Tuesday, January 26, 2016


So this week was a little different then the rest.....

Tuesday was crazy, we contacted most of the day until our lesson with
the Ivan and Jessica's family... They're the niece and nephew of our
branch president... They also happen to be super crazy prepared. for
example: we put them on date for the 29th.... Of January.... So this
Friday! It's so Stinkin fast but they are prepared for it. Me and my
companion did very little work with them. God placed them right in
front of us! It's so crazy.

Wednesday was pretty cool. We got to be part of the first worldwide
missionary conference in which the general authorities in charge of
Missionary Work gave us training on the basic fundamentals. After that
I got to go on exchange with one of our zone leaders Elder Hilton. We
then proceeded to spend the whole day with President Bourdett running
from house to house talking to members and teaching a few lessons to
investigators. Let me tell you, I can take sitting through people
translating from Spanish to English or Vice versa but when you add
Portuguese,Spanish, and English all in the mix together... I give
up... That is just a headache.

Thursday we spent a ton of time doing our weekly planning since we all
the sudden have to plan and organize the baptism of 4 people this
week, and then I had to teach another English class..... You don't
realize how ridiculous our language is until you have to teach it,
what is wrong with us!?!?

Friday was interesting. We spent the whole day contacting but what was
funny was the people. Apparently people here think the end of the
world is coming with this Snow storm we got, there were hour long
lines at all the gas stations, the stores were cleaned of merchandise
and all the people were running around like mad men.

Saturday..... It begins.... So when we woke up and started studies,
there was probably 10 inches of snow on the ground. As we went out to
help people shovel, there was probably a foot at least... And as the
day went on.... I'm going to say we had to at least gotten 2 and a
half ft..... And the wind.... Ohhhh the wind........ But we continued
on. Also people apparently don't understand helping your neighbor
shovel out here, because everyone asked us how much we were charging
when we offered to help out and then freaked out when we said it was
all free! One lady came out of her house and almost started crying
because of how grateful she was. So it was a crazy storm and a very
humbling experience of service.

Sunday... For the first time in my life church was cancelled. As
missionaries it kinda threw off our whole day. We went and helped some
more people dig their cars out but it just felt weird all day because
of the whole no church thing.

But thank you all for your concern over the Looming Storm. Yes it was
big, and yes my back hurts from shoveling. But it was an amazing
opportunity for service and I loved it!


Here is a picture of a buried car

 Teaching English

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

O be wise; what can I say more?

 Dear friends and family,
      This week has been pretty great.
  Started off the week great with a companion exchange and I spent all
  Monday night, all of Tuesday, and half of Wednesday with the one and
  only Elder Schultz, or in other words my mental twin!
  Me and this guy could talk for days. And we've already made plans for
  after our missions. But that was ridiculously awesome and we did some
  great work together!
  Wednesday we had a Zone Conference that was given by our Mission
  President  which was super enlightening. And I've also found the most
  important scripture in the Book Of Mormon , Jacob 6:12

  Or in other words... Don't be Dumb! So ya that's like the best scripture ever.

 Thursday turned out to be really annoying. That moment when you thought you were gonna eat lunch with the Branch President and then go see a bunch of Less active's with him... And then you get to his house and find out he's on vacation in Sacramento..... So that was annoying. Then after that we hopped on the oh so wonderful light rail, got on the wrong train to find out and ended up in Hoboken.... After an hour of maneuvering between different trains we finally made it back to Bayonne.

  Friday went a little bit better. None of our appointments juked, and we had a crazy spiritual lesson with our Investigator Rose (Mosiah 18 to the rescue) and basically put her on baptismal date.

  Saturday everyone of the 5 appointments we had set up cancelled. So we ended up contacting all day long. Nothing to do eventful.

  Sunday was great because we had 72 people at church which is a ton here in Bayonne. Not to mention that 10 of the people there were investigators!!!
  We also had a small dinner with a really cool member, Brother Rose, who has a daughter that lives in Herriman. Small word moments. Plantains by the way, super delicious, never had them before.
  But craziest of all, it finally snowed, all night like long, merry Christmas everybody.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Weekly Update... Jeffrey R. Holland.....

So this week had a ton of new stuff happen.... It's has also been off
and on super cold to super warm.

Tuesday we had a Zone meeting with President Taggart and got a bunch
of training about teaching investigators to pray and how simple and
easy it is for us, but we don't realize that the way we pray can be
very foreign to many people.

Wednesday: We spent another day with our Branch President visiting
less active's and members and experienced my first 3 language
conversation. We spoke English which our president translated to
Spanish which the member translated into Portuguese for her mother
who's investigating.... That was weird. We also got to teach the Bravo
family who were referred to us by Pres. Bourdett  and the lesson went
awesome and they are really interested in learning more about the

Thursday: It was super weird because we spent most of the day in our
apartment because of weekly planning and we also had to do cleaning
and de-clutter our apartment because we were having an inspection by
the Senior Missionaries. It wasn't to bad though because we keep our
apt pretty clean. After that we got to go to a Hibachi restaurant with
a member who we helped move and it was super funny because my
companion had never been to one of those places before. The biggest
event of Thursday though was English class.......... So I've mentioned
before that most the people in our Branch speak better Spanish then
English or don't speak English at all. So our Pres. Is having us teach
an English class. The problem is that the lessons we're supposed to
use haven't gotten here yet so I had to wing it for the first class.
It basically turned into a teaching everyone how to pray in English
class. But it turned out alright.

