Monday, March 24, 2014

Rayssa Was Baptized!! March 24, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

So this week was soooo great! I can´t even begin to explain all the miracles that happened this week. First of all, Rayssa was baptized. She was super nervous but everything turned out just fine. The other investigators that we had at church didn´t really pan out but Rayssa was baptized and it was great!
Mom: So to start off, that was soooo cool about Greg and the states championship! haha, Greg truly is the man!! haha, oh Gregus, just rocking that baskbetball tournament! Tell him congrat from me :)

Wow, sounds like you had a pretty crazy week this week but sounds like everything went well. I´m glad even the twice-baked brownies turned out well :) The "gang" get-together with the Simmons, Fullers, and everyone else sounds like it was fun too :) Tell them all that I say hi. That was really sweet what Pres. Simmons said, cool that they´re planning trek too :)
I liked what you said about being convicted for being kind. :)
I can´t believe Jaclyn is back from the mission! haha, that´s great that she´s speaking in the normal "mission sing-song voice" haha
So the best part of the week was Rayssa´s baptism! It was such a great experience, she was really nervous and hesitant but it was truly the hand of the Lord in our work because she was baptized and everything went fine.
I´ll be sure to send more photos, now that I´m in an area that has a way better computers I´m going to start emailing photos more.
Dad: Wow, I hope you have  great trip in Mobile. Eat lots of grits too :) I´ve been thinking about sacrifice a lot lately and during District Meeting this past week, I gave a training/message on sacrifice. It truly is an eternal principle.
Kelsey: Loved the pictures of the nursery! So cute! Oh my gosh, I can´t wait for baby Guy to be born, and I know that you guys definitely can´t wait! Don´t forget to send lots of photos for your lil sister in-law!

We truly have a ton of member help. Yesterday was super cool. the Area President sent a list of less-active families in all the stakes and every ward received 20 families to visit. Yesterday, the Priesthood holders went out and visited (or tried to visit) all of the families. It´s amazing to see how much this ward wants to help! They are so great!

Kimball: I can´t believe how much snow you guys are getting to and I´m so excited for you guys! Aahhh!
São Paulo is about a 3 1/2 to 4 hour plane trip from my mission, but there are a lot of missionaries here from São Paulo. It´s funny to hear how their accent is different from here in the Northeast.
Lindsey: haha, that´s so cool that Norah is taking Irish step-dancing classes! haha, you´ll have to try and take a video for me!

I´ve heard about the movie Frozen but I don´t think it´s super popular here, haha but I don´t think I would really know :)

Aah, that´s so sweet about Alice wanting to play with "Noah" haha, love those girls!
Bryan: Loved the story of kid tracting, that´s right, train those future sister missionaries early :)

So a few funny stories from this week. so Sister Cameron and I were talking to this young man in the street, his name is Igor and he went to church yesterday and he´s going to be baptized this Sunday. He´s 18 years old and is actually dating a less active young woman in the ward. So, during the first contact he said that he "lost" his brother because he went to jail and I understood wrong, and I thought that he died in prison or something like that, so I was talking about the importance of baptism so that we can live with our family members again... well he just went along with it and afterwards we talking to Venis (his girlfriend) and she said, "No, his brother didn´t die, he´s just in prison." haha, well just a little awkward...
So another funny story, Sister Cameron was sharing a scripture that she read during personal study and she said, "This scripture reminds me of that animated scripture video when..." Well that just started a HUGE discusion on how we learned the Gospel because of the animated scripture videos, haha let´s just say that we reminisced about some great scripture videos together! haha
Another funny story, last night we had a meeting with all the presidents of the auxilaries (like Ward Counsel) but just to talk about the ward activities that we´re doing to do every 2 weeks. It´s fun to see that food is important in the Mormon world, it truly is a worldly thing. When we started to talk about activities that involved food, ie cultural nights, cooking nights, etc. everyone got excited and said "Well. if there´s food of course everyone will go to that activity!" haha, some things don´t every change :)
Well, this week was also great because Luzinette´s husband, Edilson (Luzinette is a recent convert) went to church, finally! He has a baptism marked for this Sunday too but he still doesn´t feel super ready!
Also, Jeremias, a young man who´s 20 years old went to church also and just loved it! He´s going to be baptized on Sunday too!
If you guys could pray for these three people it would be great! They are so awesome!

Well, I love you all so much and the work is moving along so fast here!

I miss you all and love you all the MOSTIEST!

