Monday, September 24, 2012

take 2...

Monday September 24, 2012
This e-mail came back and said it was too big to deliver.... so I'll send the pictures separately. weird...So today is transfers and me and Sister Tuigamala are staying put in Lake Charles. Actually, no body in our entire ZONE is getting transferred. How weird is that? We have a small zone though. I'm definitely going to die in Lake Charles. It's going to be great.

The only reason I'm sad that nothings changing is because I won't get to go to transfer meeting tomorrow. Transfer meeting is where the Elders and Sisters that are going home give their departing testimony. And this time we are losing some Elders that I just love with all my heart. BUT we are also getting an Elder back who had to go home for 6 months due to his companion's disobedience. He's coming back today!!!!! AH!!! I'm so excited. I also wish I could go to transfer meeting to see him. I will tell you what transfer meeting is like:

Everybody gets there and if you're staying put in your area you sit on one side of the chapel and if you're getting transferred to a new area you sit on the other side. In the middle is where the new missionaries and the trainers sit. We all sit there and the departing missionaries sit on the stand. We hear from President and Sister Crawford, watch a slideshow of the previous transfer in pictures, and then we do what President calls "The Match Up". He says "Serving in the Lake Charles South Area... Sister Tuigamala and Sister Hicken!" And then we go and sit together (President prefers if we greet each other at the front of the room and say "Hurrah for Israel!" and then hug. It's OH SO lame haha. But we love President so we do it.) Then when we're all matched up, the departing missionaries give their testimony. And then we close. The departing missionaries line up at the front and all of us file by so we can shake their hand and say goodbye... you know so we dont' spend 12 hours cupcaking and saying goodbye and carrying on. And then we go. President always says at these meetings "I don't know who is out there working if yall are all here!" James, Dad, did your mission president have "isms"? I love Crawford-isms. We also call president Crawford "Craw-Dad." haha I'm not sure if he's aware of that one.

So yes, I'm not going and I'm sad about it. Elder Sadleir was my zone leader when I first came out and then he was the AP so I served around him for a long time (he's the one that looks like Jonny kinda. haha it's so bizarre.) and I'm sad that I won't be able to say bye to him. Also Elder Robles was my zone leader when I first got out to Pasadena. He was like my first friend out there, he's so funny. I love him too. And Elder Paletu'a is from Tonga and he is coming back and I'm SOO excited. I love this mission so so very much. It's like we all belong to each other out here. We're on our own, except for each other so we belong to one another. We're responsible for each other; to help and love each other. That's why I get so sad when I think about leaving.

Anyway, last week was good. Thank yall for your letters! James I got your letter and Mom I got yours. Did you know that Emily Freeman is like super published author?? I'm definitely sure you knew that, but I didn't know that. I saw one of her books at a member's house and I was like "... heeyyyyy! My mom knows her kinda."

Tuesday we met with Gabriella. SHE IS AWESOME! We took Sister clifford who is also a convert from Mexico who used to be Catholic. It was a really good meeting and we love her, she loves us and I believe she will get baptized. Her two daughters as well. PLEASE pray for them. I love them so much. Susan will be getting baptized in January. So that's kind of sad that Iwon't be here for it, but I'm so happy for her! She is committed. We just now have to get here there. We will do our best. Dear old Betty is not sponging anything. So i'm not sure what to do with her. I don't know if she's mentally capable of understanding. We thought she was, but she just doesn't absorb ANY thing. So we're going to have to pray about it a lot. We love them all.

Wednesday we went to the TEMPLE! AHH!! I need yall to come down here and go to the Houston Temple soon. I LOVE this temple; it is one of the most beautiful one's I've ever seen. I know I'm biased, but it really seriously is exquisite, We left at 6:25 and got home at 6:00. It is far away from here. It was amazing though. And I'm always happy to be back in Texas.

Thursday we did weekly planning and I didn't want to shoot myself, which is kind of a miracle. It went very well. Sister T and I sometimes get fed up with eachother, but we're working pretty well together. We will continue to improve. This week I'm focusing on prayer. I am going to pray for 10-15 minutes every night. My prayers have gotten less... good. So I'm going to work on them. I love to pray it's the greatest blessing.

Friday was district meeting and then just work as usual. It went pretty well. It was HOT this last week, High 90s. We had had a cold front last week, so I got all spoiled with my dream weather (which, by the way is 80 degrees and humid. I'm going to DIE when I get home!!) and then it got hot again. Lame.

