Monday, June 29, 2015

Little Vitor got baptized!!

Hi everyone!!!!
It was a great {hot} week!! Saturday I went back to East Sac because
VITOR got baptized!! Remember the little boy and his dad Jim? Jim was
the athiest and we were trying to teach with his son? Well, Jim got
deployed, so he could not be there at the baptism. Vitor is going back
to LA to live with his grandma who is a member. they drove all the way
back here for him to get baptized because he knew the ward so well. We
could not baptize him when I was there because our mission came out
with a rule of not baptizing kids under the age of 13 without the
parents because there is not that support. They told us if Vitor comes
to church for like a year he could eventually. But, since he is living
with his grandma now, he is good to go. Jim is supportive! I was so
sad I couldnt see him.  I was soooo excited all week to go back! When
I got there and saw everyone, I just cried. I felt like I was going
home to family! Most of my favorite people were there! and Annie and
Tim were there! Tim was the one who got baptized my last weekend in
East Sac. He got the priesthood last week. He rides his bike to church
every week because he does not want to depend on anyone to take him.
It is so cute! My heart was SO FULL! It was incredible. Little Vitor
was so excited! He got a new little suit for this big day. He was
adorable. I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. A couple months ago, my
mom mailed a bunch of stuff from my baptism because she said she felt
impressed that I would know a child getting baptized soon. I used the
object lesson that my Grandmother Moon gave at my baptism on the Holy
Ghost for Vitor's baptism. It was so special to do that. They sang the
song "When I am Baptized" from the Children's song book for the
opening song. I shared this story about the first time I felt the Holy
Ghost, that I remember at least. It was at my baptism, and my sisters
and I sang that song. I remember being overcome by the Spirit so
strongly, at the young age of 8, that I had tears! I remember because
I was so embarrassed to cry. And now I still cry when I am overcome
with the Spirit haha. I told Vitor to always remember how he feels on
this special day because that feeling has never left me. I loved loved
being there. It is crazy that I was there teaching him for 3
transfers! I hope I see him again, but it will be hard to keep up with
where he is because I think he will be moving around to live with
different people. I would give anything to get to go back and serve in
Mission Oak ward!!!! It was one of the most special days of my
mission. I love that place.
Sister Briggs and I hit our 1 year mark this week!! SO INSANE!!! I
cannot even believe it! We are all volunteering at the Folsom rodeo
this week, so that willl be fun! and hot haha. Everyone is laughing
that I am from Oklahoma and have never been to a rodeo! We are also
helping with a 4th of July run that a member here puts on in the
community. I think Sister Briggs and I are running the 10k! we are
pumped. I ran 5 miles on saturday for the first time in like 9 months
(since I gained my mission weight...) and it was awesome! We are
buckling down our last 6 months. It has been good!
I am so thankful for all the blessings Heavenly Father is putting our
way. I am doing well. I am just trying to change a little everyday, so
that I can continue to grow and develop.
I love you all!! Thank you for loving and supporting me this past
year. It has flown by!!!! The last 6 months is apparently the fastest
and I dont even know how because it all has been fast! Everyone says
that 9-12 months is the hardest and I agree. It is just weird. I felt
off. but now I am ready to rock and roll these last 6 months and give
it all I got because putting on the name tag and bearing my testimony
daily is the greatest thing in the whole world!!!!!

With all my love,
Sister Hickman
happy 22nd birthday to Elder Wright! birthdays are my favorites :)

I told them we were celebrating Oklahoma Style. They were scared and
didn't know what that meant. A BJ's Pizooki.....duh!!!

Sister Briggs and me after church on Sunday!

Before Vitor's baptism! It felt so wonderful being back in East Sac :)  
Isn't he the cutest?!

Vitor and missionaries!

Annie and Tim! Love these two!!! Daniel was sick so he couldn't come :(

Monday, June 22, 2015

Humility and Faithfulness

Hi friends and family!