Sister Hicks

Monday, March 17, 2014

9 Month Mark . . . I can't even believe it!!

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

So yes, Wednesday we´ll be the official 9 month mark. I can´t even believe it. The time passes so fast. I feel like I´ve learned so much but I still have a lot, and I mean  A LOT, more to learn. (In response to your question Mom, no I don´t have a return date or anything yet)

So the baptism we had this week, let me explain how it happened. So, last Monday during P-day, the bishop´s wife called the other sisters and said, "Sisters, we have a baptism! We have a baptism! Come to my house at 6 and I´ll explain everything." Well the bishop and his family live in our area, so we went over there and turns out that a member that lives on the same street as them has a granddaughter who has gone to church for years and decided she wanted to be baptized. Theh granddaughter´s name is Thaynar. So Thaynar´s mom is not a member but she is totally open to letting her children chose their religion. Thaynar´s sister who is 10 years old was already baptized but their mom let them decide when. So last Sunday Thaynar decided that she wanted to be baptized. It was truly answer to our prayers. Two Fridays ago, Sister Cameron and I fasted for a baptism for the following week and Sunday we didn´t have anyone to baptize for the following Sunday. Then Monday rolled around and this miracle happened. It was a great baptism and she is such a cute girl! Love the whole family so much!

I´m so glad to hear that stake conference was such a success. I have no doubt that Dad´s talks were just great and the story I loved the most was Sister Bradley.

Oh, thanks again for sending the packages! You´re the best! haha, I hope I get the basketball shorts, or maybe you´re right, maybe some postal worker is enjoying some nice basketball shorts, haha, who knows. 

haha, I can´t believe how many people know about that back rubbing story, definitely one of my favorites from the mission so far, haha, I´ll never forget that meal. So random story from this week, so we were in the front of an investigator´s house and this crazy man comes up to us and just starts talking nonsense, even the investigators weren´t understanding, and they´re Brazilian! haha, he was so crazy and he was touching my shoulder and then out of the blue touched Sister Cameron´s head and he was just being crazy, but anyway, it´s amazing the people you meet, or the people that talk to you in the street, haha, very interesting...but at the same time we meet so many amazing people too, :)

haha, yah, the baptisms here are a little crazy here sometimes but we have a saying here that is "Só batiza!" "Just baptize!" haha, we say that all the time :) I love my mission and it´s such a blessing to serve in Brasil. 

So now, each zone just has one sister leader trainer so I just am over the sisters in my zone and there´s just the four of us so I don´t travel. If I get transfered to another zone that has more sisters I would travel and go on more exchanges but it´s nice too to just have the 4 of us. 

I´ll ask Sister Stolk to have her mom send the pattern for you, it´s a super cute stocking :)

And thanks again for sending the packages! 

I´m so glad to hear that everything went well with stake conference. It´s always a little bit crazy with the tech stuff too. That´s cool that you did a Q and A session. I´m sure that went over really well. What were some of the questions that people asked? Our stake conference is in about a month. I can´t wait for General Conference! 

That´s so interesting how much your mission has changed. It´s so interesting to see the growth and changes in every mission. There are a few members in our ward that remember when there was just one stake here in Paraíba (the state) and now there´s at least 7 stakes.

I loved what you said about prayer and fasting, scripture study, and obedience. I couldn´t have said it better, that´s really the foundation of great missionary work. 

I also really liked the story about Nephi and the sacrifice that he had to make. It just so happens that I was studying sacrifice this morning too. It´s a really interesting gospel principle. 

Oh tell Grandma, Grandpa, Becky and Claudia that I say hi and that I love and miss them! :)

Taylor: Congrats bud! That´s so cool about the second interview and the Spain study abroad! That sounds so exciting! haha, yah you´ll be the real phil dunphy! haha, I´m so happy to hear that you´re doing well and I can´t believe you´re almost done with your bachelors! That´s so exciting! What else is new? 

Lindsey:Sounds like you guys are having a great time in Denver! That´s so nice to spend some time with your family and some time alone with Bryan too! 

haha, I loved the quotes from Norah, I always laugh out loud in the internet cafe and I think everyone is judging me haha :)

aah, you´ll have to send lots of pictures of Andrew and of Norah and Alice too! haha :)

Well, this week was really great, it was crazy we had 10 investigators at church yesterday and 6 of them have baptisms marked for this Sunday. (The others can´t because they´re not married or not over 16 years old) but if you guys could pray for them that they´ll be baptized Sunday that would be great. Their names are Ramon, Eduardo, Everton,(3 16 year olds) Raissa (Fatima´s (recent convert) granddaughter), Alison (a man), and Jessica. 

The work is great and I´m so happy to be here. I´ll try to be better in writing the everyday things that happen. 


