Monday, October 28, 2013

Sister Morango Pilar de Luz

October 28, 2013                                 Monday
HI :) Sorry I haven’t written in forever. They didn’t let us send an email when we got here. There’s so much to tell you guys! I didn’t get any letters in the MTC, so I hope they forward them when they arrive. Dang it.  I took pictures of all your emails and am going to read them when I’m done. I have a ton of pictures to send, and I hope I have time.
SO, I arrived in Recife last Tuesday. We took a plane (had to leave the MTC at 5:40 a.m.) and arrived there around 11, I think. Recife is an hour behind São Paulo in time. Like right now it’s almost 2, not sure what time it is in Michigan. The mission president and some elders picked us up. The president is great. When he speaks English, it sounds like Gru from Despicable Me, ha-ha. We ate lunch at the mission home with all the new missionaries (17) and then got a temporary companion for the night. The first night, with Sister Melo, we practiced making contacts. My Portuguese is good enough that I can communicate, and understand a lot, but not when people talk fast. Plus there’s an accent here. The next day, we had a conference with the president and all the new missionaries, went over rules, and received our new companions. My companion is Sister Roig (pronounced hoheeg) and she is awesome!!!! She’s from Argentina and has been in the field for only 4 months, but is teaching me sooo much. She is so patient with me, and so kind and encouraging and hilarious. And she’s a fantastic teacher. Our area is two hours away from the mission office, (that was fun, lugging my 2 suitcases onto a city bus, and then a charter bus) but it is BEAUTiful. It’s called Gravatá. Lots of hills, and it gets hot, but there’s lots of wind too, so it’s not too bad. But the first day of working (Thursday) it was raining and cloudy so I didn’t put on sunscreen, and when we got back, I had a sunburnt neckline. Sister Roig and Sister Remy and Rodrigues (the other two sisters in our apartment) were laughing at me. Sister Roig calls me pilar de luz, which means pillar of light, as in the First Vision. But she calls me that because I’m so white. Also she calls me Sister Morango, or strawberry, because I get so red when it’s hot out. And the members and pesquisadors think it’s funny because I’m so tiny and white ha-ha. (Whoops, pesquisador is investigator, my bad). The people here are fantastic. Last week, Sister Roig and her old companion had 2 baptisms, and we have more investigators heading towards baptism. We almost had one this week, Erick, whose mom got baptized last week, but his grandma is Catholic and told him she would be really mad if he got baptized, so he changed his mind. (But not until the elders were already on their way from another city to come interview him for baptism the next day). It was really sad. But we’re hopeful that he’ll see the example of his mom and want to be baptized in the future.
Had a really cool experience yesterday in a visit with two inactive members, a mother and daughter. We were talking about the importance of church, because of taking the sacrament, and I bore my testimony in broken, slow Portuguese about the Sacrament, and the peace it brings to my life, and when I finished, I looked over at the mom (she’s probably in her seventies) and she was crying, and she said that my testimony had touched her. She could see that my faith was powerful and strong (in her words) because I was living it.  I couldn’t understand all of what she said, but it was amazing. She really felt the spirit, and the desire to go back to church, and I really, really hope she does. It was also so comforting to me, because until that moment, I hadn’t felt like I was making much of a difference here, because I couldn’t understand what my investigators were saying, and all I can do right now is bear my testimony of the principle we teach, but that one person needed to hear my testimony. I’m not sure why mine in particular touched her, but it did, and it confirmed my decision to come here. It confirmed the witness in my heart that I received so many months ago, and followed with faith, that I really do have work to do here, and the Lord did send me to this specific mission, and specific area to help certain children of His. It was amazing.
So our schedule goes like this:
Monday is P-day.  We clean in the morning, email, and then have free time until 6, when we have family home evening with someone in the ward
Tuesday we have district meeting in the morning, then normal proselyting.
Sundays we have church, working, and then study at night.
All other days, we get up, study personally, study with companion, then do language study and missionary training since I’m new, and then we have lunch with a member, and share a message with them. Then we go teach investigators, or visit new members or inactives, or knock on doors and share a scripture. Nearly everyone who we talk to at the door lets us in to share a scripture. And then when we ask if we can come back sometime and talk more about Deus or prophets, they say yes. A lot of people ditch the next time, but I’ve been surprised by how many people are willing to listen. It’s because almost everyone believes in God here. We’ve had some really cool first lessons.

Next time I want to tell you more about our investigators. We are teaching some really, really amazing people who are examples to me. I hope I can write more, but I’m afraid the computer is going to kick me off, so I’m going to send some pictures, and then see if it will let me respond to individual emails. If not now, then next week. Also, I may start sending letters, because I have more time during P-day to write letters, and then I can respond to individual people. Apologize to everyone for me, I’ve gotten many emails from friends and cousins, and I am so grateful, and I do plan to respond, but it might have to be through a letter. Oh, my letter address is the address of the mission office in the packet. They deliver them to us weekly.

Also, do you have a photo of my baptism that you can scan and email to me or send in a letter? I’d love to be able to show my investigators.
Also, I'll have a list of things for Christmas next week. Ha-ha
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MOM, AND I MISS YOU A TON. AND I MISS DAD AND BETHANY AND NATHAN AND LAURA AND EMMA AND RACHEL!!!! I love you all and am so proud of you! Thank you for supporting me and sending me letters and pictures and emails!
Love, Sister Hicken

I would love to send a bazillion pictures, in fact I tried, but it is SO SLOW, so I’m only going to send a few at a time. :P 
Not sure if these will send, but if they do, this is us with our adopted district of Hispanics. One with the elders and one with the sisters. Probably only one picture will go through because my time is up :P but I'll send more next week! 

The first is our district with our instructor, Irmao Barros. I can’t remember what order people are standing in, but Sister Lawrence is the one with dark brown hair, Sister Cameron is tall with long curly blond/brown hair, and Sister Reichmann, my companion, is tall with glasses.

Me and President and Sister Degn, the MTC President and his wife.  

No comments:

Post a Comment