Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Crazy, Exciting WEEK!!!!

 Hi hi Everyone!!!!

SOOO I turned 21 this week!! woop woop!!! It was a fun day. I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS AND FAMILY EVER!!! Seriously, all the missionaries out here were like, "wow, you are loved!" You all are THE BEST!!! The day started off early early with zone sports at the church with all the missionaries. I walk out of the apartment and Sister Kandare and Sister Allen decorated my door! WE go to the church and play sports, and then Sister Kandare and I went on a run. As we came back, all the missionaries jumped out and started singing Happy Birthday and they decorated my car! Then, we headed back to the house for studies. Sister Allen and Sister Kandare came over to open presents with me :) I LOVED THE BOOK FROM MY FRIENDS! I was actually really homesick all day. haha it was hard. Luckily, I only have one birthday out here :) I dont think I could do it again! Everyone knows how I love birthdays, and I just wanted to be with my friends and family! Anyways, the day continued, and we went to lunch with Kandare and Allen, after their District Meeting. Then after lunch, Sister Bills and I went to ours. They split our district this transfer and everyone is together and then me and SIster bills...it is so lonely! I think they want the extra attention for her. So, that was fun. They made me a banana cake (yes, sister parkinson, our fav :)) :) It was so yummy! We had some appointments, then for dinner we went over to the Mendoza's and Annie and Daniel (recent converts) came because Annie's bday was the next day!! It was fun! I was exhausted at the end of the day. 

Alec got baptized saturday!!! IT WAS AWESOME! All of his nonmember friends and family were there. It was weird being out of the mission, but it was great!!! I am glad that we could be apart of it.

I just want to say thank you to all of you. Especially my mom, who made sure I had so much love. Like I said, it was hard to be away, but you all made me feel so special!!!!! Sister Kandare was so thoughtful all day. Her bday is in 2 weeks, so luckily I can return the favor to her :) She is the best. Thank you all for being so thoughtful and for all your kind words, etc. It was a fun week! LOTS of PICS ARE COMING!!!!


Sister Hickman 

All the notes from you all :) You made me feel so loved!

Reading the book my best friends made for me!!! Pictures and letters....they know the way to my heart :)
With Sister Joyner, our member who started the lessons for him, and Alec's friend, David, who he met 7 years ago and first introduced him to the Church. David came up from San Diego to baptize him! It was so special!
Annie and I's birthday dinner! so fun!
My girls!!! Sister Kandare and her comp, Sister Allen. We have already planned so many trips for after our missions. I cannot wait for you all to meet them :)

Celebrating again at the church! 

Words cannot explain how thankful I am for Sister Kandare! She is the one who was in he MTC with me :) We always say that it feels like we have known each other forever because we were together from the beginning!
THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT I RECEIVED...I AM HAVING A NIECE!!!! Baby Genevieve will be born in July :) Wow, she has a great name :) I cannot wait to spoil her rotten because she has to look adorable the moment she is born...she is carrying on my name!! :)

Alec's baptism!!!! I had fun helping Sister Bills get ready :) I could not de-frizz her hair!!! It is like ethnic hair, I swear!!! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Woah, I turn 21 this week!!!

Hi everyone!!!!

I turn 21 this week. HOW WEIRD!!!!! It will be an interesting day haha I will email next week about how it goes!!
I debated whether to send this because my friends will be like "oh no oh no you cannot be serious." Y"all, this is really what I look like on my bike everyday, and it seriously is THE BEST!!!!!

so....for this week....IT WAS FULL OF MIRACLES LET ME TELL YOU!

This Saturday, we are still going to Alec's baptism....YAY!! :) Sister Bills and I are doing the "missionary moment" at it, so we are excited :)

We got a referral from Bishop for some guy. We went and met him and he goes, "I have had the lessons a million times, I have a testimony, but ex-wife and kids are all members, but I couldn't get baptized because I was on parole. Now, I am off and I now it is my time!" I think my jaw LITERALLY dropped. lol seriously. We will let you know what happens. Hopefully a baptism in March for him!?!? Yes!!!!

There is a recent-returning woman to church. She has two kids, ages 11 and 12. She wants them baptized, but she does not want to force them. We went over there and met the daughter. We talked to her and asked to teach her and she said yes! When we went back to teach her, the brother came out and said he wants the lessons too! They want them separate though...so they dont argue haha. We are super excited about it!!!

There is a FAMILY that the Spanish Elders have been teaching. Turns out...they want to come to an English ward. It is a cute husband, wife, and their 3 year old son. They came to church yesterday and loved it!!! We are hoping to get them on-date for March...EEEKK!!!!!