Sister Hicks

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Geovanna foi Baptizada!! March 10,2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,
So, as the subject suggests, Geovanna was baptized yesterday! It was super great and I´m so glad that President Nogueira gave permission :) But it was a crazy story of how she was baptized. Ok, so it´s yesterday morning. Sister Cameron and I were going to all of the houses of our investigators who said they would go to church and NO ONE was at home or if they were at home they were sleeping. The only two people that went to church were two young women who are 15 years old and are more interested in the US and Australia than they are in going to church and being baptized but anyway...we get to church, 45 minutes late and completely sweaty, yesterday it was 34 degrees celcius, super hot! Anyways, it´s the end of sacrament meeting, getting ready for the baptism, and what did we forget? We forgot to fill the baptismal font, yep, not a drop of water was in the font. So while I was telling Geovanna that it would be at night, Sister Cameron started to fill the font with buckets and so I didn´t know. Then I realized that we were just going to fill the font in the moment so I went to help. Well 10 minutes later I realized, "Hey, we need to tell Geovanna to change her clothes." Well, she had already left Sister Cameron and I RUN to go get her and we ended up having to go all the way to her house. We tell her, "Hey, the baptism is right now, get your stuff." haha, so Geovanna, her brother and sister, Suellen and Jefferson, and their two little friends went with us. As we were crossing the street at the cross walk, the car behind the car stopped rammed into the car and thank goodness the break was on and no one was hurt. (Miracle that no one was hurt, us and 6 children). We get to the church and everything went fine for the baptism but it was definitely a crazy baptism to say the least! Haha, so my crazy baptism story for the week.
Oh, to start off, thanks Mom for putting more money in my account! You´re the best! Today I´m going to buy some new shirts, haha, a lot of my shirts are getting to be a little ratty and sweat-stained...but the clothes here are super inexpensive, just 5 dollars for a shirt :) Oh and Mom, thanks for the 2 packages of snacks! You are absolutely the BEST MOM IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!! Sister Cameron didn´t know what goldfish were and she loves them now too :) Also, Oreos! the best things ever and peanut butter too! Sister Cameron loves you too! Thank you thank you thank you! I can´t think of any other snack that I want, maybe just starburst and skittles, haha, but really you´re the best mom ever! Thanks! Oh and thanks for the Valentine´s day cards, I loved them!
haha, I loved the pillow that you guys bought, haha, It´s definitely true of our family.... :)
I´m glad the wedding went well, that´s so funny that everyone was wearing black, that´s weird to wear black to a wedding, but you know it´s the South, they do their own thing, haha just kidding.
well, at least I didn´t have to give any more back rubs, but I will say that another member in the ward said, "Hey, I heard you give great back rubs!" haha but she was joking :)
Aah, my heart goes out to Grandma and Grandpa, I´ll be sure to keep them in my prayers. Send them my love :)
You go Greg! When is the tournament for basketball? Keep me updated and take lots of pictures!
Wow, I can´t believe that town has a population of 26, that´s crazy! But great story that you were able to share the Gospel with others :) Glad that you guys are able to use me as a conversation starter :)
Not surprised at all with Delta, haha, that´s just how Delta works and at least it´s not just me :)
I hope everything goes well with Stake conference, I don´t have any ideas in the moment, just emphasize the importance of the members and missionaries working together because it is absolutely crucial!
I´m glad to hear that everything is going well with work and baby prep! I can´t believe Kelsey is due in just one month! So crazy!
That´s so cool that you´re going to have someone that will work for you! Good luck in the search for someone, that´s super cool!
I liked what you said about testifying during the lessons, I´ve been trying to work on that too. I´ll remeber that for this week :)
I´m glad to hear that everything is in order for the baby! Ahhh! Just one month...or less! You have to send lots of pictures!
So, I haven´t noticed lots of differences in the church meetings...well, I don´t know why but most of the wards here start with Relief Society, not sacrament meeting.
And probably the companion that I´m the closest to is Sister Stolk. We spent three transfers together and she´s absolutely the best! love that girl! But, Sister Cameron is great too! We have so much fun together and I´m getting to know her better as well!
Aah, loved the video that you sent of Norah and Alice. I watched snipets of it and they are so cute!
Well, sorry this email is really short this week but I love you all soooo much and miss you all!
I love you the MOSTIEST!
Sister Hicks
PS I´ll send pictures of Geovanna´s baptism!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hello from Carnaval March 3, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

First off, Congrats Bryan and Lindsey! That´s so exciting that you guys are going to have another girl! Aahhh! I´m so excited for you guys! Congrats! 