Saturday was a good day. Nothing too significant to report. Sunday was wonderful! It was Elder Hamilton's 20th birthday so we celebrated. We had dinner with the Rabalais, our ward mission leader. He is SOOO great. He's a convert of about 8 years and we love him. He's Cajun! Except his dad was in the army so he doesn't have the accent. Darn. He's very genuine and sarcastic and great. Who is the ward mission leader in our ward? I don't even know. Dad that new mission plan that yall are doing in the stake sounds AMAZING!!!!!!! I'm so loving it! I've been thinking about what I can do as far as missionary work when I get home. I'm going to invite our neighbor Sharon to my homecoming. Ugh, I kind of hate it that I'm going to be home SOO soon. I'm so excited to see yall and there are parts of being home that I'm going to like... but yikes. I only have 2 transfers left. I can't believe it. This is my life. This is what I do, this is how I live and this is what I love SOO much.

This week will be good. We're going to find all the time and I'm going to be so much better and etc. Have yall written down your questions for conference yet??!?!?!?!?! YOU MUST! Write them down please please please. The Lord wants to answer them. But if YOU don't even know your questions, how can He do it? And write them down. Just do it, it will make your thoughts more concrete. I'm so excited for general conference!

I love yall so much. I am so proud of each of you. I brag on yall all the time, to everyone down here. It's true though, yall are awesome. I hope you have a great fun week. It sounds like it, with a taco stand in the backyard who can go wrong??

Mom, thanks for your letters always. I love you so much. My companion thinks youre the coolest person ever and Mokeaki always texts me when she gets a letter from you or someone in our family. How are you doing? How's work? How's that emergency preparedness night coming?

Dad, thanks for your e-mail. It's okay, I forgive you :] I know you're busy. Hows work for you? I'll write you a little e-mail to answer those frigthening questions about coming home. I'm glad though, becuase I need to get it all worked out before hand. I need to get in touch with MIKELLE NORTON! (does she even read my blog??) Because I'm gonna live with her! Unless she flees the country again. (Don't do it Kelle! I need you! :] ) Good luck with the new mission plan! The work is different back home, but we should always attack it with all the same excitement that is here in the "mission field".

James, thanks for your letter That sounds like an AMAZING weekend! I love Elder Scott and I adore Elder Holland, as wel all know. I love it when he yells, it's awesome! Elder Scott's remarks sounded really inspiring. I totally need to use them, so thank you. How's school and work for you? What are you taking? Who are you dating these days?? Don't get too attached, I'm setting you up with my companions when I get home, mmkay??

Jonny. You are so grown up! Mom sent me these pictures of you openning your call and you have, like, a beard. Way gross. Shave that sucker. I'm excited to see you- but thou shalt not have facial hair when you pick me up from the air port or else I will die. How's SLCC? Let me tell you something, Jonny. I know you love your friends and I'm sure you're hanging out with them as much as you can before you leave. But I have amazing friends who I haven't heard from at all on my mission. Not that I'm upset about it, it's just that make sure you spend time with Mom and Dad and James as much as you can too. There's no one better that you could be hangin out with. I LOVE YOu though. I wouldn't be your big sister if I didn't give you some healthy advice, right? Keep your mind on the mission as much as you can! Don't let anything or anyone get in the way of it. I stalked the new mexico albuquerque missionaries. You're going to have the BEST time!!

Family, I love yall oh so much! Be good, keep praying and keep serving. We know how to be happy. If we do the things we know to do, we will be happy. I promise :] LOVE YALL! The gospel is true and the church is Christ's!

