Monday, September 8, 2014

Miracles in Carpina

September 8, 2014

Hi Mom!
Figured out the trick this week to sending pictures (I think). So I’m trying to send some! Finally you will see my Asian-Argentinian daughter :) 

Sister Munoz ("My Asian-Argentinian Daughter)  and Sister Hicken in the Christmas Aprons that only took 10 months to arrive!  Love Camille's "shoes".

Sister Roig was supposed to be going home in the middle of December, but she asked President to stay another transfer, so she'll be going home in January, just one transfer before me! :)

Thank You for all your prayers for Camila! We have seen this week many miracles, especially how the Lord answers prayers. Her mom has given permission for her to be baptized! She is sooo excited. I copied my letter to president here below:

This week we have seen miracles happening in Carpina! We were able to mark 2 baptisms, and hope to have a third marked this week very soon. Our investigator, Camila, who is 12, has been coming to church for a few months now and is just waiting to complete the 3 month rule and get permission from her mom, who we had heard was not friendly to the church. But we visited her mom this week, and were able to explain more about baptism, and the church and how it would help Camila be an even more virtuous and good young woman. Her mom was pretty closed in the beginning, but as we started to talk, she opened up, and she gave permission for Camila to be baptized. At the end, we shared a message with them, and the Spirit touched her. We could all feel it, it was so strong. It was amazing. There have been various other miracles this week; I don't have time to write them all! But we are working hard, and are very humbled to see how Heavenly Father arranges things in just the right way, at the right time. Sister Muñoz is doing great. We love working together, and I am so blessed to have her as my companion. I love her! She is learning so fast, and seriously never complains.

Okay close quote. So yeah, that was the miracle with Camila. Her mom is really nice, just was worried about her daughter :) And she even said we would be welcome whenever we wanted to pass by. It would be so cool if she joined the Church too. She's going to come to Camila's baptism, and hopefully confirmation. We'll see if we can work more with her :)

Other miracle of the week-Marcelo. He has been taught by the missionaries for more than a year, ever since the elders! He's wanted to be baptized, and tried several times, but his parents are super anti-Mormon. Last week, he turned 18, and can now legally be baptized without his parent's permission, but was still on the fence about it (oh, detail: he lived in the area of the other sisters until last week as well, when he moved to our area. so he was their investigator, but now he's ours). One day this week, we came to the church, and Irmã Selma said we need to call Marcelo. She said she'd been walking down the street and ran into Marcelo and he said "Thank goodness, my prayers have been answered!" He had been praying to find a member of the church to be able to get our phone number. He needed urgently to talk with us (somehow we had his phone number but he didn't have ours yet). Irmã Selma didn't have her phone with her, so sent him to another brother in the ward who would have our number. That night we called Marcelo, and he said he had decided he wanted to be baptized! (Later when we talked with him in person, he said he held the phone far away from his ear preparing to hear shrieking and screaming. Haha it was a wise decision :) But he had a couple things he needed to talk to us about. The next day we talked to him and he told us the whole story. He had been praying and pondering that week about what he should do, talking with his Heavenly Father. He found the church app and downloaded it on his phone, and started to read the June or July Liahona, and found a talk about recognizing the Holy Ghost, and he felt strongly as he read, that that was his answer, and that he needed to be baptized. When he read the August Liahona, he found another talk that talked about something similar, and felt his answer was confirmed. But he had no way to get into contact with us! He was so happy when we called. He then told us that his mom had signed him up for a 3-day Catholic youth camp, and asked if he could still be baptized. We said no problem. The only thing was that he didn't know when it would be. As soon as he knows when it is, we can mark the day! He is such an amazing example to me. He has so much faith. His family doesn't support him.  He started dating a girl this week who was also against the church, and so they broke up. He already gave up coffee (he remembered from months ago when the missionaries taught him the word of wisdom), and is super excited. Also said that his mom is starting to soften a little bit, and not criticize so much the church and not forbid him to go to activities and church. Please pray that we can mark a date for his baptism, and that everything will go smoothly!

Okay, really fast. Third miracle. Dalva. We taught her one time last week, and she came to church with us and liked it, but was super sick, so couldn't concentrate very well. This week we tried to mark with her to teach her but she was working a lot. Saturday night we managed to catch her at home just before she left for work, and she said that she would go to church the next day if she didn't have to work. I'm sorry to say that I didn't have a lot of faith that she would go because a lot of people say that and then don't end up going. Plus Sunday was Independence Day here in Brasil. (Sunday morning we got caught in the middle of like 3 parades on the way to pick up an investigator). But when we arrived at church, she was already there! AND it was her birthday. She came to church on a holiday and her birthday. This woman is fantastic. We were able to mark her baptism for September 20th. She is excited! Please pray that we will be able to teach her during the week. It's hard because her schedule varies a lot.

Other tidbit of culture fluff that I keep forgetting to mention--Brasil's elections are in October, so there's a TON of campaigning going on right now. If you thought American election ads were bad, try coming to Brasil for a day. Here they have those cars that pass through the city playing music and advertisements suuuper loud. It’s sooo annoying. I already know most of the candidates now, and their little election jingles.

Wellll, I think that's about it for news here. We’re doing well here in Carpina. I love love love this ward and this area, and can't believe how fast the time flies. I love you all and hope this week is wonderful! Oh, other news I forgot! Our mission is getting a senior couple to work in the office! The Swalbergs, I think their name was. They are from Utah and we will get to meet them soon :)

Okay that's really it. Love you all! :)
Sister Hicken

Sister Fortes, Sister Hicken, and Sister Munoz...Proud "Mama" with her two "Daughters".

Sister Munoz, Sister Hicken (in a holiday mood), Sister Kohtz, and Sister Kohtz's companion

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