Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 238th Birthday America!

July 7, 2014

Ohhhhh, Say Can You See?...

Happy 238th Birthday to my mother land! I celebrated by singing every patriotic song I could remember from elementary school. I think maybe I appreciated a little bit more my country being away this Independence Day. Yay America!

So this week usual....crazy. Shocker! We saw a lot of miracles this week. The Lord is so good. We found a lot of awesome people this week, but I won't tell about all of them because there isn't enough time. But the highlights of the week-

Tuesday we did a division with Sister Kohtz and her trainee, Sister Araujo. I stayed in Carpina with Sister Araujo. It was neat to be with a greenie again. We visited Rose and it went really well. We talked with her and she is decreasing the cigarettes and reading the Book of Mormon! She is down to one or two per day now. (And on Friday she didn't smoke a single one!!!!!!!!!) Sister Araujo's testimony really touched her; the Spirit was very strong. It was really cool. We followed up with her every day this week, and made chá de cigarro with her on Friday, me and Sister Marques. Chá de cigarro is cigarette tea, where you take the herbs inside the cigarette and boil it like a tea, and it is disgusting. It helps the smoker have disgust for the cigarette, and lose the desire to smoke. It is truly nasty. They taste it and get all grossed out, and then when they go to smoke, they remember the taste, and lose the desire. It helped with Rose. She was progressing really well this week and we marked her baptism for the 12th, but then on Sunday she didn't wake up to go to church. She is truly amazing, it is just going to church, and the smoking that holds her back from being baptized. 

Other miracles: ERICK! He is really progressing. He is making a lot of friends at church, and it is so fantastic to see. And then this Sunday he bore his testimony during testimony meeting. I felt like a proud parent. GUYS I WAS SO HAPPY. It was very sweet. He said what he felt. He did not say "I know this church is true" but he said he's seen how his life has changed from the things he is learning at church and with us. He does not yet know, and doesn't claim to KNOW with certainty, but he believes, and as Elder Holland said, that is enough, to start with. His testimony is growing. It is amazing to watch. And now that he is 18, he doesn't need his parents' signatures to be baptized. GUYS HE'S GONNA BE BAPTIZED!!!!! Keep him in your prayers, that things work out for him to be baptized this Sunday. 

Other miracle, Eduarda. We met her about a month ago, when we talked with her aunt and grandma sitting outside their house. She was sitting next to her aunt super zoned out and they told us that she had tried to commit suicide the night before by taking a ton of pills. She's 13 years old. She's been through a lot. Her mom died, and now she lives with other relatives, her dad lives in Recife, and so do all her siblings. When we visited her aunt and grandma 2 more times, she was not there, but they told us she had asked about us. She had remembered us vaguely. After these 2 visits, we had given up on Maria José and Josilene, the grandma and aunt, but I still wanted to talk with Eduarda again. And finally this week we found her at home. She refused to sit down for the lesson, just stood in the doorway, but when we invited her to go to church, she accepted, and started to talk a little more with us. When we went the next day, she was all ready to go :) At church she was SUPER shy. She hardly talked with anyone. But the moment everyone left and it was just us three, she started talking about how she LOVED church that day, and she had never liked any church so much, and that she felt so happy, and she didn't know why she felt so happy. She was excited for us to visit her again with Roberta, the YW counselor this Thursday. She is amazing. As she is less than 15 years old, she needs to go to church for 3 months and have an adult responsible for her, according to the rules of the mission, but there may be an exception on the 3 month thing, if she continues firm like she is. We will talk with President. Speaking of Presidente, 

We had a special zone conference this week on Thursday to meet Presidente Bigelow and his family! THEY ARE THE COOLEST PEOPLE EVER!!!! The whole mission already LOVES them. Found out that President Bigelow actually didn't speak Portuguese before he was called. He served a Spanish-speaking mission in Chicago, and is a CES Director or something related, and speaks Spanish every day, and didn't know any Portuguese! But his Portuguese is already really really good. I am amazed. And Sister Bigelow spoke in Portuguese too! And their two oldest daughters. They have 3 kids, 2 girls, ages 19 and 15 and one boy with 11 years. The 19 year old is going to BYU (Bethany she lived in Heritage halls last year!). Their situation reminds me a lot of our family (moving to a different country, with a daughter who is staying in the US to go to school) haha. We are very excited to work with this new President. He said he asked Elder Bednar what he would do as a mission president, and he told him he would go out with the missionaries, knock on doors, talk with everyone, and then analyze what is going well, and what needs to be improved, do some trainings, and then go out again with the missionaries. So he said he and Sister Bigelow are going to go on splits with the missionaries! SO COOL! They are truly amazing and exactly what the mission needs at this time. I know they were called by God. 

Sister Perez went home today, and now Sister Kohtz is the new companion of Sister Fuoco! Also, my former companion, Sister Rocha got super super sick, with an infection that spread throughout her body, and has to return home as well. Please pray for her, her condition is very serious. It was a real shock to all of us. 

Other news..............................................hmmmmm...........none that I can think of.........

That's it for today! I know this gospel is true, and is the only way to have our families forever. :) Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Sister Hicken

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