Monday, June 30, 2014


Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

Well, to start off, Dad, I wanted to wish you a very happy birthday today! And Happy Birthday Kimball! (on Wensday) :) I hope you two have a great birthday! 

Taylor: Yah, the World Cup is really affecting missionary work the world over. My friend who´s serving in Russia said that everyone is staying up late to watch the game and so waking up around 4 in the afternoon, haha!

Wow, I hope everything goes well with the move in to the  new place! You´ll have to send me some pictures once you get all moved in! 

Enjoy your last fews days in Spain!

 Glad to hear that Stake Conference is well. That´s a bummer that the router burned out and that you didn´t have much time but I´m sure you did a wonderful job! 

Wow, I can´t believe June has already ended as well. It flew by really fast! 

Give Grandma and Grandpa a huge hug when you see them from me. Tell them how much I love and miss them. 

haha, yah, it was definitely a blessing that Brasil won. Pretty crazy game but ended great. Funniest part about the game: So we watched the game at a member´s home with their whole family and the neighbor´s tv is about 2 seconds ahead, so during the penalty kicks we knew if the player had made a goal before we even saw it on the tv because the neighbors either yelled or kept quiet. haha, it was pretty funny :) And let´s just say Brazilians know how to yell during soccer :)

Mom: Wow, that´s interesting that Emily can´t leave home during the game. It´s probably because her mission is close to São Paulo and there are games being played there. But here in João Pessoa, there aren´t any World Cup games. But we won´t be allowed to watch the finals game on Sunday (if Brasil makes it to the finals) because well, it´s Sunday

I got the pink sweater in a different box than the shoes. I still haven´t gotten the talk but we have Zone Conference on Wednesday so I should get it then. I´m sure I`ll get the package with the Old Navy shirts soon. Heather Kern emailed me and said that she had sent a package in February and I still haven´t gotten it. I´m sure I`ll get it soon. :) Thanks again for sending the package!

Aah, I´m glad stake conference went well. haha, I can picture you crying during the chorus. (I didn´t even know that that hymn was so new, well not that new...) :)

haha, that´s so funny that you wrote about the electric fence collar during FHE because I was talking about that just yesterday with Sister Maciel. So, we have this electric racket looking thing to cool the mosquitos in our house and it obviously shocks you. haha, Sister Maciel was joking around yesterday and pretending to almost shock me. And that´s when I told her the story, haha, she laughed when I told her :)

You should definitely go downtown to see the fireworks. 4th of July here is the Brasil soccer game. I´m going to make brownies to bring to the member´s home and somehow I´m going to decorate the brownies with an American flag, I´m still planning it out but it should be good :)

Bryan: Congrats on the new bedroom! Looks great and I loved the pictures! 

haha, oh the Steve Jobs quote...

Well, this week went pretty well. Cida didn´t stop smoking but at least she went to Church again this week. Please pray that she´ll be able to stop smoking and drinking coffee this week :) And also that we´ll be able to find new investigators this week. Our goal for this month is 4-2-1 (4 baptisms, 2 of them being men, and 1 family) If you could pray that we would be able to reach our goal that would be great. 

So funny story of the week, last night as we were tracting one of our old investigators, Glaudênia saw us and came up to talk to us. Let´s just say that she was a little drunk...and she told us "Come to my house and pray for me, please!" haha, we went to her house and said that it had to be quick but that we would pray for her. Well, she asked for the two of us to pray at the same time and I told her it had to be just one. Well, I ended up praying and during the middle of the prayer she just starts talking and she´s like "Oh wow, you´re so sweaty!" Then she began to wipe the sweat off my face with hands (remember I was praying during all this) haha, it was so gross and I was like, "What? You can´t just rub off the sweat from other people´s faces!" haha, I didn´t really say that to her but let´s just say it was a pretty funny experience in the end. Oh, what people do when they´re drunk. 

Another cool story from the week: So Saturday night, Wellen, one of the sisters from the ward went out to teach with us. As we were walking her home she stopped at the bakery to buy bread and I was talking to her about how much I love the bread here in Brasil. Well, I guess I talked about the bread so much that when we got to her house her husband (who´s a bread deliverer) gave me two packages of bread! I was so excited! Then, we went to visit a  less active sister, Rosa, (she is soooo great and has such a strong spirit). As we walked in, I felt a prompting that I should give the bread to her. I knew that she didn´t have very much to eat and that she was barely making ends meet. So, I gave her the bread that I had and she was sooo happy and so grateful. I was reminded of that hymn, "Because I Have Been  Given Much." It was such a strong spiritual experience and reminded me of how much we truly are blessed.

