Monday, December 28, 2015

The grinch tried to steal our Christmas (Christmas Eve)

Merry Christmas family & friends!
It has been a crazy 10 days since you heard from me :) first off, I
will start off with the big news. Some guy STOLE OUR PURSES!!! So, our
wallets, iPads, scriptures, mission pictures, everything!!!!! And my
last missionary planner of my mission!!!! A missionary's bag is their
life! We were in downtown Sacramento going into the food bank to
volunteer. We don't take our bags in because, well, it is a place full
of homeless people so they aren't safe there. We always put them in
our car trunk. I guess some guy was watching us and when we went
inside, he broke the driver's window, popped the trunk, and grabbed
the purses. Apparently everyone and their mom saw it happen but didn't
do anything hahah merry Christmas to us. And it happened Tuesday on
sister sobotka's birthday!!! Poor thing. It was a crazy day. But, we
had some great reflection about the experience. The first is that for
the first time in our lives we learned what it felt like to have
nothing. Maybe is was just like 2 hours of that, but we realized we
couldn't do or have anything. We were in a place we aren't from,
without family, without money.  It was a humbling experience to get a
taste of how most of the world feels at Christmas who truly have
nothing. No money for presents & no loved ones. I couldn't even take
her out to lunch for her birthday!!! We both cried in the car as we
realized how truly blessed we are because we do in fact have so much.
We were filled with the love of our Savior and truly humbled at what
He taught us. The second thing we reflected on is how our parents
reacted. When a member called them to tell them what happened, so they
could cancel our credit cards and such, they didn't care that our
wallets were gone or that the iPad's they bought would never be seen
again, but both of our parents cared when they would see their
daughters again. The member told us that my parents were so concerned
how I would be able to fly home since my ID was stolen, and sister
sobotka's parents were so concerned when they would be skyping her on
Christmas because we never told them a for sure time. We felt our
parents' love that day. It wasn't about the money or material things,
but it was about family. Word got out to our wards and they collected
money to replace everything. Like they were so generous the bishop had
to turn people away from giving. It has been so nice. The members here
are incredible. We have been given soo much.
Last week, we had temple conference with president and sister Jardine.
It was great! I love going to the temple. It was my last zone
conference. We all thought we would be giving our departing
testimonies, but they changed it. We now give them at transfer
meetings the week we go home! I like that better because it is closer
to when we actually leave.
Major things have been happening with Lee. I don't even know where to
begin but basically, he might be getting baptized before I go home!!
It has been a miracle. We are still figuring everything out. We told
him to pray and ask Heavenly Father specifically when He wants Lee to
be baptized. I told Lee that hopefully God tells him before January 14
:) we will see how it all plays out. Satan is really butting in let me
tell you. I figured out who he reminds me of! He is an adult version
of Danny! Not saying that you aren't an adult yet, Danny....Haha. But
they totally remind me of each other. Very smart but just really good
people. Oh and Lee and his member friend who are smart, successful men
are trying to convince me to major in political science and go to law
school, so yeah that's been freaking me out. My departing interview is
Sunday so I'm trying to get my "life plan" together whatever that
means. Wish me luck.
I want to tell of a simple, child-like faith experience from last
week. We were out with a girl who is heading off to BYU. She wants to
go on a mission when she is 19, so she loves coming out with us. She
was driving us to lessons in her truck. It is pretty old. We were
leaving a lesson and she tried starting it 3 times and it wouldn't go.
We were late for our next appointment, but the truck wouldn't start. I
said, "let's say a prayer." I said a simple, fervent prayer, knowing
that if it was the Lord's will, He would provide a way. After the
prayer, she started the truck and it went!!!! We were all like, "that
was so cool!" Heavenly Father does hear and answer our pleads to Him.
We taught Tommy again. The one who is less-active. He felt the spirit
so strongly. I love teaching him. The lessons are always so powerful.
I always leave so pumped up to teach the gospel to more people!
We have today and tomorrow off. We have some zone activities here and
there, and we are doing a service project tomorrow. We are delivering
Christmas presents to needy families In the area for a nonprofit
organization. I get to drive all the sisters in the mission van, so
yeah, don't know why they picked the craziest driver :) just kidding
I can't wait to skype my family tomorrow!! I hope you all have a great
Christmas season and remember what it is all about! I love you all so
much. Thank you for your love and support. I know our Savior lives and
that we can find peace and clarity in Him.
Until next time,
Sister Hickman
at temple conference with my sweet companion! 

