Monday, December 1, 2014

Missao Celetial Dec. 1, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,                                                 Dec. 1, 2014

Well, time really does fly. I can´t believe that this is the last email that I will send here in the mission. It´s incredible...

But to start off with the administrative things:
Well, it would be good to bring bug spray but don´t worry about bringing a lot of suncreen because I still have some. 

Yes, bring light weight clothes, skirts, dresses, shorts for you Dad, and sandals because it´s getting pretty toasty here. It would be good to bring a hat as well because the sun is really strong especially here in João Pessoa because it´s so close to the beach. 

Don´t worry about bringing clothes for me Mom, I have warm-weather clothes that I can wear on the trip back. :) (I can´t believe it´s snowing already!) 

And to answer your questions Mom:
Tell us about Edivaldo: Well Edvaldo is 33 years old, he lives with his mom, brother, and sister. So, this week we taught him the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, Laws and Ordenances, and he was progressing a lot. Well, on Saturday we went to his house and he finally decided to be baptized! So we filled out the baptismal form and an hour later he had the interview. So, it was taking a long time and that´s when I started to get worried. So, finally my district leader walked out of the room and said that he didn´t pass. He still had some doubts and said that he didn´t want to be baptized. It´s one of the worst things ever when your investigator changes your mind in the interview. The adversary truly works against the Lord and His work. Really, what I think happened is that people started talking to him about the church and said a bunch of lies. It´s crazy that when you start to truly teach someone, all of his so called "friends" come back to talk to him and really to talk back about the church...

So, Saturday was a pretty rough day but he went to church yesterday and said that he will still prepare to be baptized. Please pray that he will be able to receive an answer that the Church is true and that the Church has the true authority of God. 

But another thing that I have learned here in the mission is that everyone has free agency and we can´t take away their free agency, even if they know in their heart that it´s true. 

   Do you have any Christmas RS activities planned before you leave? No, I think they´re just going to have an activity after I leave. but this coming Saturday morning the RS is going to join all the sisters together in the ward and they´re going to do a bunch of visits, visitng less active sisters, we´re going to help as well which will be great!

 Who is your new companion? No, I don´t have a new companion so the other companionship changed.  Sister Moscoso is still my companion. Sister Quintanilha is the new sister in our house. She switched with S. Sayonara. She´s really great, she´s from Rio de Janeiro. :)

  How many areas will we be going to and will we be able to attend one of your ward's Sacrament meetings before we have to leave for the airport? 

So, we´re going to visit my 4 areas that I served and yes we will be able to attend sacrament in Cabedelo :) woohoo!

Well, Mom and Dad, I´m so excited for you guys to come. It´s going to be so great! 

I talked to Pres. Nogueira and he said that I will be able to meet up with you guys, 2 PM on Wednesday at the mission office. It´s the same address that you always mail the packages too. And it´s good that the hotel where you guys will be at is close to the mission office. I think it´s about 10 mins by car. So, 2 PM on Wednesday the 10th I will see you two in the mission office :) I think the easiest thing would be to grab a cab :)

Ok, so now for the serious stuff...

I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission. It´s the best decision that I have made in my entire life. I don´t know what I would be doing or who I would be if I hadn´t decided to serve a mission. It´s the hardest thing I have ever done and the most amazing thing I have ever done. 

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord´s church here on the earth. I know that it is only in his church that one can find the true priesthood of God.

I know that the Atonement is real. As Alma explains in Alma 7:11-12, Christ not only suffered for our sins but also for our pain, sadnesses, and whatever feeling we have. I know that Jesus Christ truly knows each and every one of us personally and individually. He knows how to succor His people. The Atonement must play a part in our lives each and every day. 

I know that Heavenly Father is truly our Father. He loves us and knows us. We can find peace, knowng that we are part of something bigger. 

I know that Joseph Smith was, and still, is a prophet of God. I know that Pres. Monson is the latter-day prophet and he holds all the keys of the holy priesthood here on the earth.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I have seen individuals and families return to the Church by just reading and studying the Book of Mormon. 

I know that my Savior lives and I know that this is His Gospel. It has changed my life and I want to continue to help others be changed by its influence. 

Thank you soo much for all your love and support. I could never have served a mission alone without your love and support. I can´t wait to share my experiences with all of you and especially Mom and Dad, here in the celestial mission, João Pessoa!!!

I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!

See you soon :)

Sister Hicks

An Investigator at church!! WOOHOO! Nov. 24, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,                                                            Nov. 24, 2014

Mom: Well,  to start off, thank you sooooooo much Mom for getting everything ready with the housing and classes at BYU! You´re the best! 

haha, that´s so great that Sister Friaca made Brazilian hot dogs, haha, yes, I have eaten Brazilian hot dogs many times :) haha, but with mashed potatoes is a thing more in the south of Brasil. I can´t believe you didn´t try them! haha, you´ll have to try one here! And you and Dad have to try açai as well! It´s so good! It´s a fruit but they make ice cream out of it :)  

Well, with the hair appointment, I don´t think I´ll need a highlight, my hair is super sun streaked, haha, I think you´ll have a double take when you see me cause my hair´s super blonde :) but we´ll see

haha, I laughed out loud when I heard the story about "Guy" napping in the morning to not  be so cranky, hahha

well things to bring: could you bring a box of oreos? Sister Sayonara wanted some haha :) and also, just if you´re able to, could you bring some chocolate chip cookies to share with some sisters, (just if you´re able to, don´t feel pressured :)

Dad: Aah, Dad, I wanted to respond but we´re not allowed to! But glad that you were online! 

Hey Dad, I got your card that talks!!!! I absolutely loved it! haha, I laughed out loud when I opened it!  

Dad, I love the mini sermons that you send me. It´s always exactly what I need to hear!!!!

Well, I´m glad to hear that you´re doing well.  Everyone is so excited to meet you and Mom!   haha,  here Dad is  "painho",  so I tell everyone, "Aaah, you´re going to meet my ´painho´ " :) haha, it´s gonna be great :)

Bryan: Well, once again, loved the quote you included, we definitely need to have a serious talk....haha

Lindsey: I absolutely LOVED the photos from Alice´s  birthday party!  She is so grown up and so cute! And what the?! you´re hair is absolutely gorgeous! love it! 

Glad to hear that you´re doing well and that Norah is feeling better now that you guys know what she has :)

Taylor: Wow, I can´t believe how fast the time is flying by! That must have been to be able to talk to a retired 4 star general. I´m sure he has a lot of knowledge to  share :) 

I can´t wait to be able to talk to you when I get back, we have a lot of catching up to do :)

Kimball: Glad to hear that you´re doing well and I hope that everything works out

So, so far in the mission field I have had 6 companions (and 7 if you count the companion that I had for 2 days, she was so super sick and was then transfered after 2 days) I stayed with 3 companions for 3 transfers (each companion for 3 transfers) so I haven´t had a lot of companions. 

