Monday, December 28, 2015

Well.... No snow for Christmas...

So this week had some very big ups and some pretty deep lows...

-Tuesday started with our weekly District meeting but guess what!?!?!?
This time I was giving the training. So I did it on our purpose as
missionaries and focused a lot on the power and authority of our
calling as missionaries and it went great! Later that day we got to go
caroling with the other missionaries in our district in Journal
Square, Jersey City which was way cool and we handed out a lot of Book
of Mormons.
Wednesday we got the wonderful opportunity to walk all the way up to
the very tippy top corner of our area to contact some Media referrals
(people who ordered stuff online from the church website) through epic
pouring rain... Soooooo fuuuunnn! It's a 20 minute light rail ride and
then a 40 minute walk...... But it's ok because none of them were
home. Good thing I love the rain and spent money on a super good
umbrella last Monday. Later on Wednesday though we got to a less
active's birthday. The same lady who's dating our main investigator.
And that was really fun and super spiritual because we were gonna
leave after an hour but the spirit kept yelling at us to stay and so
we did and we ended up helping our investigator keep from smoking when
he was struggling really bad.
-Thursday CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!!
It was 70 degrees and rainy all day. We got to go caroling in Journal
Square again but this time with our whole zone! We had 22 missionaries
all singing Christmas carols and handing out cards and talking to
people. It was super cool and I loooove caroling! We then got to go to
dinner at our Branch Presidente's house because he is awesome and
super crazy energetic. Finally we got to have a couple minute phone
call to our parents to confirm when we skype them and that was super
funny because of...well... ask my mother about it....
-Friday!!! CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!
Still 70 degrees and like a 100% humid
Christmas was great, it started with us waking up and opening all our
presents and me once again realizing how ridiculous my mother is,
thanks for the rubber chicken clingy things mom. Then we went to our
zone Christmas party where we did a few fun activities that ended with
me smashing a raw egg in my face (long story but I won't tell you
because I'll probably do it to some of you one day). We then went to
lunch at our Branch Presidente again and talked about how crazy the
Spanish are about their Christmas parties, after that we went to
dinner at a Spanish families house(so we could save the Spanish
missionaries from all the food, their typical day includes multiple
dinners with members) and that was great too. But the key event of
course was being able to call our parents and talk to them for awhile.
I got to see all the things my family is replacing me with( a dog, a
teddy bear, and multiple other things) so that was all great.
Saturday was pretty much terrible.
All of our appointments juked us or cancelled and we found out because
of dumb drama we can't get in contact with our primary investigator
who is on track to get baptized..... Daily win though we finally got
in contact with a recent convert/less active and she came to church
again!
-Sunday was pretty good.
Church was spiritual as ever though a little more Spanish than usual.
We taught a super cool lesson with this guy who is crazy deeply
studying all religions so he can find the true one and he asked a lot
of crazy deep questions that we had to rack our brains and the
scriptures for answers but we were able to answer every single one.
Later we ended up saving the Spanish elders from another overstuffing
Spanish dinner. Because we'll happily eat their food. The joke of this
mission is that the English missionaries always leave skinnier and the
Spanish.....don't.

So it was a pretty good week overall. Thanks for all the support and
the Christmas cards and presents and I wish you all a happy new year.
-Elder Anthony Hicks
This is the birthday party and Perry is our super great investigator.
video
Pictures from the zone Christmas party



Our zone Caroling group

This is what we spend a lot of time doing.
Side effects of being in a big walking area. #lightrail

Monday, December 21, 2015

So this week has been a little different.

