Monday, April 21, 2014

Shynoflompla: The Word of the Week...And Also Revenge of the Demon Gecko

April 21, 2014

Shynoflompla. Try that one out. It's the word of the week.

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you had a lovely week and a lovely Sunday. 

This week was crazy. I didn't have a chance to make a list of things that happened this week like I usually do, so I hope I can remember everything. Let's see....

This apartment has 3 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, a room used just for the closet, and 2 storage rooms and a laundry room. It is like a castle for missionaries! 

Monday, P-day, our power went out for half the day, meaning no fan and no fridge, and so it was super hot and we were dying and then Sister Rocha and Sister Fuoco were like "vamos tomar banho de roupa!" which means everyone gets in the shower with clothes on and sprayed each other with cold water. It was super fun, and just what we needed. And then it started raining outside, and the sun was setting and there was a rainbow, and the power came back and it was great :) I have pictures that I will try to send. 

Oh also, when Sis. Rocha and I got back from our lesson that night, we found a demon gecko in our house. This gecko has apparently been banished several times and somehow always finds its way back. So I tried to chase it out the window with a broom, but it wasn't working, and we were both squealing, and Sis. Rocha tried to move her books out of the corner so we could get at him with the broom but she accidentally tipped the area book over and squashed him, and we thought he was dead, but then his tail was still wriggling, and it was really gross. And then he still tried to run away, and so then we tried to trap him with a broom and dustpan and dump him out the window, but Sis. Rocha got freaked out that he was going to crawl up her arm, and dropped the dustpan and ran squealing and laughing and freaking out from the room. After a couple minutes later, she came back, calmer.  The demon gecko was still in our house, and somehow he got tangled in hair on our broom, so I was able to lift him out the window and he seemingly fell to his death. Or did he???? Nope! Just like Elvis and Dumbledore, he survived! And visited us again last night. But this time Sis. Perez swept him out. Sis. Fuoco wanted to kill him with scissors but we wouldn't let her. ANYways, 

This week a member, Vilma, who has been asking for about a month now, asked us again to baptize her three kids, Marilia, Camila and Carlinhos. 13, 12 and 10. They went to Primary for years but were never baptized. We were concerned about them staying firm, so had hesitated to baptize them, but finally decided to talk to bishop about it because who are we to deny someone who wants to follow Christ? Bishop gave his authorization, through the phone because he's travelling, and we went to go visit the family (they live in the BOONIES. or as they say here, "where Judas lost his boot" super super far.). They are the cutest kids I have met on my mission. They LOVE us, and they were sooo excited to be baptized, and are really smart. We would teach a principle, and then they would have a million questions. Good questions too. I was amazed. Saturday they were interviewed, and passed with flying colors, and we spent the whole week preparing everything for the baptism. All the members knew and everything was set. Sunday was crazy. I had to give a talk, we had to run and pick up 3 investigators, (3 young women who accepted the invitation to be baptized!) and then call the others who hadn't come yet, and in the midst of all the craziness, we had a surprise investigator who came, Roberto. (He is really interested and really awesome, but didn't want to commit to come to church because he would have to close his store. we had done everything we could to help him but ultimately the decision was his, and it didn't look like he was going to come. but then he came!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was one of the best moments of my mission so far). We hardly were in the meetings at all, because we were waiting for investigators, running around like crazy. And then the baptism was scheduled for noon, so we were getting everything set, people were waiting, the font was filled, and then the first counselor called us into the bishop's office, and told us he wanted to cancel the baptism, because he hadn't given his authorization, and they needed to come to church at least 3 months, and he actually doesn't have the priesthood keys to do that, which the second counselor and the Ward Mission Leader knew, but they went with it because he was the leader and they needed to support him. I don't want to rehash all the drama of yesterday, but it was a crazy day, and we are trying to put it behind us and work with the bishop to find a solution. Thankfully he returns today. BUT, 

Other miracles during the week, Rose, not sure if I already told about her, but she is quitting smoking! We love her and her son Tony, a recent convert, so much. They are fantastic. 

Monday we briefly met a man as we were leaving a lanchonete (a little mini open restaurant that has like hamburgers and ice cream and stuff), but didn't say anything about the gospel, just that we were missionaries. (He had looked at our tags and read the name of our church and asked us about it) and afterwards we felt sooo bad. We hadn't done our job as representatives of Jesus Christ. So we prayed that week to be able to find him again. And Saturday, when we went back, he walked in!!!! We were so excited. We had the chance to talk with him. It turns out he owns the lanchonete, and is super nice, but doesn't actually live here. But we invited him to church and told him about our work as missionaries. He seemed pretty interested, but we can't visit him at the present as he lives in another city (that's still in our area, but is suuuuper far away), but if he comes to church and shows potential, we could get authorization. 

This week, notwithstanding our frustration and disappointment, I just felt so happy. I love being a missionary. I love that my job is to help people come closer to Christ, and to serve. I love learning to be more like my Savior. I love my investigators. I love the ala Carpina. I love Brasil. I love my companion. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I have learned more than ever what we mean when we tell our investigators that "prayer is a conversation with our Heavenly Father". I know that's true. He listens and He answers. I love all my family and my friends. And I know the Lord is watching over you. I know this gospel is true. 

Have a wonderful week. 

Sister Hicken

P.S.   Thank you for the letters from the Chelsea YW!!!!!!!! They made my week! I love you girls!!!!! :D

  The sunset on one side of our house, storm in the middle, and a little corner of a rainbow on the other side.

Banho de roupa!!!!! Sister Perez is the one at the bottom making the weird face, and Sister Fuoco is above her, and then me and Sister Rocha. I'm living in a house of Brazilians. It's been an adventure, haha.

This week we made almoço (lunch) with Rose and Tony. I love these people! Rose is an elementary school teacher, and is quitting smoking to be baptized! Tony is her son. He teaches a PE class I think. He loves American football, and was baptized a month or so ago. We hope he'll serve a mission! 

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