Monday, March 26, 2012


Monday, March 26, 2012 11:00 AM

HI. Hows things?? Things here are good.
This past week was cool. Yesterday we had the second Texas Houston East Mission Choir performance. It was wonderful. I was feeling sicky so it wasn't as cool to me as the first one, but I honestly think that's because I'm newer to this area and also that I felt awful. We do have this one elder, Elder Viiatinin (or something like that. It's Spainard) who plays the violin like you wouldn't BELIEVE!! AH!!!!!! You know how much I love the violin and he is really really good. He plays with us on like every song. It was cool. I'm grateful for this mission.
Saturday we taught our investigator Jonathan. He is doing better. He told us a few weeks ago that he made a vow never ever to enter a church again until the Lord does something for him (I can't remember what) and then yesterday we walked into church and there he was! I was like "Uh, Bouwhuis, Jonathan is in there!" and she was like "What? In THERE? Jonathan?" And it was true. He is doing better. He still has a lot of anger but I see it seeping away. He says, though, that he is at the edge of where he's willing to go and that God is going to have to show him... basically show him a sign to make him believe. Which we have told him doesn't work, but whatever. What else did we do saturday? I can't remember... the days just mesh together and together and together. It is getting hot again :[ AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh mercy I'm gonna die.
We have been riding our bikes :] I LOVE TO RIDE MY BIKE. Even though we really look just so retarded. I now wear SPF 60 EVERY DAY. Haha it's so gross, it's like clay going on my skin- so thick, so so thick.
We have started teaching this family, Braidy who is like 45 and Jen who is like 25 and their his/hers hodgepodge of kids. They are cool and sincere, we found them tracting. We also found a less active woman who is married and has two teenager kids.
OH. MY. GOSH. I forgot to tell yall about HAMMER! Bouwhuis just reminded me. Okay. So Hammer is the coolest potential just cause his name is Hammer. And he invited us this week to his house for his motorcycle groups bible study. And I so did not want to go. I was like "This is NOT our purpose. I DO NOT want to bash (In fact, I refuse to bash) and frankly I'm afraid they are going to flay us alive." But we went. I was having a steller day (not) and we pulled up and had a prayer. We go inside and this little spit-fire named Hammer (I think that's his bike name) comes in. We watch a dumb holocaust movie becuase that is the basis of their study - studying judaism this time. And then they started asking us questions about our religion and what we believe and OH MY GOSH!!! It was the coolest experience of my mission by far! I felt the spirit testify through me and I was speaking WAYYYYY to simply for it to be me. I taught and testified clearly and unoffensively and we did a full 1st lesson, most of a 2nd, and most of a 3rd just in response to questions. There were 4 biker couples there (turns out they are a motorcycle MINISTRY so they go to all these rallies and try to bring people to God. Way cool.) and they were really solid in their faiths but I think we were, as bouwhuis calls it "the first touch" with the church. There will be others. And definitely hammer. We are going to try to teach him. He's rad.
Ugh, see we have alll these cool things happening but I cannot remember for the life of me! Yikes. Those really are the highlights of the week though. Today is ZONE PDAY and I'm way excited. We all have to bring a dozen eggs... nice. Who knows what this is all about.James Dad, I have a quetsion for you. WAs your mission close like ours is? Like, it really is a big family. Were you close to the missionaries and eachother and etc? I love it. The Lord knew where I would be happiest and most useful. Because usually those are coincidental.
Mom, thank you thank you thank you for the birthday countdown. You really seriously are the BEST. I am loving reading them. They are way cute.
Dad, Thanks for your letter! It was good to hear from you. The Stake President challenge in Kingwood was to read the book of mormon every day for the rest of their life, and then in Houston East it was to give a book of mormon away by the next stake conference (which was last weekend) then the stake president followed up by challenging them to go back and invite that person you have the book of mormon to into your home. schweet. He also challenged everyone to reread joseph smith history. I'm sure that your stake conference will be smashing :]
James, did you hear that I'm setting you up with bouwhuis' friends? I am. Will you go out with them? Not all at once, but if we set you up will you? Don't mean to be a matchmaker from Texas, but how else can I be sure to approve of the chica?
Jonny, you are about to graduate from high school!! Crazy! How is the end? Are you excited? Scared? Don't care? Dude, write me a letter!!!!!! It's been like 4 years.
Can yall believe it's General Conference again!?!?! Are you excited for Conference? are you going to go to the conference center? I looove conference. I can't believe that after this weekend, I will only have one more conference. By the time General Conference rolls around again, I will be coming home in TWO MONTHS! Having a companion that's going home really makes me think about how little time we have to do this work. I love it, I honestly do love it. It is still not easy, I still don't do anything perfectly, I still make tons of mistakes and fall short.. but I love it. Such a blessing. This past week I had a really cool experience while talking to sister bouwhuis about weakness. It was one of those times when something that you hear taught over and over and over again in church clicks and becomes real to you. I have said a billion times "We came to earth becuase we needed our bodies to progress." but all the suddent it meant a million times more, and I really know that is why I, Jillian Hicken, came to earth. I will tell you about it sometime in person. Or in a letter or something. It was pretty darn cool. I love being with Sister bouwhuis!! We talk a lot about a lot of different things and it's fun. I'm sad she's goign home. Haha she went tanning today in preparation for it. which you konw what, is maybe a good idea. I won't do it, becuase I have never gone tanning. Maybe I'll go spray tanning for my legs right before I go home. Becuase even though you're in a skirt every day, your legs remain "old people white" as Tatiana Baxter called it.