Kelsey: Yes, the  Christmas decorations are already appearing and we´re already singing Christmas hymns at church. Because they don´t have Thanksgiving here, the Christmas season starts even earlier. 

Well, my companion is hispanic and she´s so great. Before coming on a mission she was in the  Peru Navy! Yah, super boss! :) 

Loved the picture of baby guy! So cute!

Well, yesterday Edivaldo, our investigator that came to church for the second time. He said that he liked that the church is really peaceful and there aren´t people yelling and stuff. He accepted baptism for this Sunday so please pray for him so that he can feel readier! (readier, more ready? I don´t remember)

Well, this morning, Sister Sayonara received a call that she´s going to be emergency transfered to another area. We are all sooooo sad! This was my 5ath transfer living in the same house with her! sooooo sad! 

Well, I don´t have much time left but I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!!

Sister Hicks

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pure Happiness Nov. 17, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Well, to start off, Mom, thank you soooo much for all your devotion to getting this BYU stuff firgured out. I know it must be a hassel but I am so grateful! So, yes, I agree that the girls seem a little old in that apartment building. Oh, and also, I totally understand about the whole cell phone thing. I thought it was a little sketchy as well. Oh, also, I´ve heard that the Riv is a little sketchy...

I know it must be hard to find a winter only contract. If worst comes to worst maybe you´ll just have to buy a contract with spring as well and I´ll try to sell it when my other friends get back or something, I don´t really know how it all works. 

I think the only priority is that I would like to be able to walk to campus. I would also like to share a room but if that doesn´t work out I would be fine with a private room. But really, Mom, thanks for all your dedication and don´t worry, I´ll start saving up some Brazilian nickel (centavos) for all the times you type my password, haha. 

Dad: Glad to hear that you are doing well and that your trip went well. I´m sure you must be pretty exhausted. 

I´m so glad for photos as well and I´ll definitely be showing you all a lot of photos. 

So, this week we had a special training with Pres. Nogueira. He talked to us about a few changes that the First Presidency has made in Preach my Gospel (it´s been a few months) about how now the full-time missionaries are responsible for teaching the 5th lesson before and after baptism and other things. It was great because it was a 4-zone conference and I got to see Sister Stolk and some of my other friends! 

Also, I received letters from Camilla and Danilo, two of my recent-converts from my first area in Queimadas! They are doing so well and wrote that they are excited to be able to see me and meet you two! They are so great, I´m so excited! 

Well, yesterday was a pretty good day. So, we have been working with and teaching an inactive family. Well, yesterday the four of them, the mom (Tereza (different Tereza than the phone one) ), the dad (Fernando) and their two daughters, Alice and Estephany. It´s so great to see the fruits of your labors and it really is pure happiness. We´ve been listening to the Book of Mormon with them because Tereza doesn´t know how to read. It´s so great to see how reading the Book of Mormon daily and having family prayer really does strengthen our families. 

Also, a little girl, Marília, went to church yesterday. She´s 11 years old and was baptized last year with her sister. Well, it was so great to see her at church and she made friends with the other Primary girls. 

Also, Tereza and her family (that we are working with) brought a friend to church, their neighbor, Vera. She´s not legally married but we´re going to start teaching her. 

Also, Saturday night we street contacting and we talked to a man named Edivaldo. He said that he had already visited the church but that it had been a while. He said during the contact that it was hard for him to believe in the Book of Mormon. We explained what the Book of Mormon is and invited him to go to church. Well, he said that he wasn´t sure if he would go. So yesterday, all of a sudden he appeared during the sacrament meeting (sacrament meeting is last) and I was so surprised. Well, afterward we showed him the baptismal font and invited him to prepare to be baptized this coming week but he said no because he was already baptized in another church. Well, we´re going to start teaching him and tonight we´re going to have a Family Night at Tereza´s house and he´s going to go. Please pray for him so that he can have an open heart. 

Well, Luma didn´t go to church yesterday but we´re going to keep teaching her. She´s a really great girl and just needs to stop smoking and feel more ready to be baptized. 

So funny story of the week: Saturday we had lunch at a member´s home, well apartment. So this apartment building is huge and there are 32 floors!!!! So, the doorman told us to enter the elevator and type P1 (yes, you type the floor and hit confirm) Well P1 is just the "leisure floor" that has the game room and other stuff. Well, we wanted the 1st floor and we couldn´t figure out how to work the elevator. Then the elevator just started to go up and up and up. We saw on the screen, 15th floor, 20th, 25th, and that´s when we started laughing, but laughter because we were so scared, then 30th floor, and we just started screaming, finally it stopped on the 32nd floor and we just jumped out of the elevator when the door opened! haha, we thought it would never stop going up. So the man told us how to get to the floor we wanted. But I`m sure the doorman was laughing out loud because there´s a camera in the elevator and he probably saw us freaking out, haha, it was pretty hilarious. 

Well, to answer your questions with the time remaining:

What is the one principle of the gospel that seems to resonate with the most people you talk to or is it something different that touches each of them?

I think the message of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. I love teaching the Restoration because the Spirit truly touches them.

aah, my time ran out but I promise I will answer the other questions next week! 

I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!

Sister Hicks

oh, so funny that you sent the photo of Greg sprinkling because I told the other sisters this week of how I always sprinkled but now Greg does it, haha :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hola! Yo havlo espanol :) November 10,2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Wow, to start off, I´m soo sorry that it was such a hassel to get all the classes figured out. I was a little bit worried about all that this past week. and now that there are just two missionary couples in the mission office it´s a little more complicated because they don´t speak English. Before, there was always at least one american elder but now there are just these 2 missionary couples (that are super great by the way, just don´t speak english...)

But really, thanks so much Mom for getting all of that figured out. Just a question, did you sign up for Math 113 or Math 112 (becuase Math 112 would probably be better because it´s been a while) But really, thank you soo much for doing the registration.

Mom: About apartments, I definitely want a shared room. And it doesn´t matter to me how many people there, 4 person, 6 person apartment. :) I trust your judgment :)

Yes, it would be great if you could set up a hair appointment, dentist appointment, and a dermatologist appt. (to look at my moles after all the sun exposure :) ) 

That´s so great that we have some family names to take to the temple as well! That would be great! 

Well, to pack, I would suggest that you bring clothes for really hot´s been pretty hot here. That´s for sure. And don´t bring anything valuable, just a heads up :) Umm, I´ll think some more this week if there´s anything else that would be good to bring :) I´m so excited, it´ll be great :)

In response to your questions:

Tell me the most unusual contact you had this week.  
Well, this week we stopped an elderly man that was walking down the street. He started talking to us about how we need to conserve the planet and then we said that we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ and he started to explain that he could scientifically prove to us that Jesus Christ wasn´t the son of God and that He is not our Savior. It was so hard to hear that and I just felt for him. It´s really rare to talk to people like that here but there are some that exist. 

