Monday, September 9, 2013

September 2, 2013

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends:
Thank you so much for the emails. They really mean the world to me! I am so thankful for the support that you all have for me.
Mom: That is so sad to hear about Brother Morgan. I had to read it again because I thought I had read it wrong. That is so so sad. That is cool about Jake cutting his hair and how many people were there. He was such an incredible Priesthood holder. He is sorely missed. Give my condolances to Sister Morgan if you get the chance.
Also, I am so sorry to hear that your other knee is acting up. Oh my goodness, what a roller coaster this summer has been. I can´t believe what a trooper you have been. Mom you are my ultimate example. I don´t know how you do all that you do. I continually pray for your recovery and I´m glad that they were able to drain it. Please, keep asking for help and don´t try to do everything.
I´m so glad that Amanda enjoyed the concert. That´s so funny that she brought a picture of us. I´m sure it was pretty crazy. And that´s so sweet that you finished the t-shirt quilt. I´m sure she LOVED it! Aah, so cool! That´s also funny about the YouTube video with the cheerleaders and soldiers.
Bummer about the BYU-UVA game but it was definitely for the best that you didn´t go. I´m bummed my Cougars didn´t win but that was a crazy game with the delays and everything. That´s cool that the whole ward practically went!
I´m glad that you got the post card and the letter from mission pres. The mail actually doesn´t take too long to get here but it takes a while to get to you guys. Regarding pics, it is a lot easier for me to just mail printed pics to you all because it takes forever through email. So I´m going to send a lot today through the mail. I´ll try to be better about emailing pictures but it takes forever!
Oh also before I forget, I won´t write next Monday because next week is transfer week so we write Wednesday (maybe Thursday) so don´t worry! And email Monday is my favorite day too!
I´m glad to hear that you guys were able to get Stephen moved and I hope things improve with that situation.
Interesting about seminary, that should be interesting to see how that turns out.
I saw Bro. Bruton´s email and that´s funny that I made it in there, haha!
Dad: I´m glad your trip to UT went well but I´m sorry it got cut short for such a sad event. I am sure that everyone was glad to have you there and Mom said you did a great job. My heart goes out to the Morgan family. I really liked how you wrote about the process of the Lord. We have to ask in faith, then seek and ponder for the answer. I have been learning about that a lot this week. Thank you for that help and I´m going to study that this week. Also, I just wanted to let you know that I am doing what you suggested. I write 10 things that I liked about the day in my journal, 1 thing that is different and 1 thing that was funny. This has really helped me to focus on the positive and the things that went well.
Lindsey: I loved looking at the pictures from blog post. I figured out a way to see them. They were so great! Norah and Alice are getting so big!!! Thank you so much for emailing me those pics!

In regard to your questions: We do have to drop a lot of investigators or just visit them less. The mission is really focused on only teaching people that are basically 100% certain for baptism. We definitely have to discern which ones are serious. In the contact on the street we commit them to be baptized so we can see if they´re serious or not through that. Sorry 8 have to men not mn. We normally find most of our investigators through contacts on the street. The members aren´t super great about referrals. Eduardo is doing pretty well. He didn´t go to Church on Sunday which was a bummer but we had a young man named Vinicios whose aunt is an inactive come to church and his cousin Elen come too. We´re hoping they´ll be baptized next week.
We have a small washing machine in our appt and then we use a clothesline to dry them.The ward building is in kind of a strip mall because it´s just a branch. They just opened the first floor as the chapel which is great and then the second and third floor are just classrooms. It definitely doesn´t look like your average chapel.
Congratulations to Ashley and Matt! That´s so exciting! Please tell them that I am so happy for them!
haha, that´s so funny about Norah and her boyfriends.Oh Norah, love that girl!
Bryan: haha I might go back to TV time instead of dishes post-mish but for now I´ll stick to dishes:) That´s great that you guys are hanging out with so many non-members :) Also, thanks for the advice that things get better and the time goes by faster. I can already tell this in my mission and I´m sure it will go even faster.
Kelsey: Aah, I am so excited for you, I pray for your health everyday.That´s also super funny about eating in the corner of the hallway at church. Hahah, I hope that your morning sickness goes away soon. You guys are going to be crazy AWESOME parents! I am so excited for you all! And, I promise I will buy a mosquito net soon :)
So to answer some questions from Mom and others:
  Did you have any investigators come to church on Sunday? So we had Vincios (16 years old) and Elen (14 years old) They are really great. I hope that they´ll continue to progress. We also had Rinato that we´ve been working with but he just needs more time.His sister Lorrane didn´t come. :( Who have you been working with this week? This week we´ve been working with a ton of people! We always have appointments which is good but sometimes the hardest thing is finding the houses because the address is wrong or doesn´t exist.
  What is the craziest experience of the week? Craziest experience was during personal study we heard this high pitched noise and we couldn´t figure out what it was. Then Sis Marschall said that it was pig and Sis Johnson and I looked out and saw a pig being stuffed into a bag (the pig had just been killed and bought) craziest thing I´ve ever seen. Also, we were in a house and this random pet goat just walked over and the kid was just treating him like his pet.  

Send some pictures if you can of your apt. or the church or investigators - whatever!  Tell me about your P-day schedule - how is the language coming - any weird expressions they use a lot?  What was the hardest part of your week and the best experience this week?
I´m going to send pics of my appt today. So P-day we have our  normal study until 11. 11 we write you guys.Then we have until 6 to get groceries, print photos, go to the post office, write letters, etc. Sometimes we go to Campina Grande, city where the rest of our zone is (about 30 minutes by bus) and we do stuff with them. But not very often. Then 6-9 is back to wor.
This week the hardest part was realizing the power of Satan. I knew that Satan is real but especially yesterday he was working really hard on me. I got really down on myself and felt like I wasn´t a good missionary. I talked to Sis Johnson, Fernandes, and Marschall and they helped me a lot. Sis Marschall said that the more we can feel the Spirit the harder Satan will try to bring us down. And also, we have to go through our own Gethsemane to feel, in part, how our Savior felt. I´m doing so much better today but I definitely have a testimony that Satan is real.
The best experience was teaching Jucileide (an investigator) the Restoration. I felt the Spirit so strongly.When Tiago (Ward Missionary leader) shared the words of the Prophet and the First Vision I felt the Spiritso strongly. It was amazing.
Well, I just want to let you know that I love you all so much. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and I am so grateful for your continual love and support. I pray for you daily and I know that you pray for me as well. Thank you so much for this! I love you all and will write next Wednesday (maybe Thursday)!
I love you the mostiest,
Sister Hicks

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