Monday, November 21, 2016

Fire, Snakes, and other things...

  Hello Good People of the land!
I had a very good week! I don't thing there was really any serious
dull moments this week.I feel like it went by ridiculously fast yet
looking backwards it feels like Tuesday was a decade ago.
   But anyways.... the week started off really well with an amazing
District meeting. So as District leader I give a training every week,
I'm pretty sure I've told you this before. This week, the Training was
on prayer. My goal in my trainings is and always has been to make it a
very good discussion. However much I like the sound of my own voice,
there needs to be less of it. So we started talking about prayer and
blam! Spirit hit and we sat there discussing prayer for an hour. I
didn't even get to half of our training because we got so deep into
how it affects us as missionaries and how we really need to be using
it! It went really well.
   After that I got to go on a spanish exchange with one Elder York. I
miss spanish food, and spanish people. I still don't understand what
they are saying half the time, and I can Barely talk back to them
because my spanish vocabulary is pitiful, but the energy and fire
(probably from the spicy food) is just so awesome.
   Speaking of fire..... Elder York got me to try the Hand sanitizer
fire thing on your hands....... I only lost most the hair on my right
hand and only got one blister from the burns......
   Moving on....
After returning from the exchange I got a call from good ole Bro
Gallacher asking me if I wanted to sing with the Harmonizers, a vocal
group that will be singing in the Christmas Interfaith Concert this
next Sunday.... So I am now booked for music. I'm singing a Solo, 2
Harmonizer Songs, a church Choir song, I'm part of the Hallelujah
Chorus, and then I'm also learning a song to sing in a couple weeks
for the Missionary Fireside......... and it's all in tenor....... My
vocal chords have not been this stretched in a long time. But it's
super fun and I'm really grateful! Woohoo.
   Now for the Snake part of the title.... The Gallachers through a
coming home party fro one of our other members getting home from
Marine Basic. And the kids decided to pull out a snake and we
proceeded to terrify people with it for quite some time.

   Thankyou all so very much, luv ya, miss ya, wouldn't wanna kiss ya.
(You know, because I'm a missionary and all...)

                     Elder Anthony Sleigh Hicks
                 New Jersey Morristown Mission

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Unknown Subject Title

Hey everybody!
This week was super fun! I got to go on exchange with a trio this week
so I got to be with 2 missionaries over in North branch for a day. It
was pretty funny! I found a new way for a portable picnic, (Picture
Provided) and taught one of the funniest lessons in my whole mission.
           Apparently when you get a British guy hyped up on Monster
and my beautiful old self together.... we make quite the pairing. It
was quite surprising. You would think that those variables would add
up to a very bad and unspiritual lesson, but indeed it turned out to
be quite the opposite. The spirit was truly there and it was really
fun and humorous at the same time. The Third missionary was laughing
pretty hard and kept berating himself afterwards for not recording it.
I still don't know how it turned out to be that way but we were full
of theatrical movements and "did you know" comments that turned into a
great lesson.
           Other things to highlight! We have a new investigator who
came to church yesterday! It was quite surprising in our last lesson.
We just asked him if he'd come and he was like "Ya sure, how far is
the church?" Which in our area is a rough question to answer, because
the answer is usually 30 minutes away, which scares people off. But
after I told him he was all for coming! I have never gotten someone to
come to church so easily in my entire mission! What the heck!
           We also had our ward thanksgiving party on Saturday and I
am slowly growing infamous for my cookie recipe....
muuuahahahahaha..... lots of nonmembers and less active members were
able to come and it was a great experience.
           And finally to end the week off we got to go practice for
the Hallelujah chorus with a bunch of people singing in the Interfaith
concert on the 27th. It is super awesome but I can barely pull off the
tenor required for the choir songs, let alone the solo I have to sing
at the beginning of the Concert!!! Life is rough.

Hope y'all are having a wonderful week and that you Repent of your
sins. Because y'all are a bunch o' demons!

Live long and prosper,🖖
Hicks out.

                      Elder Anthony Sleigh Hicks
                  New Jersey Morristown Mission

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Temple Trip!

Hullo there!
Guess what! Temple Trip this last week! Super cool!!! I love going to
the temple! I feel like the celestial room is the only place where I
can truly organize my thoughts and what I want and need, and it was a
very spiritual and weird experience this last time.
        It was also super fun to go with our whole zone. A lot of the people
in my zone have been in these areas for a very long time. Very few are
new to the zone. So of course we all all super buds because we've been
hanging out for 6 months now. It made going to the temple that much
more exciting and fun.
        Twas super annoying at the same time though. Do to some hiccups in
the travel plans and missing a bus we were gone from 6:30 in the
morning and didn't get back to our area until 7:30... We also ended up
really close to Times Square which is a big missionary no no....
hehehe. Not my fault, I promise.
        Other then all that we had a pretty routine week filled with dinners
and lessons! Super great! Except for the fact that I was on exchange
and found one of the few Arby's in all of New Jersey...... Chicken
bacon Swiss and Curly Fries..... I only fangirl'd a little when I saw
Thankyou all for you support and love! It helps immensely.

