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. :]