It was a great week! I sent off Sister Wright to Rancho (so sad, already miss that girl) and picked up Sister Briggs! She is from Logan, Utah. She graduated in 2013 and did a year at Utah State before she came out. She is majoring in Finance and Sociology, and it is so cool because she wants to go into the nonprofit sector just like me! haha everyone here thinks we are crazy. They always say, "so basically you want to make no money." We say, "We want to change the world, duh!" She is awesome. Like I said, she came out with me, so we hit our year mark together next week! She was in the other MTC District with the Sacramento missionaries. Who knows why me Campbell and Kandare were in the St. Louis district haha. We are the STLs up here and over the same areas we have been. but all my friends have been transferred away! This is the first time in my mission I wont be with any of them. I think it will be good because it will force me to be friends with all the elders. Our zone has already gotten so close because there are only 10 of us. Sister Briggs in incredible. She is everything that I am not, and she truly is an answer to many prayers. She is humble, faithful, and diligent. I am excited to learn from her. I am really trying to work on being more dependent on the Lord and not so dependent on myself. She is a humble, quiet disciple of Christ, and I will learn so much from her example. I cannot wait! Also, she is a cross country runner, so we run every morning and it is the best! She was full-time bike is East Sac too, so she loves bike. I am glad I have another biker here because that is all Sister Wright and I did! Everyone thinks we are crazy, but it is the best way to do missionary work! We have adjusted to the heat :)

We had so many miracles on Saturday! We visited a family the missionaries used to see and they now want the missionary lessons! It was incredible. We also found some other great potentials. I am so excited for this week because great things will happen! The Lord is preparing, and we are going to work hard and harvest when the time is right. Susan has been out of town, but she is still doing awesome :) 

Life is great! I am just praying a lot to strengthen my love for God and Jesus Christ and strive to do all things for them and no one else In President Uchtdorf's talk "On Being Genuine" (so good and something I am taking principles from to apply), he talks about how the things that count are: a personal testimony, a love of God, and a love for our fellowmen. I am really trying to focus on those things in my life. I want to become a more selfless servant. That is my personal vision for this transfer. The Gospel is true, and my testimony has really been strengthened that It is the only thing that will change us! We do not have to go day by day thinking this is the best we will ever be. It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His Gospel that change our desires, intentions, actions, etc. Nothing else! Why go through life never thinking about that or caring? This life is about changing to become more like Him. I get sad when we talk to people and they say, "I know Jesus, I am a good person, I am fine." There is SO much more out there for us. My whole life has been built on His Gospel principles and ordinances, and I will continue my life built on It because this truly is the only way. 

Have a great week! I love you all and Miss you! Happy Father's day to my dad. No one has taught me more humility, generosity, and quiet service than him. He never needs the attention or spotlight. He does what he is supposed to, and he is where he is supposed to be just because he loves God and Jesus Christ. and for that, I am thankful for my dad. 

