Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Going on another 6 weeks in Folsom!

Transfers are IN!!! I AM STAYING IN FOLSOM WOOHOOO!!! This will be my
first area that I will be 6 months in....I have been waiting my whole
mission for this!! Sister Briggs and I are happy to be staying
together :)
So, President Jardine is kind of on this kick of changing everything
since we are the "new" California Sacramento Mission and all.
Therefore, he changed how transfers are. We get calls Saturday night
if we are staying or leaving. If we are leaving, we do not get told
where. You have Sunday to tell your wards bye at church (which will be
SO nice), and everyone transferring and their comps meet at the
mission office Monday morning and they do this whole thing on where
everyone is going! Since we both stayed, we didn't get to go so we are
in the dark with where everyone is...I hate it!! you all know how I
have to know everything!!!! I am awaiting emails from all my friends
of where they are. Because word on the street is that Sister Campbell
was made a Sister Training Leader and is companions with Sister Wright
:) YAYA!!! they were talking about wanting to be comps at Coloma last
week. haha so funny. glad my besties are comps. so fun! glad my sister
campbell will be at the leadership meetings with me every month...they
will be so much more enjoyable! Sister Campbell, I know you are
reading this...and I all have to say is...welcome to the CPM :) At
least, I hope that is what you called it.....
This week was FULL OF MIRACLES I TELL YOU!!! That is why I was
freaking out all week about getting transferred!!!!!!!! Ugh. so glad
that stress is over. So Tuesday, I was on exchanges here in my area
with Sister Kauvaka (Sister campbell's baby). We were biking and there
was this less-active who I had tried a million and 1 times and she had
never answered. I decided to take like a month off, and since it had
been a while, as we biked by, I thought to try again. Well, she
answered! I do not think she realized she answered to the missionaries
lol. Anyways, we told her we were inviting her to the relief society
activity and she started talking to us and invited us in and then
proceeded to tell us her life story. I just felt the spirit working
through me to tell her what she needed to hear. It is the best feeling
ever when I can just be that conduit for God to work through!
Basically, she wants to be active again and go through the temple. It
was awesome! I havent had a ton of reactivation work on my mission, so
I am excited for this! Small world...Sister Parkinson, I mean Hannah
(so weird, I cant call you that), we made the connection that me and
you taught her father-in-law in Green valley!! haha don custis!!!! so
funny. I was dying. When I realized her last name and that she used to
live in Cameron Park, I asked if they were related and she said it was
her husband's dad! Her husband isnt a member.
Okay so for the other big miracle this week. Same day....we were
biking back to the house to get the car before dinner because I had
killed poor Sister Kauvaka out on the Folsom hills (I think the
sisters hate exchanges with me in folsom haha) and I decide to ride
through this park by our house to see if anyone is there to talk to.
There is a man and woman there and the man is on the phone. I try
talking to the woman, but she said she is listening to his call and
told me to wait. We stood there awkwardly waiting, and she finally
came over. She told us she grew up in Texas and is looking for a
church here. Everything she said she wanted  like MATCHED OUR CHURCH
PERFECTLY. Her husband came over and goes, "tell me about this John
Smith guy." In my head im like "oh great." I explain how God has
ALWAYS called prophets (read the Old Testament) and that God has
reached out to His children once again and that we are led by a
prophet today. I told him that we do not believe prophets are above
Jesus Christ in any way. They are just like Abraham, Noah, Moses---all
the prophets of old. We worship Jesus Christ as our Savior and
Redeemer. After we got that all cleared up, I was freaking out of
happiness telling them to please let us teach our first lesson because
it would totally click everything for them.  They were totally down
for it! They have a 7 year old son, btw. Cute little family :)
We met them at the church on Saturday and showed them around and
talked about Sunday services. They wanted the first lesson so we
taught them the Restoration. the spirit was SOOOO STRONG. After the
First Vision, we asked how they felt and they said they felt peace and
the spirit. The wife talked about how it totally makes sense to her.
She also wants a church that is close and like a family to her. It all
is just awesome! that night they came to the Stake Pioneer day
activity and LOVED IT! They kept saying how nice everyone was. Their
son got sick, so they couldnt make it to church, but they are excited
to come next week!
So this is why I was freaking out for transfers. I was like, would God
lead me to this family then rip me away!??! He didn't so I am one
happy missionary :) This family is in 2nd, which hasnt had much going
on since the Lane's so we are happy. Susan is in 4th ward. She is
doing awesome :) Getting baptized Aug 29!!! so many great things
happening here in Folsom. This transfer FLEW, so I am scared for this
This last transfer was one of my favorite. I have changed a lot in my
priorities as a missionary. I have become a LOT LESS intense and
driven and have really focused on the Lord and just doing His will. It
feels good to do "right for right's sake." I am grateful for the
opportunity to serve out of a love for God and my Savior. I want to do
all things for Them and no one else.
tears me apart that I cannot hold that little nug. Good thing all
these miracles distracted me as my mom sent me a bigilloin pictures
all week. She will carry my name on well :) Congrats Annalee and
Mychal and to mom & dad for being grandparents! i love the video you
sent of daddy rocking Genevieve. It made me almost cry!! you can see
in his face how much he loves her!! cant wait to meet that little ray
of sunshine. I show pictures of her to everyone i come into contact
with :)

