Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tudo Bem

So the title of the blog post is tudo bem because whenever you pass by someone you always ask tudo bem? Which means "Everything well?" And you respond back "Tudo bem." It's probably the first words you'd ever need to learn in Portuguese haha!
First off, I am so grateful to get all your emails and I am so thankful for all your love and support!
So that I don't run out of time, I want to tell you about my experience at the polizia federal first! So on Tuesday, Sister Skudder, Elder Beale, and I went with Irmao Fabiano to get our visas. I didn't get mine, I just went with Sister Skudder cause she needed a companion to come with her so I get to go this week and next week for myself. It was just the three of us plus Irmao (Brother) Fabiano who works at the CTM and is best friends with everyone at the police station (which is very important). Surprisingly, he said that it's harder for the Hispanics to get their visa stuff worked out than us because Brasil doesn't have a great relationship with some South American countries.
So anyway, back to the story. So some other elders were there that have been in the field for a year and they were renewing their visas. So I was sitting and waiting for Sister Skudder and Elder Beale with Irmao Fabiano. Then this lady came over and she needed help but she didn't speak very much English, we found out that she is from Germany. So one of the Elders that's been here forever helped translate so that Irmao Fabiano could help her. Long story short, when Sister Skudder and I were waiting for the next step at the police station she came and sat down. More missionaries came to renew their visas so we started talking to them and saying hi. After a little bit, she turned around and asked who we were and how we all knew each other. Sister Skudder and I explained that we're missionaries from the Church and we explained why we're here. We found out that her name is Carolyn and she is from Germany but she's here on a study abroad learning Portuguese. She's lived all over the world and knows about 8 languages! As we continued to talk to her she explained that she believes that parts of almost every religion have truth and that she doesn't really need to go to church because she can have a relationship with God by herself.
We explained that we believe that a lot of churches have parts of the truth and we then went into the Plan of Salvation. She told us that she was so impressed that we would leave our families at such a young age. But, we told her that we do this because we know our message can bring so much hope. Long story short, we asked her if we she would come to church on Sunday and she said she would. (I know she might not but we were so glad that we planted a seed with her) One of the elders that was there called someone and got the address of the chapel closest to her. We asked for her contact info but she said she might be picking up a friend from the airport so she didn't want to commit to have the missionaries pick her up if she didn't go. We pressed her a little more but she said it was ok. :) I really hope she goes to church but even if she doesn't, we felt great after it and it was such a cool experience. Even though the police station was super busy, it felt like it was just the three of us there and the Spirit was so strong! It was so cool!
Because it was just the three of us, Irmao Fabiano took us to McDonalds after! It was so awesome! I'm so glad that he took that pic and sent it to you! We had a really good time and it tasted like the good old US of A! The elder in the pic is Elder Beale who is in our district from England.
Now to questions:
The investigator that you mentioned - they are "workers" at the CTM right? So the investigators are actually our two teachers but they are our investigators as well. They say that they are "getting a snack" when they leave and then we teach our "investigators." I thought it was weird at first but then you notice how completely different they are and we are able to see them as "two different people."
I am so glad to hear that Emily got her visa. She went straight to Campinas. I gave a note to a sister that headed to Campinas this past week and she said she would give it to Sister Heyer if she saw her!
I'm so glad that Amanda came over and things are going well with the bedroom! :)
How is the language coming?  The language is coming along so well. I really feel like I am getting a handle on it now. I can't believe how much I understand and it's giving me a lot more confidence! I know your prayers are helping me!
Do they make you speak Portuguese all the time?  Yes, we try and speak Portuguese all the time and our teachers don't usually speak English with us unless they really have to.
Do you speak portuguese with Sister Skudder? We try to speak Portuguese most of the time but we speak English to each other in our room and stuff.
What's the best story from this week?  The best story of this week was from the police station. It was incredible!
When do you leave the CTM?  I leave on July 30th! A week from Tuesday! Ahh!
I didn't think to ask you what mission is Sister Skudder going to?  She's going to Terecina! One of the hottest missions in Brasil! Hotter than mine!
Do you know others who are going to Joao Pessoa? The Brazilians that arrived this week leave the same day as me and there are a few sisters that I've met that are going there too! There are also 3 hispanic sisters that are leaving the same day and Elder Walker in my district!
There was such a great article in LDS living magazine about the Church in Brazil. If I sent it to you would you be allowed to read it?  It was super positive!  One out of 187 people in Brazil is LDS!: I don't know if I could but you could send it and I could ask, that's so awesome!
Kimball: I'm so glad to hear about your experience with the people from Samsung. That's so great. I also have the cheek to cheek picture up in my room and I love showing you guys to all the sisters! I'm glad to hear that the lessons get less stressful. I definitely get a little nervous before the lessons! I'm glad everything is going well with Black Bear! Give him a kiss from me :)
Kelsey: I am so glad to hear that things went well at Girls Camp! That's so great. Our investigator's name is Alessandro. Things are a lot better with him now! He is a lot better (I think breaking down in front of Irmao Allan (the same person) helped a lot, haha) He is a lot nicer now.
Bryan: I am sorry to hear things are so crazy with work but I hope they die down soon!
Lindsey: I love getting your blog posts. The pics don't upload very well but hopefully it will be better once I get out in the field! Thanks for writing me though!
Dad: Thanks for your scripture in 3 Nephi. That was really inspiring and I just love any scripture verses that I can get my hands on.
Taylor: I love you and I hope that all is well! How is the internship? What else is going on?
Mom: I hope your recovery continues to go well! I love you the mostiest!
I love you all so much and know that you are in my prayers from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed.
I love you and miss you so much!
Com Amor,
Sister Hicks

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