Explanation of the Video.... we were playing a game called Kumcha....
though I'm pretty sure anyone in the area they might've seen it has
now posted a video titled this "Mormon Missionaries doing crazy ritual
under Church"

                      Elder Anthony Sleigh Hicks
                  New Jersey Morristown Mission

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hump Day! 10/31/16

I come to ya'll once again on a beautiful Monday morning.
        Like it is stated above, this week has been my Hump Day. I think I
told you in my last email that I am now past my year mark. But Hump
Day, and I'd go as far to say Hump Week, Really lived up to its name.
It just seemed off, and I had no energy. So it was a rough week, we
still managed to teach a few really awesome lessons. We ended up
driving all the way down to Lambertville, which is in the bottom of
our area, to teach a lesson. 40 minute drives to lessons are always a
bonus! Especially when immediately after the lesson you have to drive
all the way back up to Clinton for some service do to some complicated
scheduling issues.... luckily it all worked out and the lesson was
totally worth it! Good thing I'm used to long drives.
        The weather has been more gracious for me this last week though.
Temperatures are dropping and I am so absolutely happy, I hate the
warmth! I used to just dislike heat, but now that I've experienced
true humid heat, I truly value winter.
        Now for the Funny part of our week, Saturday night our ward had a
Trunk Or Treat party. Now fortunately I've been in Clinton so long
everyone knows my sarcasm and sass and throws it right back. So for
the Trunk Or Treat me and my companion decided to make a statement.
Luckily do to my mothers gracious timing with a wonderful Hump Day
package, we had our banner. Thanks for the hug Mom.......... Picture
is provided below. We were well received and only had several
arguments over our banner... hehehehehe. Good to know the Holy War
spreads across the country.
        Well Everyone, Happy Halloween!!! Enjoy your candy and Parents don't
forget to take your candy taxes!
        Thankyou all for your support and I hope all is well!

                      Elder Anthony Sleigh Hicks
                  New Jersey Morristown Mission

The Taming Power of Sisters!.... Oh and I'm Old.... 10/24/16

 Good Morning fellow hoodlums and no good doers! I hope all is well
in Utah land or wherever else you are in the world!
   This week was the beginning of the new transfer! So as to help you
understand what I mean by the first part of the subject line I shall
enlighten you as to some history from last transfer. I am a District
Leader, and my district last transfer consisted of 6 elders.... 3 of
which are very young in the mission. We started by calling our
district Elders quorum, but we soon demoted ourselves to priests
quorum. Our demotions quickly accelerated and we found ourselves with
the title of deacons quorum.... Do to repeated distractions and
pointless conversations during training times we found ourselves stuck
in this rut. Trainings were still good and meaningful, but much less
on track and focused. We learned in those meetings from last transfer,
For example, how to throw a Pokémon card with deadly accuracy......
   Do to our rambunctiousness I requested  some changes to be made to
help us be better for this next transfer.... so they gave us
sisters.... We can now proudly say we have been promoted back to
Priests Quorum but further progression is yet to be seen. Being a
District leader is great!!!
   As for our week we did pretty well, we taught some new people and
are hoping for a good future. We started working with our less active
members a little more in hopes to find more people as per that route.
All is well here in the Clinton Ward and we got a bunch of Parties
coming up! Super excited..... for missionary purposes of course.... We
can... like... invite people.. and stuff....
      Oh and guess what!?!?!? I hit my Year mark this week, I'm super
old! It's also funny that i've been through a year of my mission and
i've only had 2 areas! I've decided i'm just a member/missionary
relations establisher. It's all great!
Also one of the members gave me a Baritone Ukulele so now I have 2! A
Baritone and a Soprano! Now I just got to get new strings for it.
Thanks Sis. Judd.
Hope Ya'll have a great week!
   Fare thee well!

                     Elder Anthony Sleigh Hicks
                 New Jersey Morristown Mission

Hunting Crickets 10/17/16

Hello my loyal Subjects! Are you still there? Do you still love me?
This week was super fun! We taught some awesome lessons and killed a cricket. Taught some more awesome lessons and Plotted a torture scheme for some other missionaries. Taught a few more awesome lessons and worried about transfers.
    So you can say a lot happened. 
Earlier in the week we got to hike to High Point in north Jersey. It is the highest point in New Jersey if you hadn't guessed yet. That was super fun and I already sent all the picks to my madre last week.
    After that I went on exchange with Elder Feick! Holy darn he is an awesome missionary. Who'd uh thunk he was barely out of training! He was the one that I also hunted crickets with.
Awesome moment too! Robin's confirmation was on Sunday and it was super great to bring her in as a bonafide Mormon!
Now for as too how we are gonna torture some other missionaries.... please few the videos below.... I'm a bad person.
I love you guys all so much and I thank you for everything! Hope your having a great week! 
Oh and everyone tell my mom happy birthday because she is old now. Love you mom.