Family, I'm sorry this is shorter. I love being a missionary. i honestly do. I've never been happier, in. my. life. I've never had more clarity in my life. And it's not like I'm unaware of how people say we're a cult. I've thought about why they say that, and thought about "what IF I've just been brainwashed." but the bottom line is I do believe in God.I believe and trust in Him. I believe in His active roll in my life and I believe in the teachings of this church and his gospel. I know it's true!! It feels so good to testify! I love being a missionary because it is a clarity like I've never had before. This is a foundation for the rest of my life. All of those cliches are true:] Go on a mission!!!!!!! Everyone should if they have the opportunity. It is the greatest blessing of my life. I remember comparing this experience to my London experience. Because I learned a lot, met wonderful people and my life was changed by that short stint in London, England. And I was so happy, remember? I was so happy there. I couldn't have been more grateful to be there, and learning from everyone and experiencing it. But this is different than "London Style" as I call it in my journal sometimes (I'm grateful for this London style) but it's different. Its T.H.E. style. It's a different feeling, and guess what it is better! I am so grateful and this experience like you said dad, something about a jewel in your crown or something? I remember it but not the words. I am learning so much. I will be a different human being because of this and I could not be more grateful. And what's more, other people will have the gospel. Sometimes, i like to think about how it will affect me, because I can control that to a degree. It hurts when you love people, give them the gospel, and they chuck it. It really does. But I'm learning that it's all about service. Life is about others. "How much can I do for others and how well can I do it?" Right elder Christofferson? Yes. That is my motto recently.
LOVE YOU ALL! Enjoy conference! WRITE DOWN YOUR QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Write down your conference questions, will you please? I have my list and I CANNOT wait to see how they will be answered. I know they will. You can put your money on the prophet pretty much every time. :]
Sister Hicken

Monday, March 19, 2012

st. patrick's day!

Hi! Mmkay it's been one of those days already, and I am sorry to report that I don't have any pictures to send from my great week last week because I left my camera at home. Cherry on top. But it's okay, I'll send double the pictures next week. You will have to wait to see my gnarly sunburn. Youch! I haven't burned this bad in a long time. In my defense, it is MARCH. I should not have to wear 60SPF!!! But, now I do wear it. It's better than charbroiled arms.
Last p-day was great. We taught a part member family. It used to be the mom's boyfriend was going to get baptized, but there's now a pregnancy and an eviction and all kinds of good texas drama involved so it's only going to be the daughter. Who I think is 8, but she still has to be taught the lessons. They are cool, though. I really like them. I like them, but do not love them yet. I have been praying really hard for charity during the past week, becuase I think that is what I will need when Sister Bouwhuis goes home in 3 weeks and I need to lead the area. I need to love these people as much as I loved those people in Porter. Granted, I had a little bit more time to get to love them... But I still will.
Tuesday we had choir practice. We are doing the fireside this weekend, on Sunday. The directors have been so weird about whether or not I am singing the come thou font solo again. I can't figure it out. It's almost like they think I'm a diva and going to be offended if they ask someone else to do it or something.. which is 200% false. Whoever the Lord needs to convey the spirit best, that is who should sing it. It doesn't matter one bit who it is, what matters is that it is sung with the Spirit. Anyway. I am doing the song again this time, but probably not for any of the other ones. Which is cool with me. We have SOO much talent in our mission and MANY people that would sound just incredible.
Wednesday we had our Relief Society Birthday dinner at night (do they always do those? I cannot remember ever hearing about one before and then all the sudden every ward in texas is doing one..) It was cool. Our ward has no cliques, which is good but also bad. No one is really involved in anyone elses life. They just go about their business and come to church on Sunday. Or at least that's what I have observed. I'm excited to get to work with this ward though. I like them a lot.
Thursday we were on our bikes ALL DAY LONG!!! And this is where I was burned to death. It was zingin for the next three days. I was wearing a shirt with longer short-sleeves, so now everything I wear looks retarded haha. But I didn't even think to put sunscreen on. It was a beautiful day and we did weekly planning by the water. Ahhhhh, so nice. It felt like being in California, which was odd. I love biking so much. We look supremely lame on our bikes with our helmets and our skirts, but I feel like a missionary and I am so much happier and more work seems to get done. Our area is enormous, though and we have to get the elders a lot since we share a ward and so our miles are not good. Not at all.
Friday was district meeting. I spoke on the Doctrine of Christ (James did yall have to speak on the Doctrine of Christ every week too, or is that just our mission?) someone always gives a ten minute talk on the doctrine of christ. So.. we played pictionary. I gave them a story from the book of mormon about faith or repentance or baptism, the holy ghost or enduring to the end and they had to draw that story, then we read a scripture from that story. It was cool. I think everyone enjoyed it. We have a senior couple in our district, the whites, and the husband is a legit rocket scientist. That was his job before he retired was to be a rocket scientist. He has a cool voice, it's kind of like when you hear talks by really old apostles (like hugh b brown or whatever) and they have this certain cadence to their voice? That is how his is.