i got to see my lil baby at temple conference! she is doing awesome! 

my last zone conference with two of my most favorite missionaries. these two have made such an impact on my mission! love my folsom comps!

isnt the temple beautiful at night!? Sacramento has our hearts :) 

it's starting to feel like christmas time (week of december 14th)

hi everyone!!! 
despite a couple break downs...it was a great week! Sister sobotka is the best. like people are crazy. hahaha missions teach you to love people, and i do, but at the same time, wow. people are crazy. usually it keeps us pretty entertained. 
The folsom stake put on a live nativity this past weekend behind the temple and it was AWESOME!!!!!! we went two nights with part-member families. the Spirit was so strong! it was about 20 min and they did 4 shows a night. It was so fun seeing members from all my areas there. it was like a little reunion!!! i loved it!!!! 
This week, there was a tender mercy that happened that really showed the Lord's hand in this work. In our new ward, we were told to go meet this woman who is really busy. We went by and as we got out of the car, a guy was walking out of the house to his truck. I asked if he was a worker at the house or if he lived there. He said that it was his grandparents' house and he was just stopping by to visit. He said the woman we were looking for was his aunt that lives here. This guys' name is Tommy. We started talking to him more and it turns out he was raised in the church but stopped going after high school. He has made some decisions that has pulled him away from the path, but he is looking for clarity. We brought up lots of concerns with the church, and we just listened. At the end, I just bore powerful testimony. The Spirit was so strong and we all connected really well. We asked if we could start from the beginning and teach him the missionary lessons and see if he is in a place now to come back to church. He said, "I have said no to missionaries so many times over the years, but I feel something now and Im saying yes." He goes, "you literally were led right to me as I walked outside!" We had our appointment with him and it went really well. He said we were able to put things in a way for him to understand that no one has been able to do. This isnt about me or sister sobotka but that the Spirit guides us what to say so that it is EXACTLY what each individual needs to hear. We talked to his grandparents who lived in the house we were going to and they said this is an answer to years worth of prayers. It was a really neat experience. It was a much needed reminder of how much I love being a missionary and how passionate I am about the gospel and the reality of its help and guidance. 
We had a lesson with Lee this week and he is doing well! But, he wont be getting baptized while I am still out here as a missionary. He will definitely get baptized but there is more going on with him family that needs to get worked out. It will happen when the timing is right. 
This week we are just going to work our butts off and pray like crazy to find prepared people! we got back out on bikes this week and it was a blast. We talked to lots of people. 
Thank you for all that you do! I miss you all! everyone keeps sending me emails today "one month from today" hahha that is so crazy. it doesnt even feel real! This is the best time of year to be a missionary! people are nicer and they like to talk about Jesus :)
Have the best week!
Sister Hickman 
At lunch with Susan and we realized we all had CTR rings so we had to
take a pic :) Choose The Right y'all!

Susan with her original sisters :) we still remember May 4th so well!!
It was so fun going to lunch with her today! When she emails me....it
started with her addressing me sister Hickman, then it went to sister
Genny, then miss genny and then this week it was genny hahha. She's so

The live nativity in Folsom!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Be careful what you pray for

Hi everyone!

It was a great week but I'm just so stressed all the time! We are so busy but like with random stuff. Idk my head is spinning with everything I have to remember. Our investigators are struggling to come to church which is hard. I wanted another Ward because it does keep us busy but man, is stresses me out! It'll be good though. I love sister Sobotka! Things are going well.
This week during studies, it was hard for me to focus because I kept thinking about everything we needed to do. One morning when I was reading the Book of Mormon, a scripture I read was exactly what I needed. It strengthened my testimony that the scriptures really are there to help us feel God's love.
I got my trunky papers this week where I have to basically map out my life and then talk about it with President in my departing interview and that is just weird. I think going home and adjusting will be a lot harder for me than I thought. But I just can't think about that because that stresses me out even more!
This week I will be doing a lot of praying of how to help our investigators. It is hard knowing how much to involve ourselves. Good thing we have the Spirit to help us! I'd be so lost without it.

I'm grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. As we approach this holiday season, it is natural to think about Him more. I couldn't think of anything better than being His representative. I am so grateful that He went before me and set the perfect example. I know that He lives and loves us. Thank you for all of your love and support. And thank you especially for all the prayers. I love you all!
Oh and BOOMER SOONER. People give me updates all the time. I'm a proud Okie over here!

