Monday, November 25, 2013

Dora the Explorer teaches English. True Story.

November 25, 2013

Ola!  Answers to your questions:  It’s a rule of the mission that we have an hour and a half to email (that includes message to presidente and the mission journal). Transfers happen next week. Sister Roig and I will remain, because she’s training me. But it’s possible the next transfer, I could be training. That scares me SOOOOO much. I’m emailing from a local computer place. I don’t know last names of our investigators off the top of my head because they’re suuuuper long. But I'll try and bring them next time. Also, our elders are going to the office tomorrow, so on our district meeting Wednesday, they’ll bring any packages and letters from the past few weeks. Fingers crossed!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)  MINHA NOSSA (whenever I use this, it means my goodness, or holy moly or whatnot) We get to go to the temple in 2 weeks!!!! For our zone conference. That’s when we’re singing Noite Feliz.

Thank you for sending pictures :) I love seeing pictures! I can actually see the Halloween costumes this time. How cool! They look awesome!
WE BEAT OUR MISSION GOAL FOR THE MONTH! 209 baptisms! Thais and Ermesson actually didn’t get baptized this week because things were super crazy with the wedding, but Ermesson is going to be baptized this Thursday, receive the priesthood/be confirmed on Sunday, and baptize Thais Sunday night. They are so excited!!!!!!!!!! And the wedding was wonderful. AHHH they were so adorable!!!! Thais looked like a Disney princess. Ahhhh there are no words to describe how excited we all were for them, and how sweet it was. They are so cute!
Other bulletins from the week: Saturday marked one month in Gravatá. Ahhh so crazy. I still feel like I haven’t been here very long. But I do know the area a lot better now, and I know and love the people super much! Also, I have the gorgeous tan lines to prove I’ve been here for a while :P
Something that blew my mind:  They have Dora the Explorer here, but she teaches ENGLISH!!! WHAT???!!!! Yes. I saw and heard with my own ears and eyes.
There is a new dance craze that is taking the rage by country. (That will only be funny to you mom and dad, who will get my reference--[editor's note:  It's a Smother's Brothers comedy routine reference]). It is called the Arctic Trickle. I learned it while trying to take a shower in a trickle of water comparable in temperature to the polar ice caps. There is also the Arctic Blast, when we have muito agua. It defies all the laws of science that the water here is so cold when Brazil is so HOT! Anyways, I’ll have to send you a dance tutorial; it’s really COOL (hahahaha get it.... cuz it’s cool...hahahahahaha)
In answer to a few more of your questions-
I haven’t yet taken a picture of our apartment from the outside, but I can send photos of the inside. Not sure of our address, I’ll send it next week. Sister Roig (Hoyg is how you pronounce her name, my bad) is from Argentina, going to school for architecture, 19 years old, member all her life, and a fellow nerd :). Sister Remy from Utah (she served in MI for 2 transfers before coming here and lived in Charlotte when she was little!) is 19 or 20 I believe, 9 months on the mission, is going to school. Sister Rodrigues is 22 and is engaged, and still came on a mission! She finishes in a year. She is from São Paulo.  I will never have to drive or ride a bike on my mission PRAISE THE HEAVENS.
There are 2 wards here in Gravatá. It split a few years ago. There are technically enough members to do that, but there are so many inactives, our ward is more like a branch. About 50 people tops come every week. Our ward is called Boa Vista (or good view). I'll answer more next week :)

ANYways, I’ll try to send some pictures now. I love my mission, and I love this gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ. I love the Book of Mormon. I know the Lord is watching over our family. I didn’t fully realize it until I came here, but the Lord has truly blessed our family SO much. Yes, we have worries and troubles as everyone does. But we are all healthy, we have what we need, we have the gospel, we love each other, and we are firm in the faith.
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! :)
Sister Hicken

Our Study Area

Our Kitchen

                             Sister Roig, Sister Remy, Thais, Ermesson, Sister Hicken, and Sister Rodrigues                                                             Ermesson and Thais Wedding.                   They don't smile in pictures here, but they are really, really happy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bonus: More Pictures from Sister Hicken

November 18, 2013

Here are some more recent pictures.  In no particular order...

Minha plaqueta!

Welcome sign that the sisters made for me.  :)

A little gecko on our bathroom wall.

Some of our area.  It’s sort of like The Lion King.  “Simba, everything the light touches is your area.”

Irmao Lemos--I forgot to write about him.  He was a translator for prophets and apostles for several decades!  He is so cool!!  He was one of the first members of the church in Brazil, and he knows a ton about the gospel.  We had lunch with his family on Wednesday.

Me and Sister Roig

We Had Another Baptism!!