Saturday was St. Patricks day! Mom we took pictures of our green food and then i plumb forgot my camera. shoot, darn. I will send them next week. Crystal's baptism was Saturday night so I got to go back for that. I just adore kingwood, and I love and miss them. It was a good baptism. However, Doyle and Debra weren't there. Because they are not doing good and I am so disappointed by it. Baldwin and Higley went by last night and Doyle has been smoking again, and Debra has moved in with him!! Can you believe it?? I am upset. Doyle knows better, and I know it. I am going to write him a letter today. PMG says that it is not unusual for new converts to fall back into old addictions so we should treat them and undertsandable and temporary setbacks, so that is what I will do. Pretty bummer night last night, though, when she called me. Earlier Saturday we went knocking. And it was so great. I love knocking. It is so hard to start, but that is where all of our appointments come from, basically. Nothing is going on in this area. Apparently it died right before I got here. Swell. It is a challenge though, and I like those... so it will all work out.
Yesterday we had Stake Conference. Elder Wright was the visiting authority and he said the coolest thing. There was a bishop whose ward included his sister. She thought he was the best bishop in the world and then she found out about this guy who really really didn't like him. So she went and told her brother about it (haha which I thought was.. kinda wierd... but whatever). And the bishop said "Brother So-And-So is a good man. I've come to love him. I've also come to realize that my salvation doesn't depend on whether he loves me. My salvation depends on whether I love him." And I LOOOOOOVED that. That is the key to self esteem and to happiness. You measure how much YOU love others, not how much others love you. Your worth doesn't come from how much others SERVE you, but from how much YOU serve OTHERS. I LOVED IT!! Just like when Elder D.Todd Christofferson was here, he said a good question to ask yourself is "How much can I do for others and how well can I do it?" Totally brill. I have all of these goals for my life. Of how I'm going to be. I see members in the ward who act like "oh my gosh HOW could you give me yet another assignment, I have way too much already!" and then I see members who say "What else can I do?" and they have the busier lives of the two. But they are also the happier of the two. What more can I do?? A WONDERFUL question that I know will be hard to ask ,,but that I ReALLY want to ask when I get home and go on as a member if the church.
We are working hard. We could work harder, but we're doing okay. I'm having one of those days, like I said, but it's okay. I will get over it. We get to go teach tonight so that will be good. :] LOVE teaching. Love working. Oh my gosh how I love working:]
Mom, thanks so much for the St. Patricks Day package! Since you sent it to #1 it didn't come to us, and one day I was checking in the outgoing mail section to see if the mail had already come and there it was! Just sitting. And it had already been opened but they didn't take anything. Thanks for the cutest shirt and scarf ever. I wore them BOTH on St. Patricks day! Haha just kidding. I only wore the shirt. It was so cute :] Thanks for your letter too! That was a good talk. I hope it influences someone to serve a mission or influences them to realize that they don't have to be perfect or whatever it was they could take from it. How are the other missionaries in our ward? Can you believe Daren comes home in like ... four months? WIERD!!!!
Dad, thanks for your e-mail again last week. I loved it. Things are going good here, we are right by the coast so we did weekly planning on a table at the beach :] bliss bliss bliss. The beach isn't relaly the beach though. so it's not apetizing in ANY way, no worries. We had our stake conference yesterday and I thought of yalls stake conference coming up! Do yyou know what you want to speak to the stake on? Our stake president here does challenges too, just like in Kingwood. I think it's a cool idea. Hav eyou ever done a challenge to the whole stake?
James, thanks for you letter! Your date sounded so fun! hahah I laughed a lot. I'm glad you went out with her. Sister bouwhuis and I have decided to set you up with her friends! they are all coming home from their missions right about now (you're not opposed to dating an rm are you? hope not. some of the elders out here say they would never date a returned sister missionary. if this is how you feel, we have to chat. haha) they are way pretty way cool girls though! Sister bouwhuis comes home in 3 weeks so I will keep you updated. This is happening though. Will you take some more blind dates from your sister in texas? I think it would be very wise. She showed me their pictures and told me about them and I approve. Give em a shot! Exceot I have advice for you. When in doubt, on the first date, for-go the ice cream. If you like her, go for it. But if it's just like "mmkay the date is over but we are required to get ice cream" just nix it. dinner and an activity meet most needs. sometimes even dinner. Whatever you feel. :]
Jonny, how are you? How is senior year? when are you putting your papers in? I am going to send someone after you if you don't write me!!! this is big stuff. you need to tell me about your state championship and about your mission plans. requirement. Have james help you. He is good at writing. ;]
I love you all. It is so good to write this e-mail to you! I was in this horrendous mood this morning (I have to pay for my laundry now and no me gusta.) and now I feel good. I love yall and pray for you. I hope you're doing good. I hope you're reading the book of mormon. I am not kidding, I notice a difference in my day when I don't start with a chapter or two.I know that I am lucky mcducky and I get to study for an hour every day, and not everyone can do that. but we all can start with a chapter or two of the book or mormon a day. or even a verse or two. I promise you you will feel a difference. Do good! Write me a letter! I LOVEYOU!!!!!
