Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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