Sister Hickman

Love my sweet companion! 
Merry Christmas from Old Sac!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Heavenly Father really does love me

Hi you guys!!!

I HAVE SO MUCH TO TELL!!!! first off, I am staying in Rossmoor!! and guess who my last companion will be on my mission.....SISTER SOBOTKA!!!!! this is who I wanted it to be! I wrote President last week saying that I wanted Sister Sobotka to be transferred here. He pulled me aside yesterday at the transfer meeting and said, "Sister Hickman, when i got your email, I want you to know that you two had already been assigned as companions." God and I are just really in tune :) just kidding. but seriously I COULDNT BE HAPPIER! she is my mission little sis. we adore each other! I was her STL when I was in Folsom and we got really close. She is Mary Cate's age and is from Highland, UT. It is by American Fork. She goes to BYU and has been out 10 months. She is the oldest of 5 kids. She is super sweet and we are excited to work together. We are shotgunning the other neighboring ward.So, they took the two sisters out of there and combined the wards. So we will be busy! it is a blessing because were slowing down in Rossmoor ward and now we get to keep working in it and teaching Lee and we can learn a whole new ward! It will be a CRAZY last 6 weeks! Im so so so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Thanksgiving was so fun. We went down to Sacramento and did the run for the hungry. 30,000 people were there! missionaries talked to people at the finish line, and me and sister wright did the walk. in skirts. hahhha it was funny. we were talking to people and giving out cards during the walk. man, fun times as a missionary. life is just so awkward. people were really nice though. The run went through the "Fab 40s" they call it and it is the nice part of Sacramento. It is just like mid-town tulsa. I felt at home :) The rest of the day we did different things. Dinner was fun at the member's! It was a great day. 
I emailed Alec last week (my recent convert from East Sac) and he is the Elders Quorum Pres in his YSA ward and goes to the temple every week for baptisms and he is just doing so well!!!! It made me so happy to hear from him and all that he is experiencing. I want to come back in February when he goes through the temple at his year mark! 
Sister Lillie and I had so many miracles on Saturday as we worked the last day together in our area! There was a family on the ward list that we kept trying and never answered. A guy finally answered on saturday and said that they had moved and didnt live there anymore. But he said they moved down the street and told us where! we went and met them. It is a mom with three kids and a husband. The husband isnt a member (he was at work when we went), and the mom stopped going to church after primary. We were talking to her and her 12 year old daughter and the daughter is interested! and the mom wants to come back. they are a sweet fam! it was such a tender moment knowing that God truly led us to them. Literally bc we didnt have an address haha. 
I could not be in a better place or with a better comp my last 6 weeks. I am so excited to go out and work so hard. I love being a missionary, sharing my testimony and seeing the light in peoples' eyes. This gospel truly changes people. It gives them what they are searching their lives for. 
thank you all for your support the last 17 months (tomorrow). 6 more weeks to do this!!!!!!!!!!! Let's go!!!!!
Have the best week!!!!!!!!!

sister hickman 
Our last full work day as comps!!!! What a blast biking Cordova with
my little baby, sister Lillie! She is in Carmichael now on FULL BIKE!
She will be awesome :)

We contacted at a Christmas event. It was huge!!!!! They had so much
stuff for people to do. And they had fake snow. See it in my hair?? :)

Grateful for this one. We said bye after 12 weeks. I'm thankful I
could train her. We both learned a lot. I said to her our last night,
"sister Lillie, do you think we'll be those companions that become
close when we aren't companions anymore?" Hahaha she agreed. Sister
Lillie is awesome! One day sister Parkinson will meet her and we'll
take a family picture :) she has an incredible mission ahead of her!

My adorable sister Sobotka!!! So happy she is "killing me off." These
next 6 weeks will be a blast!

on thanksgiving in downtown sac with Sister Lillie :) 

you arent a real missionary without a bike :) 

the trio reunited one year later :) good times last christmas with these two! 

the Christmas initiative has launched! 

at the Thanksgiving walk/run!!! It was fun doing it with sister wright! 