Love, Sister Hicken
P.S. My birthday is coming up soon!! that reminds me. Cowboy boots are muy expensive. $200-$300 dollars :[ we will see. I didn't find any that I was in love with so I will keep you updated. You let me know what you think we should do.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 5, 2012 re: La Porte, Texas

Monday, March 5, 2012 10:24 AM

my address here is 3003 South Broadway #14, La Porte Texas 77571 USE IT! :]

On Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM, Jillian Hicken <> wrote:
Hello family! How are you? I am in La Porte, Texas! I am with Sister Bouwhuis (who is rad rad rad. We are having a really good time together and will work hard.) and this is her last transfer so she is going home in a month and 5 days. She's great, though. If I had to leave Porter, I wanted to go kill Bouwhuis is La Porte. We have had a really good week this past week.
Monday was normal pday at Kingwood. My last :[ That made me sad. Missionary work is the same everywhere, but the missionaries are different and Kingwood has been my home base, ya know? I knew everyone and I loved everyone and I saw everyone. But Monday night we met with Doyle and Debra. Oh my word. They are planning to move in together. YIKES! Apparently they can be roommates (cause it's because Debra can'tkeep her trailer) and it's okay with the church... but I don't like it. They started dating 3 weeks ago. And I just find it odd and if they had been living together two weeks ago, Debra couldn't have gotten baptized. It's just messy. But I will miss them so much. I love them.
Tuesday was the big transfer day. I was sad to leave, but not distraught. I am getting MUCH better at dealing with change. :] We had a big transfer meeting in the morning. It was good all the missionaries that were coming in were there, all the missionaries that were leaving were tehre and all the missionaries that were being transferred were there. Sister cochran is TRAINING!!!!!! I am so proud of her. She will do so good. She will be the world's best trainer. The meeting was good. It made transfers a little less sad and more exciting. Then we drove back to La Porte and visited people went to appointments and I went home early (8) to unpack. Cause I HAYYYTE living out of a suitcase.
Wednesday we had another good day. I couldn't tell you very easily who we saw cause I'm still getting used to all of this. But we share a ward with the Deer Park elders (Elder Brown who is Samoan and Elder Sylvester whose grandpa is in our stake but I just for the life of me cannot remember his name!! Mack or something? Dad you know.) anyway I loooove sharing a ward (remember kingwood 2??) so I'm so excited to be here. We met the Elders' invesitgator Shelli who got baptized yesterday after church.
Thursday was kind of a bust. We didn't do much on Thursday. But I repented. We got to go to this big meeting at night for the Relief Society sisters of the houston area. Sister Barbara Thompson spoke, Sister Esplin (something in primary) spoke, Sister DALTON (!!!!!!!) spoke, and Elder Nielson (Giff. You know the football guy?). It was really good. Sister Dalton talked about how we can do all things through Christ. She says that she used to say "I can do hard things" but now she says "I can do ALL things with Christ". She is just so talented. And her hair always looks rockin awesome. All 3 of them were saying "Oh, when we left Salt Lake this morning it was snowing!"' and I was like "Ohhh man!!! I'm jealous." but then I look outside and it's like 70 degrees with a slight breeze today. GORGEOUS. This is the time to live in Texas.
Friday was district meeting and it was good. It was different. But it was good.
Saturday was choir in the morning and we are far away so it took up a good chunk of time. I am grateful I'm still int he choir thing though! I love it.
Yesterday was church and it was different but good. We were in the parking lot and this family from kingwood ward drives up!! The Lord loves us so much. It made church easier to see them there. Becuase I miss my K2 ward. I felt like I lived there... welll, I did live there but you know? I felt like it was my home ward. I loved them and I knew them and I was in their homes and oh I just miss em. But i know I will love this ward so much! I can't wait to get relaly into it. Then the baptism was after church and I sang "When I am Baptized" again (like at Debras baptism) and I loved it. I love to sing. There are better singers in the world than me, but I really love to do it, so I'm grateful I have some kind of a voice. President and Sister Crawford got there late and so Sister Crawford had me sing it again after the baptism hahaha. It was really funny. Last night we taught a young man who has just so much anger in him. Oh my gosh. The feeling that is there when you talk to him is just awful. He has good reasons to be angry, but he is confused about God and when he really gets to understand who our Heavenly father is I think he will be much happier. I hope we can help him.
Time is still passing here. I was worried it would be like going back to the start of my mission to be transferred but it's not.The only way it is, is that I miss a place I loved and I miss people I loved. Still love. That's how it was when I left home though and I can't imagine my life without being a missionary. This is the most wonderful experience I've EVER had. And I love it so much. I really am so happy here, the happiest I have ever been. I wish every body could go on a mission. I really do. I think every girl would benefit so much from it. And obviously every boy too. This is the most priceless thing. And I am so grateful that I feel that way, I really am. I never thought I would. I never thought I would love it this much. I hoped I might, but there were times when I was like "Crap. I have to do this for the next 16 months and I do not like it." Change is still hard for me, so pray for me still. But I am so much better off than I was before. And I am learning things that I am so beyond grateful to have learned. If it is hard for me to see if I've changed in the past 9 months (YEAH I HIT MY HALFWAY MARK THIS LAST WEEK!! !AHHHH!) at least I can see what I've learned. And I have learned SOOOO much.
