Wednesday, September 25, 2013

We Had A Baptism! - September 23, 2013

Hey Mom, Dad, Family, and dear friends,
Hey everyone, thank you soooo much for your emails this week! I really love getting them and they make my week so much better!
Dad: I´m so glad that you guys finally got the letters and pictures this week. My Portuguese is definitely improving a lot because I have to speak more, I have definitely noticed that this week. I can´t really relax as much during the lessons because I have to be really paying attention to what they´re saying and I have to help Sister Stolk out too.
Our branch is pretty small so we don´t have a ton of sisters but they are great. We are trying to work with them in order to have more lunches with them but I think things will improve soon. The branch missionaries and branch missionary leader will take care of us and help us out a lot.
That is so exciting about our stake being number 2 in the mission for baptisms! Wow Dad, that is really exciting! And that´s exciting that there´s  going to be a new bishop in the Algonkian ward.
I loved the pics of Mom from the Wolf Trap ball! Gorgeous dress Mom! I´m glad you guys had fun and be safe in Paris and Munich this week!

I really liked what you said about how every good thing that has happened in your life can be traced to the Gospel. I really believe that too.
Mom: Wow, that electric machine thing sounds intense. I´m sure it´s helping and good for you that you´re able to go to Pump, are all the usual people still going?

That´s cool that they´re doing a modest ball gown shoot in the ward! I´m glad that my dress is being put to good use!
Bummer about BYU losing but hopefully they´ll get better soon...
Are you guys really going to General Conf?! That´s so cool! I am so excited for conf, I don´t know exactly how we´re going to watch it but I´m sure excited!
That´s so exciting about Greg and Special Olympics, I´m glad that he enjoyed the letter :) What is bocce ball?
That is so sweet that you sent packages to Emma, Hannah, Julia and the other stateside missionaries, I know that they really appreciated that. I was thinking a little this week about some things that maybe you could send me. If you get a chance could you send, Reese´s peanut butter cups (minis), some more of that bug lotion that we bought at the infectious disease place (maybe 3 tubes), some Costco trail mix individual bags, some more post-it flags, Starbursts and purrell (the Purrell here smells horrible, and you thought the other hand santizer smelled bad, haha) If you  could send some of this stuff, that would be great, you´re the best Mom! Thank you thank you thank you!
Lindsey: Sorry I didn´t get your first email in time to respond last week. I can´t believe it´s "cooling off" when it´s still in the mid-90s, wow! I´m glad to hear that Norah and Alice are playing more and that´s so funny about Norah changing Alice´s diapers! haha, good for her! That is sooo funny about Norah going to the bathroom on the side of the road and saying that she was so happy that she didn´t have to flush! hahaha! That also seems like a good idea to not let them watch TV too, I´m sure it´s tough but good for you!
I really love my companion and it´s funny that we have a few mutual friends too! She is really working so hard and she is so dedicated! We don´t really have any inside jokes yet but I really do love her and I´m so grateful for her hard-working attitude!
Bryan: The training is going pretty well. I can´t believe the crazy training experience you had! Wow! I am definitely feeling a lot more stressed. Almost every morning I wake up around 5:45/6ish and I just lay in bed worrying about all the stuff we have to do. I think I need to relax a little bit more because I´m feeling really stressed. But I know that everyone is probably feeling stressed, including you all! The meals are really normal actually. We really just eat rice, beans, noodles, chicken. We had a really good meal with Irmã Fatima this week and we had this interesting baked squash but it was really good. I definitely feel like my Portuguese is improving which is a good things but we definitely have moments where we can´t understand our investigators but thankfully we are able to go out with members a lot too. I don´t know if I´ve already written about them but the branch missionaries are all between 16 to 19 years old and they are soooo amazing! I´ve never met such great youth that are working so hard!

So this week Rinato was baptized. It´s kind of an interesting story with him. He was an investigator that Sister Marschall and I worked a lot with but he already had 2 baptismal interviews and he just didn´t feel ready but the branch missionaries worked a lot with him and he finally came to the conclusion that he was going to be baptized, it was really great! And the best part is that Luis, another young man in the branch, baptized him. And when I arrived Luis was inactive but the branch missionaries and us worked a lot with him and now he has the Aaronic priesthood and he baptized Rinato (they´re best friends). I will send pictures soon! Sorry that it takes so long to get them but it´s just so hard to email them and takes so much time!
Our other baptism João Assis fell through this week. He was all ready but when he had the interview he said that his wife doesn´t want him to get baptized. He said last week that he prayed and he got an answer that he should be baptized but now we just need to work with his wife in order to help him.
Like I said in the part to Bryan, I´m feeling a little stressed but I´m sure this is probably normal. I just feel a lot of responsiblity and the Zone Leaders and the District Leader call every night to hear about your progress and how many baptisms you´re going to have. I know that this stress is normal but I just feel like I have a lot to do! But I know that we´re all stressed and my stress is nowhere near all of your guys´ stress. But any advice?
Yesterday we had Branch Conference and it went so well! It was great to have the Stake leadership there and I was truly edified by the Spirit. I am truly grateful for the Spirit and the answers that we receive from the Spirit, especially at church.

Well, I love you all and I truly am so thankful for your love and support! You don´t know how much it means to me! You are always in my thoughts and prayers! I love you the mostiest!!!
Love, with lots of hugs and kisses,
Sister Hicks

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