Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 9!

Hi everyone!!! 

This week we did a lot of service. The Church launched something called JustServe.org where organizations and people can sign up for volunteers. The volunteers are us, the missionaries! They want us getting plugged into the community and serving others. This week, we painted a house for Habitat for Humanity. It was a blast! Our whole zone was there, and the workers from Habitat were so great. We bonded so well!!! It was fun to be out meeting people around us and serving. I am not sure which missions are doing this, but I think a lot of the California missions are.

We had a GREAT lesson with Karen and Caressa this week. They are the two that we did family history with a few weeks ago at the Church. They have been visited by missionaries for like 11 years, no joke. They have a strong faith, but they have never felt like God was telling them to read the Book of Mormon or anything. The last few times we have gone over, the Spirit has just been so strong, that we have been feeling like their time may be now! We taught the Restoration and talked A LOT about the Book of Mormon. It was such a powerful lesson. It was my first lesson to recite the First Vision by memory (I always get scared I will mess it up haha), and I was just consumed with the Spirit. The First Vision is the account Joseph Smith recorded of seeing God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith did see them, and that he was called then to restore Christ's Gospel again to the earth in these last days. We committed them to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We left them 2 Nephi 31. We always committed them to be baptized if they came to know that this is true. They said yes! They both said that if God tells them to do this or anything, they will do it at the drop of a hat. Their faith is incredible, and I know I have to trust God's timing. They are so ready! So, Caressa stays with Karen because she did not have a place to live here. Karen has 2 adult sons who live with her, and her husband died about 6 years ago. That is some background on them :) We are hoping to get them up to the Temple grounds this week. 

We were not able to catch Matt and Hannah this week. Hopefully this week!!! They work so much! We keep praying for Matt's heart to continue to soften. 

The work has slowed down and bit, and it is hard to balance both areas. However, we love it! These areas and the members are incredible!!!!! I could not have asked for a better place to start my mission. There are 3 weeks left in this transfer. It is flying!!!! Sister Parkinson only has one more transfer left after this one, so we are HOPING they will keep us together over both these areas!! Usually, the trainer and trainee split after the 2 transfers together of the 12-week training program. Ugh! But we will see. I try not to think about it :) We have some solid investigators, who could totally be baptized in the next couple months! This week we had trouble catching them for lessons, so this week we really want to have sit-down lessons with them. 

It is crazy how normal mission life has become! I love it with my whole heart. Sister Parkinson and I both want to push harder this week and work our very hardest!!

I had some great experiences this week that strengthened my testimony on the importance of following the Spirit. It is so vital in missionary work! There is NO WAY we could do this by ourselves! I am thankful that if we are obedient and follow the commandments, that we can have the Spirit in our lives to lead and guide us. 

We will be waking up around 5:30am a couple times a week now to work out at our Ward Mission Leader's house in the Bass Lake Ward. Remember that incredible house I sent pics of? The Bishop's house? Well, his wife has a sister in the ward. And she is married to our Ward Mission Leader. They have a huge house on a ton of land, too. They have a great gym, so we are going to drive to that a few mornings every week. We were so excited when he showed it to us! Both of our Ward Mission Leaders are great! A Ward Mission Leader is a member at Church, who is assigned to work with you. They help the members with their missionary work, so that we, as missionaries, have more people to teach from the members!
Some woman at church knew someone who knew someone who knew me or something. I was not following, but this picture got sent home to my fam! This was on Sunday in-between our two wards."

This is just some stuff that is going on. I hope you all are doing well!!! Talk to you next week :)

Sister Hickman  

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