Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm Old Now: 21!

August 25, 2014

BOM DIA people all over the world! Hope you have had a glorious week. I'm old now. 21. The sisters in our house were so super cute, and made signs and a cake for my birthday :) Also President and his family called to sing Happy Birthday. I feel so blessed to know so many wonderful people here :) It's weird to think of all that's happened in one year. Without a doubt this has been the year that I have grown the most. In many ways (including sideways haha.....ahhhhh Brasil! Curse your delicious food.) But seriously I have changed a lot this past year, and am grateful for all the experiences I am having and the things I am learning here. I know God lives and loves His children, and that He has a plan for us to be able to return to Him. There is only one way, only one plan. We can choose whether or not to follow, but if we want to be happy, and want to have our families forever, we need to have faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and continue following His commandments our whole life long. 

The other week, Sister Rachel Fuller said something that I totally agree with. She said something along the lines of we as missionaries work all week, follow the Spirit, see people's lives changing (including our own), have hard days and spiritual experiences. So much happens in just one week! And then we get to the computer and don't know how to express it all. That's exactly what it feels like. I'm sorry if my letters are weird sometimes. It's hard to put it all into words. 

Highlights of the week-
We four sisters started a weekly English class at the church, every Saturday at 4, to help find new investigators. Our ward mission leader made these super cool posters, and suggested that we go to some schools and announce it in the classrooms. (You can do that here). I wasn't too excited to go talk in front of a bunch of teenagers. I didn't like high school the first time around. But it was actually kind of fun. We went class to class in 2 schools, and on Saturday had a really good turnout, around 20-30. We taught the basics, and saw that they already know a good amount, so we'll move on to more advanced stuff next time. We offered to give a tour of the chapel to whoever wanted to see it after the class, but no takers. But it's only the first week! We have faith that there are some elect people in our English class.

Not sure if I ever told about Betânia. We met her about a month ago. She wanted help with genealogy,  and so we started to help her construct her family tree. She is a really neat lady, about 60 years old, is fluent in English, and retired. She shared with us how family is really important to her, so we marked a day and taught her about the Plan of Salvation. She found it interesting, but didn't want to commit to come to church or be baptized. She said she doesn't frequent any one religion because she has many doubts about the Bible, seeing as how it was changed many times during the years. And so we said, "We have a message that you will LOVE" haha, and left with her the pamphlet of the Restoration. This week we taught her about it, and it really seemed to resonate with her. We are hoping to mark her baptism today. She is such a neat lady, and we can see how the Lord has prepared her for this time. We are so excited!  Oh, here is an excerpt from my letter to President, with a few more details: 

“In particular, for me, I have been studying and praying and working to teach better. To teach to the needs of my investigators. This happens according to our preparation. The more we prepare, even if we end up changing the lesson plan when we get there, the Spirit can guide us, because we are worthy to receive it. We had a neat experience this week teaching the Restoration to one of our investigators, Betânia. Sister Muñoz and I studied well the first lesson, and practiced teaching it to each other during comp study and made a lesson plan. Then during the lesson, we tried really hard to listen to her and to the Spirit, and follow the promptings we received. We have taught this lady several times, and she has so much potential, but never wanted to commit to anything. This time I could tell she felt the Spirit. She understood and felt the truth of what we shared with her, at least a little bit. And she finally committed to pray and ask God if it is true. Today we are going to invite her again to be baptized, we hope for the 13th of September.” 

I am going to respond to some individual emails now. Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Love, Sister Hicken

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