Well. My e-mails will probably be better when I know more of the people here. But for this week that's my update. We are right by the water, we run to the beach (beach ish area I guess) and it is rad. The breeze off the ocean is going to make the summer months. So nice. Tracting is THE BEST! We had 11 quality contacts this week (quality contacts is when we contact someone and set up a return appointment) So they don't happen all that often. And we had a lot this week. Things are going good. I will just keep trusting the Lord. As President says "I'll hoe to the end of the row".
Mom, how are you? How has everything been going? I hope it's good! Hows work and the ward and wilsy and your nutrition thing?
Dad how are you doing too? How is your work and how is the stake? When do you have Stake conference? We have ours March 18th, I think. Or maybe it's the end of march. Coming up soon. GENERAL CONFERENCE IS SOOOOOOOOO SOON! AHHH!H!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited!!! Da dada!!
James, how goes it!? How did your date go? The word is she had a good time :] So give me your update. Por favor. Muchas gracias. How is school and church and etc?
Jonny basketball? How did the playoffs go? did you have a good time? You are getting close to graduation! ENJOY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you.
Family yall are the best. Sorry this is kinda short we have to stand up to e-mail here and my back is killin me. Please write me and keep doing the good things. Read those scriptures, say those prayers, and do that service. Yall will be happy. That's what I promise people all day long.
LOVE, Sister Hicken
picture me and balwin saying Adios!
P.S. I really want to buy cowboy boots! And they are kind of expensive. My birthday maybe???? That is the one souvenier (how do you spell that sucker?) that I relaly want from texs.what color should I get? Tan? black? red? I'm gonna get the pointy toes, but not really ranchero pointy toes.
P.P.S> Madre! Could you pretty pretty please get me daren's address??? Por favor? He is coming home soon and I want to write him before then!! thanks! Also update me on the ward!! what's going on? I only hear from kelley (and she's not relaly in the ward) and then I heard from Darcie Boyack at the holidays :] So I want to know the goods. Whta is going on at home?

February 27, 2012 transfers!

Monday, February 27, 2012 12:08 PM

aaaand I am staying in porter!!
haha. Just kidding! I'm leaving :[ i'm way sad. You have no idea. But I am not thinking about it too much because if I do my hearts just really gonna break. I love this area. I'm stressed today cause I have to pack for the first time in nine months and I have WAYYYY too much stuff and I'm definitely going to have to send some stuff home today. So expect a package yes? or two. I do love this area though. So so much. Yall are definitely coming back to Kingwood, Porter, New Caney with me in t-minus one year. We have to go horseback riding with Jack Rice. And BarBQue with Red Drye. And you have to meet Sister Kretschmer and Sister Jarboe and the Crosby's and Jonathan and Tatiana and the Cheney's and the Gillises and the Smiths and the Golds and the Bowers' (bless brother bower's heart for being the worlds best ward mission leader) and Sister Harless and Sister Temple (if she's still alive. bless her heart, she prays so hard that she'll be alive for the second coming. and she is just so old and frail. but everytime we leave we say 'We love you sister temple!" as we get in the car to go and she goes "Love you too darlin!" and it's just about the sweetest thing i've ever heard) and Brother McGee and all of the people in the ward that I dearly dearly dearly love. and Doyle and Debra and James (hopefully someday yall will meet him. hopefully someday i'll see him again. we tried to stop by yesterday and it he "wasn't home" whatever) and Crystal and the Cassidy's :[ I'll be back soon for the Cassidy's baptism and for Crystals. Oh my goodness I love this area so so much.
This last week was good. Flew by like usual. Monday we had pday and it was a combined zone pday with houston east (which will be my new zone cause there's only two sisters areas I can go to and they're both there. Unless I'm opening a brand new area which is kind of impossible.) We met with Doyle and Debra monday night and taught her the rest of the commandments and went over the baptismal questions with her. Tuesday we met with Crystal and I told you about that last week. She's doing better though. She told Sister Baldwin yesterday that she has now started doing family prayer with her family (soooo great!! she's not even the member her husband is!!) and she brought her kids to church yesterday by herself. She is doing really good. I will definitely be back for her baptism, but hopefully it is soon. Pray for her still, if you would!!
Cassidy's are just the most wonderful people in the world. We were supposed to meet with them on Wednesday night but they didn't really understand that we were for sure coming so we moved it to Friday and taught them and I just adore them. They are soaking up the gospel. They also went to this ward function on Friday night (it was a s'mores party! They are just so invovled) and Tiffany went and bought some skirts for church and their kids are adorable. We love them. Tiffany said to us that she prayed about the Word of Wisdom (because she LOOOVES tea) and then that day she usually has a huge glass of tea every day and she was like "I didn't even want it all day long. So that was my answer" which was really cool.
