Thursday, June 26, 2014

I'm Having Trouble Thinking in English Today

June 23, 2014

Holy moly! The only people on today are me, Sister Fuller and a couple of tumbleweeds! The only logical conclusion is a zombie apocalypse in North America. That or my family is moving to another country. Either one would be understandable. 

So this week usual...CRAZY. Haha. Also, I’m having trouble thinking in English today, so I apologize if something sounds grammatically weird, but it made more sense in my head. 

This past month has been a little complicated as Sister Perez has a broken foot, (fracture due to all the walking). She had been working still in the afternoon, using crutches and a cast, and just resting at night, and then we would sometimes do a division with them at night if they had an investigator scheduled. But her other foot started to hurt, and she's having to rest more. But she didn't want to go home because she's so close. This would be her last transfer, finishing in August. But Pres. and Sister Lanius and the doctor all gave their opinions that it would be best for her health to go home, and she finally agreed.  She will be able to stay 2 more weeks, and this way it will be counted as a full mission completed (there's some rule that if a missionary has to go home a month early, it still counts as a full mission, or something like that). So these last 2 weeks, she'll work a little bit, but we'll be doing a lot of divisions with her and Sister Fuoco. We'll basically be joining our two areas as one for the next two weeks. It'll be tricky, but we'll manage. And I’m happy that she gets to stay and finish her mission!

We also had 2 divisions with 2 other pairs of sisters in our zone, in another town. Sister Rocha and Sister Kohtz, and Sister Fortes da Silva (not my daughter, a different Sister Fortes) and Sister Torres. I stayed in Carpina and Sister Marques went there to Limoeiro. Wednesday I was with Sister Torres. It went really well. We taught some new people, including a woman who was really receptive, named Leticia. I got to know Sister Torres better, which was really neat. She's from Argentina.  My time's running out, gonna type faster! Thursday Sister Rocha came, and that was cool but weird. It felt like we were companions again and it was just a normal day in Carpina :) We were able to visit one investigator, Rose, who I had not been able to get a hold of for over a month. I tried calling and we even dropped by her house a couple times, but she wouldn't answer. Tony, her son, said she was wanting to stop meeting with the missionaries, because Sister Rocha was gone. We took advantage of Sister Rocha being here, and passed by her house, and she let us in! She was very happy to see Sister Rocha, and I was able to talk with her too. We shared a message with her. I felt prompted to share Ether 12:27, though I wasn't sure exactly why.  When she read it, she just stared at the page, looking at it over and over, and said "That's me. This is me. I’m weak", and we were able to help her understand that God lets us have weakness so that we can grow closer to Him, and become strong through His help. And she marked with us for next week! :) I hope hope hope she stays firm. 

Ahhh! I have another experience that I wanted to share, but it will have to wait for another time. 

There are a ton of people that I want to respond to individually, and I apologize for being so late to respond to emails and letters. But I love you and thank you for your prayers and letters and emails. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Love you all!

Sister Hicken

A bus decked out for the World Cup

Fuleco, the FIFA 2014 World Cup Mascot

Our Zone with everyone except the sister taking the picture

Sister Rocha holding the flag of the city of Carpina and me holding the flag of Pernambuco--the Brazilian state that our mission is in.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Brazil During the World Cup...It's Crazy

June 17, 2014

Pday was switched to today because there will be a World Cup game today and so we have to stay home after 4 p.m,. and so they just made it Pday, and we worked yesterday.

So I'm gonna make this a quickie! My new companion is Sister Marques!!!!! She's awesome! From São Paulo, and this next transfer will be her last! She's 20, and is studying nursing. I love her! She and I are the new Sister Training Leaders. Yikes! This week is going to be crazy hahaha. Sister Kohtz is now in Limoeiro with Sister Rocha! They are still in our zone. 

This week we did a lot of knocking on doors, looking for new investigators. Erick is coming along. We talked with his mom, and she doesn't want him to be baptized for the foreseeable future, but I still am feeling like we should not give up on him. He has a lot of doubts, but all these doubts are rooted in Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. If he can gain a testimony of these things, everything else will fall into place. We are doing our best, and exercising our faith, and praying a LOT for him. He'll be moving in August, so we have until then to baptize him!

The World Cup. I thought Americans were super patriotic.... haha..... well I had never been to Brazil.... during the World Cup. Holy moly. The first game started at 5, and we had to be indoors at 2:30, because of pre-game festivities and stuff. And when the game started, we could hear exactly what was going on because every time Brazil scored, there was cheering, and illegal fireworks that are legal here but really annoying. EVERYONE stops everything to watch the game. It's crazy.
Sorry this is super short this week, I’ll share more next week. Love you guys! As Sister Rodrigues says, "Keep calm and pray and fast" :)  I pray for you guys every night! Love you! Sorry it was quick today, but I’ll write more next week!

Sister Hicken

It's already the half-way mark.  9 months left!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Grilled Seagull Tastes Like Chicken...and Karma

June 9, 2014

So the biggest news of the week is that Sister Kohtz got emergency transferred. We were pretty shocked, cuz it came out of nowhere. We got the call from the zone leaders last night. We're pretty sure she'll be going to Limoeiro (still in our zone) and will be Sister Rocha's new companion. Not sure who my new companion will be. She will arrive today at 4:30. Gahhh! It's so weird, we weren't even together a month! I'm gonna miss Sister Kohtz! 