November 18, 2013

Bom dia from Gravatá! Hope you are all well. Happy Thanksgiving soon! There’s no Thanksgiving here, so we just skipped straight to Natal. We are SOOO excited for Natal!!!!!! Hahaha.

We had another baptism yesterday!!!!!!! A ten-year-old kid named Junior. Sister Roig and Sister Perez taught his family before I came, but the parents aren’t interested anymore. But his neighbor was baptized, Eduarda, just a few weeks ago, (and she is AWESOME. She has such faith, and she’s only 16), and he asked to come to church with her. And then when we went to his house to talk with him and invite him to be baptized, he wasn’t there, but we talked with his mom, and asked if she would give permission for him to be baptized if he wanted, and she said he had already told her he wanted to be baptized! Seriously this kid is fantastic. She gave permission, and we taught Junior all this week, and then he was baptized on Sunday. Also Kelvin was confirmed on Sunday. Ahhh seriously we have seen such miracles this week. And even more next week, because Thais and Ermesson are getting married and baptized!!!! They have had to wait over 5 months to get married because of silly paperwork stuff, and were being taught even before that. While they have been working on the marriage, Ermesson’s parents and sister became interested and got baptized! They are SO amazing, the whole family. I love them so much. And now Thais and Ermesson are FINALLY getting married this Saturday, and then we found out that they don’t have to wait 3 weeks after for the paperwork to be processed, they can get baptized right after! So Ermesson is going to be baptized on Sunday probably, so he can receive the priesthood and then baptize Thais the next Sunday. The whole ward is ecstatic. Everyone is SO excited, because they’ve been waiting for so long. They are so prepared. They already seem like members. AHHH!! We are so happy for them!

Sister Hicken, Junior, and Sister Roig

Other bulletins from the week- our district is working on a musical number for the Christmas zone conference in December. We’re singing Silent Night, with a cool piano arrangement, and on the last verse, me and Elder Carroll sing while everyone hums. Nossa, we practiced it on Tuesday, and already it sounds SO cool! 

Our District

Other random thing (that you may or may not put on the blog)- you will never guess what song was blasting in a store the other day while we were trying to street contact. Sister Roig was talking to this guy, "somos missionarias da igreja de Jesus Cristo dos santos dos ultimos dias..." when I heard it "a igreja tem reunioes as nove da---WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?!" Ahhhh it was so hard not to laugh. I did not expect to hear that song in Brazil hahahahahahaa. Ahhhh....

Love you all! Can’t wait to talk with family in a month! Thank you mom for the Christmas music you sent with me. We're already listening to it.... mostly the David Archuleta. It’s not Christmas without David Archuleta. Thank you for all your love and support :) and your emails :) I’m gonna try and send a package to you guys soon, but I’m not sure when it will get there. I'll let you know when I’ve mailed it. LOVE YOU BUNCHES!!!!!

Sister Hicken

Also, I don’t have Sarah Jane’s email, but if you could forward this to her, I wanted to tell her thanks for the cute book of memes and quotes she made me. It has brought laughter and smiles on hard days, to me and my companions :) I love you and hope you are having a wonderful senior year Sarah Jane!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

We Had Our First Baptism!!

November 11, 2013

Hi Mom!

Minha nossa (my goodness) you already sent Christmas packages? Awwww :) Ahhh I’m so excited for Christmas! My roommates will be very excited for the Christmas tree. We were just talking about how we want to decorate for Natal (Christmas) but don’t want to buy anything. Ahhhhhh I can’t wait for packages and letters! They still haven’t arrived, but I got a letter last week from Sister Donnelly! Haha. Please tell her I loved it and it made my week. It was very sweet. The first letter I got in the mission field! And congrats to Lauren and Jacob! Wow that is crazy! Hope Emilee is doing well in the MTC.

So biggest news of the week is WE HAD OUR FIRST BAPTISM!!!!!! It was a 12-year-old kid named Kelvin. He’s awesome, and his parents are fantastic too. They don’t have a baptismal date (because they’re not married yet), and are attending another church but they’ve been there for all the lessons and seem really interested, and are very supportive of Kelvin. The baptism was yesterday. I’m gonna try and send a photo. Nossa, it was wonderful.

Today makes 2 months on my mission! Whoooa. The time has flown by. This week was really hard and really hot, but I am coming to love these people so much. The members, the sisters, and our pesquisadores. We are teaching some amazing people, one family in particular is so fantastic, they are good people, and so receptive, but they just don’t come to church! Ahhhh we don’t know what to do. But that’s a perpetual problem in the mission field.

Random bits of info-every Wednesday Sister Remy and I teach an English class in the church. So far not many people have come, but we’re trying to tell more people about it. It's always weird speaking English now.