Have the best week!!!! We have so much to be grateful for! I cannot
believe the summer is coming to an end. Time needs to stop passing!!!

Sister Hickman
welcoming baby Genevieve into the world on Julyy 22 :) I am one proud
Auntie!!!! Cannot wait to hold my little namesake!

welcoming baby Genevieve into the world on Julyy 22 :) I am one proud
Auntie!!!! Cannot wait to hold my little namesake!

Transfers are hard for the Folsom Zone....we are happy because all the
sisters are staying :)

summer garden party in folsom :) nothing better than California nights!

This is the cute family of one of my ward mission leaders. I love
them! I took a picture to get prepared in case I got transferred. But,
I am still here :) I am sending it to show that I CUT ALL MY HAIR
OFF!!!! I want it to be long by the time I come home in 6 months, so I
decided to chop it.

cheesin because we're stayin :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

It is already time for Coloma!?

Hi there!!

Sorry this email is coming late...I have been at Coloma all day! The
missionaries all go with their departing groups the summer before you
leave. So, I went with all the December and January departing
missionaries today. SO WEIRD THAT WE ARE SO OLD! Sister Parkinson went
to Coloma our first P-day together a year ago...it is nuts! I will
talk more about Coloma in a little.

I wanted to share about a neat experience with Susan this week. We
took her on a temple tour Saturday night. The Folsom Stake puts it on
everyday Saturday for missionaries to bring investigators to or just
members to bring people to. they walk you around the temple and talk
about it and show videos, etc. It is great. They show a shortened
version of the Joseph Smith story. When we were leaving the temple
tour, we asked Susan what she thought. She said, "I felt all tingly
during the Joseph Smith video, I love his story everytime I hear it."
I said, "Susan, that feeling is the Holy Ghost." She said, "I never
want it to leave!" I said, "After you are baptized and receive the
gift of the Holy Ghost, it will aways be with you!!" It was awesome to
hear her talk about her feelings and impressions. When we first
started teaching her, she really struggled to feel and recognize the
Spirit. Her testimony truly is growing so much. She loves the Book of
Mormon, and she knows this is Jesus Christ's church. It has been the
coolest thing seeing her grow. It is such a blessing to know her! She
said she wants to be baptized late August because she has to keep
leaving town. Because she is a school teacher, the summer is when she
gets to travel! So she hasn't gotten to come to church a ton. I am
sending pictures from the temple tour for you to see her!

