Monday, September 28, 2015

Another week in Cordova!

Another great week in the best mission in the world! Seriously, we have been so busy. I had been in Folsom so long, that I think I forgot what it was like to be busy all day going from one thing to the next. 
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!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ

Hi everyone!!! 
I cannot believe it has been another week! We have been so busy, which is so nice after being 6 months in Folsom. Shotgunning it always busy because we have so many people to get to know. We taught several people this week, but we are really praying for those that are prepared. I have been struggling about being "content." I have had a great mission, and I have learned tons. I have loved the relationships that I have from my mission. BUT, I want to keep having that faith and drive to see others come unto Christ in this area. I am just kind of content going day to day, whether anything "great" happens or not. A lot of missionaries are like that their whole missions, but I have never been like this and it is driving me nuts! Heavenly Father needs us to rely on Him and seek for those miracles! We definitely have seen many tender mercies in this area over the last week. 
Sister Lillie and I work really well together. She has adjusted to missionary life and is totally herself now. She is so chill!! Haha I think the first couple days she was just stressed being a missionary. She has a sassy, blunt personality like me but she is laid back and chill and I am more energetic and enthusiastic. We compliment each other well. She is catching onto everything so well. I love training someone by example where they just follow and catch on. It will be a great companionship :) 
This week during studies, I decided I was going to do the purification thing that I did back in April. I fasted on Friday, so that I could receive revelation on how to better consecrate myself the end of my mission. I kept having this impression about how I need to better learn "living in the world but not of the world" before I end my missionary service and go back to the "real world." That is something that I have struggled with my whole life....I just like nice things, okay!!!!!! This day, we met a woman in more of the ghetto part of our area. She was sitting outside her apartment, and we went up and talked to her. She has had a hard life. She has been battling being homeless her whole life and many other things. She told us a lot of her life experiences. She says she does not believe in Christianity anymore, for various reasons. All of her concerns could be answered from the Restoration lesson. We taught her, and the Spirit was very strong. Meet this woman was exactly what I needed this day. She thinks we were sent for her because she said she NEVER sits outside, but I think she was sent for me! I have been so privileged my whole life (dont worry, I am not just now realizing this), but I was reminded about it. I have so much to be grateful for. I want to live the rest of my life serving and loving others out of gratitude to my Heavenly Father. I want to be someone He depends on to drop anything to serve someone else if I see the opportunity. My mission has helped deepen the gospel principles in me, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. It is a life long pursuit to put off the natural man and become Christlike. I continue to work at it everyday, and I am amazed at my loving Heavenly Father who still puts up with me and blesses me everyday! 
This gospel grounds me, and boy would I be scared to see my life without it. Remember: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:21
My prayer is that our hearts will continue to grow towards the ultimate treasure, our Savior Jesus Christ, each and everyday. There will come a time when the cute clothes go away, the dream job ends, and it is the person we have become that stays with us for eternity. Let's continue to BECOME! 
I love you all!!! Have the best week ever! 

with all my love,
sister hickman 
we love downtown :)

we love downtown :)

This week we got to go to Downtown Sac for a big service project and
wear NORMAL CLOTHES (yay). It was so fun!!! I love cities :) I was in
my happy place.

This week we got to go to Downtown Sac for a big service project and
wear NORMAL CLOTHES (yay). It was so fun!!! I love cities :) I was in
my happy place.

fun afternoon today exploring old sac!

fun afternoon today exploring old sac!

seeing this guy made my day! I yelled across "BOOMER SOONER!" you
never see that in California!

the sisters in our zone at old sac!

cordova zone! i miss my little folsom zone! and I hate being in public
with lots of missionaries.....it is so embarrassing.......

Monday, September 14, 2015

Meet my trainee!