the board

Monday September 17, 2012
Hi family! We had a good week this last week. We met our goals!! Which we haven't done yet in full. And the only two goals we didn't meet, we are okay with. We met our total lessons goals and we are just so happy. It is all because we made ourselves a board. And on the board we put red tally marks for how many lessons or whatever we plan to get that week. And then every night when we do nightly planning we erase how ever many tally marks we got that day. So we have this constant view of how far we've come and how much farther we have to go. It's rad.
So. Monday we went to see the alligators. It was cool but they were really small. I was expecting them to be huge.... and they weren't. But it was still fun and cool. Then monday night we went to see Gabriella and her girls. It was amazing! it was such a good first lesson. We talked to them a lot about if they were feeling the spirit and at one point the daughter who is in 5th grade was just all of the sudden like " I feel like crying, but I don't know why. It's like happy tears." And we were like "sweeeet!" So we're going to back tomorrow with a member from our ward who is very similar to gabriella. It was awesome. Then we had dinner with some solid members, the beveridges. They are so awesome, just moved from Arizona. We have like a Arizona pod in our ward. Lots of people are from there. Weird.
Tuesday we met with Betty our investigator that has parkinsons disease. We need to teach her over again because she wasn't sponging before. And she lvoes coming to church. We go over and walk her to the church cause she lives so close. It's awesome. The weather here is getting nice. High to MID 80s. I LOVE IT.
Wednesday we met with ssuan and talked to her about praying for a new date and talking to her family about her decision. We also went and met with Debra and Jozetta. Debra has... some kind of a disease and Jozetta is her care taker. And Jozetta has talked to the missionaries several times for AT LEAST a year but we went and she had read Alma 32 and was so excited to talk to us about it and we gave her a purpose lesson and told her we were going to come and teach her where the church comes from. So we're going back this week to do that. Wednesday night we met with the Bishop. Have I told you about our Bishop? He is awesome!! I love him. Bishop Young. He is involved in everything, he is so loving and he is just a get it done kind of a a guy. He's the best. But in the middle of our meeting, one of the Young Men leaders car got it's window bashed in. So... we kind of had to stop and deal with that. Or let them deal with that and we went home. It was okay, it was about 9.
Thursday was a great day. We met with Betty again and moved her baptism date. We also did the hour of power witht he Mortimers, he used to be the ward mission leader and she is less active. Weird right? But he and his daughter are super active. During the hour of power we talked to three people. It was on the street of the church. And I have felt like there's someone on that street every time I pass it. So we started knocking, the first was a family who was going out of town for the weekend, so we're going back wednesday night, the next was a baptist lady who we talked to for probably at least a half hour. She preached a lot, but after we listened to her she agreed to let us come back and she'd listen to us. The last people were two college kids from mainland china and they were leaving in like 36 hours to go back to china and so we were so excited to tlak to them. We took them into the church building and sorta gave them a church tour but they don't have a concept of God really so it was difficult. Props to anyone who teaches people who have no christian background. It's tough. We did ask them how they felt, she said Safe. And that was sweet. We also told her to look for people with a badge like ours that they wouldbe nice to her (they're traveling the US on their way home) and we gave them each a book of mormon. So missionary work IS being done in China. Take that! :] we were really happy about it.