Well, I love you all so much and hope that you all have a great week! 

I love you the MOSTIEST!

Sister Hicks

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Corn, Corn, Corn June 25, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

So the title of "corn, corn, corn" is because yesterday was São João (Saint John) here. It´s a Catholic holiday (which means it´s a Brazilian holiday) and it´s really big here in the Northeast. And the tradition is that you eat corn, and A LOT of corn. Boiled corn, roasted corn, corn cake, any corn dish that you can think of, I´m a little corned out. and the corn here is a little different, it seems like it´s starchier, it´s not as sweet, anyway, let´s just say it´s corn central here. 

Well, this week was transfers. Sister Maciel and I are still companions (woohoo!) and Sister Gonzales (from Peru) was transferred and Sister Marschall (my trainer) is here now. haha, third time that we´re living in the same house! And now I´m living with 3 Brazilians! Woohoo, first time in the mission!

Mom: Thanks so much for the package with the cute pink sweater! I love it! I wore it to church this Sunday! Oh and I got the card with the 52 Northern virginia sayings, haha, I was literally laughing out loud! I will probably get the other package next week :) Thank you sooooo much! You are literally the best mom! The only things I need - a member here asked if you could send maple extract (to make maple syrup) he said he would pay me. And if you can could you send more oreos :) My companion and the other sisters like them too :) So if you´re able to, that would be great, thank you!!!

I´m glad to hear that trek went so well. That would be great if you could get a copy of the dvd. 

Oh, and that was sooooo sweet of you to make the crack mix and give it to everyone, and the flowers as well! The girls loved them! 

João Paulo didn´t go to church. We´re going to have to cut him from our teaching pool but a woman named Cida and her granddaughter Tais went to church. If you can, pray that Cida will be able to stop smoking and stop drinking coffee, thanks :)

I´m glad to hear that Greg liked the balloons on his birthday and that Brother Sweeny is well.

Dad: Sounds like trek was a huge success! I´m sure everyone loved it! 
Don´t stress too much about stake conference. You´ll be great! I have no doubt about it!  Be sure to send me a copy of your talks, I´d love to read them :)

Send all my love to grandma and grandpa as well! 

Bryan: haha, Norah is so funny, I can imagine her talking to that little boy´s mom, "You don´t go to church?" :) 

oh goodness, computer scientist, haha I´ll think about that a little more.

Kimball: Wow, that´s really cool about Jason. I hope that he continues to progress. I´ll definitley keep him in my prayers! Give Baby Guy a big kiss from me :)

Lindsey: Glad to hear that Alice is enjoying preschool (well for the most part) and be sure to send photos as well of the room when it´s done! :)

Well, Brasil plays again on Saturday, oh futbol futbol futbol...I´m actually a little excited for when it will be normal again...

Well, I´m doing well and I´ll write more on Monday

I love you all the MOSTIEST!!!!

Sister Hicks

Monday, June 16, 2014

Futebol MANIA!! June 16, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

To start off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREG!! (I know it´s not til Sunday but still...)

Well, this week was pretty crazy with the World Cup game! Let´s just say that Brasil is CRAZY for soccer! I didn´t realize how crazy it is here. But literally, the whole COUNTRY shuts down when Brasil plays. And it´s funny because they watch the World Cup like we watch the Olympics at our house. The TV is just always on, doesn´t matter who is playing. haha, so we always watch just a few parts of the game. Italy playing for a little bit, then the next house Spain is already playing, you get the gist. :) haha, but, it truly is just a FESTA (party) here! haha, it´s so fun to be a part of it as well with my Brasil jersey and everything :) 

So fun story, the house where we watched the game, lives a family from the ward. They´re so great! And Carina (she´s in the picture) is a convert of 22 years. So, yesterday the American elder that baptized her (22 years ago) came back to visit his mission with his wife! It was really cool, we all had lunch at their house yesterday. He still speaks pretty well (the basics) but his wife doesn´t speak a lick of portuguese so I had to translate! haha, I never imagined that I would be able to translate but it was actually really cool! (But I won´t lie, I left with a head ache :)

Another cool story, this morning as we were leaving our house, the other sisters from our house called and said that Luzinete was in front of our house! My first baptism from my past area! She was working in Cabedelo today and so she passed by to see me! It was soooo great to see her and to find out how the ward is back in Prossind! She´s doing great and wow, it was just so cool!! Brought back a lot of memories as well!