This week was really good in some ways but disappointing in others. All three people who had committed to baptism for this Saturday fell through. The couple who came to church last week didn't like it because it was too quiet. They’re used to noise and shouting and praising like in other churches. We tried the best we could to help them, but they don't want to come back. Erick, was all set, he even had the interview, but got cold feet. He has friends who are saying stuff about the church and he has a lot of doubts that he wants to resolve, but he hasn't given up, just wants more time. We're doing our best and following the Spirit to know the best way to help him. Today we're doing a fast with him to help him feel what is right. 

Oh, some news I’ve been meaning to tell for a while about Gravatá. One lady that sister Fortes and I taught, Maria, was baptized about a month ago! And last week, one of the young girls we taught, Clivia, (cousin of Rosinha) was baptized as well! Also Ermesson finally got a calling, he's 2nd counselor in the Young Men's presidency :))))

Other news I’ve been meaning to share for a while- 2 weeks ago I ate grilled seagull. It tasted like chicken. And KARMA. Hahahahahahaa.............(for those that don't know, seagulls and I have an eternal enmity, that began in the premortal existence). 

[Editor's Note:  There's a very funny family story about Camille swinging a jacket around in the air like a helicopter blade to fight off a seagull who was trying to eat a slice of pizza in her other hand.  Another sneaky seagull dove down and stole the pizza right out of her hand while she was swinging her jacket at the other seagull.  She has despised them ever since.]

The World Cup starts this week. Brazil plays on Thursday, and we're not allowed to leave the house. Let the fun begin :P

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Pray for America to lose every soccer game so they don't beat us up in the streets! Haha, kidding mom. Tchau!

Sister Hicken

Monday, June 2, 2014

Because of Him

A video about the role of the Savior and the Atonement in our lives.

Everyone Gets a Birthday!

June 2, 2014       Monday
You get a birthday.  And you get a birthday.  And you get a birthday!
EVERYONE GETS A BIRTHDAY! I don't know what it is about this week of May/June, but everyone has a birthday this week! Saturday Sister Kohtz turned 20, and yesterday, my favorite brother in the entire WORLD turned 16!!!!!!! PARABÉNS NATHAN!!!!!!!!!
This week was crrraaaaaazy. I think I always say that, but I really super especially mean it this time. We made THREE trips to Recife this week. I now have the journey memorized. It's about a 2-3 hour trip one way. Monday, Wednesday and Friday we went to Recife for treatments for Sister Kohtz (but she's much better now!) and also on Wednesday we had a surprise zone conference because it is the last one with Presidente e Sister Lanius. And on the days we were in Carpina, Sister Kohtz stayed home with Sister Perez, who has tendonitis, and Sister Fuoco and I ran around like crazy people visiting our investigators in both of our areas. LOUUCOOOO! But we saw many miracles this week! In total we have 4 investigators marked for baptism this week. 3 from our area and 1 from Sister Fuoco's area. Woohoo!
One of them is Erick!!!!!!!!! We are sooo excited for him. He came to a family home evening this week and LOVED it. He absorbs everything we teach him, and is such a good kid. Please pray for his parents to support him in his desire to be baptized. That is the only thing missing. We haven't been able to meet with his parents because his dad lives in another city, and his mom works in Recife during the week.
I’m gonna send this really fast cuz I think the computer may die.

Okay everything's still good. So yeah, pray for Erick. Also Aninha and Cicero. It was really cool how we met Aninha. We had 10 minutes before an appointment and trying to decide what to do, and so we were like "Alright, 10 minutes to find an elect", and we went and did contacts. While we were talking with this one lady, Aninha came up to us out of nowhere, and asked what church we were from, and we talked with her a little bit, and marked a day to visit with her. She was very excited for us to come. We taught her 2 times this week, and the second time we met her husband (would you believe that her husband is 30 YEARS OLDER than her?) but he's really cool. They both committed to be baptized. They’ve never been baptized (which is really rare here) because they never felt like it was right. They are fantastic. They’re marked for this Sunday!!!
Zone conference with Presidente e Sister Lanius was really cool! They both talked a little bit, and then opened it up for questions about anything, about their lives, about doctrine, about the mission. It was really neat. The mission took a picture of our group and them, which I should get this week and I’ll send to you guys. I’m really going to miss them!
There is a very cool video that you guys should look up on YouTube. I just don't know what it's called in English. In Portuguese it's "graças a ele" which should be something like 'thanks to him' or "because of him". It’s like a 3-minute video about the Atonement that the church made this year, and it's absolutely beautiful. We watched it in a family home evening this week, and then read various scriptures about the atonement (Alma 7:11-13, Isaiah 53:3-5, D&C 19:not sure which verses) and then invited people to bear their testimonies, and then watched the video again. Guys the spirit was so strong. It was really wonderful. I recommend it to all! I know Christ lived and died for us, and this fact affects our lives every minute of every day. It means we can be clean. It means we can start over. It means we can conquer any and every obstacle, addiction, challenge, or trial. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know they love and know me individually. I invite you, if you have never done so, to pray tonight and ask to feel your Heavenly Father's love. And then wait. And let Him answer. I testify that He will answer, if you ask in faith, because He loves you. He really loves you.
I love you all and hope you are all doing well! Have a wonderful week!
Love Sister Hicken

Sister Hicken with Sister Lanius and President Lanius