Tell me about a ward member that you really like and why.
Well, I really like the Bishop´s wife, she´s really sweet. Her name is Sheila. She´s the ward pianist and looks like I´m going to be the ward conductor. (They´ve asked me to conduct two sundays in a row...) 

  Do you teach at church on Sunday - Gospel Essentials?
Well we used to teach Gospel essential but now they have called a sister in the ward to teach which is great.

  Do you teach English classes in this area?
Yes, we have an English and Spanish class. (Sister Moscoso is helping me with my Spanish, I`ve forgotten so much!)

Dad: Thanks for your email and all your help with the BYU registration. 

I`m so glad that you were able to go to the temple this week and I can´t wait to go with you when I get back! 

Lindsey: Glad to hear that the girls are doing well and keeping busy! 

haha, yes, it´s truly the circle of life, training at the end :) Sister Moscoso is great and I´m learning so much with her! 

Bryan: hahaha, I laughed out loud when I read your email. haha, alright, we´ll have a talk when I get back about the Computer Science course....

Kimball: Glad to hear you´re doing well. Sounds like Kelsey´s birthday weekend well! haha, can´t wait to see Lil Guy yanking his socks off :)

Kelsey: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope you had a great brithday! 

Loved the photos you sent Kels! Lil Guy is soooo cute! 

Taylor: Hope you´re doing well bud! I love ya soo much! Keep me updated!

Well, we´re teaching Luma. I think I wrote about her last week. We fasted with her this week to help her stop smoking and she said that when she was fasting she didn´t smoke! She went to church again yesterday but she had to leave before the sacrament meeting because she had to study for a test. But, keep her in your prayers so that she can stop smoking and so that she can receive a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Pres. Monson is the living prophet.

Well, I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!

Sister Hicks

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I'm a "Ma'e" Again October 29, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Well, as the subject suggests, I´m training! I received my new companion yesterday. Her name is Sister Moscoso and she´s from Peru. We received 4 new sisters yesterday and not one elder from the CTM in São Paulo, 3 Brazilian sisters and 1 Hispanic (my companion) :) I attached a photo of the two of us from this morning. (I know I look like a mess but it´s P-day :)) The other photo I attached was when Sister Chauque braided my hair and I slept with the braids in and the next morning she took the briads out and my hair was all crimpy :) 

So, I´m not a Sister Leader Trainer now because I´m training. Sister Chauque is still the Sister leader trainer in our zone with Sister Gomes. They are in Tambaú which is the ward next to ours and their apartment building is about 2 minutes aways from ours, walking! 

Well, I´m in the same area, Manaíra which is cool. So, I`ll only have 4 areas during my mission. So, some cool news, yesterday when I went to the chapel to meet up with the other trainers, a member from my 2nd area, Prossind, was there. He said that one of my recent converts, Jeremias, is thinking about and preparing to serve a mission! He´s 20 years old! I was so excited! 

Well other big news, the other sisters in our house, Sister Briones and Sister Sayonara are going to have a baptism this week. The husband and wife are going to be married legally tomorrow and their baptism along with their 2 daughters will be on Saturday! They have been investigating the church four about 4 months now! Their story is so cool. Ronaldo is the dad and he had prayed to be able to have more peace in his home and to improve his relationship with his spouse and family. Well about 2 days later the sisters knocked on his door and he invited them in. His wife, Solange, in the beginning did not like the sisters or the church at all. She even made fun of them. Well, he continued to investigate the church and her heart was softened. But, she was still having problems quitting smoking and drinking coffee. Well, when I arrived here, they lived in our area, so one night we had a great lesson with her and the whole family about the love that God has for us. And that we have to keep the commandments to show our love that we have for God. Well, at the end of the lesson we all kneeled down and I said the prayer. This Sunday in Church during Gospel Principles, Solange explained that after that prayer that we said kneeling down, she decided to stop smoking and she never again smoked a cigarrette and she poured the coffee down the drain. It was so powerful when she shared this story. It´s amazing the power of prayer. I´m so happy for them and I can´t wait to be there and see there baptism. 

Mom: So I know that it must be crazy to look for housing. At this point, I don´t know if it will work out to live with other sisters that returned home. Well, I know that I don´t want to live in new heritage or wyview with the upper classmen. So, I guess what I´m looking for in an apartment would be air conditioning, and internet access, wifi would be great but if no, the internet that you have to use a cable would be fine as well. I haven´t been able to get in touch very well with the sisters that I know that returned home and/or they already have contracts. But I know that I just want a contract for winter semester because spring semester I`m going to room with Lexi, Emma, Sister Stolk, etc. I know it´s a lot to do mom but I trust your judgment, thanks Mom!

And the 19th sounds great for the open house :)

Also, to get around town I think the easiest thing would be to get a taxi and I thought that also at times we could use the public bus system as well (it´s really good) 

Ballet 390 sounds like it would be a good class, and yah, that´s true that they have an audition in the beginning of the year :) That should be interesting :) 

Dad: Glad to hear that you´ve been able to work on some family history work and missionary work! I will definitely help you with that when I get home! 

That´s so cool that you were able to get the phone number of your mission president! I hope you´re able to catch up with him. 

Bryan: Well I laughed out loud when I read what you wrote about majoring in computer science. Yes, we´ll have to have some good long discussions over Christmas break, hahaaha :) 

And send photos from Halloween, can´t wait to see how you guys all look :) 

Lindsey: Thanks for sending the photos! She looks great! 

Well, I´ll definitely miss the random donkeys in the street and the crazy loud music and parties. There are so many things that I´ll miss, rice and beans every day as well! 

Well, I have to go but I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!

Love you all so much,
Sister Hicks

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Keep on Keeping On! October 20, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

First off, thank you soo much for all the emails, blog posts, videos and photos that everyone sent this week. It definitely made my day that much brighter and was exactly what I needed. 

So before I forget, transfers are next Wednesday so I´ll email next Wednesday, not Monday, just a heads up :)

Well, this week was a little tough but this coming week will be better :) So, our only investigator that went to church last week, didn´t want to hear more. We taught the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to be baptized. Well, the next day we passed by and he said to pass by later but when we passed by he wasn´t at home. The next day we passed by his grandma and brother talked to us and said that he didn´t want to hear more. We tried calling him but I think he recognized our number. Well, our district leader called him and talked to him and it was true what his family had said. He told our district leader that he just wanted to visit the church but didn´t want to hear more. It´s always hard to see when people use their free agency to choose to not hear our message but this was the Lord´s plan, the ability to choose. 

haha, Mom, don´t even worry about last week. I assumed that was probably what had happened. Don´t even worry Mom, it´s all good. I got to read two emails this week from you! 

So, in response to your question about the ballet class, yes it says that 290 is a pre-requisite but I exceeded the level so I didn´t have to take it. I was but in the higher level, the 391. So, I don´t know which class is better, 391 is what I took my first two semesters but now it´s been a year and a half since I have danced. I´ll probably have to see once I get out there if I still can keep up with the 391 or see if 290 would be better for the first semester back. Maybe you can call the dance department and ask them what would be better. Just tell them that I was in the 391 before I went on my mission but ask them what they think you should do, register for 290 or 391. 