Sister Hickman 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Hi everyone!! Transfer news is IN!! I am staying Folsom yay Yay! Which means staying in the Sacramento mission woohoooo! They could make minor changes July 1st when the Modesto mission opens officially, but if we are in this part of the mission now, we are like 95% staying :) I am sooooo happy to be staying with President and sister Jardine! Sister Wright is headed to Rancho Cordova, so she is staying in this mission! We are happy because we both thought she was going south to Modesto. We are basically trading companions so one of the sisters there is coming here and sis wright is going there with the other STL. My companion will be sister Briggs, who was sister wright's trainer! Sister Briggs came out with me and is super sweet. We will balance each other out. She's a sweet Molly Mormon and I'm a fire ball, so it will be just perfect! Sister Campbell is being transferred to Elk Grove (sac mission) and so is sister Kandare! I'm so sad they will be in the same zone (not comps) but that will be so fun for them! They deserve the turn to be together, since I have been with one of them almost my whole mission :) I am so HAPPY THE 3 OF US ARE STAYING IN THIS MISSION! We kept telling president that he cannot separate us!! We have to go home together! Luckily we aren't going to Modesto :) sister Allen has been called as an STL in Modesto! She is our one friend going to the new mission. We are super bummed but I think it will be so good for her to have that calling down there! Her comp is sister Wilson! She was my comp back in Carmichael, the cute little blonde. This will be her last transfer so that will be interesting for sister Allen! It is hard being with a missionary their last transfer. They'll be great though.
I'm excited to be staying in Folsom! Great things are happening. Remember Susan who we found at the very beginning of last transfer at that little park? Well we've taught her all transfer and she's come to church the last two Sunday's and has loved it! The Ward loves her! She's like a celeb..,.they all want to know her. She's progressing so well! She is on date for baptism July 25th. I definitely think she'll get baptized but that might get pushed back. She is just the best and so so sweet. 
We did service as a zone for this couple moving, they aren't members. They love the missionaries! They are in one of the wards we cover, so we got lucky there! Our whole zone was over and one of the days, the wife told us, "when I'm around you all, I feel God telling me to give you a chance. I want a new church and family here. I want to learn more and be baptized." It see awesome! They are so cool. Their sons go to Alabama and Ole Miss, so I love talking about college with them, we get each other :) there would definitely be a lot of lifestyle changes to make haha but we are hoping to start teaching them this week! They had all the missionaries over for dinner last night as a thank you and as a goodbye bc two elders in the zone are ending their missions. We did transfers all together as a big group...instead of calls. It was so fun! I'm excited to start teaching Leo and Judy! They are in Folsom 2nd Ward...the Ward with the Lanes and Kody. Susan is in Folsom 4th. So it is exciting to be teaching people in both wards! 
This transfer was hard within myself. I struggled a lot internally, but I learned A LOT and I'm excited for this next transfer. I'll miss sister wright, but I know we'll be besties in Utah after the mission :) I learned a lot about how I define success for myself and it truly is just faithfully serving the Lord. If I have done my very best everyday, I have done what He needs me to do. I am focusing a lot now on the "why" I am serving. I am really trying to apply the Atonement to purify my desires and intentions. God is so good! It is crazy that I hit my year mark in just a couple weeks. Where does time go?!? 
Have the best week! I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and that He does want to help me, even when I feel He shouldn't have to. I'm thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who never gives up on me. Love y'all!!!

Sister Hickman
This week a member took us on an intense bike ride in El Dorado Hills
to the biggest hill ever! She said bikers come from all over to ride
"Beatty." We took pics at the top for proof :) best morning glory
ever! We did have to stop a couple times.....hahah hardest thing ever!
The view at the top!
I'm going to miss the Folsom sisters. This was our transfer call
dinner last night! We'll miss you sister wright and sister Campbell!
We are the smallest zone with 12 people and now we are going down to
10 people. Gonna miss this crazy group!

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Atonement and Life

Hi friends and family!

This week we got iPads woohoo! I am writing this email on my iPad...I
cannot wait to get a keyboard. We are all waiting because if we go to
the Modesto mission at the end of the month, the iPads will be taken
back because that isn't an iPad mission yet. We got ours Tuesday and
the rest of the mission got them on Friday at Zone Conference. It is
fun to have them while teaching. I do think they are a distraction for
missionaries, but it is something the missionaries will have to deal
with, because technology is distracting whether you are on a mission
or not. The iPads are to help us better fulfill our purpose. So, each
time i open it, I try to ask myself, is this helping me fulfill my
purpose for effectively to bring others to Christ? It helps a lot!

