Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Got the Packages and the Letters - THANKS!!! December 4, 2013

Hey Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,
Well it sure is the Christmas season QUEIMADAS! I wasn´t transfered and I´m so happy that I get to stay here in Queimadas, and the best part, all 4 of us, Sister Johnson, Sister Shirts, and Sister Stolk, we all are still here in Quimadas together! It´s gonna be a American/Brazilian Christmas with 4 American sisters in Queimadas! haha!

Oh and also, I got the package Mom! Thank you sooooo much! Ah, lotion, purrell, the cute little London socks, head band, NORMAL deodorant (woohoo!!!), razor heads, everything! Thanks Mom! Also, I got the letters too! Thank you! I didn´t open the 2 letters that were in the red envelopes because they seemed like they´re for Christmas, or can I open them now? But, thank you so much!!! You´re the best Mom!
So, one crazy change that happened this week. I´ve been called to be a Sister Leader Trainer, which means that I´ll go on splits with other sisters and help them out. I´ll have a Sister Leader Trainer companion (that I´ll travel with) and we´ll have about 4 companionships of sisters that we´ll be responsible for. The cool thing is that I´ll be able to see a lot of the mission and that I´ll be able to learn so much from other sisters. It´s pretty crazy because I only have 3 transfers here but I´m so ready to learn and grow. Because of this, I went to João Pessoa on Monday morning for a meeting with all the Zone leaders, other Sister Leader Trainers, APs, and Pres and Sister Nogueira. We talked about the numbers and goals in our mission and then we had a training which was so great. After we had lunch in the chapel and we went to the mission office to get packages and letters. All go to Joõa Pessoa (normally) every first Tuesday of the month to have this meeting with all the mission leadership. I felt so lost and overwhelmed but I´m so grateful for this opportunity that I have too. And the cool thing is that it will be for the entire length of my mission :) Also, the training that we had was so cool. It was about redemption and the Atonement. We read in Mosiah 14:4-12. Such a great chapter, we talked about how if we really understand the Atonement we will want to share the Gospel with EVERYONE! Such a great meeting and the Spirit was so strong.
Mom: Well, I´m so glad to hear that you all made it safely to Dallas. I guess I really do mess up the travel plans in our family :) I laughed out loud when I read about what Greg said, "I hate when that happens" haahaha, all of the sisters that I live with already love Greg because of all the stories that I share, like, "Go back, go back go back go back!" haha Sister Johnson said, wow, you really do have a lot of funny stories because of Greg! :)
So, I still haven´t heard anything about how phone calls work for Christmas, I heard that you can skype but that it doesn´t work very well so I think it´d be easier to just call but I´ll ask for more information and get back to you.
I´m glad everything went well for Thanksgiving and HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALICE! I´m glad to hear that she had a great horse birthday party!
Also, wow, no black Friday shopping Mom? Woah! :) haha
So I can´t really remember what we ate for Thanksgiving, obviously they don´t celebrate it hear, I can´t remember what we had for lunch (well probably rice and beans) and dinner we just grabbed some bread rolls from the local bakery haha :)
So the only other thing I can think of to send would be peanut butter, it´s wicked expensive here! 20 reais (10 bucks) and it´s super small size but I´m craving peanut butter :) Thanks Mom! Just when you get a chance!
So Ana Claudia´s baptism went really well. Her mom didn´t attend but her siblings and inactive aunt came which was cool! So happy for her and on Sunday she received the Holy Ghost!
Exciting about my room too! Can´t wait to see it! :)
 I´m glad to hear that the trip to Dallas went well and you´re sure right, it is SUPER hot here but it fun to see fake Christmas trees and garland with fake snow on it, hahah, in 90 degree weather! But you´re so right, I just want to soak everything in about the Christmas culture here! It´s going to be so cool and I just can´t wait!
Oh one funny tradition (not relating to Christmas) that I found out recently. So here in Brasil, or at least Paraíba, when you lose a tooth you don´t put it under your pillow, you throw it up on top of your roof! haha, not kidding, we were with a little kid and he showed us his tooth that fell out and then he threw it on the roof! :) just a little funny tradition in Brasil :)
I really liked what you said about faith Dad. It is such a critical aspect of our lives and especially with missionary work. This morning during companionship study Sister Stolk and I were talking about how we can help our investigator, Paula, really gain a testimony. She wants to know so bad that the Church is true and we´re trying to show her that she just needs to exercise her faith. She´s a really great young woman and she has such a desire to know! She´s always going to seminary and she´s been to church 2 times already :) Oh so Kimball, in response to your question, Paula is one of our investigators that is progressing really well!
Lindsey: I´m totally with you Linds, I love Martinelli´s and I actually saw sparkling cider in the super market this past week so we´re definitely going to buy some for Christmas! Woohoo! haha

I´m so glad to hear that the party went well for Alice and that they didn´t lose any fingers feeding the horses! :)
Kimball: Wow I can´t even imagine 6 degrees and snowing, haha it seems like a totally different world. Everyone is mesmerized when we tell them that it snows where we live. EVERYONE wants to see snow, it´s so cool. It´s crazy that we sometimes take for granted such little things like seeing snow but I can´t imagine how cold it much be up there in Chicago, brrrr! Keep warm and keep Black Bear warm! :)

So funny story from yesterday, we were talking to a lady in the street yesterday, probably about 65, 70 years old and she was about to eat a popsicle when she asked us, oh do you want some, we said no, no, we´re fine but she insisted so we Sister Stolk and I took a few bites and then she ate the rest. Haha, it was such a sweet and hilarious experience that would never happen in the US, or rarely would happen. haha, she was so sweet and cute!
So we have some new mission rules. One of them is that we can´t email people of the opposite sex (just family). So that´s a pretty big change, it´s just for our mission but I know that a lot of people aren´t going to like it, but I loved what Kimball wrote in my journal that just always obey the mission president no matter what.

Oh side note Mom: could you get a hold of Sister Schmutz, Connor Schmutz randomly wrote me last week but I can´t respond because of the new mission rule. Thanks Mom!
Oh and so cute, Julia, Heather´s daughter, sent me a Flat Stanley that I´ll take around with me and snap a few pictures! So cute! :)
Oh, so we live above a store that sells furniture and they´re always playing music, and one of my favorite songs, Home, by Jason Mraz is always playing. haha love that song and it´s funny to hear it about 10 times a day!
Also, we had another baptism this week, Vito! He´s a young man and it was really great! It was funny, he was having difficulties understanding that we don´t pray to Maria, but after a few lessons, he finally said that he understood that we don´t pray to her but we pray to God. But he´s doing well and going to seminary too!

Well my time´s almost up but it´s so good to hear from you all! Thank you again for the package and letters! I love you all so much and you all are always in my prayers!

Lots of love,
I love you the MOSTIEST!
Sister Hicks

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