Hi guys!!! I GOT MY BABY!! Her name is Sister Lillie (such a cute name, right!?) and she is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. SHE IS A CANADIAN!!! She calls the bathroom a washroom. it is so funny. and she says "eh" all the time. The stereotype really is a thing! She graduated in 2011, but she is just 2 months older than me. They just do grades weird there. She hasn't done any college...she worked as a receptionist at a dental office. So, she is really great with people! It is SO different training her than before. Im like, wait...she knows how to talk to people. Hahah I dont even have to teach her anything. It has been a little hard because we have similar "take charge" personalities, so we are struggling to find how our roles fit together, but it is getting better! I think it will be a great experience. 
Wednesday is the day we became companions, so we pretty much just used our car that day (it is a convenience car...limited miles because we are in a full biking area), so Thursday we went out on our bikes. Literally 15 minutes in, I hear a CRASH behind me. Sister Lillie hit a curb and totally ate it! Poor thing. She fell on her arm and kind of sprained it. She has been in a sling and we have been in car. Hopefully this week she will be healed and we can be back on bike. At least she crashed at the beginning of her mission, so that it is over with!
The ward is awesome! They are SO excited to have sisters. They seriously never have them! The ward is kind of similar demographic of my East Sacramento ward. There is a pretty nice part of this ward that takes up about half of the ward. Not a lot of members lives there and the missionaries haven't really worked it, so we are hoping to work that better. I am excited to be in this zone! Cordova is honestly SO ugly compared to Folsom. I miss the hills in the background! Cordova is just so metropolitan with no background....kind of like Oklahoma I guess. I have been spoiled with the last 6 months of my mission! 
I am excited for what is in store. There are a couple pretty solid investigators her, but otherwise, we are definitely in finding mode. And we are trying to meet the members. You stay busy when shot gunning, so it will be great! 
I felt all over the place this week, and I felt like I was lacking the Spirit a little. I had an experience Friday night with a returning less active member. She opened up about her hardships and how much the gospel was helping her. I felt this overwhelming amount of love for her from our Heavenly Father. One of my very favorite things as a missionary is having the privilege of sitting across from someone, bearing testimony, and feeling God's love for them so strongly. I needed this experience this particular night. I needed to be reminded that God knows and loves all of His children. He understands our situations perfectly. He is watching out for us. I know that He loves us. I am grateful that He allows me to be apart of so many peoples' lives. 
If you all haven't already heard, I will be returning to the University of Oklahoma in January for that semester. I had been receiving promptings for a while that God wants me there that semester (maybe He didnt want me dying going to BYU 2 weeks late after just getting home from a mission :) ). I am deferring to BYU the Fall of 2016. If I have learned anything the last 2 years, it is that God has a much better life plan for me than I do, so I better follow Him! I am excited to be back in Oklahoma that semester and to be with my best friends their last semester of college! 
I cannot believe that it is already mid-September. Time is a crazy thing. I am trying this transfer to really "re-discover" my passion for missionary work. I honestly am so tired. I am worn out. But, I dont want to stop now. I am praying extra hard for that added strength. I want to give my all in the Rossmoor ward. Sister Lillie and I are so excited to work here!!!
I love you all and miss you!!! Thanks for all your prayers and support.
Until next week,
Sister Hickman 
Sister Lillie and me after picking her up at the Mission Office!

Sister Lillie and me after picking her up at the Mission Office!

After her bike crash. She will get used to it :) I have yet to get in
a crash...knock on wood....

After her bike crash. She will get used to it :) I have yet to get in
a crash...knock on wood....

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

goodbye folsom, hello cordova!

