Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Here in Tecamec (8/26)

So I am here in Tecamec in the ward Huicholes and I really like it here. I apologize ahead of time for being so brief. I literally have no time. It was a really busy PDAY. I cant believe how different it is to be working in a ward and not a branch. I like it because we have recieved a ton of references. I have pictures to send but my USB drive isnt working right now. I will see what happens next week! :) But Elder Christensen is really nice. He sings really amazing though. He kind of reminds me of Elder Van Tassel that we had serving in our ward a few years ago, a really good singer and obedient but a little strange. We get along really well. The crazy thing is, is that my spanish is just as good as his, (he says mine is better) and he has been out for 10 months! So that makes me feel really good. We put a baptismal date on this lady and she came to church on Sunday so that was awesome. I think she will progress just fine, her name is Apalonia. She is the sister in law of this nice lady in our ward. Basically Tacamec is really crazy, especially compared to Molango, but as the week has gone on, I have felt more and more comfortable and know that this is the exact place I need to be working at this point in time! Something I am going to miss is telling everyone that I am 18, I wont be so different anymore! I will try to give more details next week, but I have to go save some souls now! ;) Miss and pray for you all, but most of all I love you! Make this week the most amazing week ever!

Elder Hixon

Changes (8/19)

So I got changes! I will no longer be in Molango. I am with my new companion Elder Christensen and he is the District leader. I still havent been with a native companion! Elder Christensen seems like a really nice guy. He has 10 months in the mission and is from Kansas. We will see what we can do here in this ward. I am really really sad to not be in the jungle anymore but I really look forward to progressing in the mission and getting to know more people! I am now serving in the zone Tacamec and I am about 45 minutes away from Pachuca and not 3 hours! I have not gone to meet anyone here yet so we will see what happens this week. I am kinda sad because I am leaving a baptism that will happen on Saturday in Molango and then one the following week.But I will get Elder McCormick to send me pictures of them. Now I really feel like I am in Mexico. I am in a place more like how I imagined it. The pictures are of me with Elder McCormick eating pizza with our zone leaders and the other is with me standing in front of the house of prayer in Molango, little did I know that it would be my last there.

Earlier this week on Thursday, we had a visit from the area 70 Elder Valenzuela. He trained us as missionaries and showed us our role in the work of salvation. I dont know if you Dad have seen the work of salvation videos and stuff. How that is working up in the states. But basically Elder Valenzuela was legit and he told us on how the keys are given to the Bishops and stake presidents and with the help of the members they do the work of salvation. Us as missionaries also play a key part as we are full time teachers. That is what we are called to do is teach! Nothing else, and it is the job of the members to keep our agendas full, not us! I learned a lot from him but that was the basic idea of it. I also have lots of desires to understand the Atonement and the role it plays in my life as a missionary. That is going to be my goal from here on out and I can only imagine that it will be a life time goal. I am so grateful for His sacrifice and I am so grateful for the gift we have to repent from our sins everyday, both the big sins and the little sins that we arent even aware of. 

This week was crazy but I really dont remember too much of it because of packing up and leaving Molango and now coming here to Tecamec, everything is so different. But I love all of you and thank you for all you do for me and your prayers! Talk to you all soon! Oh and have a great week at school and work! :) I will be working too! 

Love, Elder Hixon

NOTICE: This email

Hey all! (Again!) 8/12

This will have to be a short letter this week sorry! Everything is doing fine. I am really improving in my teaching skills and my spanish, just like always! As a part of my training this week I had to start EVERY SINGLE LESSON! It was really hard at first but as I just took a deep breath and let the spirit work through me I was able to teach better and really improve my spanish. We taught 45 lessons this week and I think my companion started maybe 3 of the lessons. And on top of all of that, I was sick with a cold! So lame! I saw pictures of the lake and it looked like a blast! Josh looks like a man already.... I am scared that he will be a giant compared to me when I get back, Jake too. This week it finally started to rain on a more consistent basis. :) The past couple weeks had been pretty toasty. We are really trying to work hard with our investigators that we have. We have a good group of them but they are being stubborn with their commitments we leave them, especially the one about coming to church! That has been really frustrating for me, dissappointing more that anything. Just the lamest excuses for not going to church. I can only imagine how Heavenly Father feels about all his children that cant keep up with commitments. I have been reading and studying the General Conference talks from April and I have been learning a ton and I cant wait until the next General Conference in October. Weird to think that in October I will already have 6 months in the mission. I am so excited for general conference that I think I am more excited for it than I am for my birthday this year! I have also been reading in Alma in my personal studies and reading about Captain Moroni. He was a beast of a man. I laugh and how dumb the Lamanites were and how clear it is that when the Nephites kept the commandments, the Lord blessed them. I want to become the man that Moroni was, always firm in the faith and a great leader! I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book and that when we read and study it we can recieve blessing from our Heavenly Father. I know that the Lord put obstacles and hard things in our lives so that we can be lifted up from them, just like I was with all the lessons I had to teach this week. It all depends on our attitude, if we let our trials weigh us down we arent going to be happy, but if we use them to lift us up we can be happy. This is my testimony and some of the things I learned this week. And I would like to share that with you all in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

