Sister Lillie went to the orthopedic doctor on Tuesday.....her elbow is broken after all. He said no bike for TWO MONTHS! I am pretty sure I was more upset than her. I almost cried! That is pretty much the rest of my mission! But it will be okay. The Lord gives us all what we need. I will never forget what Sister Briggs said when I kept apologizing to her for putting up with me and my crutches. She said, "Sister Hickman, I am here on the Lord's time and on His errand. If He needs me to be with you than that is what I am going to do. It isn't 'my' mission." Wow, talk about grace and dignity! That has always stuck with me. I am following her example of remembering this isn't "my" mission. I am here on the Lord's time, and I will do whatever He needs me to do. I have a strong testimony that He picks up our slack. That day, we had dinner with a part member family and started teaching the daughter-in-law! She is so interested. It is awesome! We are definitely seeing lots of little miracles :)
After the doctor, we had interviews with the Jardines. It has been like 5 months since our last interviews! As soon as Sister Lillie tells anyone we cannot bike for that long, everyone looks at ME!!! hahah they all know how much I love bike. President said, "Sister Hickman, are you going to be okay!?" Okay, I was just on crutches....I am just grateful to walk and to still be serving a full-time mission! It was great to have an interview with him. We talked about staying focused at the end. It is HARD. Even for intense, driven Sister Hickman....who knew :) Everyone is laughing about it. This week was actually a big turn around because every Pday, we get a mission wide email newsletter thing from President. He talks about some of the baptisms that week and last week there was only 1. When I read it on Pday, my heart dropped! It devastated me. I kicked my butt into gear! Ever since then, I feel myself going back to the missionary I used to be. It feels great. I asked President what the deal was, and he said it is just because the mission is SO young. like 60% is under 6 months or something. they are all little babies! Even most of the leadership has been out like only a year. It is crazy. The Lord needs us and obviously we need Him. I have been doing very well since then because experiences from my whole mission have been preparing me for these final months.
I LOVEd the woman's conference. I thought it was especially great this time. I loved what Sister Reeves said. She said that when we return to our Heavenly Father's presence and stand at the feet of our Savior, we will say "Is that ALL that was required?" When we think of the trials and hardships that this life brings, we can get discouraged because we just don't even comprehend how incredible eternity is. When we get there after this life, it will seem like we should have gone through more for the Kingdom of God. I love the perspective that she gave.
On Saturday, we were teaching another part-member family and one of the daughters (she is my age) was opening up about things that have happened to her. Bad bad things. She had a tough upbringing. She said she prayed and prayed but these things kept happening to her. "Why?" she asked. My heart broke as she cried to us. There was a point in my mission where I wanted to fix everyone's problems and have answers for them. In this moment, I truly did not know what to say. I dont know "why." But, I am not supposed to. None of us are. I simply testified of Jesus Christ and the reality of His Atonement. He did suffer all for us. Heartache, pain, anguish, sorrow. He did it so that He would know PERFECTLY how to help, love and support us. You see, we all don't understand each other perfectly. But, we can turn those who are hurting to the Savior. They can find solace in Him. That is the good news of the gospel. He brings us up. He saves us. He rescues us. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He lives. I know that His help is so real. I would have gone home a long time ago if it wasn't.
I keep thinking about my life before my mission, and I am so grateful that God loved me enough to tell me to go because I WOULD BE SCARED TO SEE MYSELF WITHOUT THIS!!! No joke. The lessons I have learned here will help me as a mother, wife and person. Missions really are the "Life Training Center." I dont even think of that as a corny joke anymore...it is true!
I love you all! Have the best week!