Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas From Sister Hicken

December 22, 2014

....La grippe, la post nasal drip. With the wheezes, and the sneezes, and a sinus that's really a PIP! (or bip, I can't remember which.) But I caught the cold that's been circulating through Ouro Preto this month, and it's been fun times. But I've been able to work still, I just sound more like a deacon than a Sister (Bethany---my voice is chaAaanging ). 

This week was pretty darn fantastic! Wednesday we had Conferência de Natal, of the whole entire mission!!!! It was sooo fun to see everybody, and spiritually uplifting as well. We watched a talk by Pres. Uchtdorf called "Fear not, I am with thee" from the mission president training this year, that has really motivated me and Sister Morales to talk with EVERYONE. We are disciples of Christ! We fear no man! Including the drunk guy who Sister Piza always called "Orc", who we contacted on the street this week. It wasn't a very productive conversation, and I'm pretty sure he called Mary Magdalene a word that probably isn't heard in polite conversation, but we tried all the same, haha. 

Our investigators are progressing well this week. One agreed to give up coffee, and is excited for her baptism, which will actually be on January 3rd, due to the craziness of the holidays and her many medical appointments. She also received a blessing of health this week, and it really touched her. She is loving church, along with her grandson. 

Another investigator told Bishop last week that he feels his place is here in the church. We committed him to baptism on January 17th! He is incredible, has been well prepared to receive the gospel because of his experiences in life. We are excited to see him so happy!

Another couple are working on the wedding deal. The government here in Brasil makes it hard for people to get married, a bunch of stupid hoops to jump through that aren't necessary, just bring in more money for them. The sister said she wants me and Sister Morales to be able to be at her wedding and I told her I want to be there too! Keep them in your prayers. 

The ward Christmas party was this Saturday. Here instead of Christmas party, they use the word "Cofraternização" or cofraternization. I don't even know if that's a word in English, but if it was, I would imagine the stiffest, stuffiest party on the face of the planet. Why we don't just use the word festa, I don't know, haha. But it was sooooo good. The youth and primary did a Nativity presentation, and Valeria asked us 2 to sing as part of it. The day of, I came down with a cold, and sounded like a teenage boy, but it turned out well, cuz Sister Morales has a voice like Celtic Woman. There were a lot of visitors there, and some less-actives that came too! One lady we had visited a couple days before with her visiting teacher, and she said, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe I’ll come, but don't count on it! But on Saturday she showed up, and laughed when she saw my look of complete and utter shock, surprise and thrilledness! We were sooo happy she came. Unfortunately she didn't come to church, but this was a big step for her. 

Excerpt from my letter to President-

“It has week has been so wonderful, the highlight being the Conferencia de Natal da missao. Thank you so much for all the time and effort and thought put into the preparation of the conference. It was fantastic. I especially loved the talk from President Uchtdorf. It was exactly what I needed, and those words have echoed in my mind as I approach every person on the street- "You are a disciple of Jesus Christ. You fear no man!" That has been so motivating for me and Sister Morales, and we have strived to put that in practice this week. The work is progressing here, and we are so thrilled to see the progress of our dear investigators. We marked the baptisms of 2 of them, and hope to mark others soon as well. We are trying harder to work more with the members as well, and it has been making a big difference. It's a challenge but our ward mission leader is determined to change their frame of mind and we are starting with the ward missionaries. They are catching the missionary spirit, and we're planning a sacrament meeting about missionary work, where they'll share their experiences teaching with the missionaries, sharing the gospel, seeing the change in the investigators, and we hope this will ignite a desire in the other members to do the same. We are so thankful for the wonderful members, who really make the difference in the work.”

I love you all and hope this week is filled with Christmas magic and miracles and snow! Don't forget to love and serve one another, as Jesus would do this Christmas season. BIG HUG FROM ME! (afterwards wash your hands cuz I don't want you to get sick)


Sister Hicken

DETAILS on the Christmas Skype call. I have 45 minutes, and am shooting for 4 p.m. my time. I’m not sure if this is like 3 in the morning for you guys. I hope not. If it is I'm sorry! [It is 2 a.m. for her family in Bangkok.]

Christmas phone call!  Skype was pretty fuzzy this year, but she still sounded great!

It's 2:30 a.m. for Sister Hicken's family in Bangkok.  Ahhh, the wonders of modern technology.  We Skyped with Sister Hicken, and Facetimed with her sister back in Utah. 

Making sure Bethany gets to see her sister too!

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