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