Friday: nothing big happened just visiting some less active's and
dinner with our Pres.

Saturday:......ohhh Saturday.

So the first part of Saturday was good because we got to meet a
referral and set up a return appointment. After that we met up with
other missionaries to go to Newark for the highlight of the Week. Our
stake got the privilege to have Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speak to us.
It was awesome..... We met him briefly in person when our mission
president stopped on the wrong floor with him in the elevator and he
waved at us. That was great, and then my darn companion got to shake
his hand and talk to him while I was helped my someone hand out
translation radios.... Elder Holland's talk was amazing(as usual) and
he spoke all about the amazing and undeniable evidence this church has
"532 pages of testimony of Christ and God our Heavenly Father!". So
you know.... I guess that was pretty cool.

Sunday: the ultimate test of spiritual knowledge. First it started
with last minute callings to give talks in church (which by the way
went great) on missionary work for Members. But the real test was
after church, we had two investigator appointments in a row who had
alllllll the questions. The first one kept asking super deep questions
about the Plan of Salvation while the other one went crazy deep about
faith. We left after the second one at 6 pm and were spiritually
exhausted, but through the spirit we survived and were able to answer
all those question with confidence. But it was crazy.

So all in all in was a great and crazy week. Lots of new experiences
and weird moments.

Thank you so much for all your support and love. Keep on being the
amazing people you are and keep being missionaries in your own places
wherever you are and whatever you're doing.
God bless and see you in 21 and a half months.....

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year!!!!!!! 2016!!!!!!!!

Well hello everybody, and welcome to 2016, I keep forgetting because
the usual party that leaves me completely dead for the next few days
doesn't happen in the mission field, but anyways I'll get to that!

So to start as a summary... This week has been crazy, unlike our usual
gig of spending most of our time trying to find people, we have spent
this whole week rushing from appointment to appointment! We've been
doing a ton of work with Less active's to get people back to church
and it's been working awesomely(we had to teach our Guatemalan Branch
President what "awesome" meant because I say it too much

We had a hectic day of an exchange with 5 appointments set so we
rushed from an amazing district meeting to make it to all these places
all across our area( 3 light rail rides back and forth) and it was way
fun. I spent the whole day with the one and only Elder Adams from
Arizona who is also our district leader now. He pretty much awesome.
He showed me a few things that have changed my teaching techniques and
he is a great high energy person that loves fantasy books just as much
as I do!(we spent our whole free time at the end of the day telling
each other about our favorite book series)

We spent almost the whole day with our Branch President going to
appointments with less active members and it was crazy how great he is
with people. We have no idea what half the things he said to them were
because it was in Spanish.... But the spirit was strong and effective
at touching those people's hearts. We also got fed twice in one day
which is like a miracle for the English program out here and the
ironic thing is that both meals were with Spanish families who spoke
only a little English... But it's all cool, I love Spanish food.

Another day that we pretty much spent the whole time weigh our Branch
president except today we were helping him set up for the New Years
party that our church was throwing and picking up some of the disabled
members in our branch to bring them to it. We got fed again and it was
an awesome day even though we only got to be at the party for 30
minutes because we had to go home and go to bed.

Friday was pretty good but it did have a sad moment. We had a meeting
with the Hall family who are helping us with one of our main
investigators and then we had lunch with President Bourdett. But then
immediately after that we got to go to a party that a member in Jersey
City was throwing just for the local missionaries. He runs a
Philippino catering company so obviously lots of that kind of food.
But above all he had the spicy peppers there....... As you can imagine
having eight 19 year olds together we saw these peppers and the challenge
began. Everyone ate one of these peppers  whole.... My mouth has never
burned so much in my life. For about 20 minutes we were all in
excruciating pain and after about 4 hours the only reaction left was
my stomach was turning inside out..... But you know, it's all
good...... After that we met up with one of our less active's named
Angela and talked to her about how hard she is trying to quit smoking
unbeknownst to her we were planning on giving her an awesome gift to
help her out. After we left we pulled out the gift we had( a whole
bunch of Cinnamon gum and icebreakers, a bunch of beautiful pictures
of the savior and other scriptures and a Poem book my mom sent me
"Touch Of The Masters Hand") we left it on her porch and doorbell
ditched her. She called us later and told us how happy it made her and
she swore that she was never going to pick up a cigarette again. So
hopefully it'll all work out.

We had three super good lessons starting with a guy we've talked to a
few times named Justis who I'm pretty sure may be an enlightened
being, he is just one step away from knowing the fullness.
#TheOneTrueChurch then after that we reconnected with our main
investigator Perry whom we had thought we lost and just found out that
he had a really hard Christmas.... But we are working with him strong
now so he can get baptized on the 30th!

We had 8 investigators show up to church!!! That's crazy for Bayonne.
Between our work, the Branch presidents work, and Gods work we managed
to get a ton of people to show up to church. It was crazy! After that
though nothing to eventful.

Oh and P.S Elder Jeffery R. Holland is coming to speak to our Stake on
Saturday.... So that's kinda cool.....

The last pic is of our epic Branch President Mario Bourdett!!!

I love all of you guys and thank you so much for your support, prayers, and love.
Keep on keepin on!
God Bless!
-Elder Anthony Hicks