So this week has been a little different.
To start like I said last Monday it was transfer week so Tuesday was
spent at a big zone conference for us to meet all the new people in
our zone and then we went into our own district meetings which is
great because we have a new district leader who is super energetic and
awesome.
Wednesday and Thursday were tough because all of our scheduled
appointments juked us and we ended up walking the streets and
contacting people all day long which is good and bad because we meet
new people but it can get quite tedious.
Friday was awesome though. From morning till going home we went to
different Christmas parties... First was the Mission Christmas party
in which we heard a few speakers and then went into the gym for some
hilarious skits, one of which I was a part of, but unfortunately I
still haven't acquired the video of it yet. But for a hint it was
called the "Reindeer Gang Rap" Then we got to pick up all our gifts
and packages from our families. And thanks to everyone for the letters
and packages. It really made my week.then finally after that huge
party we came back to Bayonne to go to our Branch party. Little bummer
because we didn't get any actual missionary work done but a break
every once in awhile is ok.
Saturday turned into another day of missed appointments and contacting
until later when we Met our investigator Perry... Who is now on date
to be Baptized and he is so psyched!!! So Saturday turned out alright.

Now for Sunday...........
Sunday was different, I'll skip the usual stuff from a Sunday and go
to the part in which things were very different. After an hour or so
of trying to show the Christmas video to people on the street I
spotted this one guy who was sitting against a wall smoking. So I
asked if we could show the Christmas video.... He responded kindly by
hysterically laughing in my face, ripped my iPad and Book of Mormon
out of my hand and hit me over the head with it while telling me in
very harsh language to leave and to "Enjoy Hell". I kindly told him to
have a nice day and walked away, and to top it all off he was wearing
a law enforcement badge on his belt. So that was nice.
But I promise, it gets better. After that unfortunate event me and my
Comp had no idea where to go because there was nobody on the streets
(Bayonne becomes a graveyard after 6:30). So we said a little prayer
for guidance and followed our first gut feelings and walked down a
street. The next 3 people we saw talked to us and one actually wanted
us to come back and meet with him because he had talked with
Missionaries before. So things turned around for the spirit because we
probably would have never street contacted down that street if we
weren't following the feeling.
Also, we had a bunch of college girls honk there car at us and tell us
we were sexy.... So you know, that's cool.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Still no snow!!

Well the title says it all..... It's not Christmas season yet in New
Jersey. If there is no snow by Christmas I might just quit and head
home.

Anyways.... This week has been a ridiculous roller coaster of ups and downs.
We've been super stressed because transfer is today and we had no idea
if we were gonna get sent out of Bayonne right when we finally got
things rolling, and right before Christmas! Buts it's all good, we
will still be in good ole Bayonne for seven more weeks!!!
Monday was just another P-day with competitive Basketball and a few
manly bruises but Tuesday was the best companion exchange yet! The one
and only musical prodigy Elder Pastene from Chile was with me the
whole day and we KILLED IT!!! He is also the funniest guy in the whole
mission.
Wednesday we got to go do service for a disabled veteran guy in our
Branch and that is super cool
Thursday we got to go out with a super nice family in our branch to
visit a couple investigators and less actives.
Then Friday was the big day. We had the opportunity to have Elder
Evans of the 70 come and speak to us.... All day long.... Which was
super cool and depressing at the same time because all he talked about
in the beginning was families and going home and getting married fast
stories.... As you can imagine that was hard for us missionaries. But
then the rest was on repentance which is super cool and we are
changing our teaching techniques completely because of it.
Saturday was normal proselyting day.
But Sunday was super special. We got to put on an amazing Christmas
program with all the English missionaries for everyone in the whole
mission area!!! It was so awesome and spiritual and also was sad
because Christmas songs make me slightly homesick..... But it's all
good!!! Christmas is coming and the spirit spreads.
I love all you guys and thank you for all the support and prayers you
lend my way!
Spread the word and God bless

Here is our beautiful book collection

This is our Christmas Tree.....

 Elder Pastene in front of an awesome Jeep!!!!

and here is my beautiful face #Pride

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Weekly update! actualizaciĆ³n semanal!