So, Coloma is where the mission takes the missionaries as something
fun to do on a P-day the summer before your mission ends. It is a
place in the El Dorado Stake (where I started my mission), and it is
super historic. It is where they first found gold that started the
California Gold Rush. There is so much history and so much MORMON
history...it is so cool! The Mormons basically founded California!
Those from the Mormon battalion settled this northern California area
and present day San Fran because they thought the pioneers would keep
coming West, but they really stopped in Utah. But, this group in
California, while they were waiting, found the first gold and
basically started the Gold Rush. However, their families and temple
blessings were more important to them, so they all left it and went to
Utah to be with their families. Others came for the Gold Rush. It was
so neat to hear how they left all the wealth they could have had to be
with their families and be sealed to them in the Salt Lake City Utah
temple. President Brigham Young truly was a prophet of God and knew
they would be persecuted in California, so that is why he did not lead
them even more West and stopped in Utah. It is incredible all the
Mormon history in this state! And Sister Gomm, My mission mom (that is
who I lived with in El Dorado with Sister Parkinson) is a "living
history missionary," so she dresses up like a pioneer and re-enacts
the Mormon battalion to teach people this history...well she was our
tour guide today!! It was SO FUN seeing her and Brother Gomm! I have
missed them dearly. She really brought the Spirit today while she told
us all this. We also got to pan for gold. Hahah  it is a fun little
touristy place for people to come and learn. But the best part was
that I got to be with Sister Kandare and sister campbell ALL DAY!! and
sister wright! she goes home later but came on this Coloma trip hahah
I was happy. It was fun!

I love the history I learned today! And with Pioneer day approaching
this week, I love reflecting on the history of the early Saints and
all they went through. I loove love love the pioneers!!! I am grateful
for my Great great grandfather, Henry Moon, who crossed the plains to
Utah. I am thankful for the sacrifice and faith they had in the Lord.
I wouldn't be here today without it!

Transfers are next week, so P-day will be Tuesday. I am fine leaving
or staying, so I am not nervous! I am good either way. I do want to
stay in one area for 6 months, so maybe Folsom will be it :)

Love you all!! Have a great week!!!
Sister Hickman
At the temple tour with Susan! Isn't she the cutest!? We decided we are all going to do the Church History tour together to see all the sites! 

my girls!! Could not make it without these two. Campbell/Hickman/Kandare for life!

On our way to the historic Coloma :)

Northern California is the prettiest. I believe those are the Sierra Nevada Mountains behind us.

All my old companions/mission friends still in the SAC mission together today!!! It was a blast being with these fun people :)

Our whole group of December/January departing missionaries at Coloma. Seriously all the sisters are leaving haha.

So much fun seeing Sister Gomm! This goat, Taggert, is who watched me run every morning when I would run around the house for my morning exercise :)

panning for gold! Just call us the Gold Rush of 2015 :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

dreams really do come true

Hi friends and family! 

It was a really exciting week of missionary work here in Folsom! Investigators are really progressing. If I get transferred the end of this month, I will have to come back for Susan's baptism because it will probably be in August. She is so sweet and genuine. I just adore her. She is about my parents' age, and she is just the kindest woman ever! She is excited to get baptized. It is adorable :) It is crazy to think how Heavenly Father led us to her that day when she was sitting at the playground with her dog. Truly no coincidence. I am grateful to be on the Lord's errand, and I keep praying for more "susan experiences!" I know there are people in Folsom like her who are looking for more truth and peace. We just have to enlist Heaven's help to find these people! 