This week was a little rough. Sister Maciel and I decided that we´re just going to start all over with a new approach and try to do things differently. Please pray for us this week that we´ll be able to find new investigators to teach because we don´t have a very big teaching pool. Also, please pray that João Paulo will go to church this week :) He´s one of our investigators that we´re teaching :) Thanks!

Well, I don´t know what I´m going to do for my year mark, it´s still pretty crazy to me! And it´s weird that I have the most time in the mission than all the other 3 sisters that I live with!

haha, LOVED, the card that Greg found! I was actually able to get the video to work!  haha, I think that is literally the perfect card for him! 

Sounds like everything is going well there and I hope that everything works out for trek, I`ll be praying! :)

Well, I´m glad to hear that everything went well with the funeral, that sounds like it was interesting but that was really nice that you went out.

I liked your idea for stake conference, that´s really interesting about the Liahonas. I´m sure it´ll be great!

Lindsey: haha, first off that story from Norah was absolutely hysterical! haha oh Norah, as always :)

Glad to hear that you had a great birthday and that Father´s day was nice as well! 

Well, I have to go but I love you all soooo much and  miss you all!
I love you the MOSTIEST!

Sister Hicks

PS I hope you enjoyed the photos!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thinking of You June 9, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,

First off, plesae send all my love and prayers to Debbie, Jim, and their family. That is heartbreakng to hear about Andrew. I will definitely keep them in my thoughts and prayers. I also feel for his children as well. That must be so hard on them as well. I will definitely be thinking of them and keeping them in my prayers during this difficult time. 

Well, in other news, my birthday was great. Sister Maciel, being a jokester as she is, pretended that she had forgotten that it was my birthday, haha. We went to go clean the chapel and I talked about a few things to try and remind her that it was my birthday. Finally as we were walking back, after cleaning the chapel, I told her, "Hey, my feelings are a little hurt that you didn´t even say Happy Birthday." Well, she said, "Oh, I`m so sorry, I forgot!" And then she didn´t say anything else. It wasn´t until we were going to bed that I walked into the room and the three sisters sang Happy Birthday (well in Portuguese) and they gave me a card and a Brasil jersey! haha, Sister Maciel told me that she knew the whole time and just played this prank on me. Well, let´s just say that I didn´t believe her in the beginning but she said, "No really, I knew but I was just messing with you." haha, but it was funny in the end. But thank you soooooo much for all the cards and letters that everyone sent! I also got the two packages as well which was great! New chacos, woohoo! I love the colors as well! Thank you so much for everything! I love you all so much and all of your notes and the packages made my day! 

Well, in other news, President Nogueira is gonna let us watch the World Cup, what?! yah, this is when you know that you´re serving in Brasil. When Brasil plays, we´re going to be allowed to watch with the members. It´s really going to be CRAZY here! I promise that I´ll send pictures soon (we have to go to a place that works to send pictures) but everyone is painting HUGE Brasil flags on the roads, and there´s a bunch of green and yellow banners EVERYWHERE! 

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDSEY!!!! I hope you have a great day Thursday! Everyone in Brasil (including me) will be celebrating with you, by watching the World Cup! haha, I hope you have a great day! 

Oh also, we had a baptism yesterday, Christophe :) He´s really cool and it was a great baptism! We actually met him on the train last week. We were coming from lunch and we started to talk to him and we got his address, went and visited him, he went to church last week, and this week he was baptized! 

Mom: Wow, that´s really cool about the Muslim lady that went to church, wow, definitley a golden contact! 

and wow, that´s so crazy that your Primary kids are graduating! The time really does pass by fast! And thanks so much for the cards and packages! Oh, and thanks for putting more money in my account :)

Dad: Thanks for your sweet note, on my birthday and everything :) I´ll definitley keep you in my prayers because I know this month is going to be crazy for you! And please send all my love to Debbie, Jim, and Grandma and Grandpa when you go out there. 

