October 2, 2013
So I'm doing something a little different from now on. I'm going to take pictures of everyone's emails, and then write to you guys, and if I have time, go back and reply to everyone individually. And then whatever I don't have time to read right now, I can read later on my camera. So I’ll scan people's letters, but won't be reading everything until later today, so if my replies are a bit more general, forgive me. I do love getting them, and I do read everyone's! Hopefully in the field, I’ll have longer than 45 minutes to read/write emails. Anyways,
SO, biggest news of the week is that I have a new companion! We got a new sister from the Provo MTC today, and it turns out she's going to Recife, so she'll be my companion! Our companionship/district wasn't thrilled at first at being split, but I’m SOOO excited to find another missionary going to Recife, and I know she'll be kind of shell-shocked, and we're going to do our utmost to make her feel welcome and loved. We actually haven't met her yet. She’ll be in orientation meetings all day, but next week, I’ll be able to tell you more about her. And the four of us will still be in the same district, so it's not a super huge deal to be split. We’ll just be teaching different lessons.
One thing I forgot to add from last week, when I said we taught our friends the cup song, I meant the cup rhythm thing. We don't sing the actual song. We actually sing Called to Serve with it! Haha it's really cool. Almost every hymn can go with it.
We got 2 new Brazilian roommates last week. They're in our room, but a different district. They're very sweet, but communication is limited, haha. We do our best to get to know them though!
My teaching is getting better and better, because my language is improving, my knowledge of the gospel and scriptures is improving, and my sensitivity to the Spirit is improving. We don't go in with a rigid lesson plan now, with every question and comment written out. We study, and discuss, but now we can go in and have a discussion with the investigator, and ask/answer questions because we can understand what they say (most of the time). We're doing better at teaching to their needs. But it's still definitely a challenge.
I'm getting more and more excited for the mission field. Several instructors have told us that up in the northeast, we'll have lots of investigators. I cannot wait to start teaching, and getting to know people! But I still have a lot to learn. It’s crazy to think that I’m halfway done with the MTC though!
Last bit of news, our best friends left for the field on Tuesday. This is the Hispanic district I told you about. We were absolutely miserable. I'm starting to understand what dad meant when he said it was harder for him to leave the field than to leave home. I've only known these people for three weeks, but I was SO upset when they left. We loved them so much. From day one, they were our friends. They took us in, and made us feel welcome despite the fact that we could hardly speak each other’s languages, and they taught us, and talked with us and made us laugh. We got to be like our adopted brothers and sisters. When we said goodbye to the elders, us girls were trying not to cry, but when one of the elders started to tear up, we lost it. We couldn't even hug them! It was really sad. We hugged the guts out of the sisters, and I would have bawled then too, if it hadn't been for Sister Valderrama who is hilarious, and always makes us laugh. But seriously, I felt almost as sad as I did when I said goodbye to you guys at the airport. (And if this is what it's like now, I can't imagine the love/sadness I’ll feel out in the field). Monday was their last day, and we wrote them letters and filled their mailbox with little notes (don't worry, we used the free time we had on Sunday, not work time). The next morning, we opened out mailbox to find it filled with notes from them that they wrote the night before :) We cried all over again. We were sort of feeling mopey and lonely in the morning, but then during companion study, we made a goal that we wanted to do the same thing for some new people that our friends did for us, and that we would not let ourselves mope and be sad, but look for opportunities to serve some new missionaries around us. We're going to love this new sister, and love whoever our new classroom neighbors are!
So yeah, that's basically it from me! PLEASE, you are more than welcome to send pictures! I can't download them, but I can see them, and I would love it! :) Thank you for your emails mom! I love you muito muito! I'll answer one of your questions: CONFERENCE!!! We are so excited for conference. We'll get to watch it in English. Gonna try and answer kid questions now, but if I run out of time, tell kids I love them VERY MUCH and thank you for their letters and I miss them and they rock, and I hope they're reading, and praying, and being good examples in their schools! Saw Laura’s story about helping that one boy, and was very proud of her. That was a very Christ like thing to do. Thank you for being a good example to me Lar!
Also, thank you for the note, Dad! :) I love you!
~LOVE, Sister Hicken.