Friday was a good day. We met a lot of less actives who haven't had contact with the church. Most notably JAmes O'Dell. He's lived here for 2 years and no one has ever come by to see him. And that is awful. His wife died and then he said the church just never checked on him after that. he's hurt. but w'ere going to meet with him. We loooove him. We're going to dinner with him and his new wife this week. So excited. We met another less active who is so cool. She gave me a peacock feather because I LOVE THEM. And we are friends now. We're going to work with her. Also, we got done with visits for the night we got home and our keys to our apartment were no where to be found. So that was fun. Elder Brown was on exchanges with Elder Hamilton, so I thought he took them, but.. he didn't. We just lost them. Luckily we could sleep in the boswells apartment because the boswells left on Thursday. So crazy! They were an amazing senior couple. I hope you mom and dad get to go on a mission REALLY soon because we need yall!! SOOOO BAD!
Saturday we had service with susan and a really dumb day besides that. Saturdays man. They are always hard we don't know why. We're goign to fix that. Maybe we'll just go finding all day. And see how that goes.
Yesterday was my companions 25th birthday! She didn't want to tell anyone, but I told a few people. It was cool. Church was amazing, we saw less actives that I adore after church and worked with them, then we had dinner with Sister Borton, who used to feed the missionaries every single sunday. She's moving to beaumont next week. we're sad. She s a ward missionary and is so cool. She's from germany! She like KNOWS president uchtdorf!! how cool is that?? Then at night we saw Lora. She's the one who is from Oregon on an externship and we love her so so much. It was a good day over all.
Today is just pday. Nothing big. BUT GUESS WHAT?!??!! WE GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE ON WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited. You cannot imagine how excited I am. Thrilled. Also guess what? General conference is in like three weeks?? I think. Are yall writing down your questions yet?? Can you believe it's general conference? time flies flies flies. I feel like it was just barely LAST year general conference october. Basically I come home in two seconds. Which is just terrible and awesome at the same time. It's just making me want to work harder. I only have TWO TRANSFERS LEFT after this week. That makes me want to throw up. But I will work hard. I love this mission, I love the Lord, and I love this church. There is a new song by Alex Boye and Carmen rasmussen herbert "Have I done any good?" And IT IS SO AWESOME. Yall should find it and download it or buy it or whatever. It is my anthem. "Have I done any good in this world today?" I ask that every day. And some days the answer is more strong than other days. But that's what's awesome about the atonement, we can make mistakes and try again. If we were perfect we wouldn't need a savior. And also, we don't have to to be perfect. The world already had a Jesus Christ. What it needs is a Sister Hicken, or a Sister T, or a YOU and we just need to do what we can. And keep trying. We've been sharing "The race" with people dad. They are liking it a lot! Thank you fors ending it to me. We've been doing it with Less actives and a few active members. It's great.
Family. I love you. I am so grateful to be here and to be a missionary. I always want to be a better missionary and I wish I was, but I will keep trying my best. I'm grateful for my FAther in Heaven who guides us all. I'm grateful to my Savior for being a Savior. For making it okay that I made a mistake, and that someone else made a mistake and hurt me. This gospel is so beautiful. I adore it with all my heart. This week, ask yourself every day "Have I done any good in this world today?" And if you haven't, then just plan to do something tomorrow! Or right at that moment. We can all do something good even if it's small. Like taking out the trash or walking my dog or giving someone a hug or a compliment. JUST DO IT. Yall will be so much happier I promise. I wish I could be with you, but that will happen soon enough. For now I wouldn't be anywhere but here. :] How are y all??? wRITE ME AND TELL ME!! THanks so much. Yall are the best. I love you. I love this gospel and this church. They're Christs! Be good and be so happy.
Love, Sister Hicken

