Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week 3 in Carmichael!

Hello everyone!! 

This was a great week in Carmichael! We had interviews yesterday with President, so P-day got moved to today. On Tuesday, Sister Wilson had to go to the doctor because she gets a check up every 6 months. The doctor is a bishop in the Folsom Stake...very nice. While we were in there, I decided to ask about my legs. I found out I have a stress fracture in one leg...and in the other, I just need to stretch it better. He told me to take some time off running. haha I started crying, but it is fine now. I take Ibuprofen, and that helps. I have been riding the bike every morning in the gym. They are getting a little better, so hopefully I can start running again soon. 

The senior couple missionaries in the Mission Office came up to me last week and said, "Are you Genevieve Hickman!?" I said yes. They said, "You get more mail than any other missionary in this whole mission! There are 270 missionaries!! If you were not here, we would have half the work!! We have been wanting to meet this Genevieve Hickman." I started laughing. I told them I just have the best friends and family ever! I have said that for years...that I am surrounded by the best people in the world and this is proof :) Thank you all for loving and supporting me! Even the whole office here agrees!! :) I just thought that was funny, so I wanted to share. They all know about my sorority now :)

Tuesday afternoon, we had a lesson with a woman who was a referral from the Elders. It was the hardest lesson I have had. It is the kind of lesson you think we would have more as missionaries, but we really do not. She asked tons of questions and argued a bit. She was quite scary! Sister Wilson was laughing that she even intimidated me! But she did. After the lesson, we were not feeling too good. We just felt like the Spirit could not be there with contention, but how do you teach and try to stay on topic when she is asking all sorts of questions? It was bothering me. Well, Wednesday, Sister Wilson had exchanges with our Sister Training Leader, so I went to Folsom for the day. We met that night with their Ward Mission Leader and I was talking to him about the lesson. He gave great advice and really brought the Spirit in. He said how our purpose as missionaries is to love and to teach. We have to teach simply and help keep things focused. That is the way the Spirit will be there. He just really lifted my spirits because I had been upset about the work. He gave me that spiritual boost I needed for the rest of the week.

Albert, Wesley, and Mohammed are still on date for November 8!! They came to Stake Conference on Sunday and LOVED IT! They are so excited for baptism. I just love them. I know I will stay in touch with them after I get home. We are still trying to figure out Albert's situation, so that he can be baptized November 8. He just does not have money for an apartment to go to. He said, "If I cannot move out, I will just marry Thelma, so I can be baptized." We said, Albert, you cannot just marry her to be baptized!! Poor guy! This all has been hard on him.

Things with the ward are getting better. We feel that Heavenly Father wants us to focus on strengthening the ward and their faith in Christ. We are going to try to do some member visits everyday and help bring the Spirit into their homes. We want to serve them and love them. I think by the end of the transfer, the ward will have made large strides. They are just tired and exhausted, so we need to help build their testimonies.

Yesterday in interviews, President Jardine was telling me about the last transfer and how I was headed to Elk Grove. He said something was not right. He was up in the middle of the night and received revelation to move some things around. He said Carmichael is exactly where Heavenly Father wants me and that I am with Sister Wilson for a reason. The Spirit was so strong and it is incredible to see all the revelation that goes into transfers. 

I am just thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ. So many people out here do not understand that He suffered for us and because of that, we can have hope. We can start over. and we can change. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share this good news with the people of Carmichael. As missionaries, we just want to help other people and realize how much joy, truth, and peace they can find from the gospel. I truly love my mission. It is a privilege to be out here serving. I cannot believe my 4 month is coming up!! It is FLYING by!! 

Have a great week! Thank you for loving me and supporting me!! That makes it easier to be out here away from you all :) 

Talk to you soon,
Sister Hickman 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Another Week in Carmichael!!

Hello friends and family!!

It has been a great week in Carmichael!! I am getting more and more familiar with the area. Especially because I have been driving all week :) Sister Wilson scraped the side of the car, so she got her privileges taken away haha so you can imagine at after experiencing my driving that she regrets that!!! It should only be a few more days of driving haha but I have liked it!! 