So, something really cool happened. Bear with me while I tell this story. About a month or so ago, Sister Wright and I were biking down a busy street in Folsom and I looked over at the biggest non-denominational church in the city. Seriously everyone we meet goes there. It is like "THE church" in Folsom.  It is like all the big popular Christian churches in Oklahoma. I had this thought like, "Why am I just trying to find one person to teach, or a family, when I could be trying to teach a whole church!?" Okay, so this thought was a slight joke, but I was kind of serious. I told Sister Wright and she was like, "Let's do it!" I decided we would start off by finding out the head pastor's name. Like Ammon and King Lamoni in the Book of Mormon! That was my inspiration. I really did pray asking God if I was crazy and He didnt stop me so I just proceeded....lol. As missionaries, we dont have internet or any other resourceful means, and I didnt feel comfortable just walking in the church to find out who he was. We met this woman in one of our areas that the sister missionaries used to go see. We went over and when she said she went to this church, I asked the name of the head pastor. I thought once I had his name it would be easy from there! But, I decided to ask her if she knew him well. She said yes, so I asked if she wanted to set up a lunch with all of us. She said she would email him right then! Well, he emailed back and said yes! We were telling people in the ward, and one of the families joined the church about 15 years ago. They said they are good friends with him from before they joined, and the dad said he would love to come to the lunch! We were telling our members all week how we were going to lunch with the head pastor. They all couldn't believe it! I said it is one church ambassador to another! I told them all that when I tell my family, they wont even be surprised :) I love this kind of stuff! plus, I am from the Bible belt for crying out loud! The lunch was on Friday. It was at the woman's house. It was her, us, the pastor, and the member from one of our wards. It was awesome! Both sides asked lots of questions just about each other. He asked about us with our missionary work and we asked about him. No doctrine or arguing :) He was really cool! It was neat to hear about all the good their church does. We told him that we see his members all over, so we wanted to meet him and get to know him better. He said, "Are they nice to you??!" We were like, "Ummm...." hahah just the night before one of them went off on us about how we believe in a different Jesus!!! The pastor said we were really bold for setting this lunch up, and he said that we connect really well with people. We really hope he gives us a shoutout in one of his sermons! I could see him telling them to give us water and be nice to us if they see us out on our bikes. There is kind of a stigma in the community that this church doesn't like Mormons but baby steps have been taken. I am grateful for the experience because as Christians, we are all trying to make the world a better place. We have to come together and work for the good of God to love and serve. I know that now I will be so much more understanding when I meet people from this church because I will better know all the good they do. It was incredible to hear about. I told the pastor about my vision of the Mormons and their church goers joining together on a service project in the community. Haha he wasn't toooooo sold on that like I was, but maybe someday :) Man, I just want to be an ambassador for the Church forever! I wish this was a real job I could do! Sister Briggs and I were so nervous about it all week, but we are glad it happened. It will definitely be an experience we always remember! We are grateful he took time out of his day to meet with us, so that we could get to know his story and his work. Maybe one day we will baptize the whole church :) hahah just kidding! but kind of not.

God is good! We are willing to do what He asks to accomplish His work. I love being a missionary. We have entered phase two with ipads which is entering in our area books and planners and it is SO STRESSSFUL OH MY GOSH. I cannot stand it but i am trying to stay positive. it is so much work entering everything in. I just like old fashioned paper and pencil! but oh well...this will be better in the end. 

I know with my whole heart that this Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I am thankful for the blessings, joy, direction, and peace it brings in my life. I love having the opportunity to serve. It is scary because time is going so fast and I dont even know what is happening! Like every time I blink a week passes. I feel like it is all slipping from my fingers and I am just rolling along with it. I need to get back in the habit of setting personal goals to help myself grow. 

Have the best week!!! Love you all much!! It is down to the 90s here...woohoo I have never been so happy :)

Sister Hickman 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

1 year mark and AMERICA!