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

MISSION CALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012 10:54 AM

I am so so so so so SOOOO excited for you Jonny. Oh. My. GOSH. I have been excited all week long and especially this morning. My district is excited for you also, cause I was gushing in the car on the way over here to the library. I am so happy. I wanted you to stay Stateside so so so bad! And now you will be going to! New Mexico. I'm so excited for you. I looooove the Hispanic people in Texas, so I hope you get lots of them. I was so excited to hear where you were serving, not because I wanted to hear the place, but because I wanted to just know that my little brother was serving a mission. It gets more real when you have a destination and a time in mind. It doesn't matter where you serve, it matters who you serve and how you serve. Your mission will have unique challenges and blessings that will be all it's own. BAHH I am so excited for you! I took a picture of my excitement and I made a video of me reading where you were going. So you can SEE how bloody excited I am!!! I'm so happy right now. This is the best thing ever in the world. AH! I'm just excited.
Well. Okay. Now for my week. It was good. I started out the week with zone pday and we were in beaumont and it was lame. I was lame. I didn't involve myself at all and it was so so so scorching hot. But after that I went on exchanges to the dreaded woodville, texas! The place where I prayed I wouldn't go haha. It is just realy small in the middle of no where and I'd met sister missionaries who struggled there. And I didn't want to go. It was a good exchange though. We went finding and talked to two people that gave us return appointments. One was a baptist deacon. He was cool.
Tuesday was my full day in Woodville, but I e-mailed yall that day. We didn't have a whole ton of success. But it felt so good to get back to Lake Charles. I love Lake Charles. It's a good area.
Wednesday was a good day. We met with Susan and had a church tour with her. We also tried a potential in the morning, Wayne. Who this time succeeded in giving us back the Book of Mormon. We were sad. Then we went to teach a less active lady who won't pray because she doesn't want to do anything that is a ritual. So she just prays all the time in her head. (If I had a nickel for every time I heard "Oh, I pray all the time, baby." I would be so filthy rich.) Then we had a lesson with a member and her caretaker, who is semi investigating. We'll see what we can do with her, Josetta. We get in a lot of places because sister T isn't white. It's cool.
Thursday we had a lesson with Betty and it went fine. We invited her to church and she said she'd come. Every time we teach her and feel the spirit, we ask her how she's feeling and she says "relieved". I like that the spirit makes us feel releif when we need it most. Thusrday night we did the hour of power and I was just NOT feeling it. Sister T was like "Do you want to do this?" and I was like "No." but we did it anyway and ALL OF THE PEOPLE we talked to gave us return appointments. It was incredible.
Friday we had zone meeting and then I had to go get our corolla safety inspected. (What is the point of those? they take like 10 minutes! It was lame. we spent forever driving around orange texas trying to find a place that we could get a safety inspection and they could take the payment over the phone. So we finally did. By the time we got home, and the Elders figured out they'd left their car keys withs ome other elders and we had to drive to Jennings to get them back, it was like 4 pm by the time we got to work. Lame. And we didn't know what to do. In zone meeting (did I tell you my zone leaders are shepperd and brown?? i LOVE them). we talked about planning and goal setting. That is just what I needed. You can KNOW all the doctrine or good things in the world, but if you don't DO them they are almost pointless. You have to APPLY them.
Saturday we had service with susan and that was fun. We are working on her house. did I tell you she's a hoarder? She is. She is emotionally attached to EVERYTHING her daughter ever touched. seriously she is. So that's interesting. Then we had dinner with this active family from AZ the gibsons. They did the cutest thing, they had their daughters take our orders for sandwhiches like waitresses and then serve us. I'm SO doing that when we have the missionaries over when I grow up and have a house to have missionaries in.
Yesterday was very interesting. Me and sister T were not getting along. We are both prideful and that doesn't mesh well when we are both on our high horses. But we had a great long comp inventory and felt fine afterward. We went tracting until dinner and NO BODY absolutely NO BODY bit. It was a rich street. (mom there are some veerrrrry nice wilson-walking neighborhoods in lake charles). Everyone was catholic. The baptist we met slammed the door. And then the last lady was fighting with ehr mother about disciplining her 11 year old daughter and spoiling her. So we just awkardly stood there for like 5 minutes while they argued. five minutes when people are arguing is a LOOOOONG time. It was just so awkward. But she was nice and took a pamphlet. We had dinner with the cutest family, the Morris. I'm telling you, people like them make me want to live outside of utah when I grow up.
Today we are going to see some aligators! I will take a picture for yall. We're goign to the creole nature trail or something like that. i only have 13 pdays left after this one. WHAT???!?!?!?!?! That's so crazy nuts.
mom, I did get your letters! Thank you so much! I want you to save brittany's wedding invitation! I want to see it! I can't believe all the people that are getting married! Holy smokes!! There must be something in the water this time of year. how's everything? you are the BEST. I can't wait to come back and hang out with you. Me and you and cochran and her mom and watching the holiday asap.
Dad, thank you for telling mea bout jonny's call and life at home! I love yall so much. I hope things are going well. How is your work going? How is church? Any big callings you have to make any time soon? How are the missionaries in our stake? do we have stake msisionaries yet? I never told you thanks for the cd you sent me. I listened to it and i really liked the points. I liked the "tight like a dish" thing he said. When we are not being relieved it's because we dont' needt o be yet. So awesome.
James, how are you doing??? It's been a while since I've heard from you... write me!!! Did I ever say thank you for those talk cds? I LOVED THEM. i would have DIED in baytown without them. Hows everything with school? Whatare you doing in school? How's church?
Jonny. Jonny, jonny jonny. WHY did you not tell me about your call yourself???? LAME. You are lame. But I am still excited for you. WRITE ME about how you're feeling. Be honest. If you remember, I was less than thrilled about my call. But i am beyond ecstatic about it now. I love this gospel so much and I lovet his church.
Family, just keep reading and praying. PRAY. we need to talkt o our heavenly father on our knees. I am trying to pray more often. He wants to hear what we're thinking about. He wants us to TELL him, even if it's stupid or we shouldn't be worried about it, or whatever. HE WANTS TO HEAR IT. I love you all. I'm going to be back way too soon. i totally have dreams that I am home every night, it's the worst and the wierdest. LOVE YOU!!!
Last but not least CONGRATULatIONS TO My WONDERFUL COUSIN REBECCA!!!!! I'm so happy for you! I can't wait to meet Chauncey and see how happy you are in person. Enjoy the wedding plans!! I wish I was there to help with them, yall know how much I love weddings.
me excited for jonny's call. I am so gross now a days. I'm going to need serious help when I get home to get pretty again.
the country road in woodville, texas
the pepper i ate for a stone knife from the durrs. it wasn't too bad. halapenos are REALLLY hot. my tongue was numb.
my planner. recognize anything dad? mom? :]
me and my companion. she has a bomb singing voice. it's rad.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