So, this week has been tough. I am going to open up because I like
being honest. When I struggle, I say I am. When I'm happy, I say I am!
We had a great life talk with one of our ward mission leaders. He is
legit! He asked how WE were doing, as people, because we are always just talking
about the work. I opened up a lot because we have very similar
personalities. We are both very passionate and driven and focused. I
told him that I was struggling to love people like I did at the
beginning of my mission. Just ask sister Parkinson! I cried all the
time in lessons because I felt God's love for them SO strong and knew
more than anything they needed the gospel. Everyone I meet throughout
my mission, I just LOVE! I have always been like that...a lover of
people. I feel like since I got to Folsom, I just don't love like I
did. I thought, maybe I am out of love to give? That can't be it.
Maybe I have gotten to focused on numbers and baptizing and achieving
goals? That is definitely it. But, is that a bad thing that needs to change? I have been
pondering this a lot and talked a lot to my ward mission leader about
it. I keep thinking, I don't understand, sister wright and I are
probably one of the hardest working companionships in this mission. We
are obedient, focused, and give it our all every single day. Why is
nothing happening? We desire nothing more than to help bring others to
the gospel. I kept thinking, what am I doing wrong? I feel like I am
doing things right to the best of my ability. Our ward mission leader talked about knowing if
the Lord is satisfied with our offering. He said that when we give it
our ALL He is satisfied, and HE will harvest in HIS time. I cannot
have this "sister Hickman timetable" and feel entitled or deserving to
get exactly what I want, when I want because I think I am doing things
right. That isn't how life works! Some of the most faithful members of
the Church have some of the biggest trials! The Lord gives us exactly
what we need when we need it. I cannot think I am failing if I do not
measure up to some internal yard stick or become so focused that I
miss the whole point of this work. A missionary said in his departing
testimony at zone conference that "missions do not change us but that the Atomement of
Jesus Christ changes us." That hit me so hard. I have to start relying
on that Atomement of Christ for strength and not think I can take this
all on my own. Otherwise, I will go home having not really changed at
all. I will have helped other people come unto Christ and not even
myself. Which, something all missionaries learn, is that these missions really
end up being for us to become converted, whether we want to admit it or not. I cannot think that I am only successful if I'm baptizing all the time or this or that. This week, I
told sister wright that I am done with reporting numbers! She is doing
it, so that I can just focus on loving and serving God's children. It
was crazy because at Zone conference I gave one of the prayers and
right after President said, "sister Hickman, are you okay?" I said,
"how come you read me like a book!?" He said, "I can tell something is
bothering you." I felt like I was hiding it well, but I told him I
felt like I was hitting a plateau on my mission where I get out of bed
and go through the motions of being a missionary, but I don't feel the
deep love like I used to. We talked about it and he talked to me a lot
about what a truly successful missionary is. I can't stress about
baptisms, etc. he said that the Lord knows the challenges I face.

I am focusing on applying the Atonement to refine my desires and
motives. I am praying a lot to just feel love for others and purely
desire their salvation. I have already felt a change begin. I will be
focusing on that for the next while. The talk that has really helped me is "Truly Good and Without Guile" from this past General Conference. Link is:
I am focusing on my love for God and serving for HIM, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Not for anyone else. It does not matter what the other missionaries think, My mission president, my family, or my friends back home. I am here to serve my Heavenly Father. This talk really hit me, and I just want to be a silent servant who does what I should, when I should and for the right reasons.

I testify that the Atonement of Christ can carry every single one of us. It gives us the strength when we feel we have none. It gives us the joy when we feel sorrow. It gives us the hope when we see trials. Life is all about developing patience and being grateful for what we DO have, even when it feels like we are not getting the results or blessings that we want. Mission lessons are life lessons. It is the best :) I am sorry for this tangent. I just really hope this benefits someone out there reading this. If you feel like you are doing what you are being asked but feel like you are somehow still failing, know that God and Christ do not see you as failure. Do your very best and who cares what anyone else thinks! Do all to show your love for Them!

Have a great week! transfers are next week, so Tuesday is Pday. We have no clue what will be happening! 

sister hickman 

The Folsom Zone at zone conference. We are the "joke zone" because all of the missionaries are so obnoxious....it is embarrassing......

