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 

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