Monday, November 23, 2015

novel writings by yours truly

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I feel like I have so much to tell you!
So just giving  heads up, this is kind of long....and transfers are next week!!! Pday will be Tuesday! I think I'm staying and sister Lillie thinks she is leaving, but we will have to see!!
    Well first off, Lee is doing awesome! When we met on Tuesday, it had only been a week and he had already read the first 15 chapters in the Book of Mormon! On thursday, we taught the Restoration. The spirit was so strong. When I said Joseph Smith's First vision, I could see the spirit in his eyes. He knew it was true. At the end of the lesson we asked him to pray to know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. He said, "I dont need to, I already know it is!" He accepted everything we taught. Lee is one of the most
genuine, service oriented people I know. He says that after seeing all the good the members of the church do, there is no way it isn't Christ's church! He says everything we taught makes total sense. I stopped in the middle and said, "Thank you Lee! This is what I have been trying to say my whole mission when people tell us we are crazy!
You are smart, educated, sharp.....there is still hope out there!!!!!" Seriously though. Lee brings so much hope. I have been discouraged lately because with everything going on with the Church and the media, members are choosing to listen to the world and they are letting go of what they know to be true. Strong, lifelong members. It is the saddest thing. I keep thinking, how are we as missionaries supposed to bring people in and expect them to be strong during these "last days" when the strongest are letting go?? It is so hard to stay strong! After this lesson, I just cried on the way home. For many reasons haha. But one is that Lee brought me hope that there are people out there who are so prepared for the gospel and see the light and good that come from it. The other reason I was in tears was that it makes me SO SAD that it is getting close to the end. I know, I still have a transfer left, but I never know how many more people I will get to teach and Lee might be one of my last and it is such a privilege to teach him!
My heart was so full. After the lesson, the member who introduced Lee to the gospel (he drives an hour for our lessons), thanked Sister Lillie and me for being obedient missionaries. He said, "I know you are obedient and work hard because the spirit was so incredibly strong in that lesson." It strengthened my testimony on obedience because it honestly wasnt that great of a lesson from our teaching part, but it shows that the spirit is the teacher and that is what counts and we get the spirit when we are obedient!
The youth temple tour was such a success!! Almost every youth was there and there were 9 friends of them there!!!! The leaders said, "sisters, what did you do?! Some of these kids have never come to Wednesday night activities!" We had a few of the youth bear their testimonies and share experiences of the temple. The spirit was so strong! About 4 of the friends want to come to church now and they all live in our area....tender mercy :)
We are still teaching the girls :) We had a great lesson this week and the mom, Roxy, said, "wait I get this all now!" when we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The daughters are doing well but Roxy is scared to commit.
This week, we talked to so many people who have just had hard lives. One girl is our age and has an almost 8 year old (yes, she was 13 when she got pregnant), another kid is 20 and has a 2 year old and is struggling to make ends meet, and just so much more. My heart kept breaking. You guys, we seriously are so blessed. I cannot even tell you. I did not even know how most of the world lived. It is so so so sad. But It strengthened my testimony so much of the commandments.
Most of the troubles people have (not always) come as a consequence of breaking commandments. It really showed me how God truly is trying to protect us and allow us to be happy because these people are NOT happy
because  they have no freedom! whether it is addictions or this or that, they are chained to so many things. I know the God tries to help us because nothing breaks His heart more than seeing us suffer and be in pain and heartache. so now the trick is....follow God and His commandments....He knows what He is doing!
In other news, Sister Kandare isnt going home a transfer early!!! she is staying til January!!!! hahah she doesnt want to go home!! yay so happy I will be going home with my best friend :)
Also, gracie emailed me this week and said, "I was listening to music while I was working out and wondered, 'is genny allowed to listen to real music?' are you allowed to?" hahah to answer that....nope! I have been listening to church music for the last almost 18 months. so if anyone wants to hit me up with the latest country music when i get home, I wont be mad :)
We truly are so blessed. But, that comes with lots of responsibility. We need to serve and care for those who are around us. 
I KNOW this gospel is true! If you are grateful for it, go share it! nothing will make Heavenly Father more happy :)
Love you all!
For thanksgiving, we are going downtown for the "feed the hungry run" so that will be super fun! I love being in the zone with downtown Sac. and we are having dinner with a sweet empty nester couple and one of their daughters and then we are having a zone training that night with the missionaries. It should be fun. have a great holiday!!!! I miss you all!

sister hickman

P.S. This is for other missionaries out there reading this. I had the opportunity to ask Elder Hamula a question at Zone conference during the Q&A session. It has been on my mind and what a perfect chance to ask a General Authority! I told him there is a huge drop off between people who get baptized and them still being active in a year and going to the temple. Are we even helping them? because sometimes I feel like we are not because we just move on to the next area and no one is there to keep supporting them. It gets discouraging because I
want to truly help people!
He said that we do not even comprehend God's plan of Salvation fully (wow, that was cool to hear him say because it already sounds pretty great from what I know). He said that this life isnt the end. We are helping but we do not see eternity. It can still work out for them. If new members struggle, help them. Do not give up hope. Things will come around. He also said that sometimes missionaries baptize people who are just "not ready." That also was good to hear. But I like how he said, to just be patient. If they struggle after baptism, they have a
long path ahead to make things right. so missionaries, do not get discouraged! find the elect and remember, you are their missionary for eternity. never forget your converts :) we are in this for the long haul!
Welcome to my life :) love those winter nights all bundled up!

It's never a bad time for selfies. Yay for Oshi turning 8 this week!

My last box of stuff is off! I probably could have shipped myself home :) hehe

We are running off to service...I will be back on about 1-2pm my time.
I just wanted to get this out!

For my missionary friends who don't see my blog, I wanted to send a
few pics of what's been going on!

It's like the missionaries are at the church or something! Let me tell
you how to identify us.
1) Chevy Cruze or Toyota Corolla- 2) bike rack on the back...with
possible bikes on it- 3) cars pulled through on parking spots so the
passenger companion doesn't have to back us out of the spot :)

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