Thursday night Debra had her baptismal interview with Elder Axtell. It went well. I'm ALWAYS nervous when we have those because I'm like "I know they're ready but what if Elder Axtell is like 'No. The spirit is telling me that you are not ready"??? So I'm always nervous. But it went well. While she was being interviewed I met this guy who just got home like two weeks ago from (guess where??) the California Roseville Mission:] I asked him if he knew the Gold family (cause they were your favorites right james?) and he didn't. I asked him where he served and he said Chico (that was the only one that sounded familiar) and I told him you served like 11 months in Yuba City and he was like "that's a hard place to stay for eleven months" and then proceeded to tell me about the Yuba Mansion (where two sets of elders live and etc) I don't know if that was were you lived, but it sounded pretty cool. I told him you lived in a mansion with some members. His name is Josh Hansen I think. I wonder why he thought Yuba City would be difficult. I didn't ask him.
Saturday was the baptism :] :] :] Oh my goodness it was so wonderful! It was sooo wonderful. Doyle performed the baptism and I just enjoyed that so much to see him doing that. He is such a wonderful person, Doyle Calhoun. He's making friends with Red Drye kind of. Which is really good because they are both so wonderful. I sang the song that I sang at Jamesy's baptism like 15 years ago (man. I am just really old that makes me feel really old) "When I am Baptized" and Debra cried :] I just like that she felt the spirit enough to cry. Because that is the point of me singing at anything out here, to bring the spirit. I will send some of the wonderful pictures from the baptism.
Yesterday at church Debra recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost and that was really cool. Debra and Doyle are just so great. I am so blessed to have been with Sister Cochran who reminded me that we had missed a house and walked up this huuuge driveway to meet Doyle Calhoun. They are so wonderful and I love them. Red Drye was also there. We have been working a lot a lot with Less Active Members in this area and Red Drye is one that I've seen pretty much weekly for nine months. Well... not weekly for nine months. but at least once or twice a month for nine months and sometimes weekly. And if I could pick one person to come back to church it would be Red Drye I think. He's so great. He calls me his youngest daughter (cause we're redheads ya know?) And do you know what, family? I think he's back. It's slow, but I trust sister Baldwin to dig the spurs in every now and then and he'll be back to church and full activity soon. He could do so much good in our ward.
Transfers are the pits. I am really sad. I know I'll be fine, but i'm just nervous for the change. And I've been in this area with some of the same missionaries for nine months. (Well.. Sister Lundgren, Elder Saldeir, and Elder Curtis for nine months). But whatever changed here, I was still here and this was still my area. and now that's gonna be different. I'm either going to Baytown with cochran (partay!) or to La Porte to kill Bowhuis. And either of them would be way sweet. (except if I kill Bowhuis, that probably means I'm training next transfer ahhhh!) The Lord loves me, I know that. I was studying the scriptures on Sunday or Saturday morning (whenever I was really sad about transfers) and I read in Job. Where Job says "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." and I think that is what I have learned here as a missionary the most. To trust God because He really will take care of me. He will take care of all of us if we just walk with Him. We HAVE TO be living the commandments because He is a God of order and He can't bless us as well unless we're being obedient, but if we are obedient He will take care of us. And He will heal us when we are hurt. When either we hurt ourselves by our mistakes or others hurt us or when just the circumstances of the world hurt us. I know He will take care of it. It still doesn't feel too great though. I love this area. I have lvoed serving here and loved serving these people. I will never forget them. I will never forget the experiences I've had here.
So. Send stuff to the missino office this week (thats the 2815 W. Lake Houston Parkway #109, Kingwood, Texas 77339) and PLEASE send them fast cause I'm sad and I'm gonna need some love and support, ya know? I won't know my address until tomorrow afternoon.
Here we go. It's gonna be great. I can make it. :]one thing sister Kretschmer told me to do is imagine the worst thing that could ever happen. and then tell yourself that you would still be okay. That you would still make it. That somehow you'd survive and it wouldn't be quite so horrible as you thought it was after a minute.
Mom, Thanks for your letter this week :] I loved it! I'm excited to hear about yalls nutrition thing! Sister Crawford would be delighted, she thinks that what we eat and how we exercise are the answer to most health issues. Which is kind of true, I think. Keep me updated on your life and the day to day stuff. I love to hear it, I just eat it up.
Dad, thanks for your e-mail and for the illegal video. I felt a little apostate watching it, but I was also so proud of Jonny! I will be sayin a prayer for yall tomorrow at 5:10. That's very exciting!! I'm glad to hear things are going good for you at work and at church and etc. Have fun in San Fran!! That will be so cool. Haha have you guys watched the clip from.. what movie is it? So I married an axe murderer I think ? Where they go to Alcatraz for a tour?? hahahhahaha I think you should.
James, I already wrote you an e-mail and I'm very excited to follow up on it with you! How is school and how is life and work? Will you call her this week? Have fun!!
Jonny, my my my. I am so proud of you from the little video dad sent me. It looks like yall have had a fun fun season. Good luck this week. Just remember to have fun. That's the most important thing. It won't matter to you in 50 years who won. (well... it won't matter very much I guess :]) but it will always matter to you to know that you had fun during your last stretch of high school basketball. Believe me, I know, because I played high school basketball. jk. but i still think that I'm right and you should remember to have fun.
