Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Goodbye Carpina...Hello Ouro Preto!

October 29, 2014                                 Wednesday
Hello everyone! I'm still alive! Worry not! It has been a caaaraaaaaaazy week. I am on today, and not Monday because I got transferred, and our zone gets to go to the temple today! Yippee!!!!! Sooo first things first.
This week was my last week in Carpina. As always, we didn't get the call until Sunday night, but I was expecting it, because I served here for 5 transfers. I was feeling that my time was up. Me and Sister Evans were transferred. Sister Kohtz and Sister Muñoz stayed (and Sister Evans is going to Boa Vista, my first area! Also, Sister Roig says that Rosa is going to the temple to be sealed on December 15th! We're going to try to go :) ANYways, it was reeeeally hard to say good-bye to everyone in Carpina. I came to love so many people SO much, and I just have to promise myself that I'll go back to visit one day, because I can't stand to think that I would never see them again. But backing up, I'll give a quick run-down of the highlights this week-
Let's see.....we marked Dalva and Aninha for baptism on November 9th. They just have to come to church!!! Farias and Veronica came to church on Sunday :DDD They really liked it. We're going to (or Sister Muñoz and her new comp Sister Venegas) are going to mark their baptisms this week. Also Waleska came to church. She's progressing. We'll help her get there.

Friday we did a service project with Mó and Cicero, cleaning their new house. We scrubbed paint stains off the floor. Thanks to my years of training from a world-class floor scrubber (thanks Dad!) we got that house sparkling clean. Sunday we went to Lagoa do Carro, (literally means Car Lake), a neighboring city to visit a media referral, with our Ward Mission Leader, Erick. We found her, and 2 other new investigators there and I think the work may really start to grow there. It was exciting! 

Service Project at Mo and Cicero's with their grandson, Joao.

Me and Zenaide, my Brazilian grandma.  This lady is HILARIOUS! We LOOOOVE her!

Had a great lesson with Silvânia and Juliana and Andreza this week. They made lunch for us. It was sooo delicious and they were sooo sweet. They committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and next week are going to come to church with Cicero!

Teaching Silvania, Juliana, and Andreza with Sister Munoz
Sunday we got the transfer call, and then had a missionary correlation meeting, and then I said good-bye to everyone. I wasn't able to keep it together. Also I was starting to feel sick, but still wanted to visit some people. We ran into Erick, my old investigator at the church, and he came with us to visit Dominik and Daiane. I love those girls so much. We hugged and cried, and they asked me to give a prayer before I left. Then I said good-bye to Erick. I wasn't able to say good-bye to Rose or Marcelo, they didn't pick up the phone :(((( I got all packed up after that and then the next morning, we headed to the transfer meeting.
I got transferred to Ouro Preto! I'm in a trio, but in two weeks may be training a new sister who will arrive. I'll give more details on the area next week, but I am super excited to be working here and I loooove my new companions! Sister Piza is from Sao Paulo and Sister Damian is from Peru. Sorry I am running out of time I have to go but I love you all and talk to you later!!!
Sister Hicken

P.S.  Erick almost got run over by a REAL LIVE ARMADILLO last week! I saw a real live armadillo. And it ran in between Erick's feet hahahahaha. It was so funny. It was running away from its owner, and everyone was screaming. But it was sooo cute! I wanted to pet it.  That’s all. I just remembered and thought you would enjoy. :)

3 Marias Neighborhood

Sister Evans, Sister Kohtz, Amaro and Alcina (1st counselor in the bishopric and his wife, the Relief Society President), and Pamela and Fernando, a recent convert and spouse, Me, and Sister Munoz.

Our ward "district".  They are like our elders.  Erick--the taller one is--is our ward mission leader, and Nininho, the shorter one is the 2nd counselor in the bishopric.  They are both RMs and drive the missionary force in our Carpina ward.

Me, Daiane, and Sister Munoz

That is a real live dead cockroach on the knife.  I had to drown it and then scoop it out of the sink and then dump it in the trash.  Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!

