Sister Melanie Hickman, from Chico California

Sister Melanie Hickman, from Chico California is serving an 18 month mission in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 16: Disappointments and Tender Mercies!

Hola Family!
Wow 4 months.... where did they go? Not sure where to start... this week had some downs but Dios siempre gives us miracles. One of our investigators A... had a baptism date for this Saturday but we found it needed to be postponed. J... the 14 year old boy wrote us a note that he does not want us to visit any more.  Now for the miracles,  one of our investigators  named D is great he has a close relationship with God but he has a lot of doubts about our church. We invited him to pray that night at 10:20 pm and that we would pray at the same time. The next day we asked him how it went and he said he feels that what we told him was true. We hope he will continue to progress.

Have you learned about any cool Book of Mormon ruins? They are close by but, I have not seen them. It is neat to talk about the Book of Mormon here because we can reference the ruins and people instantly have interest in the Book of Mormon. 

What do you love about your companion? I´m learning to love when she corrects my Spanish.... at first I was frustrated but I realize she is just trying to help. She knows her Bible and Book of Mormon like no other.

How big is your ward?  Do you teach any classes on Sunday? 95 people came to church on Sunday.... sometimes we teach Gospel Principles class.

Share a tender mercy from this week?  I got to work with a little girl how has dyslexia this week and I realized the hand Dios in my life. It brought back a lot of really sad memories about how hard it was as I tried to help this little girl who is in the 1 or 2 grade. I realized that Heavenly Father has helped me learn how to read and has helped me get into BYU and helped me while at BYU. The other miracle of this week is that we are teaching a investigator who is addicted to drugs and alcohol.  He called us this morning and asked us to come talk to him. He has so many questions. It feels good to help people that want to change.

What made you smile this week? When I tricked my companion into running to the market to buy her favorite food during exercises in the morning!

When you street contacting how do you start a conversation? How many this week? 105 contacts this week..... perdon usted sabe donde es la calle 20 de novembre..... oh gracias es que yo no soy de aqui encontes no se donde es todo..... podemos dar una tarjeta... nosotros somos misioneras y compiamos un mensaje de jesucristo con todos los personas usted le gusta en otro momento nosotros pasamos y compartimos esta mens con usted..... (not everything is spelled right)

Hermana Hickman

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 15: Killing CUCRATCHAS like nobodies business, sweet Sunday!

Hermana Hickman Answers Questions:)
 Do the people of Tuxtla celebrate Easter?  How is it different? Not really..... everything was closed on Friday and Saturday, but nothing else was different.

What do you buy when you go grocery shopping? yogurt, cereal, juice, soup
What is your favorite part of the day? In the night time, the last two hours in the streets talking to people and the last couple of lessons we teach each night. 

What is your favorite thing to teach people? I love to teach the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

How is the English class going? I did not teach last week, but I think we are going this week. 

What made you smile? Well I could not believe it when I saw 2 children of a less active family sitting in the front row in the chapel.  I noticed that they were sitting without their mom and when we asked them how they got to church; they replied they walked.  One is 10 and the other is about 8.  Wow what faith! I learned a lot from their sweet examples.
Killing Cuchratchas (cockroaches) like nobodies business!

 Tell us about a time you felt the spirit this week?
This week we had an amazing Sunday. We were waiting at a street corner for a colletivo to pass to go to church and this older lady said, "You guys are missionaries right?" We said...."YES!". She told us that her son was at home and that we should ask him if he wanted to come to church with us. Of course we said ok. She showed us where her house was and introduced us to her son who is 19 years old. We asked him if he wanted to come to church and he said yes. We waited for him to get ready and off we went. Now take into account he has not had any lessons,  he had never met us, but he came to church with us. We got to church late, but when we entered the chapel I could not believe my eyes: our investigator P... was there sitting with a member, a less active family who we have been working with came, and then the young man whose mom we met on the street invited one of his friends. We had a lesson with these two young men last night and found out that they have been going to institute(seminary for adults) and have been reading the Book of Mormon. They know so much, we invited them to be baptised last night and they said they wanted to know more first. I´m hopeful that they will realize that they know enough to enter the waters of baptism because all you need in faith! Needless to say I realized yesterday that this in not my work at all and that God has His hand in His work and He will do what He pleases.
Making dinner?