I emailed Sister Johnson and asked her to talk to some other sisters this week about housing. I also emailed Rachel Hawkley (my BYU roommate) she said that she´s going to live in Allred. Maybe you could check it out online to see what it´s like. She said that there will probably be some openings as well. I should know better next week when Sister Johnson emails me back. 

Yes, I definitely want to see the Nutcracker. I know Abbie and Julia would die if I didn´t see it. It would probably be good to buy tickets for the noon show because I know that Amanda comes in on the 20th as well. 

Good to know about EFY, I´ll just worry about that when I get back. 

Well, the family activity that I want to do when I get back is see the Christmas lights at the temple and do a session in the temple with everyone :)

To eat: Chicken broccoli casserole, big surprise :)

And in response to your question about me feeling the support of your prayers. Yes, I definitely feel the love and support. I know that there are days when I am supported and lifted by the prayers that you offer. I know that it´s absolutely true that the Lord and His angels are on our left side and right side and always go in front of us. Thank you for all your love and support. 

Taylor: Glad to hear that everything is going well at school. Thanks for helping Mom with the school registration stuff! That´s a big help for me. 

I hope everything goes well with the job interviews at Target and Enterprise. You´re gonna rock that interview! 
Bryan: Unfortunately the link opened but opened in YouTube and I don´t think we can watch it on youtube and I don´t think there was sound either. You´ll have to show me when I get back :)

haha, I think you´re going to have do some more convincing when I get back about this whole CS stuff :)

Kimball: It really is true about the converts to the Church during the pioneer age. It´s crazy that they were truly recent converts and left their families to go on missions with such little time as a member. 
That´s great that seminary is going so well, keep up the good work!

Kelsey: Loved the pictures that you sent! It´s crazy how fast Guy is growing up. I loved the Halloween idea as well! So creative! 
So, Halloween definitely isn´t a big thing here but they have a "Dia dos Mortos" which means Day of the Dead. The Brazilian sister that lives with us, Sister Sayonara, said that a lot of people go to the cemetaries to visit their loved ones´ graves. So, it´s Halloween but with a different twist...

Lindsey: Loved the photos that you sent from the State Fair. Everyone looks so great in the pictures!
Well, thank you all so much for your love, prayers, and support. I am so grateful to be a missionary. It´s such an amazing experience!

I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!

Sister Hicks

Things are looking up! October 13, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Well, this week was a lot better. Sister Chauque and I are getting to know our new area now that we´re in the Manaíra ward. The good news is that are area covers a more humble neighborhood as well. 

This week was a little crazy because Siser Chauque and I went on exchanges Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday I went to Cabedelo and went on exchanges with Sister Alves (she´s from Cape Verde and ends her mission with me). It was great to be back in Cabedelo and I got to see a few of the members and some of my recent-converts :) 

Then on Wednesday and Thursday, Sister Chauque went on exchanges in Tambaú and I stayed in my area and went on exchanges with the sisters´companions that were going on exchanges in Tambaú. On Wednesday, I went on exchanges with Sister Gomes from Curitiba and on Thursday I went on exchanges with Sister Lugo from Paraguy. They are so great and it´s so cool as a leader to be able to go on exchanges and get to know so many sisters. It´s really on exchanges that you get to know the sisters and exchanges are crucial to be able to find out how you can truly help the sisters in the zone. 

This past week, the APs started doing a thing where every day a few companionships (only sisters) went to the center of João Pessoa where there´s a huge lake. All the public buses stop there and we just contacted people from 8 am (went back to our area for lunch) to 6 PM. It was really tiring and we met lots of different types of people but the four of us in Manaíra got 147 referrals to pass on to the areas here in João Pessoa. It was a pretty crazy experience but it was definitely worth it. I´m not sure if we´re going again this Friday but I´ll let you all know how it goes.

Dad: Thanks for your email. Your emails are always exactly what I need to read every week :) Thanks for all your support and encouragement. :)

So, I heard that our titles were Sister Zone Leaders but maybe it´s just Sister Leader trainer. I don´t know for sure. But a few of our responsibilities are to go on exchanges with all the areas in our zone, there are 6 other companionships (not including ours) in our zone. 2 companionships in Ipês, 2 in Tambaú and 1 in Cabedelo. :) It´s really great to get to know the other sisters. We also have to prepare and give the training at the District Meeting every week. The district meeting is just with the sisters. We also work with the Zone Leaders to plan how we can best help the zone. We also go to the Mission Counsel on the first Tuesday of every month to receive training and to report back on how the month went and how we will improve during the following month. 

Lindsey: I absolutely loved all the blog posts you sent! I know I always write this but I really can´t believe how fast Norah, Alice, and Baby Freya are growing up. I think Alice has changed the most. Thanks for always sending the blog posts to me :) You´re the best and hope that you have a great week :)

Well, yesterday we had an investigator that went to church. His name is Allan and he lives in a neighborhood called São José. It´s a pretty humble neighborhood. He liked church and even stayed for the baptism that the other sisters had. When I invited him to be baptized this Sunday he responded, "This fast, you have to be truly prepared to be baptized." Well, I explained to him that we´re going to teach him this week and that if he feels ready, he will be baptized. He responded that, "Yes, if I truly feel ready I will be baptized." Please pray for Allan so that he can feel a desire to be baptized this Sunday and so that he can recognize the answers to his prayers. 

Well, I´m so grateful to be a missionary. I´m so grateful to be able to get to know so many amazing sisters and see how the blessings in my Patriarchal blessings are truly being fulfilled. 

I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!


Sister Hicks 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Manaira Mania Sept. 29, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

So, this week went really well. Sister Chauque and I went on exchanges with 3 companionships in our zone on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday so it was pretty busy. But it was really to get to know other areas. On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Sister Maciel (woohoo, my old comp) in Ipês 1. And then on Wednesday I went on exchanges with Sister Shirts (from Queimadas, remember?) in Ipês 2. Then on Friday, I went on exchanges with Sister Sayonara and I stayed in my area and Sister Chauque went on exchange in Manaíra 2 (the other sisters´ area, that live in our house).

Oh, so the subject of my email. Yesterday we had a special sacrament meeting with some big news! The Ala (ward) Manaíra was split! And the new ward is Oceania! So, President Nogueira was there and he said that he was going to take a look at the map but for now Sister Chauque and I will serve in the new ward, Oceania, and the other companionship will stay in the Ala Manaíra. So, the new ward boundaries for Oceania are our old area and a part of what was the elders´ area from the Ala Bessa. So, if we stay in the Ala Oceania will have a big new area. But only sad part, Ronaldo and Solange stayed in the Ala Manaíra, about 2 streets from the ward boundary...but it´s life...won´t be our baptism but at least they´ll be baptized!