Family, I love you. Just please pray for me this week. I'm gonna miss Kingwood. I'm going to miss driving down northpark on our way home at night and listening to "Yes, Yes, Yes to Happiness!" with the windows rolled down and I'm going to miss pday in the gym and i'm gonna miss being at the kingwood chapel for church and seeing the people that i love. cause I'm sad and terrified and I feel like all my friends are staying here and i'm leaving and things are going to be so different. And it's true, things are going to be so different. but just pray for me that i'll like it and be okay with it. :] thanks.
This gospel is just so true! I realize that more and more every day. I'm grateful to be a missionary right now. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else doing anything else. Be happy, too, okay? I know that the Lord wants us to be happy. Love you!!!
Love, Sister Hicken

A Good Week :) February 21, 2012

Hello familia! What a great week we had! With some bumps. But it was great. So. Last P-Day (since it was the day before valentines day) I brought those little clip animals for the Elders to make too. Oh bless the elders hearts. haha some of them made weirdest things. But it was fun. I will send you a picture hopefully. Also one of the pictures has Elder Sadleir in it, and I think he looks a lot like James and Jonny. It's WEIRD! I love Sadleir he is so awesome, so it's okay that he looks like my brothers. He was my zone leader and now he's the assistant. Anyway it was great we had a good time.
Then Tuesday we had Zone Conference and I got to sing at that too!!! It was the prettiest song "O Savior Thou Who Wearest A Crown" Which is in the hymn book I guess but the words were set to the tune of "If You Could Hie to Kolob" and it was so great Elder Judkins (who is this amazingly talented pianist) accompanied me. I just LOVE to sing. Yall saw the "17 Miracles" movie right? In that movie there is a version of "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" and it is SOOO beautiful. Other than that, though, we had the coolest meeting. I think it's been my favorite Zone conference. At the last zone conference I didn't sleep the whole night before so I was barely awake. This one was much better and we talked a lot about Faith unto miralces. We are doing this new thing in our mission called "The Hour of Power" Every Thursday night at 5:50 pm we will teach a short lesson to a family about "Faith Unto Miracles" and then ask the head of the house to say a prayer for the missionaries in our mission, and also to say a prayer for us that in the next hour (6pm - 7pm) we will find someone to teach and baptize. And then we go finding for an hour. So, yall are invited to join with us as well. At 6 pm Texas time, (so 5 pm Utah time?) every Thursday to pray for the missionaries in my wonderful wonderful mission. Pray that they will find someone to teach and baptize in the next hour. It's gonna be SWEET! We are loving it.
Wednesday we met with Crystal. Oh ay caramba! We needed to know if she was going to be baptized the 25th so we could tell Brother Bowers and he could get a program together. And she said no, and that was fine. So anyway this big drama happened where somebody asked her about being baptized this weekend (and it's all our fault we didn't tell him after she called us and told us no) because Brother Bowers brought it up in ward council and she got mad that we had announced it when she expressly told us not to and she directed it at Brotehr Bowers because she knows us and loves us (I think) and today we had to go put out a small fire when we met with her. But we had a really good talk with her and she is so wonderful! I hope she gets baptized next transfer so I can still come back for it.
Thursday I just cannot remember what happened. Weekly planning (yucko!) and the hour of power (so cool!). We also met with Doyle and Debra. She is still set to be baptized this saturday!! yeehaw! Doyle is going to baptize her. I think Doyle and Debra have a thing, and that's weird. And I feel like Doyle doesn't have as much time for us anymore (oh my gosh, how 5th grader I sound. I know I know. I'm aware. But I still feel like it) And I just worry about him. But you gotta let em go sometime right? :] haha
Friday it raiiiiiined! Hard! I loooove it when it rains here. It RAINS. But it rained all night too into Saturday so it was still kinda scary when we left to go to Elder Christofferson. We drove down with President. haha. It was President and six sister missionaries in the mission mini van. So great. But we went and got to the Behring chapel and the parking lot was flooded and under construction so we went to sugarland, texas to the Elkridge building I think. And it was great. Elder Christofferson is now one of my favorites. He gave SUCH a good talk on repentance. on how we need to preach repentance to people. Becuase without Christ, repentance would be meaningless. So preaching repentence is really preaching Christ (I do not know how to spell repentance? repentence? UGH! I think it's ance.) But the whole mission was there so I got to see Elder Rasmussen who I just love and adore and all the people who are spread out all over. AAAAND we also saw the Houston 14-B missionaries (from the MTC)!! We all congregated in the back and took a picture. OHHH I love them. Me and Sister Cochran both agreed that we look a little haggard. Like we looked so fresh and young in the MTC and now we are just worn out by missionary work :] haha I think it's totally true. We look different. I feel like I'm gonna come home and be 9000 years old. Dating life is gonna be rough, I'll be all sicko and wrinkled and haggard. Elder Christofferson though he also had a question and answer session which was belissima. One of the questions (from Elder Robles of THE mission thank you very much) asked my favorite question of the day. He said "How did you learn to forget yourself on your mission?" and Elder Christofferson said "that is a worthy quetsion a good question. The answer is I didn't." and I thought that was AWESOME because OBVIOUSLY he was a good missionary and he did forget himself and go to work but I think there's so much pressure to be the perfect missionary and we just need to really be trying. He also said it's submission of our will to our heavenly father's will. And he said the question is (and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this question) "How much can I do for someone else and how well can I do it?" And I think that is just the most splendid answer. He also said you can't think too much about how to forget yourself or it defeats the purpose. And that is exactly the conclusion that I came to a couple months ago. I can't think too hard about becoming what I want to become. I just need to go do it. And I really like that question: "How much can I do for someone else and how well can I do it?" I think I'll try to live by that one.