Several people in Brazil have told me I look like Avril Lavigne. Hahaha. Also members of the church always look at my nametag and think it says Hinckley, and then they get really excited because they think I’m related to the prophet. Even after I tell them how to pronounce my name, some call me Sister Hinckley anyways haha :)

I had a talk this week, on the worth of souls, ha-ha. Same topic as my farewell talk, but I forgot to print it off, so I just wrote a new one. It went okay. Not sure how much people could understand through my Portuguese. But it went well.

Question. If Brazil is so hot, how can the water be so COLD?! Haha our shower is always freezing. Believe it or not, you can get used to cold showers.

I am super pink. I seriously have a gorgeous farmer tan going on right now, and it’s only been 2 weeks. And I use sunscreen! Gahhhh.

Alrighty, I’m gonna sign off and try to send a photo now. I LOVE YOU SUPER MUCH MOM AND DAD AND NATHAN AND BETHANY AND LAURA AND EMMA AND RACHEL!

Love, Sister Hicken
Sister Hicken in Gravatá

Sister Hicken, Kelvin, and Sister Roig.  Our first baptism!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

This Week Was Good, But Hard.

November 4, 2013

Hi Mom and Dad!

You’re gonna have to correct a lot mistakes in this letter. This keyboard is super annoying! 

This week was good, but hard. We have a family marked for baptism next week (They’re even already married! Which is rare here) but they’ve been flaking on us all week. They’re such a neat family, and felt the spirit so strong, so we’re not sure what’s going on. We’re teaching the sister of the mom, and she’s awesome, but she can’t walk, and can’t go to church, and no one has a car. So we felt a bit stuck this week.

If you remember Erick, the kid who was going to be baptized last week, but didn't because his grandma would be mad. We felt like we should give her a Book of Mormon. So we did, and Erick is reading it to her. We’ve taught her a couple times and it went well. We're praying and fasting for her heart to be softened. She’s really a neat lady.

We invited 37 people to come to church this week and 18 said they would come, but just one showed up. AHHH. It’s sad and frustrating because we had a few people in particular, who were really receptive, and really wanted to learn more and come to church, but don’t come. And we can’t do anything else.  It’s up to them.

The other sisters had a baptism this week, and we sang Joseph Smith’s First Prayer to the tune of Come Thou Fount. I made up an alto part and taught it to Sister Remy, and it went really well!

This week my testimony of promptings has been strengthened. A couple of times this week, someone came to my mind that we hadn’t planned to visit. We went and visited Elein, and caught her just as she was leaving, and made an appointment to come back. If we had delayed she would have been gone already. And the other day, we were teaching Joniele, when her sister showed up. Gisele was there for another lesson in the past, and was really receptive and we were glad she came for this one. At the end, she said that she had been drinking all morning, and had the thought that she should go over to her sister’s house. She pushed it away, but still felt like she should go. So she came, and found us there. They are both really fantastic.

On the other hand, I had a prompting the other day that we should visit this lady, but it was dark, we were heading to another lesson, and there were lots of drunks out on the street because it was a holiday. There were lots of excuses. But our appointment fell through, and I told my companion I felt we needed to visit Vania, but it was not safe to go back through the neighborhood. If I had voiced the thought right when I had it, we would have been able to visit, because it turned out we had been really close to her house. But I didn’t. And I felt awful afterwards, really awful. We went back the next day and there were lots of people at her house, so we didn’t get to visit with her. I’m not sure why we needed to, but I know it was a prompting, and I didn’t obey, and it was the worst feeling. LISTEN TO THE SPIRIT!

Aahhh I don’t have much more time, but I have more things to say! Quickly, my companion is really cool cause she’s a fellow nerd: Star Wars and Jane Austen and such. I have a funny story for just family next week.

Love you all super, super much!!!!!!!


November 4, 2013

Hola irmaos e irmas!

Hope you guys had a good Halloween! Sounds like it was a lot of fun, except for Laura being sick :(

Laura-  Yes, we cook our own food, but we always have lunch at a member’s house, so we just make cereal for breakfast and I eat Ramen for dinner usually. And for lunch they always have lots of rice and beans!

Emma-  I’ll have the same companion for the next four weeks, and then I may get a new one, or I may stay with Sister Roig. We don’t know until the day before. We go to the same ward every week. It’s really tiny! Only about 30 people come every week.

Nate-  They don’t have Halloween here, but they do have Dia Dos Mortos, kind of like our Memorial Day. That was last Saturday.

Rachel- We gave one Book of Mormon out last week, wait 2, actually, and are going to give out more this week.  It's hard because lots of people can’t read here.

Love you all! Thank you for your letters! I miss you tons! :D

Love Camille