Monday, September 15, 2014

I've Been Out On My Mission For a Year Now!

September 15, 2014                        Monday
Hi mom!
I got the garments and taffy and socks yesterday! Sooo happy!!!!! Thank you soooooooooooooo much. And I have to favorite part may have been the Duck Dynasty card. Hahahahahaha Awwwwww. Sister Evans is also a Duck Dynasty fan. We tried to explain the premise of the show to Sister Muñoz, but it's hard to make it sound cool in Portuguese. But we giggled over the card.  :)
Haha, I’ll think about Christmas ideas. I feel weird asking for more stuff after just getting packages this week. Also, as Christmas will fall 2 months before I go home, there's not much I’ll be needing. Ooooh, that reminds me, last p-day I had some awesome souvenir finds for you :D I was very excited. But I’m not going to tell what it is. You’ll have to waaaaaiiiit!

Transfers are today. I was praying that I would be able to stay in Carpina, and I stayed!!!! I'm so happy. I love this ward, and this area, and Sister Muñoz. I'm so happy to be able to stay a little while longer. It will almost probably be my last transfer here though. I have until October 26th.
This week went well. We had Stake Conference, which was soooo good. We even had 2 investigators there, which was fantastic considering the distance. Stake conference is always a challenge for members and investigators because it's in Camaragibe and we have to go by bus. It's about an hour away, and some can't manage the time or expense. But there were quite a few people there from our ward this time, which was awesome! The theme was Accelerate the Work, and Pres. and Sister Bigelow came, as well as a [Brazilian Area] Seventy, Elder Torgan (?) never saw his name written out. But the talks were amazing. We are excited and so is the ward, to work together to strengthen the new members and find the people that the angels are preparing.

Excerpt from my letter to president-

"It was so great to have you and Sister Bigelow at our Stake Conference this week! We loved your talks and are excited to help the members even more with missionary work, during almoços [lunches], and using Preach My Gospel. Our ward is becoming more animada [lively] with missionary work. We had a great Ward Council yesterday in which we discussed where the angels are working (part of a talk from Elder Torgan (?) of the [Area] Seventy that was there. This was a talk he gave to the priesthood leaders, in which he challenged them to fast and pray to be able to tell the missionaries where the angels are preparing people to accept the gospel. It was pretty incredible).

We hit a rough patch with our investigator Marcelo this week. He was set for the 21st for baptism, and then his mom changed her mind and banned him from all church activities. He's 18 and could technically be baptized, but his mom is so against it, and he lives with her, so he has to obey. We are so sad because he is so ready; he's been investigating the church for over a year! We are planning to fast with him and the Young Men leader who is a close friend of his, and mark an appointment to meet his mom. None of the missionaries have ever been able to meet with her, and Marcelo says she will not mark a day or time. She doesn't want to talk to members of the church. Still, we feel that we should try to talk to her and see if we can clear up her misconceptions, understand where she's coming from. We are praying for inspiration and direction, and feel that this would be best. "
Camila's doing great. She is going to be the cutest little Beehive :) Super excited for her baptism.

We started teaching one of our students from our English class, Eriwelton! He is such a good kid. 16 years old, and just a really good kid. I'm trying to think of how else to say it, but that's the best way to describe him. He listens to good music, and isn't involved with nasty videogames or girls or drugs like a lot of the teenage boys are. He likes to learn, and wants to know God. He reminds me a lot of Nate. I just wanted to hug him. "You look like my brother!!!!" but I contained myself. We had a great lesson with him, and helped him understand who God is, and that He loves you, and that He does respond to prayers, in His own way and time. We're excited to teach him again this week :)
I hit one year on the mission this week. That was weird! There's a picture here. Coincidentally, it was Carpina's anniversary/birthday as well, a holiday for the city. At the end of the day it started POURING and we got drenched on the way home. Woohoo! Banho [Bath] ...

Hope this week is fantabulous for everyone! I Love you all, and send beijos e abraços! [kisses and hugs]  (But just handshakes for the boys). Love you!
Sister Hicken

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