Yesterday was good. The Cassidy's! Oh the cassidys they are so wonderful. They are still really thinking hard about marriage. She is just, you know, a year younger than me. No big deal (ahhh it's kinda wierd!!!!). We went to the church after Elder Christofferson and they were there because there was a relief society conference that she was going to and he signed up to clean the church. Awesome. Then they were at church and they love it. And we love them. And they have the world's cutest children!! I will have to take a picture with them this week.
So. This week, this week. It is transfer calls :[ :[ :[ :[ :[ I think I'm toast. I think I have to leave. And that makes me want to cry cause I think I'm going to Woodville and it's in the middle of no where and I will be SO sad to leave this area. I love and adore this area. Oh my gosh do you know how much I love it?? I've been here for half my missino and I just want to stay for the other half. I don't want to leave. But I have trusted the lord this far. I'll trust him to take me wherever next. It's funny, every time there's transfers I get all worked up and then I see how the Lord really just wanted me to be happy. And He put me where I would be happiest. I was thinking about that too, though, because he wants to make all of us, all of his children happy. And it's cool to be living the gospel right now to a point that I know what I'm doing is in line with God's will because then everything that happens, happens for a reason. And I was thinking about how Heavenly Father is the great orchestrator. And he knows exactly how to get everyone to play in harmony. So where i'm happiest is going to be where someone else is happiest too and on and on. I really believe that, He just wants his children to be happy. And when we live the gospel we can be happy. This is the greatest! I wish everyone could be a missionary, it is the coolest thing. :] The best feeling.
Mom. Thanks for your letter! I sent you a letter yesterday but it was cause sister baldwin and I had a small "tiff" if you will and she wasn't speaking to me and I just really wanted to call you and talk to you... so I wrote you a little letter. So I'm sorry it's not that great. But thanks for your letter! i'm so proud of your working out dealio! That is awesome. I feel 7000 times better when I am exercising. It's funny if I go a few days and don't really exercise I start to feel crummy and I'm like "uhhh why do I feel like crap?' and then i realize it's because I am not running in the morning. badabing. Anyway how is everything else ? I'm excited for you to give a talk. haha oh the dear old ward. Just can't wait to hear about your charming charming child :]
Dad thansk for your e-mail! It's good to hear all of your updates! I'm glad thigns are going well. I'm sorry the missionary stuff could be better. It's gotta be slightly different in Utah, because of the high volume of members there. I don't know. Just keep at it. Something will come up. Bless the Elders hearts. I'm glad you get to have them over. Everyone talks about that "spirit" that the missionaries bring into the home. and I just don't know it or understand it. but if it's there, that's good. I'm glad to bring it with me.
James. I have a referal for you! ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION. This is very exciting stuff. one of the elders in our mission, I was talking about you to him and he asked how old you were and I told him and he has a sister at Utah State (logan... i said that is okay that it wouldn't really be a problem) and she is 23 and single and legit really pretty. I looked at a picture of her today and I was ready to be like "oh, well she is nice looking" but she really was pretty! LIKE REALLY pretty. And I want yall to go out. Will you please?? Elder Henderson gave me her info to give to you so i'll e-mail it. We have been orchestrating this since last p=day and we both feel really good about it. He was going to e-mail her about it today and I'm e-mailing you and this is a good thing. He is way cool his family is way cool (his mom sent all the missionaries inthe mission christmas presents whaaaat? so cool). Mmkay. So i'll e-mail you. Also how are you? I love you!
Jonny. What is up man? I LOVED your e-mail last week.. Don't worry about basketball except to keep enjoying it.You are good and that's just a fact but just enjoy it okay? You're getting close to the end! I'm way proud of you! Get to work on mission prep. You have things you need to do before you can go. You know what they are. Just pray about them. I know you pray, I know you know the scriptures. Just keep doing what you're doing. You are awesome and I am crossing my fingers that you are coming to THE mission!!! How neato would that be???? Yeah.
Well family. i'm good. life is oh so good. I'm freaking out about transfers a little but what can you do? I really don't want to leave. I love it way too mcuh.Just pray for me and pray for president that he will be inspired and that I'll be happy with where I go. Please? tahnk you! Tell me what is going on at home!? I know there are updates that I don't get. Keep em coming. I feel lik I'm forgetting something..... sorry if I do. Oh! Mom do you want me to mail back that advent calendar christmas tree with the boxes? Cause if I get transferred I'm going to have thirty billion things and ahhhh. I'll know next monday if I'm going. But i won't know where I'm going. AH!