Hello hello!!
Can you all believe it has been a YEAR!?!?!? Wow, it has gone by fast.
I cannot even believe I was in the MTC one year ago. This has been one
of the best years ever. I have never learned so much or grown so much
in this short amount of time.
It was a fun week! We volunteered at the rodeo a couple nights. It was
so much fun!! my very first rodeo...and I hope not my last! It was
funny seeing like this new culture of country cowboys haha I liked it.
I kinda want to make it a hobby to go to rodeos. I am obsessed with
mutton busting!!! It is the little kids riding wild bucking sheep,
holding on for dear life in these little helmets!! IT IS HILARIOUS!!!!
They try to stay on as along as possible as the sheep run around. I
want my kids to do it! It is awesome!!! People there kept looking at
our name tags...we were ushers. They kept asking "Which way to the
alcohol??" Haha so that was pretty ironic being directed by Mormon
Missionaries to the drinks. It was hot but luckily California cools
off at night...unlike Oklahoma. The 4th of July rodeo is a Folsom
tradition, so we were happy to be apart of it and to be in the
community. It is all about good PR!
Sister Briggs and I ran the 10K on the morning of the 4th. Two members
put on runs every thanksgiving and 4th of July. It was fun! We didnt
walk. We finished in just a  couple minutes over an hour, so we were
happy! The rest of the missionaries just volunteered. People kept
coming up to us telling us how they love their Mormon friends. One
woman told us how she had met President Hinkley! It was awesome. After
the run, we had a zone training. It was put on by me and Sister Briggs
and the Zone Leaders. We pull up and saw the Assistants' car and
President's car. I was a little annoyed. It was kind of a discussion
training, and I knew no one would be "real" if they were all there. Oh
well, it went well but that definitely threw us off having them just
show up. After zone training, we all went out and contacted at
downtown old Folsom and at their outdoor shopping mall. We just wanted
to do something different and fun for the holiday. We had a great
time! though we were dripping in sweat :) Our Pday started at 5pm, so
we ate dinner together and played games at the church. It was fun to
all be together! I have really branched out to all the missionaries.
It has been good for me to get used to having all these Mormon
friends. Still a little weird but getting used to it. I beat all the
Elders in basketball shooting games so that was pretty fun :)
For Sister Briggs' and I's 1 year mark on July 2nd, we went out to
lunch with the other sisters...sushi of course :) and then we went to
dinner at a member's house. She is a single mom, recently divorced and
has gone back to school. We figured out that she is in the accounting
program that Alec (the one I taught who got baptized in Roseville) and
Brenda (the member in my East sac ward who brought him into the
church). WHAT A SMALL WORLD! So they came over for dinner and the
member invited some nonmember accounting friends they all knew and we
taught a lesson and Alec talked about joining the church and the
friends said they felt the Sprit. It was so cool. they dont live in
our area but they are going to start going to church stuff. That was a
fun one year miracle. The morning of our one year, we met with this
lady from Vietnam who had just walked to the Church last Sunday asking
to serve. one of our members talked to her and set her up with us. We
taught her and focused on prayer and taught her how to pray. She said
the most tender prayer I have ever heard! She said, "Dear God. Hi, I
am Belle. This is my first time praying and I am happy to get to know
you..." She kept going and it was the sweetest, most genuine thing
ever! I had tears in my eyes. How incredible that God allows me to
witness these moments of His children coming to know Him better.
We are still teaching Susan and she is doing awesome! We are also
teaching this family...he is the head baseball coach at the high
school, the city of Folsom loves him and the family! They are awesome.
We are excited to see what happens.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve a mission. I mean it
when I say that everyone who can do this SHOULD! I cannot imagine my
life without this. I really cannot. I love getting to see those who
the Lord has prepared change their lives to find more happiness than
they could ever imagine.
I hope everyone had a great 4th!! It is my favorite holiday. I LOVE
AMERCA!!!! I did miss the lake and my friends and my family, but we
had fun here :) I love Northern California. Everyone is "sporty
outdoorsy" as I have started to call it. They all love to run and bike
and boat and do everything outside, and I have fallen in love with
this culture! Sister Briggs is like a total Northern Utah granola
(intense camping, hiking barefoot, ya know...granola things). But
here, everyone is not that intense and it has broadened my horizon to
new hobbies I want to incorporate in my life! I am obsessed with it!

Have a great week!!! I love you all!!! in less than a month, I will be
an auntie!!! YAY!!!!

Sister Hickman

Celebrating our 1 year on July 2nd! Cannot believe it has been 12
months. Loving northern California :)
Celebrating our 1 year on July 2nd! Cannot believe it has been 12
months. Loving northern California :)
At my 1 year mark dinner with Brenda! So fun seeing her. She's the best!! 
So fun seeing these two!! I miss East Sac.
So awkward taking pictures with guys as a missionary....

4th of July fun with the missionaries

4th of July fun with the missionaries

our zone bike ride today on Pday! well, two companionships ditched,
but it was so fun!!!

our zone bike ride today on Pday! well, two companionships ditched,
but it was so fun!!!

Isn't this beautiful!!! I love this place!

Isn't this beautiful!!! I love this place!

Sister Briggs and I at the Folsom Rodeo!

Sister Briggs and I at the Folsom Rodeo!

Sister Briggs and I on the 4th of July at the 10k!

Sister Briggs and I on the 4th of July at the 10k!

Our zone before the run!