I´m sorry for those who like to hear more details about Mexico and my investigators but I just dont have the time to talk about all of them!! I wish I did but that is what we can do after the mission. We can have a nice long talk! ;) 

Love and miss you all. Thanks for prayers, you are all in mine!

Elder Hixon

Hey all! (8/5)

Well this wont be too long, I dont have much time but this week went by so fast! My companion and I worked so hard and ended up working in a good 44 lessons this week! It is only frustrating when you have 7 or so invesitgators and then none of them come to church! :( But its okay, just got to work a little harder right? Fun fact of the week; I got pizza hut pizza on wednesday night and it was delicious!!! We got 2 supreme pizzas and one pepperoni. They got all kinds of good stuff in Pachuca. But since I am here in Molango in the middle of no where I just get pure mexican food all day everyday! (I guess that is not so bad of a thing)

 Well I had one really awesome experience that I would like to share. We had a zone training meeting and I learned a lot! We as a zone had a goal in July to baptize about 35 people, but our zone only got 11 baptisms. So our zone leaders and the mission assistants were really worried there. One of the assistants, Elder Shillig stood up and talked and I dont recall all the words he said, but whatever he said moved me! I know that I need to work harder and I can always improve as a missionary. Yes I feel like I am doing a lot and yes it might be more than other missionaries, but I am giving the Lord my 100%? I think that is a good question that we need to ask ourselves everyday, are we willing to give the Lord 100%? It is something I have tried to work on since the training meeting on wedensday. I felt as if I was getting comfortable and going through the motions. I am now trying to continue to study harder, teach with more power, and love the people even more. We can always improve everyday. I have been reading in Jesus the Christ and I have come to appreciate the Savior and his atonement more and more as the days go on! I am so grateful for His sacrifice for each and every one of us. The atonement personal and infinite. I know He lives, and I am so grateful to represent Him! These were just a couple of the things I learned and have been thinking about this week and I would like to share with you all! 

Well, I believe that is all I have time for. I hope all those at Bass Lake have a great time and eat an extra piece of Pizza Factory pizza for me! YUM!! Love and miss you all. Thanks for your prayers and love!

Elder Hixon

Another week down (7/29)

Wow what a week! It was a really busy week and I learned a ton... On last week on Monday, after our pday ended we had a FHE with a family in our branch. (actually the family that we had the baptism with last saturday) Anyways so my companion and I watched a video about temples with them and then had a little discussion about it. We had a little snack and then left the house. We were heading home for the night.... because we wanted to be home before 9:30 and be obedient you know... but the closer we got to our house I started to feel worse and worse. I finally said something to my companion and said something wasnt right. He looked and me and said ´´Elder, do you feel like we need to go back to the house?´´ I told him I thought it would be a good idea. So we called president and said we would be a little late getting home. So we went back to the house and asked them if they had ever dedicated their home before. They said they hadnt and they dont have a priesthood holder in the home so my comp just offered the prayer. After we dedicated the home we gave blessings to the two ladies that live there. (sister Burgos and her daughter Ana) Anyways I dont know why the Lord prompted us to go back to that house that night but I sure felt a lot better after we blessed them and their home. It was the strongest prompting I have ever recieved in my life. It is comforting to me to know that the Lord trusts me to follow through with the promptings I recieve. Who knows what might have happened if I didnt say anything to my comp or if we had been doing something that was keeping us from having the Spirit. I am grateful that I can act as a tool for the Lord and act in His name. It says in Preach My Gospel, ´´Your calling gives you authority; keeping your covenants gives you power.´´ I know that to be true and I can feel the power of the Holy Ghost as I continue to be obedient.