So, this week my testimony of fasting was truly strengthened. We fasted on Tuesday (here you fast from lunch to lunch) with Ronaldo and Solange so that they would be able to get the money ready to get married and so that Solange would be able to stop smoking. Well, Ronaldo told us a really great story. So, about half an hour before they were going to end their fast, Ronaldo´s daughter´s boyfriend called and asked what he would like for his birthday (it was his birthday on Wednesday). Well he said that he would like him to pay the fee to get married. It was so crazy, it was truly an answer to our prayers and fast. It´s so cool to see how the Lord works in our lives. Then, yesterday at church, Solange came up to us and told us that she decided that she wants to get married and that they would go to the cartório (I don´t remember the word in English, it´s the govt building where you go to get married) today to mark a date for the marriage!!!! Seriously, this week was so great. The Lord truly answers our prayers and fasts! 

Mom: Wow, I am so excited for you guys to come! It´s crazy how everything is coming up so fast! And what?! Guaraná! We drink Guaraná almost every day at lunch (it´s the most popular soda here in Brasil, so good!!) 

And that´s soooo exciting about Amanda Friaca! It´s a bummer that I won´t be able to see her before I leave but I am soooo excited for her!! Could you send me her email address? :) 

About the t-shirts, yah, if you could just bring them with you that would be great :) I don´t think any boxes will get here in time if you mail them now. 

Well, I emailed Sister Johnson (who´s home now) and asked her what she´s going to do about winter semester. So, if you could just look at some apartments that would be great but don´t sign anything, unless you feel like you really need to. Thanks so much for all the time and effort you´re putting in to do this. 

Oh, and tomorrow is the Mission Counsel so I´ll call Pres. Nogueira today and ask him to have an interview tomorrow. Thanks for the heads up :)

Thanks so much Mom for all that you´re doing, it´s sure a big help. and don´t worry about spring housing yet :)

That´s so cool about the Korean choir during the women broadcast. They show the womens broadcast this Saturday morning :) I´m so excited to see it and General Conference as well! It´s going to be so great! 

Aahh, tell Grandpa happy birthday and give him a big hug from me!

Things are going really well here and I´m excited to work even more with the members. We started the 21 Day Promise (have you guys heard about it?) with some of the members. It´s really cool. They read specific scriptures and pray for 21 days for 21 names to be able to accept an invitation to hear the missionaries. It´s from a General authority, I don´t remember who..

Glad to hear that you are doing well and that you´re staying busy. I´m sure it must be really great to share you testimony every day. you´re teaching D+C right? 

I´m liking my new area. It´s pretty different but I´m getting used to it :)

I absolutely LOVED the pictures of Baby Guy! He´s so adorable! I can´t wait to meet him! He´s sooo cute!

Well, there´s no one in the streets because it´s a pretty rich area and everyone is working. But, we just have to work more with the members :)

Well, the time´s up but I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!!

Sister Hicks

Greetings from Jardim Oceania October 6, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Well, this week was a little bit hard but this week will be better! It was so great to listen to General Conference and to be spiritually fed. 

It was so great to see the picture of Grandma and Grandpa at Grandpa´s birthday get together. I´m so glad to hear that they are doing well and they looked great in the photo :)

Oh, so the AP just called and said that we are actually going to stay in the old area, Manaíra because an elder is going to receive a greenie tomorrow and they´re going to work in Oceania! Wow, one week working in our new area and now we get switched again! aah! but it´ll all work out :)

Mom: I got the package, the Ensigns, and the Church News article! Thank you sooo much! I´m so glad that they got here so fast and like always, it´s always the best thing ever, receiving packages! 

That´s so cool that you got to see so many returned missionary sisters at the Provo temple! That must have been a great session. 

Thanks for buying the tshirts as well, you´re the best!

Well, I talked to Pres. Nogueira at the Mission Counsel on Tuesday and he said that we would do the endorsement thing for  BYU and when I called on Friday he said that he had done it, so it should work now. Let me know. 

Well, this week was a litle rough, the very few investigators that said they would go to conference (which was at the Stake Center (not very far away, about a 10 min. bus ride) didn´t go...but it was definitely a huge spiritual burst that I needed.

Glad to hear you went to Hire´s and got an asiago bagel at Rich´s! Mmmm...

Dad: Glad to hear that you had a great time fishing. You´ll have to send some photos when you get a chance. I´m sure it was nice to have some time with Kimball as well. 

I´m so happy to hear that Grandpa and Grandma are better. That was so sweet of you to give them a blessing. I´m sure that meant a lot to them. 

That´s really cool that you went to the Conf. Center as well to watch Priesthood! I´m sure it was great to be there! A sister that finished her mission about 3 weeks ago here in João Pessoa sent photos of her and a few other missionaries from our mission that just got home inside the Conf. Center! It was so crazy to see them all together! 

Bryan: Loved the Norah story. Wow, she is just so smart. I can´t believe she has grown up in just a few short months! Sounds like she got some good genes :)

Well, this week Sister Chauque and I truly experienced a miracle. So, we were knocking doors in the new part of our area (that was the Bessa Ward) and no one, literally no one, wanted to hear our message. We even knocked doors and he was an atheist, in Brasil! What?! Anyway, we were kind of discouraged but kept on knocking. Well, then, we knocked on a door and a middle-aged lady opened the gate and just peeked out one eye. 

She said, "Hello?"
We said, "Hi, we´re missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We just have an invitation for you.
"(Oh, sidenote, her two dogs were barking like crazy and it was pretty hard to hear us)
And then to our surprise, she asked, "Do you two want to come in?" 
And I was jumping for joy in my head, "Hallejulah!"

Well, we sat down and started talking to her. We explained that we were missionaries and we started talking about the importance of faith in Jesus Christ. We talked a little bit and shared a scripture with her. Then, she started to tear up and explained how she was really struggling. Her husband, of 35 years, had recently left her for another woman. She then told us that we were 2 angels that had been sent to her. She said, "I don´t even know why I opened the door. I just opened the door and let you two in." 

My testimony was strengthed so much in that moment that the Lord is truly preparing His children to hear our message. And we are His messengers, His angels. I´m so grateful to be a missionary and to be able to see miracles each and every day. I know that we can all see miracles each and every day. We just need to have faith and look for them. 

Another thing that touched me this week was during General Conference. There were quite a few General Authorities that spoke on the power of family prayer. I remembered of my growing up and how you two, Mom and Dad, always called us to say the family prayer and it became a habit. I couldn´t sleep or leave for school without saying prayer. Thank you for your example and for your patience for so many years. I now see and recognize the change that it has made in my life. 

Well, I got to go but I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!