So this week was pretty good. It wasn´t a crazy as a thought with Carnaval. Basically all of the big parties are close to the beach, in my area there were just a few street parties and little parades but nothing too big. the only thing that really impeded us was that all of the internet cafes were closed in our area so we called our zone leaders and we had to go to another area to use the internet. A lot of stores are closed today (my "snow" day today) because it´s a holiday.

So, I was wearing my Chaco´s when I banged my toe it was just dark so I didn´t see...haha but it´s totally fine, haha you would be horrified if you saw my feet, totally dry, cracked, and just full of dirt in the crevices because there´s so much sand and dirt, haha, I´ll definitely go with you to get a pedicure when I get back haha...

I can´t believe you guys got more snow! That´s crazy! haha, good ol Greg, the real worker in the family, jk :)

So with baptisms, they have to go to church at least 2 times before baptism, the first time to visit, and the second time they go to church and after church is the baptism! 

That´s cool about the article on sister missionaries, haha, we get bummed out when someone doesn´t accept baptism in the first street contact, haha, can´t even imagine it. 
Our schedule stayed the same, all of the members were asking us, you guys are going to stay inside right? We were like, "uh, no, we´re going to work!" :) haha

That´s so exciting about Amanda Friaca! Aahh! 

and I´m so glad that the fireside went well, I definitely want a copy of the talk you gave :)

haha, I´m glad the juneau´s are still getting good use out of the clothes :)  

haha, oh missionaries, it´s funny how now, I totally understand why sometimes the missionaries are late to dinner or other stuff, it´s amazing how you´re teaching a lesson and it just flies by...and you´re like, oh man, we need to RUN to lunch!

Oh, and you asked if I had some names.
So yesterday Raiana, she´s 22 years old, went to church with us and really liked it, she has a baptismal date for this sunday she just needs to receive an answer that this church is true. But one good thing is that her aunt is already a member. also, Larissa, her cousin went to church and has a baptismal date for this sunday too. 

Geovana is another girl who went to church. Her sister Suellen is super active and is 15 years old. Geovana has already gone to church lots of times (she´s only 10) so President Nogueira has to say yes, so please pray that he´ll say she can be baptized because she´ll have someone responsible to go to church with (her sister every week) 

I´m glad to hear that you have a little bit of a break today. that´ll be good. I can´t even imagine what it´s like on sunday. It sounds like it was pretty crazy yesterday. But I´m so excited that Liz is going to be set apart tonight, yah! 

aah, I feel so bad about your elbow but that is such a joke, "Yah, try not to shake too many hands..." ok, I´ll try not too, haha

I hope it feels better soon!

That´s so cool that you´re co-worker asked you to give a prayer at her wedding rehearsal dinner! That is really so special, when is the wedding? 

haha, it´s definitely pretty hot here, temperature wise and missionary wise! There´s a big thermometer in the center of area that tells the temperature. When we were walking this morning around 10 it was 32 degrees celcius. I don´t know exactly what that is in Faranheit but it´s pretty high...

Oh, and how are Grandma and Grandpa, I´ve been thinking about them lately. Please send them my love :)

haha, yah I heard that it gets pretty crazy at Carnaval but it´s been pretty laid back in my area but I´m sure on the beach it´s crazy. 

Congrats on passing the first interview cuts for the FBI internship! That´s so cool! I hope it continues to go well!

And that´s exciting about the Rent-a-Car job as well! You go bud! What else is new? 

Oh I liked the concert pic too! woo!!

Lindsey: Congrats Lindsey! I´m so excited for you! woohoo, another niece! 

I´m glad to hear that everyone´s feeling better now too. That must be a blessing!

Bryan: Congrats! So excited for you Bry Bry! And that´s so cool that Alice said her name for the first time! aah, they´re growing up so fast! 

Well, awkward story of the week. So on saturday we had lunch with a young single lady in our ward. She´s a little socially awkward but super sweet and nice. So, after lunch we asked her (like we ask everyone) "Is there anything we can do to help?" She then responded by saying she really needed a back massage because her back was really bothering her. I don´t know what I was doing but I wasn´t really paying attention. So the other three sisters (of course) didn´t want to so they all responded, "Oh, you should ask Sister Hicks, yah, ask her..." I then looked up, realized what was going on, and couldn´t believe it. She was like, oh just a minute, let me grab some cream, hahah so she goes grabs some cream and I had to give her a back massage, it was probably the most embarassing moment of my life. I was crying because it was so gross and the other three sisters were crying  because they were dying of laughter. And this poor sweet sister just asked, "What happened?" Lesson learned: Don´t ask what you can do to help...haha just kidding, but just be prepared for what people might say...

Anyway, I love you all the MOSTIEST! 

Sister Hicks