thank you Sacramento for a fun thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

novel writings by yours truly

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I feel like I have so much to tell you!
So just giving  heads up, this is kind of long....and transfers are next week!!! Pday will be Tuesday! I think I'm staying and sister Lillie thinks she is leaving, but we will have to see!!
    Well first off, Lee is doing awesome! When we met on Tuesday, it had only been a week and he had already read the first 15 chapters in the Book of Mormon! On thursday, we taught the Restoration. The spirit was so strong. When I said Joseph Smith's First vision, I could see the spirit in his eyes. He knew it was true. At the end of the lesson we asked him to pray to know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. He said, "I dont need to, I already know it is!" He accepted everything we taught. Lee is one of the most
genuine, service oriented people I know. He says that after seeing all the good the members of the church do, there is no way it isn't Christ's church! He says everything we taught makes total sense. I stopped in the middle and said, "Thank you Lee! This is what I have been trying to say my whole mission when people tell us we are crazy!
You are smart, educated, sharp.....there is still hope out there!!!!!" Seriously though. Lee brings so much hope. I have been discouraged lately because with everything going on with the Church and the media, members are choosing to listen to the world and they are letting go of what they know to be true. Strong, lifelong members. It is the saddest thing. I keep thinking, how are we as missionaries supposed to bring people in and expect them to be strong during these "last days" when the strongest are letting go?? It is so hard to stay strong! After this lesson, I just cried on the way home. For many reasons haha. But one is that Lee brought me hope that there are people out there who are so prepared for the gospel and see the light and good that come from it. The other reason I was in tears was that it makes me SO SAD that it is getting close to the end. I know, I still have a transfer left, but I never know how many more people I will get to teach and Lee might be one of my last and it is such a privilege to teach him!
My heart was so full. After the lesson, the member who introduced Lee to the gospel (he drives an hour for our lessons), thanked Sister Lillie and me for being obedient missionaries. He said, "I know you are obedient and work hard because the spirit was so incredibly strong in that lesson." It strengthened my testimony on obedience because it honestly wasnt that great of a lesson from our teaching part, but it shows that the spirit is the teacher and that is what counts and we get the spirit when we are obedient!
The youth temple tour was such a success!! Almost every youth was there and there were 9 friends of them there!!!! The leaders said, "sisters, what did you do?! Some of these kids have never come to Wednesday night activities!" We had a few of the youth bear their testimonies and share experiences of the temple. The spirit was so strong! About 4 of the friends want to come to church now and they all live in our area....tender mercy :)
We are still teaching the girls :) We had a great lesson this week and the mom, Roxy, said, "wait I get this all now!" when we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The daughters are doing well but Roxy is scared to commit.
This week, we talked to so many people who have just had hard lives. One girl is our age and has an almost 8 year old (yes, she was 13 when she got pregnant), another kid is 20 and has a 2 year old and is struggling to make ends meet, and just so much more. My heart kept breaking. You guys, we seriously are so blessed. I cannot even tell you. I did not even know how most of the world lived. It is so so so sad. But It strengthened my testimony so much of the commandments.
Most of the troubles people have (not always) come as a consequence of breaking commandments. It really showed me how God truly is trying to protect us and allow us to be happy because these people are NOT happy
because  they have no freedom! whether it is addictions or this or that, they are chained to so many things. I know the God tries to help us because nothing breaks His heart more than seeing us suffer and be in pain and heartache. so now the trick is....follow God and His commandments....He knows what He is doing!
In other news, Sister Kandare isnt going home a transfer early!!! she is staying til January!!!! hahah she doesnt want to go home!! yay so happy I will be going home with my best friend :)
Also, gracie emailed me this week and said, "I was listening to music while I was working out and wondered, 'is genny allowed to listen to real music?' are you allowed to?" hahah to answer that....nope! I have been listening to church music for the last almost 18 months. so if anyone wants to hit me up with the latest country music when i get home, I wont be mad :)
We truly are so blessed. But, that comes with lots of responsibility. We need to serve and care for those who are around us. 
I KNOW this gospel is true! If you are grateful for it, go share it! nothing will make Heavenly Father more happy :)
Love you all!
For thanksgiving, we are going downtown for the "feed the hungry run" so that will be super fun! I love being in the zone with downtown Sac. and we are having dinner with a sweet empty nester couple and one of their daughters and then we are having a zone training that night with the missionaries. It should be fun. have a great holiday!!!! I miss you all!

sister hickman

P.S. This is for other missionaries out there reading this. I had the opportunity to ask Elder Hamula a question at Zone conference during the Q&A session. It has been on my mind and what a perfect chance to ask a General Authority! I told him there is a huge drop off between people who get baptized and them still being active in a year and going to the temple. Are we even helping them? because sometimes I feel like we are not because we just move on to the next area and no one is there to keep supporting them. It gets discouraging because I
want to truly help people!
He said that we do not even comprehend God's plan of Salvation fully (wow, that was cool to hear him say because it already sounds pretty great from what I know). He said that this life isnt the end. We are helping but we do not see eternity. It can still work out for them. If new members struggle, help them. Do not give up hope. Things will come around. He also said that sometimes missionaries baptize people who are just "not ready." That also was good to hear. But I like how he said, to just be patient. If they struggle after baptism, they have a
long path ahead to make things right. so missionaries, do not get discouraged! find the elect and remember, you are their missionary for eternity. never forget your converts :) we are in this for the long haul!
Welcome to my life :) love those winter nights all bundled up!