So this week was quite the experience including getting lost on Newark
roads because the gps didn't explain which exit to take... And then an
hour detour later we finally got back on track! But this week, like all
had its ups and downs and it's really confusing times.
I got the chance to go on exchange with the zone leaders this week and
I ended up going to there area with Elder Wright who is super cool.
The catch though, is that they are a Spanish area. So everyone we went
to teach spoke little to no English. So it turned into a lot of me
sitting there quietly trying to pull together all the Spanish
knowledge I have to figure out what is going on. I managed to jump in
and teach a couple times and in the process was informed by a Spanish
member that I'm the next prophet because I teach well and can read
Spanish from the Book of Mormon with an almost perfect pronunciation
and accent. So y'all better watch out. Then the next day our branch
president wanted us and the Spanish Elders in our area to start
working with each other to unify the Spanish and English members In
our branch.... So more Spanish!!! I was very surprised that I didn't
come out of it all with a serious headache. 2 days straight of a
foreign language can really take a toll. But it was still pretty cool
and a great new experience. The rough part of the week was Friday and
Saturday. We had nothing scheduled and spent the whole day knocking
doors and talking to people on the street, which is not my idea of fun
but it was still good.  Other than that it has been another great
week of lessons and spreading the word. Thanks to those who sent
Christmas cards to me. It made my day.
I love all of you and thank you for all your support.
God Bless!

         -Elder Anthony Hicks

Thursday, December 3, 2015

ONE MONTH ALREADY!!!

Well hello everybody. Yet another week goes by and more amazingly I
hit my 1 month out mark the other day. The time goes by so quickly.
This month has been a month of growth and change and it has been so
crazy. Full of new people, places, and experiences. I'm so happy to be
out here and serving the Lord.
So this week had a couple really interesting experiences. Tuesday we
went on exchange(us and another companionship switch companions for a
day) and that was great. I got to go up to Jersey City all day with
Elder Verhaaren who is from Salt Lake City(East High kid). I got to
meet there super cool investigator named Sidhon, and had an awesome
discussion about the gospel.
On Wednesday we had to do specialized training for all the Greenies
which really killed the day. We had to drive out to Morristown (about
1 1/2 hours away) and sit through six hours of training by assistants
and the president, not to mention I was having bowel issues the whole
time. And then the only person we managed to talk to in our own area
was a drunk guy who was trying to argue with my companion about the
separation of the godhead. That was interesting kind of hilarious.
Thursday: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! All the missionaries in the nearby
zones got together in the morning and we had a Turkey Bowl. Tons of
football for 4 hours and we went pretty hard. One Elder broke his
tooth in half, I'm pretty sure I dislocated my hip again, and other
minor injuries! It was awesome! After that me and my companion went to
a dinner that the Bayonne Branch set up for us. It tasted awesome(lots
of Mexican food) and tons of pie! AND I EVEN COOKED A DESSERT FOR IT!
Thanks Lory for the recipes. Now we have a fridge full of leftovers,
which is weird because the day before it was empty.
Friday was a long day of finding. Everyone we had scheduled cancelled
and so we walked and walked and walked.
Saturday we saw 2 pretty great investigators who are making small
progress and spent the rest of the day finding. Later we made an
awesome plan with the mission leader and the Spanish missionaries on
how we can get this area moving.
Sunday was great. We got to church and had a surprising new
investigator show up to church. Then we ate a lunch/dinner with a
member family. We then went to 2 places that kind of humbled me on how
much we take advantage of our country and freedom. First we met an
Egyptian family who had just recently gained citizenship and were so
happy to be in this country and were so grateful specifically for the
freedom of religion and opinion that we have here. Then after that we
visited a disabled member, who served 12 years in the Air Force and
was hit by an explosion when his whole convoy was attacked and
destroyed. We served him the sacrament and you could see in his eyes
how much it really meant to him, how much peace and comfort came to
this man who had been through so much and had turned his life around
and became one of the leaders for programs such as Wounded Warriors
and Project Warrior.

So this week was very back and forth, but we are making progress in
this area. We have set and plan to keep a goal of making this Branch a
Ward before we transfer out.
I'll also include a few of pictures from our temple trip last week
Thank you so much for all your support and I love the little emails I
get throughout the week. Keep the faith.
God bless.


 Turkey Bowl 2015



 Thanksgiving and the Dessert I made


 Manhattan Temple Trip


New haircut from a fancy barber!!

  
Elder Hicks was my companions last companion so we decided it was a
 Hicks sandwich