Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Today is my Two Month Mark!!!

I cannot believe tomorrow will be 2 months! It is so weird. Some days I think it FLIES, and then I think about my friends and family and feel like I have not seen y'all in YEARS!! Hahaha. 

So this week! We took a part member family in the ward on a Temple Tour Saturday night. The Folsom Stake puts on a Temple Tour everyday Saturday night at 6pm. They are great! They have videos, a short Restoration video, and a tour around the outside. We are kind of working with this family, but it is hard to read them. The husband is a member and the wife is not. Some of the kids have been baptized. They seemed to enjoy it! The Spirit is always so strong on the Temple grounds. 
Because we are back to both wards, we are back to double church! Wooohooo so Sundays we are there all day, but we LOVE it!! Both wards are awesome. 
A couple of our investigators dropped us this week, but we still have some great ones!
One of them, Jim, we met through our less-active we are working with, Hilary. They are neighbors. We had very powerful lessons with him this week, and we really wanted him to come to church yesterday. He said he was and then slept through it!! ugh!!!! Hopefully next week. He is like in his 40s, and has some older kids out of the house, and has a 2-year-old daughter on the weekends. He is divorced. He has had a harder life, and the Atonement has been so powerful to talk about with him. 
In District meeting this week, we talked about the power in teaching all of our messages around the Atonement. So, on my mission, I have realized that is a total Mormon word. So, what we mean when we say Atonement is the 3 parts dealing with Jesus Christ:
1. Christ suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane for ALL of our pains, sicknesses, sorrows, sadness, etc. Because of Him, we are never alone, He knows exactly what we are going through.
2. Christ dying on the cross for our sins, so we can repent and be cleansed.
3. Christ resurrecting. So now, we will ALL be resurrected after we die.
The Atonement truly is so powerful when teaching because it brings people hope. It should not be a message we only use around Easter, but we should ALWAYS use it. After all, our purpose as missionaries is to bring others unto Christ. We have been showing the "Because of Him" video on the Mormon Channel a lot. It makes me cry every time. 
We have been staying busy with the two areas. We have some solid investigators in both, but we are still always talking to people and trying to find more people to teach! The members were awesome about coming out with us this week! We had a ton of member-present lessons. And they added SO much to the lessons. If you are Mormon, PLEASE go out with the missionaries!!! It helps so much, and the Spirit is so strong in those lessons. 
On Wednesday night, Sister Parkinson and I went on "splits." So she went with a member in Bass Lake, and I went in the Green Valley area with the Bishop's wife. One family we visited, in particular, was amazing! She visit teaches the less-active wife, so we were going to check on her. The kids are in college, and the husband is not a member. They run a ministry and homeless shelter thing in the area. They are incredible people!!! She was not home, so we met with her husband. I had been over there before, and he is way cool but just not interested in the church. However, this time was different. He really opened up about how their ministry is not doing well, and they do not know what direction to take. He is a little bit lost. We talked a lot, and I shared the last verse in Alma 34. It talks about having patience and hope because one day we will rest from our afflictions. He asked me I had that verse picked out to share before I came by. I said no. He said, wait so you listened to me and knew what to say to me? I told him it was the Spirit! As missionaries, we cannot do this alone. We have to teach by the Spirit to know how to help people. Sister Raphael then talked about the power of finding answers in scriptures because he said I helped him find an answer through that scripture. It was just a very powerful time. They are feeding us dinner tonight, and we are going to talk to him about the Book of Mormon. He has been taught by missionaries, but he was just never interested really. That night I was over, I felt something change. He said he wanted what we "had" and what his wife "had." In my head, I was thinking, THAT IS THE GOSPEL!! He knows something is missing. I do not know what will happen, but that night, my testimony grew so much of teaching by the Spirit. If we are in tune with it, we will say EXACTLY what they need to hear at that moment to help them most. 

Well, this week flew by, and I am excited for this week! I seriously love Sister Parkinson (and no, I am not just saying that because I found out her parents somehow found my blog:) ) She seriously is legit! I keep telling her that she will probably by my favorite companion I have and she is at the beginning, so now I am worried for the rest. Haha. She is the Sister Training Leader (sister missionary zone leader), so we will go on exchanges a lot, so I am excited to get to know the other sisters! She was the STL last transfer too, I just forgot to mention that. We get along so well, and teach well together. I am SO thankful to have her as a trainer. I truly could not have it any better. 

Some of my friends have been confused still about a lot of stuff. Missions are just hard to explain!!! You never really know until you go on one yourself. Just know, as a missionary, we our purpose is to teach people about Jesus Christ and bring them unto Him! I wish I could put it into words, but I really cannot. On a mission, you experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There is so much emotion in it because we pour our heart and soul into bringing people into the Gospel. We see their potential and how much it can change their life. And there comes a point when they accept it and get baptized, or they walk away. It is tough to see them walk away when you know they are walking away from the best thing that will every happen to them. I hope that helps a little bit.

I want to bear my testimony on the power of the Atonement. No matter what you have done, what pain you have felt, or how hopeless life seems, as we come unto Christ, we will be strengthened. He experienced it all. He is our Savior, and He loves us. Build your relationship with him. If you do, your entire life will change. I promise. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy in life and have joy. Sure, there are trials. Some more than others. We have to become strong and become the people Heavenly Father knows we can be. 

Have a great week!
Talk to y'all next Monday.

With love,
Sister Hickman 

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