It has just been the very best week! I said to Sister Bills, "Who did I tell you that Heavenly Father needed us to help FIRST?" She said, "each other." I said, "and now that we have...see what is happening?!?!" Comp unity comes first and then everything else falls into place. I have SUCH a testimony of that!!!!
Sister Garrido told me to take a selfie with Sister Bills to "loosen" her up haha here it is. It may be my favorite picture from my mission :)

So, for a scary story. Thursday night, we were seeing a recent convert with this young couple in the ward. We left on our bikes after. It was about 8:15pm, so we had one more stop to make before going home at 9pm. We are biking along, and I make a right at a major street. I am usually always looking behind because Sister Bills always gets caught up at places and falls behind. I start biking down the street after turning to the apartments we were going to. A car went in the gate so I biked SO FAST to get into the gate or we would have missed it. I figured Sis Bills would eventually catch up. I am waiting in the path of the gate, thinking that it would not close on me...lol I was wrong. It starts closing on my and squishes my bike and me....yes, people saw and were laughing at me. I do not see Sister Bills ANYWHERE! I think to myself, forget this gate, I am going to leave and see if I see her. I go to the street and do not see her lights at all. It is dark, so I am looking for her bike lights. I start panicking. I then realized how I have not been alone for 7 MONTHS!!!!!!!!!! It is dark, late, and our area is pretty sketch. I call the members we were just with and ask them to look for her as they are coming down the street. I turn my hard and for a SPLIT SECOND, I see Sister Bills little red light biking in a distance the OPPOSITE way that I was going. She turned left at the light, not right. I am on the phone and say...turn left turn left I think I see her!! I tell them to stay on the phone with me while I mike to them. I was biking so fast to them! The members found her biking along. I asked her where she was going and she said home. I said, "Sister Bills, it is 8:15pm, when have we ever gone home at this time? We work until 9pm. We have plans in our planner, and home is the OPPOSITE direction anyways." She was biking into the ghetto!!!!!!!!! She had no phone, not a clue where ANYTHING was and was alone. Oh my gosh. Heavenly Father was totally looking out for us that I was guided to look into the direction of her for a second long enough to see her little light, otherwise, we may not have found her for a very long time. She is extremely directionally challenged and does not know where a thing is in the area. So, overall, we are fine. But I was like, "sister bills, what in the world were you doing/" If you fall behind, yell my name or just stop! dont guess which way I went. They members were super concerned and made me call President. We are now in car at night ahhaha. Safety first I guess. She is just not "all there" really, but it will all be fine. When I was talking to PResident I said, "please just tell me, will I be staying after this transfer or will she? I need to know how much to prepare her to stay in the area without me." He said, "Sister Hickman, you will be leaving, so you better get your area book ready." Oh great!!!! hahaha at least I know. I am really going to push her learn the area because it is becoming a huge problem. I am bummed to be leaving here in 6 weeks though! I love it! I told Ward Council yesterday and they freaked ahha they said, "We told your Mission Pres not to move you!!!!"
These are some less actives in the ward from FIJI!!! Oh my gosh, I freaked out when I met them!!! There is another Fijian woman in the ward and all of them know the Magoons, a family that we fished with in Fiji! Such a small world!! It makes my heart so happy!

Things really have been going so well with us. Last week, I took her shopping and bought her some cute clothes and she has been so confident!! everytime she wore something new, EVERYONE that day complimented her. She said she feels so confident! All the sisters have been saying, "sister hickman, we have not seen her glow so much!" It is so cute. I said "Sister Bills, look good...feel good....it is a real thing!!!" I think she wants to dress cute but has NO clue how. When she first came, I didnt bother because I did not want to "change" her because it is not my place. But I think she likes the help. She will be looking so cute at the baptism, just you all wait :) 

THANK YOU ALL WHO HAVE SENT STUFF FOR MY BDAY!!! I will be sending pics next week :)

I love you all!!!! Seriously, things are so great here!!!

Sister Hickman

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Transfer Week!!!

Hello Everyone!!!

FINALLY A NORMAL TRANSFER FOR ME!! Woohooo! We are staying here in East Sac! Training is 12 weeks (2 transfers) just incase you forgot from when I was trained :) Sister Kandare and her comp, Sister Allen are staying, so I am super happy about them still being by me!

For some big news:
Remember Alec? Our legit, solid, golden investigator from the Roseville Mission? Well, we passed him off this week to his ward. He has Elders there! Well, this week we called President for permission to go to his baptism in that mission. He said, "I have to get permission from the area authority, so I don't think that will happen! They are strict about missionaries leaving the mission." Well, for those who know me, you know I am persistent :) Learned it from my mom :) We speak up! I kept talking to him and he said, "wait, I do have to call him tomorrow about something,so I will ask!" President called us the next day, and he said we have permission to go!! WOOHOO On FEBRUARY 21st WE ARE GOING TO ALEC'S BAPTISM!!!! Talk about the best 21st birthday I could ask for!!! :) We are SO excited. 

