying. We do not need to be perfect! That is what we have repentence for - our imperfections and our shortcomings. That is the whole reason we have a Savior. So we can learn and so we can be happy. I've learned that living oustide of just your own little world and your own little self is what will make you the happiest. I've learned that growth doesn't HAVE to be painful. Discomfort doesn't HAVE to cripple us and make us inable to progress. I've learned so much. It really is like in that song, "How can I keep from singing?" when it says "And day by day this pathway smooths since first I learned to love it." day by day this pathway is smoothing. And I do love it. There will still be things. I'm not stupid, I know that there will still be challenges. But I am happy. I think that's okay. :]
Mom -thanks for your letter! I'm so proud of you for pulling that fundraiser off! I have 0 doubts that it was a hit. I'm also proud of you for getting up and eliptical-ing. Doesn't it just make a huge difference in your day? For me it does. Plus I'm way excited to use that sucker when I get home. How is everything? Did grandma ever get the letter I mailed to her? I'm so sorry to hear about all the hard things that are happening in the ward. If there is anything I can do from here, let me know. Also, can you get daren's address from Diane for me? Thanks!
Dad, thanks for your e-mail and thanks in advance for your letter! I'm way excited to read it. How is everything going for you? Are you taking my mother out somewhere special for Valentine's Day? I certainly hope so! How is church? Is it cool to work with Sar's dad?
James, speakign of Sar, does she go to your single's ward? How are you doing? How is school? You're almost halfway there! The end of the semester is in sight. How's work and the church and everything? Are you still doing p90x maintinance program thingy? Tell me about the cool things inyour life - I know you have stuff to tell me!
Jonny. Hola. Muchas gracias por tu nota. :] It was great to hear from you. How are the play offs going? Who do you hang out with these days just your basketball chicos? I'm glad you're preparing for your mission and I'm glad you are going to seminary. Way to be a good kid. :] Keep it up. I'm not worried.
Family, I love you so much! happy valentine's day ( my year as a nun. so exciting. so much love and romance.) I hope it's great. Mine will be. I don't want to be anywhere but here. I love it so much. And remember tomorrow how much love yall do have in your lives. You have the Savior, you have your family, you have your friends. And of course you have your daughter, little sister, big sister. Who thinks you are the champ-est people on the planet and misses and loves you. I hope you know that I feel like that 100%.
Happy V Day! Blow me a kiss from utah mmkay? here's one from tejas!
Pictres - me and sister baldwin on her bday! me and the baxters at sister b's bday dinner. me and sister cochran at fudruckers. the CHUCKS! I told yall about the duck/chickens? I've decided to call them "chucks".So creepy looking.

February 6, 2012 hola!

Hi! How are things? Things here are phenominal! Let me tell you about all the miracles that are going down in Porter, Texas.
First of all, Crystal is getting baptized next weekend, the 18th. We had dinner with them last night and we love them really so much! When yall come back to Texas with me, you will have to meet them. I will be so excited for you to meet SOOO many people in Kingwood, Porter, and New Caney. I know I have complained in the past about still being in K2. But, I really love it. I wouldn't have gotten to know and LOVE and ADORE this ward and these people if I had left before. I love this ward. I feel like I belong here. If I get married and my husband has to work in Houston we will live in K2. :] I also feel blessed to have been able to stay and see these miracles and these successes. This is so cool!
Also, Deborah is doing great. She is still reading and praying and Doyle is helping her. He is getting anti-ed -STILL! Ugh, it is so annoying! Satan is just so annoying. I want to punch him. Deborah is wonderful though. She really enjoys church and she says that this church is fulfilling what she wants and needs. She really looks forward to being baptized the end of this month.
Then the Cassidy's! We went to talk to them on Tuesday and did a L1 and it went sooo well! The Spirit's presence was so strong while we taught it. We asked them to be baptized February 25. They accepted. They have the cutest kids in the world. We went back on Friday to teach the plan of salvation and I don't know WHAT it was, but I just felt so confused and scattered and not in line with the Spirit. Good thing we brought Brother Bowers with us, because he shared some stories that have shaped his belief and knowledge of the plan of salvation and it was GOLD! I really love Brother Bowers he is so great. He is a wonderful Ward Mission Leader - that makes such a difference. We also don't go to all PEC meetings anymore, which is great because Brother Bowers can be in charge and be our advocate in there and then we go one time a month only to Ward Council. Things are just turning out so great in this area. Anyway he really brought the spirit there. They really liked church yesterday, they were paying close attention and brought their Book of Mormons and took all the handouts. So great. There are some family members who are being gemstones - they called them and said "Please stay away from the mormon church - that's the devil!" wonderful, right? Thes family members go to a church that really doesn't like us, though. The one time I've been yelled at by an old man, he was of this particular faith and so it's to be expected a little bit. The Cassidy's are doing well though. Please pray for them as they continue to work toward their goals. We already love them.
