Monday, November 18, 2013

Hey from Queimadas - November 18, 2013

Hey Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Thank you sooooo much for your emails this week! It really is so fun to hear from all of you and to hear what´s going on with you guys! I´m doing great and loving life! :)

Hey Mom, before I forget, just a tip that the mission executive secretary said, the packages can´t be more than $50 US dollars or I´ll have to pay customs. Another package arrived this week but because of customs I have to pay $100 so I took money out of my personal account to pay, just so you know. The secretary said you can put whatever you want in (basically) the package but the customs sheet can´t say that the items are more than $50, but thank you soooooo much for sending more packages! They´re the best! The only thing that I can think of that would be good for Kris´ friend to send would be bug spray and suncreen, they are suupppeerr expensive here. Any kind would do but the spray bug spray is really great and the neutrogena sun screen is working great too. Thanks, you´re the best Mom!! Love you the mostiest!!

Mom: I think the only advice that I would give would be to study the Atonement as a missionary. It´s something that I´ve been trying to do and I´m learning so much. It´s amazing how much we can learn about the Atonement every single day. 

So, we had a baptism yesterday that went really well. His name is Diego and he´s 26. It´s a little interesting because he´s married to a lady who is 22 years older than him but they´re legally married so I´ll take it! 

The other baptism that we were supposed to have was Alessandra, a young woman, she´s 14 years old. So she had the interview on Friday night and everything went well and Saturday we passed by her house to walk with her to the church to go to a youth activity but when we arrived her grandpa answered the door. And then it went downhill, her grandpa, who I never met before this, is really religious and basically chewed us out. He asked me what the 4th commandment was and I don´t know off the top of my head, especially in Portuguese, and he said, Well then who do you think you are, you can´t preach the Gospel, you shouldn´t have even been baptized, you don´t know what you´re talking about. haha, it was pretty rough to take. And then, in front of Alessandra, he said that she doesn´t know anything about the Bible and she can´t be baptized because she doesn´t know anything. It was all pretty rough. And the best part, right before we left, he said to Sister Stolk that it says in the Bible that we can't wear jewelry so she was sinning. haha, oh good times good times

But, I learned from this experience that you just have to keep your head up and remember the calling that you have as a missionary. Missionaries truly are representatives of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you so much for always keeping me in your prayers and thoughts. Please know that I really am doing well and loving the time here. I can´t believe that tomorrow I´ll already have 5 months in the mission! 

So the next transfer is Dec 4 and I really hope that I´ll stay! We moved houses last P-day, our new house is sooo great! And Pres. Nogueira came to look at our new house and to finish the stuff with the old house. Pres. Jorge (branch pres) pulled him aside and I think he talked to him about Sister Johnson and I staying here but I´m not sure if that´s what they were actually talking about, I hope I´ll stay!

Please do send me that talk, I love reading anything that I can get my hands on! The last article you sent me was exactly what I needed to read! 

Dad: Wow, Dad, I can´t believe how crazy your week was! I hope that you are getting a little bit of rest and that things this week will be a little bit more relaxing! Oh wow, I just remember, Thanksgiving is this week right? Have a great week! 

Bryan: haha, that was a great story from Norah and she really is soo smart, haha, she did exactly what you said, well, in her way :)

Kimball: Thanks so much for the advice that you gave me. I definitely need to be better with exercising, but I want to improve on that! The days that we really exercise are definitely better and I just feel better! And it´s so true that it´s really on the mission that we learn so much about being self-reliant! 

I hope that everyone is ok from the crazy storm and I´m glad to hear that you all are ok. 

Kelsey: Ok, I´m going to make my guess, I think it´s a GIRL! :) haha, just a guess but I´m so excited to find out! woohoo! 

I will definitely take lots of pics of Christmas and it´s going to be so cool! We´re already singing Christmas hymns! haha :) When you don´t have Thanksgiving, Christmas starts in November! 
I don´t remember Carly but I´m glad that everyone is safe in the phillipines, I have a friend from BYU that´s serving there right now too, Lexi. 

Taylor: I´m so glad to hear that things are going well and that´s so cool that you have an interview for the Archives! What?! Nicholas Cage style :) I´m sure the landscape is really similar to what it´s like in Mexico where you served, so cool! I love it here! 

So this week was pretty cool, we had a special zone meeting with the APs on Tuesday and it was so great! I forwarded some pics too! Then we had another meeting Wednesday morning with just the sisters in my zone Liberdade and the other zone from Campina, Campina Grande Zone. It was so cool and one thing that we´re really focusing on as a mission is Alma 26:22. Read this scripture, it´s so great! We´re really trying to focus on the 4 things it says that as missionaries we need to do: Repent, exercise faith, do good works, and pray without ceasing! 

Oh another funny thing that happened this week, Sister Stolk was adament about something, I don´t remember what, but then it turned out that she was wrong. So I told her that she needed to stand corrected but she didn´t want to. Haha, oh the family traditions that we have, it was pretty great explaining, I Stand Corrected, to her and Sister Johnson, and Sister Shirts. 

Well, I have to go but please know that I love you all and I´m thinking and praying for all of you!


Lots of love, hugs, and kisses,
Sister Hicks

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