Sister Hicks

Monday, September 22, 2014

Greetins from Manaira September 17, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

So, as the title suggests, I was transfered and now i´m in Manaíra. It´s the same zone and stake but just a different area. I went on exchanges a long time ago (in December) when I was a sister leader trainer. Also, now  every zone has 2 Zone Leaders that are elders and 2 Zone leaders that are sisters. And I was called to be a  Sister Zone Leader. And like the elders, my companion is the other Sister Zone Leader. Her name is Sister Chauque and she´s from Argentina. She´s so great. She was Sister Maciel´s trainer. Sister Maciel always talked about how great she is. I´m super excited and I never imagined that I would be called to be a Sister zone leader (now it´s called zone leader, not sister leader trainer) Also, Sister Stolk finally was transfered from Campina Grande and I saw her at the bus station when we were waiting for everyone. It was so great to see her. 

So, Manaíra is one of the richest areas in our mission. It´s basically so apartment buildings and it´s where the rich people in a João Pessoa live. So, it´ll definitely be a different experience but I´m really excited to learn and grow in this new area. We live in an apartment and from the looks of it, it´s pretty nice. Also, President Nogueira lives in our ward! What?! :)

Glad to hear that the weather will get better. It rained so much this past week that I caught a cold but I´m feeling much better now. 

 I´ll see the sister Sunday (stake conference) and I´ll talk to her about the rings.  Thanks for looking that up and I´ll get her ring size.

To sign up for winter classes at  BYU you just have to log onto my BYU account. I think registration is at the end of October but I don´t remember exactly. And spring term I don´t have to register until the winter. 

If you guys have time when you go out to Utah, could look at some apartments in Provo. Maybe Hannah Vinchur could help because she´s out there. 

That was a cool story you shared about the sister going on a mission so fast. 

 I don´t remember really well who is Richie Todd but maybe if I saw a pic I would remember.

I hope the ward conferences are going well. Our stake will have stake conference this weekend. I´m excited to see all the members from my old area because it´s the same stake. 

Lindsey: Loved the blog post! Everyone looks great!

Well I don´t have much time to write this week but I´ll try to send photos on Monday

I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!!

Sister Hicks

Manaira Mania September 22, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

First off, Mom and Dad, I´m sooooo excited that you guys are going to come! Literally it´s going to be sooo much fun. I can´t wait for you two to meet the members that I love so dearly here. It´s going to be really great. 

Well,  Thursday was really hard. Thursday was when a  big group of American sisters went home because their 18 months were up. I always looked up to them as my big sisters in the mission field, Sister Johnson ( we lived together in Queimadas), Sister Mitchell (she was my companion as a Sister Leader trainer when I was first called), and other sisters: Sister Woodland, Sister  Herrick, Sister Seal, Sister Sciamarella, Sister Morgan, and lots of other sisters. I was there when Sister Woodland and Sister Morgan left the apartment in Manaíra and I talked to Sister Johnson when she was at the mission office. I cried because some of my very best friends in the mission finished their missions. And now, I´m one of the oldest sisters in the mission. It is so crazy how fast the time flies. I feel like it was just yesterday that I arrived and met all of these great sisters. But at least I will be able to see them when I get back because the majority of them  study at BYU. But it´s a really weird feeling...

Ok, first off, to answer your questions:
To register for classes you have to enter into my BYU account (I´m pretty sure I wrote down my account name and password before I left home). I think I already "planned" more or less what classes I was thinking about taking. I don´t remember a much but I was thinking about taking Doutrine and Convenants, Biology, and Calculus, and Ballet (I don´t remember the number exactly, I think it´s  300 something). But ask  Taylor, Kimball, or Bryan to help, or maybe Hannah because she´s out there right now. 

So,  now that those sisters have arrived home I´ll be able to talk to them to see where they´ll live. I would love to live with one of them and for me right now the priority is so an apartment for Winter semester and when I´m out there I´ll get everything organized for spring term. And I will send some of the sisters that I´m thinking of living with an email next week now that they´re home and ask them what they´re going to do.  

I don´t have  many priorities in an apartment. It would be nice if it´s not too far from  campus. I don´t remember what is east and west but I think it´s south of campus where a  lot of people live (where Kimball and Taylor lived). For me it would be great if there´s internet access in the apartment. Other than that  just an apartment that has a good social reputation (haha, ask the boys and Hannah because I don´t have any idea). 

 Well, I hope this helped a little. I know it´s a lot to do and thank you so much for getting all this stuff ready for me. Thank you :)

Oh, Mom, before I forget, since you´re going to go out to Utah, Sister Sayonara (she lived in the same house as me in Cabedelo and now is here in Manaíra as well) would like a T-shirt from BYU. She´s a size Medium. If you could buy one at the bookstore that would be great :) oh and my first companion, Sister Marschall would like one as well, she´s a size small. Thanks Mom :) (Just the loose fitting t-shirts that I have would be great, thanks Mom

 I still haven´t received the box but I should get it soon. Probably at the next Mission Counsel meeting which is the first Tuesday in October :)

 That´s really cool about the Meet the Mormons video that the Church made. Can´t wait to see it!

Oh, I loved the photo of Greg from the plane pull :)

 So, on Thursday morning we had district meeting and Sister Chauque and I gave the  training. We talked about opening an area because there are 3 sister companionships in our zone that are opening areas. It was really great because we got a lot of good feedback and afterward some of the sisters came up to us and said that they were really excited to be in the zone with us and felt that the training was exactly what they needed to hear. 

So story from the new ward, well let´s just say that there are some pretty well off members in our ward. It´s pretty crazy how fancy some of the members´ apartments and houses are. But it´s also interesting to see the difference as well. In the ward there´s a neighborhood called São José and it´s a very humble neighborhood. You just cross one road and a bridge over a small river and it´s like night and day. São José isn´t my area but we help with reactivation in the neighborhood because there are a lot of inactives that live there. But really, it´s so crazy how you just cross one road and it´s completely different. But the neighborhood in my area is called Jardim Oceania. The craziest part is that it´s like a desert during the day. In all the other areas there were always a lot of people walking in the streets so we were able to find a lot of new investigators  just talking to everyone in the street. And the very few people that we talk to in the street don´t even live in our area. They just clean and take care of the apartments in our area. I think for every 10 people we talk to,  just one of them lives in our area. It´s really different. 

Dad: I´m so excited that you and Mom are going to come to pick me up. It´s going to be really great. I´m so excited for you to meet all the members here. :)

Hope the conferences are going well. We had Stake Conference yesterday and it was so great to see the members from the Cabedelo Ward (because it´s the same stake). And one of my recent converts received the Melcezedek priesthood yesterday! 

Bryan: Glad to hear that you are doing well and staying busy. Have fun in Chicago!

Lindsey: AAh, I´m so happy to hear that Freya is doing well and I can´t believe how  grown up Norah is! Please send photos when you can :)

Kelsey: AAh, I can´t believe Baby Guy is already trying to sit up. He´s getting so big. Please send photos when you get a chance. :)

Taylor: Hope you are doing well. Please know that I pray and think of you often. How are your classes going? How are your professors? Any crazies?