Bryan: haha, that´s so funny, what Norah said about priesthood blessings, and I loved the list as well, haha, I`m still thinking about it during exercise time...

Lindsey: Thanks for your note, yes, it really is true how precious life is. And it passes by so fast, I´ve started to learn that just in the mission field with how fast the time flies. 

Taylor: Wow, sounds like you´re having a lot of fun in Spain! Here, they celebrate Corpus Christi as well! And, yes, the World Cup is going to be crazy here! The US is going to be play in the two bordering missions, Recife and Natal! 

Well, I love you all so much!!!!

I tried to send photos but it wasn´t working, but next week I truly will try to get it to work! 

I love you the MOSTIEST!!!!

Sister Hicks

Monday, June 2, 2014

WOW!! June 2, 2014

Ok, to start off, WOW! Thank you sooooo much for all the sweet birthday wishes! It really made my day and thank you for the time that so many people took to write :) You guys really are the best!
So to start off, I did get a bunch of letters this past week (we had a 5 zone mission conference and they brought letters and packages). The packages haven´t arrived yet but I will also receive packages/letters on Wednesday during zone meeting! Thank you for everyone that sent letters! You guys are the best!
oh, and to start off Mom, could you thank Brother Dickson and Elder Jason Allred for me, they wrote me emails but I can´t respond. Thanks :) Also, could you get Jason´s address in Brasil for me? Thanks :)

So to start off thanks for all the letters, a few I already opened because I didn´t know they were for my birthday (one from the Smiths, Nancy Smith, one from the Perleys, and the one that you sent me Dad, but that one wasn´t for my birthday :) )

And thanks Andy, Kimball and Kelsey, Amanda, all the ones from Mom and Dad, and from the Brutons! Thanks!
Wow, ok, I only have 10 minutes to write now because I was responding to the other emails but I´m glad to hear that everyone is doing well.
So this week was probably one of the hardest weeks that I´ve had in the mission but it turned out great in the end. So, I´m still adapting to this new area and trying to figure out what works the best in this new area. So, we have been using the ward directory (we started with the Relief Society) and it worked out pretty well. But there´s been a bunch of people that have moved and they don´t live there any more. Anyway, we have just been trying to do different things to find new investigators. Well, anyway, it was a pretty rough week but Saturday it all turned out well because we had a BAPTISM! So, we had an investigator, Laudjane and she had already been to church about 4 or 5 times. Well, she kept saying that she wasn´t ready or didn´t want to be baptized. But Friday night we had a great lesson with one of the members Carina (she´s the YW pres). So we explained why she needed to be baptized and about the authority that this baptism would have and everything. Well then I asked her, "So, will you be baptized this Sunday?" And there was a long pause and we waited, and I was praying so much in my head...and finally after what felt like a million years she said, "Yes, I want to be baptized." Hallelujah! haha, she was baptized Saturday night and confirmed yesterday! It was great! I still need to buy an adaptor to send pictures but she´s about 50 or so years old and super sweet. I´ll try to send pictures next week, no but really, I`m going to try and buy an adaptor today :)
Well, I can´t believe this Saturday is my birthday, it definitely creeped up fast. I als can´t believe I´m turning 20, what?! haha, but I´ll be sure to take pictures and send them to you all :) And thanks again for all the birthday wishes!
Mom: Sounds like the blessing was great and I´m glad to hear that you got to eat some great Mexican food!

Dad: Wow, good luck with the crazy month that you are going to have, but if anyone can handle it, it´s you!
Taylor: Stay safe in Spain and yes, take lots of pictures!
Bryan: Glad to hear that you were able to relax a little and work out in the nature!
Lindsey: Wow, I LOVED seeing the blog posts, especially that one of you and Bryan from a few years ago! Wow, so cool to see pictures from the past :)
Kelsey: Glad to hear everything went well with the blessing and I absolutely loved the pictures you sent! He´s so cute!

Kimball: That´s so cool, your first baby blessing! Aah, I´m glad to hear that it all went well and that lil Guy didn´t even cry, you´re already a pro Kimball!
Wow, so the email time went really fast today and I already have to go but I love you all the MOSTIEST!
Thanks again for all the birthday wishes and I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Hicks