Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Planting Seeds in Ouro Preto

November 17, 2014

Hello everyone! 

First things first, the mission address zip code thing changed. Now, instead of 50070-050 it's 50070-055. Letters/packages sent to the original will still be routed to the new address for a time, but all future things should be sent to this new one. 

So second things second, this week was my first week with my new companion! Sister Morales. She is from Merida, Mexico, and is 19 years old. She loves to sing, and was studying chemistry and physics and a lot of sciency stuff before the mission. She LOVES the heat. You will notice in this picture that she is wearing a blazer. Yeah, I was melting, and she was chilly. Haha so she feels right at home here in Recife. I love this woman already! She is so excited to work and LOVES Ouro Preto (didn't even complain about taking a bucket shower on her first night on the field. She's a trooper. P.S. water returned after that, it was just a day or two.) Tuesday President and Sister Bigelow picked me up and we went straight to the airport to pick up Sis. Morales. One of the first things she asked me was, "Are we going to get to proselyte tonight?" Hahaha she is the best. Still learning Portuguese, but already speaks very well. 

Wednesday we had a training meeting for all the new missionaries and the trainers, and it was the best thing ever, because I came away with new ideas to work with in the ward, and in opening the area.   We ended up not really dividing the area by a line, because there isn’t a great way to divide Ouro Preto, and it turns out the area isn’t all that big.  So we’re working us four in the same area for now. It is likely that the division of the area will be temporary, but we won't know for sure until transfers of course. But President told me not to worry too much about how we divide the area. 

It's been a long week of planting. We planted a lot of seeds this week, and talked with a loooooot of people. I don't think I've ever talked with so many people in one week before. We have already started to see some miracles. The first night, everything fell through, so we said a prayer to know where the Lord would have us go, and started walking and a woman was passing and saw us and said, "Hey what church are you guys from, because I just moved here and I'm looking for a church to go to, but haven't found one yet. Can you help me?" My mouth dropped open. We told her about our church, and marked a visit with her for the next day. Unfortunately, she had to take someone to the hospital and couldn't meet with us, but asked us to mark another day this week. More updates on events unfold. We met another young woman in a similar situation, that we went in the direction we felt we should go, and she came to us, and asked us to pray for her, and I asked if we could share a message with her, and she wrote down all her information, and said we would be very welcome because she was really needing help from God. So we met a lot of people this week through contacts, but also felt strongly that we should work more with less actives, to strengthen the ward, and also find new people to teach. We've got several ideas that are going to help strengthen the ward, from Presidente Bigelow, and also we're excited because the bishop is going to call a ward mission leader this next week, most likely. So things are not easy here in Ouro Preto, but they're looking up. Sister Morales has the best most upbeat attitude I've ever seen. She already told me she wants to stay in Ouro Preto at least 2 transfers. She loves the area and the people already. 

President Bigelow gave two challenges mission wide this last week. One is to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover as a mission between last Monday and December 17th (our Christmas zone conference), and the other is to find and baptize a family before the end of the year. We are working hard to accomplish these goals! If anyone wants to join me in reading the Book of Mormon (maybe not before the 17th of December, but before the end of the year), you are welcome! Especially if you have never read the Book of Mormon cover to cover, I invite you to start now, and read it in its entirety, and then ask God to know if it really is true. I promise you that He will answer. He answered my prayer, and I know that the Book of Mormon is true. And it has changed my life. 

I love you all and wish you a merry Thanksgiving, if that's this week, and if not then next week haha :) 
Love you all!
Sister Hicken

Camille and her new companion, Sister Morales

The New Ouro Preto Missionary Force:  Sister Hicken (celebrating 14 months in the field on November 11), Sister Morales, Sister Piza and Sister Damian

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