The week in general was a little slow. Tuesday through Friday there wasnt a lot of people home because everyone is on vacations. This little town is basically a ghost town. But we worked hard and did what we could. On saturday in Zacualtipan I had some of the weirdest food of my life! I had COW BRAIN quesedillas and chicharrones (fried pig skin)!!! The cow brain was actually kinda yummy! :) But the chicharrones were slimey and in salsa... I just ate them with a ton of tortilla.. It was pretty interesting. It actually made my comp pretty sick. But not me! I guess I got a steel stomach. Nothing is going to make me sick. When we came back we rode all the way back to Molango in the back of a truck. That would NEVER happen in California so that was a cool experience. 

On sunday we had a branch leadership council and we talked about what we can do as missionaries and leaders to help make this branch a ward. It went really well and hopefully that get things going here. We will see! 

Anyways I dont have much more time but this week I learned a lot and I am a little sad I am not at Bass Lake right now with the family! But I know i am where I need to be! I am sad to hear about Matt Needham. He was really a nice kid. Tell the family I am sorry for their loss! 

Of course thanks for all of your prayers.. Oh and CONGRATS to Bronson for his mission call! Mexico City Southeast! Thats so awesome. Maybe would could arrange a pday at one of the historical cites here in mexico. Well see! Until next week

Elder Hixon

New week (7/22)

Well this week went really really well. The first few days we just worked really hard and taught our lessons like normal. The juicy stuff started happening on saturday and sunday!

So on saturday President and Sister Egbert came up to Molango to come watch a baptism! We baptized a lady named Arizbeth, she is part of a family that is all members except her... Well at the time. She has been listening to the missionaries for 8 years but never recieved an answer to her prayer until she was with us. She is an amazing girl and she has such a testimony. She was having doubts about Joseph Smith for a little but we cleared that up and now she has a strong testimony of it. She has a daughter that has down syndrome and she is just adorable. He name is Miley. She likes to hit and make silly faces at us but we know she does it out of love! So I got the oppotunity to baptize again in the waterfall!!! Woo hoo! It is such an amazing feeling when I say the words, ´´Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ´´ I just feel an amazing spirit and know that I am truely a representative of Him and I have been called to preach his gospel and baptize! Then saturday night president Egbert had a meeting with the branch presidency and councelors, so basically all the priesthood holders in the branch and basically disciplined them in the most loving way and told us that they would be more committed to helping us and helping the branch grow so that one day we can have a church building here in Molango! 

Sunday morning, sister Egbert made us breakfast burritos with bacon and GALLONED MILK not boxed milk! It was so delicious! Sister Egbert texts us all the time and she literally LOVES my comp and I. Also president Egbert said he is going to come once a month and visit us and the branch to give more training to the leaders here. President is so amazing too. He know spanish really well and he brings the spirit so strong whenever he talks. Anyways so I went to the sacrament services with Elder McCormick and president and his wife in Zacualtipan for the first time because normally I am in Molango playing the piano. We had 25 people there and the average is 13 and the meeting was amazing. Then we put two more baptismal dates on 2 investigators right after the meeting. Then we came back to Molango and had our sacrament services here and there were 41 people here in Molango. We had one investigator there and he started crying because of president Egberts talk. It was amazing. The spirit was amazing and the leaders changed. I have seen so much change in this branch just from a little bit of help from President Egbert. Oh and on saturday sister Egbert brought us brownies, milk, candy, LUCKY CHARMS, and a ton of other goods! I am getting so well taken care of out here. But yes, this week was amazing and the baptism and confirmation of Arizbeth just topped it off. I am so grateful for all of the blessings the Lord has poured upon me. I know it comes from obedience and persistance.

Thank you for all of your prayers, they really help a lot! until next week!
Elder Hixon 

Another week down (7/15)

Hey all,

Wow where to start this week.... So many great things happened. At best I will share two stories that I liked best and then talk about so other good stuff!