So...Albert, Mohammed, and Wesley (our African investigators) are still on date for baptism November 8th!! Ekkkk!! We cannot wait!! We teach them almost everyday. They are incredible! This week we taught them the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity (it was a little awk) and they are praying for so much strength. They inspire me. They truly follow the will of the Lord with their whole heart. They came to Church again yesterday and loved it! This week they gave Sister Wilson and me African names. Mine is Zoe (pronounced like "zoo") and it means "the head." Haha they call me boss because I am so direct and always tell them how it goes. They already know me too well!!! I always tell them that when I am firm that it is out of love! Sister Wilson's name has to do with her being loving and positive...which is so perfect for her! Albert is in a tough situation right now. He is living with his girlfriend and does not have a job and money to move out. We are praying for a miracle!! Something has to happen for him to be baptized because he is not living the law of chastity. He is trying though! He now sleeps on the couch. AND he reads the Book of Mormon all night while his girlfriend sleeps and he sleeps when she gets up! Isn't that amazing?? He does not think he should marry her, so that is why we are trying to find him a job and apartment. We have 3 weeks to make this happen! One night he was really down, so we were giving him a pep talk. He was lacking faith that a miracle could happen. I was so passionate talking to him because I have really been focusing on faith lately. I know that if it is Heavenly Father's will for him to be baptized Nov 8th, that he will find a job and a place to live! I was really getting into it. He said, "Sister Hickman, you are so direct and gave showed me the faith I needed." I love being a missionary because I love helping people. The other day, I was thinking about what it will be like going home and focusing on my life because when I am out here, I am only thinking about the lives on my investigators and how to help them. It is the best thing! 
This describes Sister Wilson and me in a NUTSHELL!! Haha she is so cute and sweet and then there is me probably sassing off to Mohammed hahaha.
We had a lesson this week with this crazy Philippine man!! We brought a woman in the ward with us who is from the Philippine's. Surprisingly, I hadn't gotten worked up with anyone until this. Haha I really have been pretty patient and loving with people, but this guy just got me so worked up!!!! I wish you could have seen it. Sister Wilson was dying laughing. I called him stubborn at one point. I was not Bible bashing, but when I get really into something I talk loud and fast and just go off!! He was nuts. It was one of the funniest lessons ever. Just try to imagine!! 
Us in front of church yesterday! That is Wesley and Albert. 
The ward is super interesting and it has been hard. We have challenges in every area and this is the challenge in this. I am not going to give details, but let's just say this week was full of "Sister Hickman feisty moments" in case you cannot already tell! Yesterday at church I wanted to just give up. But, I told prayed to Heavenly Father and told him I am a fighter, and we are going to make this situation the best it can be! I had one of the most spiritual experiences yesterday during the Sacrament. I was crying and praying so hard and truly felt my Heavenly Father's love around me. As I reflected on my Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement, I remembered how I am not alone and never have to be. I am thankful for the gospel in my life and for the hope it brings. I am realizing how my mission is teaching me SO many lessons that will prepare me for the rest of my life. I cannot believe the experiences of missions. They seriously are the best! There is nothing better than getting lost in the Lord's work and focusing on His children around us. I love Carmichael and am thankful for the blessings, miracles, but yet challenges that it brings. 

I love you all! 
Until next week,
Sister Hickman 

Monday, October 13, 2014

First Week in Carmichael!!

Hello Everyone!!!

What an incredible first few days in Carmichael!! I am about 20 minutes east of Sacramento...I believe. And guess what.....I AM IN A CITY!!!! Carmichael is not huge, but definitely more city-like than Cameron Park was! I came from an all-residential area and here there are restaurants, business, and stores.  I LOVE IT! Oh, and most importantly...THERE IS A TARGET!!! WOOHOO I am so happy! So turns out, it is not full-time bike. A sister from a couple months ago could not ride bike, so the car has just stayed. I am bummed about that! Hopefully we will be able to ride bikes a few times a week. But seriously, there are people everywhere and THEY LISTEN TO US!!! It is a little ghetto, so people are humble. It is crazy how different it is than El Dorado area! 
The day Sister Parkinson and I left each other. It was sad let me tell you!! She will be my friend for life. I cannot wait for her to come visit y'all in Oklahoma :) 
This is us with Sister Gomm. I am so happy we got to live with the Gomm's! Brother Gomm hates pictures, so he went on a run when I was moving out...I was so mad at him! The Gomm's are incredible, and they will always be my mission parents :) 
I came to the area on Wednesday and met my new companion at the mission office. Side-note: The mission office is in my area, so I will be able to get mail and packages way easier and faster because we can just go pick them up! 