It's never a bad time for selfies. Yay for Oshi turning 8 this week!

My last box of stuff is off! I probably could have shipped myself home :) hehe

We are running off to service...I will be back on about 1-2pm my time.
I just wanted to get this out!

For my missionary friends who don't see my blog, I wanted to send a
few pics of what's been going on!

It's like the missionaries are at the church or something! Let me tell
you how to identify us.
1) Chevy Cruze or Toyota Corolla- 2) bike rack on the back...with
possible bikes on it- 3) cars pulled through on parking spots so the
passenger companion doesn't have to back us out of the spot :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hi everyone!!!

Hi everyone!!!
It has been an amazing week :) 
So, that referral I told you about? We taught him Tuesday morning and he IS LEGIT!!!!!!!! His name is Lee. A member in another area works with Lee, and has been sharing the gospel with him. Lee works to makes spines or something for surgeons? Idk but he is like awesome at his job. the member said he is famous in the medical world or something.The member came to the lesson, and Lee was like "I will be the easiest person you teach because I want to be baptized!" He talked about how the world he is in is shallow and their isnt much meaning behind it and the gospel gives that to him. It was so cool. He has two daughters middle school aged and a little 2 year old boy with his fiance. so yes, some sort of wedding will have to take place. but, he is on date for December 19. What a miracle!!!! I cannot even tell you!!!!!!!!!! When we were teaching him I was like, this guy is going to be a bishop some day. We are teaching him every tuesday and thursday morning. I am so excited! It has been neat to see the role of the member in all of this. 

James Hamula (of the Seventy) came to our mission for a zone conference on friday. It was super good!! He talked about becoming Christlike through 3 steps:
1. Accepting that we are FREE to ACT. We are forced into anything.
2. Act outward how you want to feel inward.He did not mean it to be fake. But as our actions show how we want to be, our heart will change.
3. Apply the Atonement. Pray for the grace of Jesus Christ to change us and give us strength!

It was awesome. His wife was my favorite! she was just so real. And so loving. They have twin boys on missions right now. They talked about setting our mission on fire. There has been a great vibe throughout the mission!

President said Thanksgiving will not be a P-day this year. people are freaking out but it will be fine! we have announced to our members and a lot will have us over with their nonmeber family members and we are going to put together a thanksgiving-gospel message to share with everyone. It will be good!
The youth temple tour is this Wednesday night. We are excited about it!  It is fun seeing the youth get involved in missionary work.

I am loving the fall weather and being back in bike. I love this area! transfers are the end of the month and I hope I stay!!!!
I know this gospel of true. I know we are led by a prophet today under the direction of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the direction, foundation, and peace the gospel brings. 

I love you all! have the best week! 
Sister Hickman 
Sister Briggs and I at zone conference with our babies!!!!

The best group of sisters that ever came out!! Missing sister Kandare
and the other 3 in our group :) July 2014 produced some great
missionaries :)

Companions on companions on companions! I've been companions with all
of them, sister wright and Campbell are companions now and sister
Briggs trained sister wright. I love these 3!!!

President came up to me and said "sister Hickman, is that a new
skirt?! Don't think I wouldn't notice!!" I told him that I bought it
before my mission! I just haven't worn it haha.
It was so fun seeing sister Briggs! She is definitely one of my
favorite companions. It is so funny bc we are so different and were
scared to be companions but we made the best team! She reminds me of
sister Parkinson :)

Zone conference reunions are the best :) love these people!!

We volunteered at the Veteran's Day parade downtown by the Capitol and
here is our giant Book of Mormon we used to proselyte! On the Capitol
grounds of Sacramento....pretty legit!!! Our zone made it to use
around the mission.
This woman was in the parade and I found out that the baby was born
July 22 and her name is Jenevieve!! (With a j). How crazy?!?! I told
her my niece was born July 22 and named Genevieve!!!! It made my day