in woodville, texas today

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 11:15 AM

Hey family. I'm back in Texas on exchanges for the day! It feels good to be back in Texas. I love Texas with all my heart. But I am excited and anxious to get back to work in Lake Charles. I had a major attitude adjustment this week. I'll get to it. It comes Saturday night. Stay tuned.
So. Last Monday was a wierd pday. We were running around doing errands all day long, we didn't really do anything fun. But it was good to get a lot of things done. That night we had dinner with an awesome active member family in our ward, the Courvilles. They love the missionaries. We talked to them about 3 Nephi 11 when Heavenly Father introduces Christ to the Nephites. We talk about how His voice is described and then we talked about what he says about His son. And what He would say about us if He were to introduce us. Would he say He was well pleased? Would He say that we had glorified His name to the degree that we are able to? It was a good lesson, but it took ALL night. So we didn't see anyone.
Tuesday we had a lesson with Betty and invited her to be baptized. It went well, but she is still confused about what church she wants to join. If she wants to be baptized into our church or "her church". So... we've got a lot to do. We also taught a less active woman who is active at heart but refuses to come to church. AH. But we asked her to share the gospel with one of her friends. So that might spark something.
Wednesday we tried to go teach Wayne, our potential that tried to give us back the book of mormon, but he didn't answer. So we saw a less active over by his house. She refuses to pray because it's a ritual. There's some stubborn folks in Lousiana. Then we saw Susa in the afternoon, with Sister Trahan from the ward. It went very well. We talked to her about Joseph Smith. Then we saw a less active woman named Kizza. Kizza is black and LOVES sister Tuigamala because she's not white. So. Yeah. She's inactive but she used to be the gospel doctine teacher.
Thursday was our District Leaders birthday so the senior couple in our ward had us over for lunch. They go home in ten days! They are so excited. They are great missionaries. Then we saw Betty and talked to her about the Book of Mormon. We also saw Ethel, the old woman who has dementia. She is so wonderful. I love her so much. We always sing to her. We had the hour of power with the Burnthorns, and then saw Brother Boise. Oh Brother Boise. He is quite stubborn too. He knows the church is true, and he comes to church sometimes, but he doesn't want to go back to the temple and has no desire to stop drinking coffee. It's not that he can't go to heaven if he drinks coffee, but he definitely can't go to heaven if he doesn't want to obey heavenly father. But he's an awesome guy. I really like him.
Friday was district meeting and it was fine. I had a terrible dream on Thursday night so Friday I was kind of out of it, and we ended up having a comp inventory halfway through the day. Because we were both being really prideful. UGH pride. I hate it. But we are both committed to working hard to overcome our pride. Or try to. We also saw a less active who joined the church a few years ago and is just seems to have fallen off the bandwagon.
Saturday was a good day. We had AWESOME studies and were so excited to see the people... and it was raining so hard and I love when it rains so hard here. WE saw susan and did service with her and talked about how she can recieve revelation through church attendance. She said she would pray during the sacrament for an answer. I wanted to have been bolder and say "PRAY FOR A DATE SUSAN!" but I didn't. I don't want her to cry because I feel so mean if she does. We kind of had a terrible night on saturday night. We just were not connected to our purpose and we didn't have anything to do so we kind of just cupcaked forever. And we both felt so guilty about it. And it was saturday night that I realized I just need to go and do what I need to do. I have been so concerned with how much is our part how much is another persons part, how much is my companions part, and all of those things really don't matter. It matters what I can do. What my part is. And if I know what I can do, and I don't do it, I will be so unhappy.
Sunday was a wonderful day. Can I tell you how much I LOVE fasting. Everything is so much more clear when I fast. A zillion times more clear. And I love fasting. It was fast sunday and we had a great fast and testimony meeting and great lessons. And I was just way more proactive and it made me so happy.
Yesterday was labor day and Zone pday. It was fun ish. I don't know anyone out here and so I am like way overwhelmed by the big groups of people that I don't know. It was good though. I love my Zone. And my zone leaders. I have just had wonderful Zone leaders for my whole mission. I think being a zone leader is totally the place to be as a missionary. Being an assistant would be cool sometimes and totally lame other times, and being a zone leader I just think would be fun.
So I'm doing well. Thank yall for all your support and love. Thanks for your e-mail dad. It sounds like yall had a great week! Congrats on the deal!! That's awesome. Mom, thanks for checking on that thing for me. :] I'll be alright. James how are you??!? I need you to write me a letter! It's been far too long. How is everything? You are great. Jonny. HOLY, I wish I could be there tomorrow when you get that envelope. I expect a letter from you. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!! AHH I AM FREAKING OUT!! :] My guesses for your destination are: New York or Lima, Peru. yeah buddy!
I love yall so much. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am so grateful to know the Savior. I am so grateful that conference is coming up!!!!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!! We are so blessed. Love yall.
Love, Sister Hicken
OH MY BIGGGG P>S> President Crawford changed the music rule!!!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!! So, there is a certain CD that I would LLOOOVE to have. It is on that stack of cds on my desk that says "For when President changes the music rule" and it is a burned cd that says "Sister Hicken" on it. It's from Mikelle. I'd love that one. But other than that I'm easy. I only have three months left I don't need a whole ton of new cds that I'll just have to mail home :]