My new companion is Sister Wilson. She graduated high school the year after me, and she is from Pleasant Grove, Utah (by Provo). She is the cutest little blonde you've seen! She has been out 9 months. She has been in this Carmichael area for just one transfer, so she still has trouble getting around. She is super friendly and good at talking to people. We live in an apartment here. It is so different than living at the Gomm's! No one in this area really lives with members...it is so different! Being in an apartment is pretty fun though, and we have a little gym! Which I am so happy about because Sister Wilson does not run, so it is nice because she can sit there while I run in the gym. Also, I will probably be in this area through the winter, so it will be nice to have an indoor workout area.
Sister Wilson and me with Wesley (far left), Albert (very front, arms crossed), and Mohammed (to the right of me). The woman is Albert's girlfriend...she sits in lessons occasionally. Prince is on the right. He is one of their friends we are teaching, but he is not on-date for baptism like them. And the girlfriend's son, Harry, is the cute little boy in the front. We love them!!!! 
We are in the La Sierra Ward. This is definitely a baptizing area. They have not had one in a few months, but they have lots of recent converts in the ward. About 2/3 of the ward is less-active. It is definitely a different vibe than my last 2 wards in El Dorado. Boy oh boy do I miss those wards and those members!!! They were incredible!!!!! I am so so glad I was there for my first area. This ward will be interesting haha, but at least we have lots of people to teach, etc. I think that wraps up the intro on my new area. I seriously love it!!! 

So...these last few days here have been full of MIRACLES!!! The night before I got here, Sister Wilson and the other companion received a referral from headquarters of this man who referred himself. His name is Albert and from Liberia in Africa (no, he does not have that disease! ). They taught him the night before I came to the area. When they showed up, he had two of his African friends there as well. They taught all three of these men (all in their 20s), and they committed them to baptism if they came to know the gospel is true. So, when I showed up Wednesday, we went to teach them the second lesson. They are incredible!! We put them on date for NOVEMBER 8TH!!!! We have taught them everyday. They want to know it all! They came to church yesterday and LOVED IT!!! They know that the gospel is true, and they read the Book of Mormon everyday. They go and teach all of their friends after we do. They are already missionaries!! :) It is so awesome! Their testimonies are growing so much. Investigators get on date for baptism a lot and it falls through, but I truly do not think this will. It is in their culture to not commit to something unless you fully intend keeping it. I AM SO EXCITED!!!! Albert, Mohammed (used to be a Muslim), and Wesley are their names. And if you know me at all you know I have LOVED teaching these African people!!!!! It is the best ever!!!!! They always bring friends to the lessons. 

On Friday, we were at dinner at a member's home. They man working on their carpet was from Nigeria in Africa. We started talking to him outside and it led to a lesson and that led to committing him to baptism and he said YES!!! WHAT?!?!?!? and he came to church yesterday and LOVED IT! He is actually not in our area, so we will be passing him off soon to the other missionaries. 

I just cannot believe all of these miracles!! We teach SO many African people. I AM OBSESSED!! We were talking to President and Sister Jardine the other night on the phone, and I said, "President, you are probably laughing at me thinking back at all my emails yo you hinting that I wanted to stay in El Dorado and not leave...and now look at me here loving it!!! I know this is where Heavenly Father wants me." He said, "Sister Hickman, I knew a long time ago this is where He wanted you." 