Well the first story isnt really a story. Just the fact that my companion and I baptized Catalina, Jaan, and Mateo. And this time it was in a waterfall!!!! And we have one more baptism scheduled for Saturday! Okay I lied there is a story.... The three of them got confirmed on sunday in the casa de oraciĆ³n, or house of prayer, as they call it because it is too small to be called a church building. That experience was AMAZING. I felt the spirit so strong as they recieved the Gift of the Holy Ghost. What a blessing it is for all of us members of the church that have this gift. That we have the promise to always have it with us as long as we keep the commandments. Anything bad that happened this week disappeared right then because I was reminded again about how special and sacred this work is I do and all missionaries do. Right after, Mateo was interview for the priesthood and he was then ordained a deacon. So now we will have one active deacon and one active teacher to pass the sacrament and not me anymore! Something else I learned this week is the importance of the priesthood. Without the priesthood the branch we have here cannot, will not grow. The priesthood is the power of God to act in his name and if there are no worthy active priesthood holders there, the church cant run smoothly. I am so grateful for my priesthood and that I can use it bless others. It brings such an overwhelming joy to me! 

The second story is this... We were in Zacualtipan, our other area and we were having our lunch. Then the girlfriend of one of the members of the little group there (it is too small to be called a branch) came and my companion just started talking to her. At first she seemed really hesitant to talk but after a few minutes she opened up. My companion right there basically gave the entire resoration lesson and then gave me the time to bear my testimony and explain the Book of Mormon. The lesson was somewhat short but it was really powerful. But the best part is this... We asked her to give the closing prayer and she accepted. So we taught her how to pray and from the moment she opened her mouth and said, Padre Celestial or (heavenly father) my comp and I felt the spirit super strong! She was crying by the second or third sentence and it was the most amazing prayer I have heard from an investigator ever!! IT was amazing. I then testified to her that if she read the Book of Mormon and felt the same way as she did the the pray that she would know that this is the true church. We havent seen her since but I am so excited to see what happens with her. It was just an awesome experience.

Well other than that it was an awesome week with less rain. I got my camera stolen which stink but whatever, nothing can stop me from working hard and loving these people! Oh and president and sister Egbert absolutely LOVE my comp and I! They are like my Mexican parents here on my mission. I look forward to the 21 months I have with them. My 3 months is on wednesday! Unbelievable. Oh and one more thing I have a baptism for Saturday, I dont know if I already mentioned that or no. But president Egbert and his wife are driving all the way up here to see it so it is going to be something really special! Thank you all for your prayers and for all you have done for me to get this point in my life. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL AND I LOVE MY MISSION!

Until next week,
Elder Hixon

Week 12

Hey all! The girl I baptized, her name was Lucero. She lives in Zacualtipan, the other place we serve in that we go to every wednesday and saturday. Basically all the people in the photo all want to get baptized but they cant cuz they are living together but arent married. They were married but then got separated with their spouces and now they lost contact and it is super difficult to get divorced here in Mexico. But Lucero was super ready to be baptized and she had listened to missionaries before. She was super prepared by the Lord and we just happened to be the Elders to be there at the right time for her. We have another baptismal date with one other girl in the photo I believe but her mom got really mad when she told her she wanted to get baptized. We will see what happens with her. We are gonna continue to teach her cuz she really really wants to get baptized after watching Lucero´s baptism. 

We have 3 more people that are gonna be baptized on Friday. I will send photos of them next week. Their names are Jaan, Mateo, and Catalina. Jaan is 9 almost 10. Mateo is 13. And Catalina is 19. They are nephews and a neice of a less active member that we are activating and they live with her. They are super awesome and they love us. Hopefully everything stays good with them. I am super excited. My companion and I are working really hard and had a goal of 7 baptisms in July. We have 7 with dates so it would be awesome to see our hard work pay off. I know that when we set our minds to something and we have faith, the Lord will provide a way to do whatever thing it is that we want to do! I have learned so much about the power of prayer and that if we pray with faith that we will be blessed with the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father really answers us. We just have to be listening. I dont have much time but I just love this gospel and I know Joseph Smith was a  prophet. I love being able to teach so much cuz everytime I bear my witness that this church is true, I can feel my testimony strengthening! 

My spanish is still coming along, I am realizing that I am not translating from spanish to english hardly at all anymore. Spanish is spanish and english is english. Its hard to explain. I am just super excited for the baptisms that hopefully happen on Friday! Just keep Jaan, Mateo, and Catalina in your prayers! All right I think that is all I have time for. I love you all. Have a great week. Until next week!

Elder Hixon