Me and a mural in Carpina that made me think of Emma.

Me and Sister Fuoco

Me and my new mission companions.  Sister Damian, Me, and Sister Piza...#windblowinginourhair=supermodels

New Ouro Preto Power Trio:  Sister Piza, Sister Hicken, and Sister Damian.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Missionary Nightmares: Motorcycle X-Games in the Conference Center

October 20, 2014
Mata-mussa [woods-not a word] is not a word. However, montanha-russa [rollercoaster] is, and sometimes that makes a difference when you're telling a story about roller coasters. #portuguese
This week started out kinda rough. Appointments that we had marked ahead of time, as well as the members we had scheduled to come with us just fell through, one after the other. It was incredible. We did a loooot of walking and talking and knocking. (Actually, here, they usually clap instead of knock). But then we saw the blessings! Friday we had a great lesson with Girlaine and made goals with her to [be baptized]. It was perfect. And then, WE FOUND MARCELO! Or actually he found us. We were booking it down the street to get to the church on time, and I was on the phone, and he saw us, and was coming to talk to us, but then seeing that we were in a hurry, he decided he was just going to let it go, and in that moment, I turned around, and me and Sister Muñoz gasped and there was much shriekage and laughage and shaking of hands. We had been praying to be able to find him, because we hadn't been able to get a hold of him for 3 weeks. We found out that the number we had for him was wrong, and he didn't have our right number either, and so he had called and sent messages, but we didn't respond, and he thought we were mad at him, but we weren't! And he showed us where his house is, and the next day we had a lesson with him, and marked to do a fast with him that his mom will soften her heart, and that we and brother Cícero will be able to meet with her and resolve her concerns. We read with him the story of Esther, which is perfect for the situation. He's such a good kid. We are praying so hard for him to be able to be baptized.
Saturday we taught Denis, our recent convert’s family. His parents, and 2 little cousins. Carlos, Maria, Vitória, and Carla. And they all came to church! We are going to try to mark their baptism this week. They are such a sweet family.
Last night I had a dream that we were watching conference, but only like half the MoTab was there, and only some were singing and others were coming and going during the song, and I was like what is this??? And then all of a sudden there was this motorcycle X-Games thing going on in the middle of the conference center, and then another motorcycle got shot out of a cannon, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CONFERENCE CENTER and I was like "What are you doing??!!! This place is sacred!!! You can't do that!!!! Where is conference???" and then I woke up. #missionarynightmares. #iapologizefortheexcessiveuseofhashtagsduringthisletter
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!!!! :D

Sister Hicken

Family Home Evening at Erick's House (He's the ward mission leader, and the one taking this picture).  I love everyone in this photo!!

Beautiful Recife, Brazil

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Little Miss Matched Sock Queen