So, Sister Chauque and I are teaching a family that are going to get married and  be baptized. It´s really cool because they have been going to church for a few months now and are very close to getting married. It´ll probably be in the middle of October. It has always been a goal of mine to marry a couple and baptize the whole family :) The dad´s name is Ronaldo and the mom´s name is Solange and they have  3 children, Maria Luisa (14 years old), Maria Clara (9 years old) and Gabriel (5 years old). It´s really interesting because a few months ago Ronaldo prayed and asked for spiritual guidance and I think it was about two days later that the sisters knocked on his door. And for the first while  Solange didn´t like the sisters at all and didn´t want to hear the message. But now, everyone is going to church and things are much better. Please pray for Solange because  she´s trying to quit smoking and drinking coffee and it´s been very hard. But yesterday she didn´t smoke at all! 

I´m really excited to serve in this new area. I know it´ll be a lot different but we´ll just have to work differently and a lot with the members. Sister Chauque and I are getting along great. We laugh all the time and we have a lot of time to get to know each other during the day as we´re walking from appointment to appointment :) 

 Well, I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!!

Thanks for all the love and support,
Sister Hicks

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Greetings from Wet and Rainy Cabedelo September 8, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

It was so great to get all of your guys´emails, I´m glad to hear that you are all doing so well! I absolutely loved the pictures from Freya´s blessing. Everyone looks so great! And Lindsey, you´re hair is getting so long! :)

So as the title suggests, it´s been raining a lot these past few days. We decided that today we´re going to cook some Ramen noodles and make popcorn and watch a church film in our beds for P-day :) 

Dad: Glad to hear that the Dallas trip is going well. So just to let you know, I would just like to visit the places where I served here in my mission. I wasn´t even thinking about another place and I would prefer just spending a few days here. But I`m so grateful that you guys are going to come out. It´ll be a lot of fun. 

haha, Dad, you have to do the ice bucket challenge! I want to see a video of you doing it when I get back :)

What?! William and Kate are expecting again!!!! Aaaaah, that´s so exciting! Thanks for keeping me updated!

Before I forget, there´s a sister in the ward that wants a CTR ring like mine. It´s thin and silver. She wanted you to look online to see the prices for her. Let me know what you see and how much. 

Thanks for looking up the EFY stuff for me. I don´t know exactly what I want to do next summer but I was thinking about doing EFY. 

So, that´s good that Bro. Stolk emailed you. I definitely want to room with her spring term but I don´t have to worry about that until I get back...

I´m excited for you guys to come as well, the time is passing by so fast! Oh, and just to remember, next week I´ll write on Wednesday because it´s transfers. I think I´ll stay here in Cabedelo and Sister Maciel will be transfered because she has 1 more transfers here in Cabedelo than me, but who knows! 

Bryan: I laughed out loud when I read your email about Norah saying that there´s nothing interesting about cellphones, that truly is what happens when you are born in 2009! haha, oh Norah... 

Oh, you all look so great in the pictures from the blessing. It´s so crazy how fast your family is growing Bryan! But it´s sure a beautiful family!

Lindsey: Thanks for sending me the great blog post and the email is well. I got it just now. Glad to hear that my parents have been a help and I don´t doubt my mom inspecting my dad´s dusting job, and it´s a thorough inspection at that! :) (Love you Mom)

Kimball: Glad to hear that seminary is going well. I´m sure you are such a great teacher! What are the ages? Is it all four grades of high school or just one grade? Let me know what cool insights you have this week. :) Tell Kelsey and Guy I say hi :)

Norah: Thank you soooo much for your email! You´re the best! There are parrots here in Brasil. They are lots of different colors but the most common  are green parrots. This week I taught lots of people and as a missionary we teach people the Gospel :) I love you sooooo much Norah!

So, yesterday was truly a miracle. It was raining so much but we still managed to have investigators at church! Two brothers, Douglas and Celso, came to church. They are here in Cabedelo until December because they are doing some test to enter into the Navy. But they accepted baptism for this Sunday, please pray for them!

Also, Jorge (our recent-convert) brought a friend to church yesterday. His name is Sandro. And he also accepted baptism for this Sunday as well! He is so great and it´s so awesome to see the missionary fire that recent-converts have! Pray for Sandro as well! 

Also, a recent-convert from the other area in our ward (the other sisters) brought a friend to church. Her name is Jessica and she´s 14 years old. Since she´s only 14 she has to go to church for 3 months before she can be baptized but we´re going to start teaching her as well! 

We had another investigator, Mike, come to church but he left during the sacrament meeting and never came back! It was so weird and yesterday after church we went to his house but no one was home...

Yesterday was Brasil´s Independence day and it just poured down rain, but the show must go on! Cabedelo had a huge parade and we saw the Brazilian Army and Navy getting ready and we caught a part of the parade as well. I snapped a photo of the calvarymen to send to Greg, lots of pretty horses. This computer doesn´t seem to be working to send photos but I`ll send photos next week! 

Last night we ate dinner at Jorge´s house. He caught lobster this week and fried some for us last night. It was really good! It tastes a lot like shrimp, he also made cuz cuz which is one of my favorite foods. It´s made from corn but I really don´t know how to explain it. Look it up online. Search cuz cuz nordeste (Northeast, because the people here make cuz cuz different than the Brazilians in the south) :)

Well, I´m doing well and loving it here in Cabedelo. Things are really starting to pick up. I´m anxious to see what will happen this transfer but I´ve learned now that you can have success in every area. :)

I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!

Sister Hicks

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Independence Day in Brasil September 1, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Well, as the subject suggests, this Sunday (Sept 7) is Brasil´s independence day. Cabedelo is going to have a huge parade and everything. It´s crazy to think that a year ago I was in Queimadas for the independence day. Just thought I would keep you guys in the loop :)

Well, I accepted the ice bucket challenge and on Monday night I took a cold ice bucket shower :) And then I challenged Sister Maciel, Sister Sayonara, and Sister Marschall. The three of them did it this week as well. If I have time I´ll send photos today. I took videos as well but it doesn´t work to send videos. But one day you´ll see the videos :) But, wow was it cold :)

Oh, and I can´t believe Norah started kindergarten today! Loved the photo!

Mom: Glad to hear that Eythan´s wedding went well. I´m sure you were a big help to Sister Bruton. You´ll have to send me some pictures when you can. 

Well, this week we found out that Eli uses marijuana and crack...his grandmother told us. So, we talked to him and he says that he wants to stop. He´s being using drugs for 5 years. Sister Maciel and I thought that he might be using drugs because he was never at home in the evening. But yah, it´s a little complicated. He really needs medical help because it´s such a strong addiction. But, keep him in your prayers this week. 