Hi everyone!!! So much happened this week! To get it out of the way....transfer news is IN! I am shotgun (both missionaries are new in the area) training in the Rossmoor Ward in the Rancho Cordova stake. I get my little trainee tomorrow morning :) Until then, I am with Sister Wright and Sister Campbell. They are my STL's and are in my zone so that is fun! We have an apartment and I am soooo happy! It will just be me and my trainee in there. The elders who just moved out were not clean, so I will be cleaning it all today. Ugh. But I am pumped to have my own space! 
I wanted to shotgun train, so I am so happy! Me and Heavenly Father are on the same page :) When I heard only 2 sisters were coming out, I didnt think I would be because there are a lot of sisters who haven't trained that I thought would, so I wasn't really anticipating it. I am excited! This ward has had elders forever. It is fun following elders because everyone loves sisters, so they treat us like angels sent just for them! Sister Jardine came up to me at the transfer meeting today saying that this training will be nothing like my last experience. There are like 25 missionaries coming out total....so it is a HUGE group. I think it will be a solid group. It is fun because sister parkinson was at this point in her mission when she shot gun trained me! She had 3 transfers left. I am following in her shoes :) Our family legacy is carrying on! 
I wanted to serve in the Cordova zone because it covers downtown Sac, so I can go there on Pdays. I am pumped! We get to do a lot of service at the food bank downtown, and you all know I love that kind of stuff! I am glad to be serving here. It is known as the ghetto, but I have heard there are some nicer parts of my ward. 
It was so bittersweet leaving Folsom. I was ready, I will be honest. It has been a great 6 months there. I am glad we find out transfers now on Saturday night. I was able to bear my testimony in the wards and say bye. It was so sad leaving Sister Briggs. I love her a lot and already miss her tons. I didnt cry the whole time through the transfer process (that was a FIRST), but when we got to the transfer meeting Monday morning early, we went into a room to read our scriptures and we said a prayer together for the last time as companions, and I just started crying. I cannot thank Heavenly Father enough for the people He puts into my life!!!! My heart is so full!
I went to the podiatrist on Thursday and got a cortisone shot, and I AM TOTALLY BACK TO NORMAL!!!! YAY! no surgery or anything. I think my foot will be fine for a very long time. That was a huge blessing. I got to run and bike my last weekend in Folsom. It could not have been better. We had a ton of miracles in Folsom this last week!
I wanted to share of an experience. On Wednesday, I woke up, and I did not feel well at all. I had been getting sick, and my whole body was just weak and achy. We went out and worked, but I was just struggling all day. I wanted to go home and sleep so badly. I kept praying to Heavenly Father all day to just help me do what He needed me to do and to have the strength to keep going since I wasnt back in bed resting!! We were trying this less-active family, and the younger daughter answered...who I didnt even know existed. Long story short: she has had the lessons a while ago but never got baptized because she thought it was crazy. She agreed to listen again, and we taught her and she goes, "wait, this makes total sense. How did I not see it before?" The spirit was so strong and she wants to be baptized! She is a junior in high school. I thought of this quote Sister Campbell had showed me a few months ago. "When you are tired or discouraged, when it has been a long day and it seems that nothing is going right, reflect on the counsel that President Hinkley's father gave to him, 'Forget yourself and go to work!' and think to yourself 'pull it one more mile.' It is then that miracles happen!" My testimony grew so much on this. Through all of my foot problems and then just getting sick, as I pressed forward, the Lord provided. This is His work and it happens in His time. That day, I truly wanted to just go back to the house, and then we were lead to this girl. It was a miracle indeed. 
As a chapter in Folsom ends, a new begins in Cordova. I hope I can impact my trainee the way Sister Parkinson impacted me. It is the most incredible experience training a new missionary, and I am thankful to get to one last time. I am excited to tell you about her next week!!!! 
Love you all!! Have the best week!!! I miss you all so much! I am excited for a new missionary because I cant talk about home or she will think I am trunky and no one wants a trunky trainer! It was hard with Sister Briggs and I being out the same about of time because we talked about post-mission plans a lot. This will help me focus because it is stressful shotgunning and training, so with the both together, my brain wont be able to hold anything more! 
Talk to you next Monday :)
Sister Hickman 
The Folsom Sisters from the last 6 months saying bye to our favorite
Elder Wright who is heading home! He is coming to Oklahoma by
homecoming weekend (so he plans), so you will meet him then! He is
like my mission brother.

The folsom zone at zone training on Friday!

I am sad to be leaving these two. They will have great rest of their missions!!!

The sweet woman who lived by us in Folsom wanted us over for lunch.
She couldnt remember our last names, so she names us after Disney
Princesses. Sister Briggs was Cindy (cinderella), and I was Belle.
hahaha she bought us these little disney dolls to remember. We were
talking and she lovesss mormons. We said something about Jesus Christ,
and she said, "wait, I had no idea Mormons believed in Jesus Christ! I
thought you just thought He was just a good guy!" Yes, We are
Christians!!!!!! His name is on our name-tag for crying out loud!

Sister Christensen, a member in my ward, makes the BEST chocolate
banana shakes ever!!! She made them for us the night before I left :)

Sister Briggs and I's last Sunday together in Folsom. I MISS HER

The house I lived in the last 6 months in Folsom. She member is a
widow! It is so sweet she lets us live there. I am excited for an
apartment now, though :)

I love the Ryan's! They are like my Folsom older siblings :) I am
going to miss them!

The Edmondson's! Bro Edmondson was my Ward Mission Leader in 4th ward.
They took great care of me!! They are like family. This is at
breakfast the morning I left Folsom.

The Sister Training Leaders with Sister Jardine at the Mission
Leadership Council. Not going to lie, I am excited to be done being an
STL! I was tired of doing zone trainings.

hahahah missionary probs

my first day back running!! Friday was a happy day :)