We started teaching Annie and Daniel's neighbor a few weeks ago. He is a very nice guy. He cannot read/write, so it is hard to teach him simply, but he has a sweet soul. He is getting baptized on February 28th. He is so excited. He just glows at church. My first white baptisms this month!! hahahah
The restaurant that Mohammed works at is in East Sac, so Sister Wilson and I could never go when we served together because we couldn't leave the Carmichael Zone! Well, this week, Sister Wilson was on exchanges in East Sac, so we went and visited him! He is doing so great!!! 

I have been studying A LOT about charity. And, I have been praying hardcore for it. I feel myself changing so much and viewing things differently. I feel like the last week of my mission has been one of the best because I tried to do everything out of pure love. Not because I am supposed to. Or because it is my "job." Or because this or that. I tried to teach every lesson, talk to every person, help Sister Bills, out of the pure love of Christ. I thought I loved everything and everyone about my mission (which I still do), but it has gotten so much deeper than that. I think as a missionary, it is easy to do everything out of "responsibility." Like, "well, this is what I have to do as a missionary." I felt the Spirit work through me so much more this week, as I focused on charity. It has been incredible. Things are LOTS better with Sister Bills. We had a great talk this week where she opened up a LOT. I think this transfer will be really good for us. 

I have been just so happy lately! I feel myself fulfilling more of my purpose of helping others come unto Christ. Sometimes, it is in the smallest ways. I love you all so much!!! 

Have a great week,
Sister Hickman

Monday, February 2, 2015

7 months today!!!

Hello hello! I cannot believe today is my 7-month mark! TIME FLIES. Let me tell you. Seriously! 

So...for the big news...some of you may know....I AM GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE!!!! WOOHOOO! I have been holding this in too long. Annalee and Mychal will be having a baby in July. You better believe that is the first human I want to see when I get off the plane :)))) My Aunts are my favorite people in the world, so I cannot WAIT to be Aunt Genny :) 

I had Katie post that blog post from that Sister missionary because my friends write me every week and say, "Genny, I read your blog, but I just do not understand what you are doing!!!" HAhah it always makes me laugh. You really cannot describe a mission. BUT. I thought that girl did a GREAT job of explaining how we feel, what we experience, etc. It is not to be like, "oh poor me sacrificing so much." I know that thousands are doing this around the world in the Church. This blog is really for my friends to know what is going on in my life for 18 months! And, I know everyone has tough companions. I know that is part of a mission. Just because I am "open" about it, does not mean I am throwing myself a pity party. Just wanted to clear that all up :)

So, for this week! Alec, our legit investigator, is just the best. We put him on date for Feb 21st, and usually when we do that, it is just tentative. Well, his Mormon friend who grew up with him has booked his plane ticket to come baptize him that weekend! Talk about the best birthday present I could have!!! He is awesome! BUT, this week we are passing him off to the Roseville mission for his ward. He has to get baptized there, etc, but we are going to try and get permission from President to go to the baptism. We will see!
At Zone Conference with Sister Kandare and her comp, Sister Allen!

Love my Sister Kandare :) What a tender mercy we are in the same zone!

East Sacramento Zone
This week, I have been struggling a lot with "perfectionism." You either are perfect or a failure. Well here is the problem, there is no such thing as perfect. The best talk ever is "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox, given at a BYU devotional. If you have time, look it up :) I wish I could quote the whole talk here. He talks about how Christ's grace does not make up the difference, but that it makes ALL the difference. Christ is not pulling for us, but He is pulling WITH us. Here on earth, we are preparing for Heaven. Of course we are not perfect. But, if we are striving to be the best that we can be, we will be more comfortable living in God's presence. We will always fall short. Always. That is what Jesus Christ is for. He went suffered for us in the Garden of Gethsemane to feel our pains, sorrows, failures, temptations, etc. He did that, so that He ca HELP US when we do fall short. Boy, am I thankful for that!!!! IT is not black or white, perfect or a failure. We are learning every step of the way, and we have to be willing to keep moving forward when we fall short. I always feel these high expectations to be perfect, but that just is not realistic. I am just tired of everyday feeling like I am failing, but that is when I have to lean on Christ more than ever. 
BYU Devotional talk: to watch/listen- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLXr9it_pbY

I am so grateful for my Savior and His redeeming love. I am grateful for a LOVING Father in Heaven, who we can communicate with through prayer. This is week 6 of the transfer, so next week is transfer P-day on Tuesday! Although this has been the hardest part of my mission, it has still gone by sooooo fast. I cannot even believe it! I am about halfway done with training!!!! 
Sister Bills' closet.....and then...

And this is mine.....lol. and I have clothes filling two suitcases. embarrassing.......

Thank you for all you do for me :) I am soooo behind on writing letters, and everyone keeps emailing me reminding me of my birthday month this month, so hopefully I do not get even more behind on responding :)

Have a great week!!!!! 

Sister Hickman