October 13, 2014

Somehow Monday the 13th doesn't seem as terrifying as Friday the 13th.
This week was awesome. We had zone conference! It was a different kind of zone conference because it was solely our zone, and it was more like an institute class, because that's Pres. Bigelow's specialty. He was a seminary/institute instructor and head honcho guy before the mission. So we got to have a missionary institute class with him, and it was amazing. I learned soooo much. It was great.
This week we found a lot of new people! It's been amazing to see how Heavenly Father has guided us, as we have been trying to seek more guidance of the Spirit. Several times this week, appointments fell through, so we prayed to know where we should knock on doors or talk to people, and felt inspired to go to a certain house/street, and found out as we talked with the person, that they had been praying for comfort, or an answer from God. It is the best feeling.
Visited a less active member with Renata, RS counselor. She had visited this lady, Marinalva, and her non-member daughter, Girlaine was there, and accepted the invitation to hear the missionary lessons. So we visited them this week, and met other members of the family as well. Marinalva and some of her daughters were baptized a few years ago, but she has a problem with her bones and can't walk very far, and lives far away from the church. So she hasn't come for a while. But we arranged for a brother in the ward to give her a ride to church and she and Girlaine, and another daughter who's a member, Celine, all came to church! It was so cool :) Girlaine is really receptive. We hope that this time around, we will be able to help her progress and join her family in the church :)
We visited a referral this week, Farias, and taught him and the lady who helps him, Veronica. They are amazing. Farias worked for the police a while back, and is now retired. He has one prosthetic leg, and is almost completely blind, but super intelligent, and very receptive. He lives alone, and so hired Veronica to help him do things around the house. She is super patient and suuuper sweet, and they both loved our visit, and when we left the pamphlet of the Restoration with them, they read it that night, and called us to thank us for the visit, and our message, and said they read and discussed what they read. They accepted the invitation to be baptized, and are super incredible! They wanted to come to church, but his driver was out of town. Hopefully this week, they can work that out.
Other updates, Dennis, one of our recent converts, got to baptize a young woman, Kevelyn, from the other sisters' area. It was soooo cool! He is preparing to serve a mission next year :)
Discovered that my companion is a little OCD with some things, and I didn't know, but my socks had been puzzling her a little bit haha. As many of you know, I never match my socks. I purposely mismatch them. So when we're at home, or at night when I'm cold, I put on my knee-length super-cool mismatched socks that came from a special store of mismatched socks called Little Miss Matched (they come in a pack of three and each sock is different. this trio of socks is the crown-jewel of my sock collection). And every day she would look at me and think that I had lost the other pair, and think that the next day I would go back to wearing normal socks, but I never do. I mentioned this week my sock quirk, and she was like, "Ohhhhh that's why, I always noticed that and thought you had lost all your socks". Hahaha. I wore a normal pair today to see if she'd notice. She hasn't yet.
So yeah that was the week in a nutshell! Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Beijos e abraços from Carpina! :)[Hugs and kisses]

Sister Hicken

Chocolates for all the recent birthdays in the Zone.  Happy Late Birthday Camille

Zone Conference with President and Sister Bigelow

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Better Than Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or Halloween!!

October 6, 2014                                   Monday


I gave it four stars. It was fantastic. Ahhhhhh I already can't wait to read the Conference Liahona. Mom and Dad you haven't watched it yet, but they had a cool new element this time where the general authorities from other countries gave their talks in their native language, and they put the words up in English to read. It was so cool! Elder Carlos. A. Godoy talked in Portuguese. Yep that's what it sounds like! It was weird thinking that this was the last time I would be watching conference in Portuguese, but hopefully in the future, I'll still get to hear these native speakers from time to time. 

Conference answered a lot of questions for me, both as a missionary, and personally. And we had a fair amount of people who came! Eder and his mom closed their store on Sunday to come from a different town to watch conference here in Carpina. They reeeeally, really liked it. We're sad because they officially moved to Limoeiro, but it was great because the sisters from Limoeiro came here for conference as well, and they were able to meet him, and mark an appointment with him and his mom.

Waleska (pronounced Valeska), Camilla's friend came to church again, and we were able to visit her this week with one of the YW leaders. We hope to start teaching her family as well as her.

We were able to catch Dalva at home this week! She has been working every night with the political rallies, so we hadn't been able to meet with her. But thankfully on Sunday, the elections were held (I don't even know who won) and so she'll be able to meet with us, and come to church. She is such a sweetie. 

[As I serve on my mission] I think I'm starting to understand a little how Heavenly Father feels with me, when He needs me to do something that to me seems hard, but He sees the whole picture, and He knows that if I just take a step forward, the blessings will come, and I will understand. He is so patient with us. And lets us choose for ourselves, even when that must break His heart when we choose to go astray. 

Well, that's about it for this week! Sorry it wasn't a very exciting letter, haha. Happy Post-conference! Hope you were able to receive answers to prayers :) I know God directs this church through his prophet, and his chosen servants. We are so blessed to live during this time of priesthood power, and modern revelation. I love this gospel. And I love all of you! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Hicken