week 2 in lake chuck!

Monday, August 27, 2012 10:37 AM

Hello family! Things are going very well. I will tell you about the week:
Monday we just went to the church with Elders and played games. It was fun and relaxing. That is what I need out of pday. Plus, I'm totally my father's daughter and I feel 90X better when the apartment and the car and everything is clean. It's awesome. Monday night we had dinner with some members who are so wonderful. The Morris. he is from Lake Charles and she is from Utah, but she has adopted an accent in the 40 years she has lived in Louisiana. They are wonderful. I love the members who love the missionaries. From some members we get this judgemental, "you're not sister whats-her-name that we had here a year ago. She is amazing and you are not her." and from some members we get unconditional love. The morris are the latter. Love them.
Tuesday we had Zone Conference. It was fun. Except I was exhausted. But we watched this video of "Team Hoyt"? I think. It's the father that has run a bazillion triathlons with his son who had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck when he was born. I'm sure yall have heard the story. It was really good. We talked about how that is like us. We have no limits but the ones we set on ourselves. It was cool. We also talked about finding new investigators which is what we need to do in our area. Big time. That night when we got home we had dinner with a part member family (except the husband didn't even say one word to us the whole time, except come in and have a seat) and then we went to see a girl that just moved into our apartment complex. She is doing an internship at the big casino here in town. She is a pastry chef, and has been a member her whole life. But she is awesome we are excited to get to go talk to her. It's nice to have a member living in our apartment complex. I love it.
Wednesday we had a great day. We went to see our potentials. Wayne met us out on the porch (where we got attacked by love bugs. disgusting.) and he was handing us back the book of mormon saying "I don't need it, blah blah blah, I'm catholic..." and by the end of the conversation he invited us back to for this wednesday. He is Cajun. Awesome. Then we went to see Susan and talked to her about setting a new date for baptism. That made her cry. So we're not sure how to proceed here. We'll work it out. She comes to everything though. She even came to stake conference on Sunday and said she needed to study her articles of faith. She is doing great. Then we went to see Sister Harper. She is so cute. A member all her life too, but husband not a member. And she drinks coffee and tea and doesn't want to give it up. That seems to be the #1 word of wisdom issue here is COFFEE?? Who would have thought? We have tons of less actives who just won't give up the coffee. It's crazy.
Thursday we went to see Miss Viola. She is this old lady who went on a mission when she was 50 and is so cool. But she doesn't come to church. (Did I tell you we have like 600 inactive people in our ward. yep. awesome.) then we went to see Larry who is an investigator who is not goign anywhere. His excuse is health problems. I don't know why everyone is so full of excuses here. It's nuts. We will figure out a way to help them keep commitments. Then we had the hour of power and met some great people. This one lady gave us a pretty strong no on the way up the street and then on the way back she ran outside and was like "I have a question for yall. Is the world going to end on December 21 of this year?" And we said "No body knows when the Savior will come again. etc etc" but I'm thinking I seriously hope it doesn't end two days after I get home from my mission. That would be super lame. It might as well come right before I go home so I go straight to heaven, right? haha. kidding. kind of. :]
Friday we didn't have district meeting so we went to see Miss Ethel. It was RAINING LIKE CRAZY!!! AH! The rain in Louisiana and Texas is awesome. I love it. The number one thing I will miss about the land here is that big sky. The sunsets are pretty incredible. But so we went to see Ethel and sang to her. She is old as can be, has dementia, and lives in a nursing home. So we go drop by when we visit our investigator Betty there. We also saw Betty and gave her some dresses donated by women in the ward. Betty doesn't understand our purpose so when we go over tonight we're going to do a lesson 1 (the restoration) again. Then we went and dropped by this old Catholic couple who LOVE the sister missionaries. They are so cool. We were planning to show a video from the Mormon messages about the Atonement. And they totally shot us down. It made me so sad. I wanted to be like "What are you afraid of?" But I didn't. Poor LeLanes. I wish they'd listen. Then we had dinner with the Zachary's and the elders brought a part member family that they are teaching. It was cool. I like them a lot.
