Monday, October 28, 2013

It's Getting Pretty Warm Here! October 28, 2013

Bom Dia Mãe, Pãe, Família, e Amigos,
So as the subject of this email refers to, it´s getting pretty warm here in Queimadas. The main thing is that the sun is just so strong but it´s funny because now I´m just so used to sweating it doesn´t even bother me. I just remember that I´m going to be hot no matter what and I´m going to sweat no matter what so it doesn´t really make a difference either way haha! But I´m definitely using sun screen everyday! Because of my chacos, I have some wicked tan lines on my feet! haha, I´ll take a picture and send it to you guys soon! I just mailed a whole bunch of pictures on Friday so you guys should get them fairly soon.
Oh about the other package, so the secretaries from the mission office called and said the other package is stuck in the post office because of customs or something but basically I have to pay 60 us dollars to get it out or they can send it back to you guys. I just chose to pay the 60 dollars and then I´ll get it. They said there was something in there that had more worth. I don´t know what but I should get it next week when the Zone leaders go to João Pessoa.  I can´t think of anything else that I need right now! You´re the best Mom!
LOVED the picture of Greg! So cute and so LL Bean model haha! And also the tree in front of the house! Wow, so cool!
Nossa! (Nossa is short for Nossa Senhora Maria something, basically people say Nossa when something is surprising or crazy) So, "nossa!" the dinner party that you had! I can´t believe all the things that went wrong! But I´m glad to hear that it turned out well in the end!

hahah, FINALLY your prayers were answered with regards to the heat in the RS room. haha, that´s funny that everyone was blaming you.
So, it really is such a blessing that almost everyone is willing to talk to us. I know that in bigger cities in our mission, the missionaries have a harder time and I can´t even imagine in the States or in Europe. We really are blessed.
And don´t worry, I´m definitely keeping a journal, haven´t missed a day yet!
Thanks for the scripture from 2 Chronicles and the short quote, The Lord wants you to succeed. So true!

That´s so cool that you got to talk to so many Brazilians when you were in NYC! You´re exactly right, in Portuguese and especially where I am you kind of draw out the words and what you described is exactly what it´s like here.

I´m glad to hear that you finally returned to our ward and I hope the ward is helping to reactivate you ;)
 It really is so true that Heavenly Father will true help us to improve and our weaknesses can become strengths. I remember when Sister Johnson and I arrived together in Queimadas it was really hard. Especially for Sister Johnson because she served in the Rochester Mission for 3 months while she was waiting for her visa. I remember that one day during personal study I was reading in Ether 12 and we were talking about how it´s hard for us but how much harder it was for Joseph Smith. She gave me a leaf from the Sacred Grove that she had picked while she was there. I still have it and I always am reminded of Joseph Smith when I read those scriptures.
I always liked what you said "Be safe, be smart, and work hard." It really is true that we just need to get to work. :)
Taylor: It really is true that here in Brasil there are a lot of religions. Just in Queimadas there are a lot of churches. The Catholic church is definitely the main church, it´s right in the center of town but there are a lot of other churches as well.
Oh and we have 1 hour to email :)
That´s really cool about how important the temple is with regards to retention rates in the church. It really is true that the temple makes all the difference!
Also, things are GREAT with my companion! I love Sister Stolk! I think the best quality about her is that she loves to laugh! She really has such a gift for finding the funny moments and just taking time to laugh! haha :)
And I really am glad that I´m staying here in Queimadas! It´s so great! I tell everyone that I don´t want to leave!

So Lucas wasn´t baptized this week. He needs to work on not lying and we just didn´t feel like he was ready but yesterday during Church he was crying because he wanted to be baptized. We talked to him and explained why he couldn´t and that he need to make some changes this week but that he could the following week so it should be a great week!
Also, it really is true that the Atonement is so powerful and my testimony is growing so much. I truly want to share the message of the Atonement (Expiacão) with everyone!
haha, how cute, Norah and her question about the planets, haha good idea to defer to Bryan, I´d do the same thing :)
So this week was pretty great! We had a lot of great lessons and it is so amazing how willing people are to listen. It really is so true that we are so lucky to be serving in an area, mission, and country that is so warm and welcoming. Also, the people are so willing to help. I am always amazed by how warm and friendly everyone is.
Yesterday was a little hard. Yesterday morning before church as we were going around and getting all of our investigators to go to church a young woman that we´re teaching Mika, she said that she didn´t feel like going to church. It was really sad because we had the coolest lesson with her on Saturday. I finished reciting the first vision and she had goosebumps on her arms. She asked what it was and we told her that it was the Spirit. It was SUCH a spiritual lesson. And then it was so heartbreaking that the next day she didn´t feel like going to church. Big bummer...
But another blessing happened just a few minutes later, there was a little girl (9 years old) and she was standing in the street. We were so frustrated because no one was saying that they would go to church, but we asked her if she wanted to and she said yes. Then we went and talked to her mom and the mom said she didn´t want to but then just a few seconds later she decided to go and she loved Church! And the coolest part is that her younger sister was already baptized about 2 years ago. The mom (Solanja) and her daughter (Ingridi) are so great. Solanja said that the elders that taught her sister Angelica barely spoke Portuguese but Angelica decided to be baptized. And Solanja and Ingridi accepted to be baptized this Sunday. Solanja is feeling a little confused because she was already baptized in the Catholic church but she said that if she really feels like she should she´ll be baptized :)
Well, I have to go but thank you so much for the emails and the support and the prayers! I really do appreciate and I am strengthened by your prayers!

Thank you for everything and know that I love and miss you all the MOSTIEST!
Lots of love, hugs, and kisses!

Sister Hicks
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