This coming week is gonna be GREAT! Sister Baldwin's birthday is tomorrow so we are going to celebrate all day by seeing people that we love... people we love turn out to be just who we should see anyway so badabing there you go. Then we have choir practice on Wednesday - yours truly is singing the Come Thou Fount Solo! AH! I just want the people to be able to feel the spirit so please pray for me that I'll be able to deliver it. It's the first song and there are going to be SO many people there. It's gonna be great! I wish you could hear the music - it's so powerful. I hope at some point we get a recording of these arrangements casue they are beautiful beautiful beautiful! The last song we do is I Know That My Redeemer Lives and it is WAY cool. Way Powerful. Just imagine 50-60 of these awesome, dedicated elders who sing with conviction that they know that their Redeeemer lives. It is something!
Mom, thanks for the PACKAGE!! I LOVEDDDD IT! We already made one of the valentines and gave it to sister Jarboe. They are so cute!! And the shirts?? So cute. Happy Valentine's day to your nun-of-a-daughter :] Also for your letter I LOVED it. I just love hearing about your week. Dad said bhs's fundraiser went amazing and that with you in charge that was to be expected. Which I totally agree with. Tell me about it! Was it fun or just stressy all night? How is work going? How is Rebecca Tingey doing since being home? It has been almost a year can you believe that?? I can't. I guess we still have 3 months until it has been a year. But that is still a while. How is the ward? How is everyone? Did Grandma get my letter? I hope so.
Dad, thanks for your e-mail! I'm glad to hear that my brothers are doing so well. Jonny is famous dave, on the news! So cool!! How is work going? Do yall have any cool stake events going on? How are the missionaries in our area? Do you ever see or talk to them? I love when you write me and tell me how life is at home. Thank you for your e-mails!!
James, how are things? How is school? How are those fun fun accounting classes going? :] Are yall doing EQ basketball? Is that fun? Apparently Brit is dating your friend Brad? Do you hang out?? Haha too weird. What is your ward like? Do you love it? How is everything else? Please tell me!! I bet you will get a raise if you write me:]
Jonny! Baskteball Jones! WHAT UP? I am so so proud of you! I heard you were on tv, so famous. Do you think, with all of your press appearances and events and signings, you could write your old sister a letter? I bet you could. How are you enjoying all of this? Are yall gonna win state? I never told you, Mom sent me your talk. Good job. Your talk made me the most proud of you of all.
P.S. When I get home I am learning to sew and learning to paint. Just so you know. :]
Family, I just love being here. I love being a missionary. There are times and moments and hours that I do not love it. Let's be honest, right? Sometimes I just want to sit down and do nothing and have no one to answer to... but that is never true of a missionary is it? And that's okay. It's never true really of any of us is it? We always have someone to answer to. I have been accounting to the Lord in my prayers every night over my day and it is really wonderful. I highly highly recommend. I'm so grateful to be able to do this. Me and Sister baldwin are getting along just fine. We are having fun. We are doing good things. We are teaching well. We are improving. I love this mission. THIS is where I was meant to be because the Lord knew who I would love the most. I love these people and I love the other missionaries. I really love them.... which is good because who knows if I will have any other friends that are unmarried by the time I get home, right? Friends? Are you out there? Are you married? What is up?? sOme of yall write me and you get a gold star. the rest of yall - just nike my friends, just do it! I will write you back mmkay?
I know our Heavenly Father answers our prayers. I know He does, I have seen it. If we do not see the answer it is because we are not yet meant to see it. When the timing is perfect, the Lord will open the floodgates and we will understand how He has been blessing us all along. Pray to Him! He cannot help you unless you ask Him to! Or, I guess, He cannot help you AS WELL unless you ask Him to. I love you! Have a good week! CTR por favor!
Love, Sister Hicken