Saturday we did service all day. We met Susan's husband. We are best friends now. He's cool. Maybe eventually he will join the church with her. That would be neato. They took us out to dinner cause our dinner appointment cancelled. Then we also saw Debra a less active and her care taker Josetta who is semi investigating the church. It was an okay day.
Sunday was Stake Conference. Elder Giff Nielson was the speaker and he did really well. He talked about how we have the spotlight on us like never before because of romney etc etc (he even through in jimmer :] that made me just thrilled as you can imagine. how is jimmer doing anyway? is he playing? does the nba even happen any more?) After church we went to teach Souriya. He is SOO AWESOME! He reminds me of Jonathan Daigle, but not as tainted by religion in the past. So, of course, I love him immediately. He is cool. He was buddist I think. But he's very open. He doesn't understand why the SAvior had to die for us. He understands the concept of what we teach, but he doesn't understand how a just God could allow that to happen. It's just very different because he doesn't have "that solid christian background" (like ming han! haha) but I love teaching him. I was so happy after his lesson. Then we went tos ee some less actives. She served a mission to guatamala in the 80s. And Then we saw a recent convert who just hasn't been to church in a year. Nice. She is cool though. She has a hair salon in her house. She's gonna give me bangs again when the weather cools off. Then we capped off the night seeing Sister Monroe - the member who lives in our complex. Everyone always has more of a story and more of a battle in life than you'd think. We're going to work with her I really like her. She reminds me of Annie Goodell... Hamilton. :] So Iove her automatically too.
Things are going good. I went to the doctor this morning. They did blood work. Mom, Pamela says Hi. She just loves you to death haha. She thinks you're great. You would fit right in here in the South :] The doctor is really cool. But they didn't have me pay for anything so... not sure what that's about. I'm still struggling with the whole sleeping thing, but it's all worth it when we teach. I just love to teach this gospel to people who don't have it. I love it more than I've ever loved anything. It makes me happier than anything has ever made me. It's really all the cliche's that everyone says. Best two years. hardest two years. highest highs and lowest lows. It's amazing and I am grateful beyond belief that I've had this opportunity and that I keep having this opportunity. Saturday will be my 15 month mark!!! AHHH!! That makes me want to throw up. I can't believe how fast this is all going. YIKES.
Mom, thanks for your letters and cards. I love you! I'm sorry that yall have to go through all that stuff with cleaning out grandma's house. That would be rough. But what a blessing that a young couple is going to live there! I might have to go over there when I get home though. They will understand, this young couple, right? I'm sure. Your life sounds wonderful. I hope you're having a good time at work. Do you still like it?
Dad, thanks for your e-mails and your advice. I love it. I can't believe David Jackson is getting married! He's totally younger than me. So weird. How's everything with the stake? Do yall have your own set of missionaries yet? That is going to be sweet. In Utah there is a lot to be done with reactivation and retention. I'm sure the missionaries can go get em.
James, how is life? How is school? How is everything. You are great. I want to set you up with my old companions I just need the green light. Say the word and I'll get it together.
Jonny, you put your papers in ooh lala! I cannot WAIT to hear where you're going!!!!! AHHH! I'm so excited for you. How's SLCC? I just realized that you're in college. That is THEE weirdest thought I've ever had. Yikes.
I love yall. I'm doing much better. I'm going to get bloodwork results tomorrow so they will tell me if I have hyper thyroid whatever. The doctor was really nice. I liked her. Keep praying. Keep reading. Life is so good with the gospel. We have all the tools we need. Just strap yourself in and stick with it. As Elder Holland says "Stay with the good ship zion". I love this gospel with all my heart and I'm committed to this church. It's Christ's church. Of course it is. I felt that so strongly at stake conference. LOVE YOU!