Our last district meetings! 

This beautiful picture from a sunset if Folsom that I took. I love
northern Cali!

Happy 11 months to us! so crazy how much time flies! 

nothing says "happy 11 months" better than iPads!! The day finally came :) It only took a year....

We were helping with the youth activity of the "amazing race." At our station, they had to draw the Plan of Salvation on the sidewalk then ride the tandem bike around the pond. We tested it out :) It is way harder than it looks! especially since we think we are pro bikers!!!

at zone conference with cute sister allen :)

Sister Campbell and I cannot be transferred away from each other!!!!

nothing better than celebrating 11 months than with milkshakes.....we are so cheesy :) 

Monday, June 1, 2015

iPads are coming!

Hi everyone!!!

This past week, we had our all mission conference where Elder Evans, of the Seventy, came to train us. It was Sister Allen's birthday, so we all got to celebrate together! I may or may not have planned an underground picnic for her with all our friends before the conference :) We did not get the iPads, but leadership is getting them tomorrow at our meeting and the rest of the mission gets them in the next couple weeks!! We are all very excited :) They will train us tomorrow and then we will train the rest of the missionaries in our zones. The all mission conference was mainly for Elder Evans to explain the principle behind missionaries getting technology. To be honest, I did not want iPads because I did not want that distraction or temptation. BUT, that is the whole reason they are doing it. Well, not the whole reason, but a big one. Elder Evans talked a lot about how our generation is addicted to technology and mostly use it for unrighteous purposes. Then, we come out on our missions where we cut it cold turkey, and when we get home, we dive back into old habits. They want our generation to learn how to use technology for its purpose, to move the work of the Lord forward, and how to use it with control and discipline. I think this is one of the smartest things the Church has done! As they create good habits in us, we will be able to better teach our children. That is a big reason behind missionaries and iPads. I am excited to use it, while learning discipline, accountability, etc. When we get them, we will first start using them for teaching. Then, we will start using them in our planning, updating area books, etc. The last phase is Facebook, which I really don't want to do haha. When I learn more, I will let you know the rules/guidelines. They told us to start telling our parents to not talk to us on our Facebooks!!! I do not think we will be on Facebook for a month or so. Exciting times! We feel like we are coming into the real world :) I am most excited to not tract with me 50 lbs bag and just carry an iPad. That will be so nice. It is getting soooo hot here. And we are still biking. and the hills are killer. We are so gross by the end of the day. 

That is the big exciting news! We have zone conferences this week. This transfer has had so many fun things! Which is good because this has probably been my slowest transfer, in terms of the work. I have been lucky to have been busy for most of my mission! But now, it is starting to feel a lot like El Dorado. but since I was there at the beginning of my mission, I didn't know anything different...but now I do :) We are just trying to find those miracle here in Folsom! We did see the Lanes this week....they are done investigating. so so sad. They really were so golden and so close to getting baptized. It was all set. People even showed up that day and time thinking it was happening. We are still praying that one day it will be their time. 

The Gospel is true. God is good. Jesus Christ lives. I am so lucky that I get to bear my testimony a billion times a day. Nothing better than serving a mission!

Have a great week!
sister hickman 

The birthday picnic I planned for Sister Allen! It was a tender mercy we had all mission conference that day, so that we could all be together! 

happy 22nd birthday to my dearest sister allen :)

my girls! 1 more month and we find out if we are separated by the Modesto Mission :( couldnt make it without campbell and kandare! Tomorrow we hit 11 months :)

my girls! 1 more month and we find out if we are separated by the Modesto Mission :( couldnt make it without campbell and kandare! Tomorrow we hit 11 months :)

Sister Wright and I at the all-mission conference! 
Today for Pday, we painted "mormon.org" on this rock by the street in El Dorado Hills. The things that entertain missionaries....