                      Elder Anthony Sleigh Hicks
                  New Jersey Morristown Mission

The Spirit!!! 10/10/16

Friends and family!
I had a crazy spirit filled week starting right from the beginning!!!!
To start it off we had an amazing lesson with one of our prime investigators that was super spiritual and they definitely felt it! The testimonies that were bared touched me and everyone in that room.
After that I had a super fun exchange with one of my districtee's Elder Oakley from Yorkshire, England. Now that is someone who knows the church doctrine out of the scriptures, I definitely learned a lot from him. We also ended up shoveling out a member's dog run on that exchange in dress clothes! Was super awesome.... I think I want a Great Dane now..... Went even better when I found out halfway through getting mugged by the 2 giant beasts that Elder Oakley was allergic to dogs..... we both apparently have a twisted sense of humor because we couldn't stop laughing about the irony. Brother Dinkelo, if you read this, I stinkin' love your dogs.
We also kinda locked ourselves out of our apartment...

 Now the next few days were business as usual until friday we had Zone Conference which was super great, got to see some past companions and friends i've made throughout the mission and also got to be spiritually fed by the Spirit giant known as President Taggart.
Then Saturday came around and we spent the whole morning doing service moving tree cuttings back and forth to a recycle center. That was pretty fun and I only Gashed my leg once....
After that we got fed lunch.... twice... and then spent the rest of the day running around teaching people and got lucky enough sucker someone into ordering some pizza.... Thankyou Bro. And Sis. Greenwald... the rest of the night became very interesting but I dare not tell the tell.

 AND THEN SUNDAY!!!! Robin our investigator for the last couple of months got baptized!!! It was so awesome and was super surprising and stressful when President and Sister Taggart decided to come... especially when I was singing a musical number halfway through it.... I was nervous already, now double it. But it all worked out and the spirit was super strong there! Thankyou everyone who had a help with all of it.

The week was a little crazy and fun and great things happened... thankyou so much for all the support you give me and all the other missionaries around the world, we truly do need it and are eternally grateful.

Conference Weekend! 10/3/16

    Hello, Hello my dear Friends and relatives. Unfortunately my email will not be as eloquently wrote as the last one was. My apologies.
So this week has been interesting. It feels like we just had a super dead no energy week, but then looking back we got way more accomplished then I first believed... we taught a few great lessons, sat through long trainings (I'm going to credit my back aches to those) and got to sit at the church most of Saturday and Sunday watching General Conference! I'd like to thank those who kept us company so that we didn't have to sit and watch conference alone and Thankyou to Sis. Wimmer and Sis. R. Harris for providing the delicious food for our lunch on Sunday! It was awesome!
Now Conference was interesting (As it always is) but I noticed a particular focus on Repentance and Judging. Several talks focused on making true repentance, or true change, while a few others talked about not comparing ourselves to other. I see that as a big problem in the church and in society today. Many times in our lives we prefer to hide or block our sins and mistakes then fess up and deal with it. With that we also begin to Judge ourselves.... "Why can't I be as good of a Mormon as that person".... "That family is so perfect, why is mine so  dysfunctional"... "Why do I struggle when they get all they want".... and then the other side "That family is so dysfunctional, good thing I'm better than them"... "That person is a disgrace as a Mormon, they can't even get the simplest things right".... I guarantee that all of you, including myself, has asked those questions or some similar. We're all selfish, we're all jerks, just accept it. We never truly examine those we see and compare ourselves too. Instead of focusing on our own sins or problems we pick and prod at the perfections and imperfections of others... I'm certainly guilty of it. Many times we also ignore the problems that others may be facing and only see their so called "Perfections" that we don't have. We become selfish and blind.
I have realized this lately as a Trainer.... I am constantly drowning my own pride in things that my trainee does in which are not the same way I do them. I have to take time and focus on his positives because I always find myself turning to his negatives... and then berating myself because I realize I'm jealous of many of the positives that he posses...  and that jealousy brings more pride infused frustrations. A vicious cycle... 
Now, how do you fix this problem? The Leaders of the church seemed to pound it into my brain.... Repentance/Change.... Stop comparing, stop judging. An interesting comment that comes to mind is something that I try to really focus on with any missionary that struggles.... "God called YOU!" And that doesn't just apply to missionaries.... wherever you are, whatever you're doing, God has called YOU! You are the exact parents he wants for that child. You are the exact Teachers he wants for those students, you are the exact companion he wants with that missionary. I could go on and on about everything that he has placed YOU to do. 
Just remember that Your Heavenly Father placed you in your shoes. So it's you that should be there.
Rant ended.... I love you guys and I thank you all so much for your support and love... Keep being awesome and all that kind of stuff!
Here is a picture of a funny sticker we found on the road..... stuck it on Elder Taylor's desk so everyone can remember.... (Disclaimer)This is not us stating our political position.
  Elder Anthony Sleigh Hicks
                  New Jersey Morristown Mission

                             Sent from my iPad