I have such a testimony that Mission Presidents truly do receive revelation from Heavenly Father of where the missionaries need to be. My Bishop back home told me that I would serve in a diverse area, where I could teach these kinds of people because I have always loved them. I know that I am supposed to be in Carmichael. I am so thankful to my Father in Heaven for giving me this experience and allowing me to be apart of this great work. He knows me and loves me. I am so grateful to be a missionary and teach the gospel. It truly is the best thing I have ever done in my life. I am so grateful I started in a hard area like El Dorado because now I know how to work hard and have faith! I needed so many lessons at the start of my mission, which I learned in El Dorado. I miss Sister Parkinson so much. She is an INCREDIBLE missionary. I told her when I left that I would probably appreciate her a million times more when I get my other companions. She is just so obedient and diligent and taught me to be that way. I am thankful to have been trained by her! And she was the best person for me to have been with in such a hard area like that. Sister Wilson and I work well together and she is very laid-back. She is awesome in lessons and great with talking to people. I am just a little more Type A personality...like "let's get going" kind of missionary haha. 
But seriously,  I am just thankful for so much right now! My heart is full. I know this gospel is true, and it is incredible to watch it change other people's lives. 

I love you all and miss you tons!!! P.S. I am trying to catch up on my letter writing!! :)

Until next week,
Sister Hickman

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


SOOOO.....I am getting transferred! Hahaha it has been a huge ordeal. So, last night we had dinner with the Gomm's (the fam we live with) and our investigators, Karen and Carisa were there. It was getting late, so we went out to get our phone in case we got the call soon. About 20min later the Zone Leaders call. They said "Sister Hickman, you are going to Elk Grove." I started SOBBING! In front of the Gomm's and the investigators. I was so upset! I could not even finish talking to them. Haha I handed the phone to Carisa to get the rest of the info. Then, they told Sister Parkinson that she was staying here over these two wards and a new companion will come. Seriously, I was devastated. I cried ALL NIGHT! The poor Gomm's. They were so worried about me. I woke up at 2:15 am this morning because I could not sleep. I have been awake for HOURS! This morning we went to the temple, and I was talking to a sister I came out with. I asked where she was being transferred to and she said Elk Grove to be with Sister Henderson. I said, "I am going to Elk grove to be with Sister Henderson." One of the Sister Training Leaders was standing there and said, "Sister Hickman is on my list for being one of my sisters I'm over in Carmichael." We were all so confused!! After the temple, I called the Assistants to the President, and they said, oh yeah...you are going to Carmichael! So there it is! Tomorrow, I leave for Carmichael in the La Sierra Ward. This is the stake with the mission office and AP's. It is the zone with the highest baptism rate. It is on fire right now!!! My area is ALL BIKE!!!! I am pumped for that. I gotta get off this mission weight! I have heard my companion is super fun and awesome. SO I AM EXCITED!!! It is sad to say good-byes today to the members, and I do not want to leave Sister Parkinson at all, but I am excited! Also, this area is pretty ghetto I guess. haha I have been told I will know the scent of every drug by the time I leave...wonderful! This will be great. 

So....this week in Cameron Park. It is so weird this was my last week! We had some really powerful lessons with investigators. If any get baptized this transfer, I can come back for them!!! On Friday, we got to go to the Mission office and see "Meet the Mormons." It comes out this next weekend in select theaters. It was so good!!!! It is basically just a documentary on some different Mormon individuals. you all should check it out! Watching the segment on the Navy football coach made me miss football SO MUCH! Wow, can't wait to go to a game again!! I loved the segment on the "Missionary Mom." I think it will help people see where we, as missionaries, come from. We are normal and have family/friends just like everyone else!!!!
Sister Gomm took us to Mormon Street on our way home from watching "Meet the Mormons!"
General Conference was amazing!!! There were a couple talks that really stuck out. Obviously, Elder Bednar's talk. Check it out! It is all about why this Church loves missionary work! I also loved President Uchdtforf's talk.

Okay, I am sorry I am so overwhelmed! I had so much I wanted to say this week, but today I have to pack, say good-byes, etc. My mind is racing! And I have had no time to write anyone back, but I am working on it!!!! Promise!!!! 

I am sorry this email is not better with more inspiration, etc. Good things happened this week, but it would take too long. Just know that I am headed to Carmichael tomorrow, and I am so so excited!!!! Also, I will get to see Sister Parkinson Saturday at Zone Conference, so I am telling myself it isn't good-bye yet :) I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven for all he has blessed me with! El Dorado Zone has been incredible, and I am sad to leave. I cannot wait to come visit it someday!!! 

I love you all so much!!!! 

Sister Hickman