So, I was thinking about when you guys come. So, probably Wednesday (the 10th) we would stay in João Pessoa and then Thursday we could spend the day in Campina Grande/Queimadas. It´s about a an hour and a half car ride (we would just grab a taxi) and Thursday night it would probably make more sense to spend the night in a hotel in Campina Grande. Then Friday we could spend the day in João Pessoa again. This was just what I was thinking. What day were you guys planning on us heading home? What do you guys think?

I think I´ve heard about that video "Because of Him" but I don´t think I´ve ever seen it. Sounds like a pretty good video. 

Aah, if you go to Briar Woods to drop the cookies off, Mr. Sarmento and Bren that I say hi. I sent an email to Bren today, I hope it´s the right email address. 

That sounds like a good idea to do the semester to semester until my other friends get back to BYU.

Oh, Mom, can you look at the EFY website to see when you have to start the application to be an EFY counselor. I would like to apply to be a counselor for this coming summer. Thanks :)

Good luck with all the ward conferences, I´m sure it´ll be great. Can´t wait to read your talk. Send it to me when you get a chance.

Thanks for answering my question. That makes more sense. Wow, it´s amazing how much we can learn and how much we still have to learn. 

Thanks for always answering my questions :) Whenever I don´t know something, I always think, oh I´ll just email Dad on Monday. 

I got the photos! Jasmine is super cute! I hope you´re doing well! 

That must have been fun to have the bachelor party at the house! You´ll have to send pics when you can! Hope all is well!

So, last night the bishop´s wife offered us dinner. Her name is Rosiane and she´s so sweet. She´s always offering us food. Last night I thanked her and I said wow, you always offer us food, it´s so nice. She also served a mission so she knows how it is, but she said when she serves the missionaries she remembers that she´s truly serving Christ. I really liked what she said. 

Well, I have to go but I love you all the MOSTIEST!!

Sister Hicks

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Greetings from CABEDELO!! August 20, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Well, this week was a great week. Things are really starting to work out well in our area. I started giving a free English class this week and we were able to find new investigators. And the best part is that Bishop Paulo is a teacher so we went to the school where he works and went classroom to classroom to announce the class. It´s been really interesting :)

Loved the photo that you sent of you and Mom at the Windjammer, Tradewind (whatever it´s called) :) cafe. haha, wow it seems like so long ago that we went on that cruise, the Radiance of the Seas. Hope you guys are having a fun time. 

I hope that you have been able to relax a little bit and get away from at least some of the work that you have to do. Sounds like you´ve been pretty busy with work work and church work. Hope you´re having a good time though. 

We gave the lobsters to our Ward Mission Leader because he was a cook and they cooked them but then they never game them to us, but it´s all good. Jorge gave us fish, already cut up and ready. It´s funny, everytime we pass by to teach him or just pass by, he always wants to make us food. Yesterday we were passing by and he had just made a "vitamina de abacate" or in English, avocado smoothie. yah, so here in Brasil, avocado is something that you eat sweet. They make this smoothie with milk, avocados, and sugar. haha, I was explaining to Sister Maciel that in the US we eat avocados with salt. haha, she was completely disgusted, "Avocados?! With salt and pepper?!" haha, but avocado smoothie is actually pretty good. 

hey Dad, I have a question for you, so I was reading this morning in D+C 107 about the priesthood and I wanted to ask you about verse 16 that talks about how you have to be a literal descendent of Aaron. Could you explain that more? Thanks :)

Mom: Glad to hear that you guys are having a great time. Oh, before I forget, I got your cards and...I got the package of Old Navy shirts from March! thank you thank you thank you! It actually came at the perfect time when I was really needing new shirts! 

Oh, and it was perfect that you emailed about the tickets but the mission secretary called this week and was asking about what airport I wanted to land in or if you guys were going to come to pick me up. yes, will definitely have to start planning but it´s good now that I know for sure that you guys will come cause I have to tell the secretaries to not buy a ticket. I cried a little after they called and asked me what airport I wanted to land in, it really hit me that the time has gone by so fast. 

Well, I talked to a few sisters from BYU in my zone and they said that there´s still time. It would be great if you could look at some apartments in October if you guys go to conference. Also, these sisters return home in September so I can ask them too when they get back. 

Oh, and thanks for starting to buy new clothes as well :) that´ll be great.

Bryan and Lindsey: Wow, I really can´t believe that Norah is going to be in kindergarten. It seems like yesterday that we drove up to Ithaca when she was blessed. Glad to hear that she´s doing well. 

Taylor: Glad to hear that you´re doing well! We´ll definitely have to listen to some Brazilian music when I get back! Wow, I can´t believe you´re going to start your senior year of college, what?! Send some photos of you and your girlfriend :)

Well, please pray for Eli and Jessica. They are two investigators that we are working with. They are really great, they just need a bigger desire to be baptized this Sunday! But I´ll write more next week about them! 

I hope you guys liked the photos that I sent as well! I have been trying to send more photos!

I love you all the MOSTIEST!

Sister Hicks

Monday, August 11, 2014

LOBSTERS and Happy Father's Day (Brasil) August 11, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Well, this week went really well. We had another baptism! woohoo! Things are starting to pick up in our area. So Jorge was baptized yesterday. His mom, Severina, is an inactive sister but she came to church yesterday for the first time in a very long time. It´s so great to see members come back to church. Well, as you guys saw in the photos, he gave us about 11 or 12 lobsters to eat. He´s a real pro fisherman and gave us these lobsters :) We hid two of them on the other sisters´ study table, haha when they arrived home they moved the bag that was hiding them and they flipped out! haha, it was a pretty great prank :)

Mom: Loved the pictures that you sent from the cooking class! Looks like the food turned out really well! Oh and the small box that you sent still hasn´t arrived. And thanks for putting more money in my account as well. 

So about classes and housing, I´ll talk to some other sisters during district meeting tomorrow and I´ll let you know what I think. I really have no idea where I´ll live or classes or anything! aah! It seems so far away! 

haha, that´s so funny about Greg, I don´t know why we still doubt him, he really does know best! 

Wow, Jonathan Henderson came home, I had forgotten that he was on a mission, that´s so cool! 

and wow, have so much fun in Bermuda! Be sure to send me photos! 

Dad: Sounds like the talk you gave about the stripling warriors´ mothers went really well. I had never stopped and thought about how their lives had been. Really interesting point. :)

And I really liked the quote that you included from Elder Cannon. It´s interesting to think about being a part of this generation. 

Taylor: Hey Taylor! Haven´t heard from you in a long time! Hope you´re doing well and know that I´m thinking and praying for you! Keep me updated on how the new apartment life is!

Well, Thursday morning we had our zone meeting and I found out that Sister Stolk, my "daughter" in the mission was called as a Sister Leader Trainer, I´m so excited for her! Aah! I asked the APs to do a phone conference so that I would be able to talk to her! It was so great to talk to her for a few minutes! She´s still in Campina Grande in the same zone!

Well, I don´t have much time to write but I hope you all liked the photos I sent. haha, Sister Maciel and I like to goof around. 

Well, I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!

Sister Hicks