Where do you write your letter's home? In the street wherever we can find a computer lab or in a compoture shop.

What do you do on preparation days? clean the house... study... sleep . buy food.... and work.

How often do you speak English? pretty much Never

What is the transportation like?  transportation is crazy here and the drivers are a million times crazier then US drivers if you can image that.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 14: 160 street contacts, 28 lessons, REALLY HOT, cold showers

Not sure where to start this week..... It is crazy hot here which is....GREAT:) It makes walking for hours really fun! We have been working really hard this week. We had 28 lessons and 160 street contacts. It is incredible what the Lord can do when you dedicate your time to him. We have an investigator named P... that we contacted. He is amazing! He prayed to know if this is the right church and he read the Book of Mormon and he said I feel like it is true and then he came to church the next day.

 Zone conference was good this month we got to watch the dedication of the Mexico Mission Training Center dedication. It was really cool.The work is moving forward!!!! 

Tell us about a typical day in your life.....
Wake up at 6:30 or around there... this is the hardest part of the day:)
Do exercises alone in the house, my companion does not like to exercise.
7:00 am I get ready for the day and eat breakfast
8:00 am personal study as much as possible in Spanish
9:00 am companion study, we go over what we are going to teach each person 
10:00 am training because I'm still in my first 12 weeks,  my companion trains me
11:00 am study Spanish 
12:00 pm leave the house FINALLY to work visit investigators
2:00 pm eat lunch with members 
3:00 pm work, work, work (visit less actives, investigators, contact people, service)
9:00 pm return home, pray, plan for the next day, eat dinner, shower and then it is finally time to sleep. 
( Tuesdays and Wednesdays we have meetings) 

What made you smile this week? Well I happy cried when our investigator A....... gave the sweetest pray. I realized the progress of one of God´s children and the importance of prayer.

Favorite meal this week: I love all the food the sisters in our ward cook. The rice here is incredible and we had this chicken and vegetable thing that was amazing!

How do you cool off? To tell you the truth there is nothing we can do. It cools down in the night time. 

 Do you have warm water or do you take cold showers? Only cold water I will show pictures  of the apartment next week.

My Spanish was so good this week I when I....... had the patience to conjugate the verb correctly instead of not trying:) 

When you are feeling discouraged what do you do? This week I had a amazing experience it was Saturday night, we had started to fast and it had been a long day. My companion was getting ready for bed. I took the opportunity to knee in prayer and talk out loud to my Heavenly Father. I cried and cried, I felt like I could not do any more and I needed help. I was worried about our investigator not coming to church and I missed my family so much. I went to bed not feeling much different, but in church we had 3 investigators come, two of them came by themselves and we brought J.... with us. It was testimony meeting and I did not feel I needed to share my testimony but then I realized that three of Heavenly Father's special children had come to church and I needed to share what I knew with them. I got up and gave a 2 min testimony but I testified that I knew God lives and that if I did not know I would not be so far away from my family and in a place that I didn't know how to talk if  I did not know the church was true!!!
I am doing well.... sorry it is short this week my comp said we need to go.
Love you all!
Hermana Hickman

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 13: Made 101 street contacts, received 8 references and having difficulty speaking English

Hola Familia,
 This week was crazy hard... but so good. I can´t express in words how much I have grown. Getting a new companion has been challenging.  I cried a lot the first day but things are better now.   I took the opportunity to ask about her back ground and discovered that she is a convert of 4 years, from Dominica Republic. She is the only member in her family and she is paying for her mission all by herself.  I have discovered a great love and respect for her and Heavenly Father is blessing me. She speaks no English and her Spanish is different than mine so we are learning to communicate.  This week we have done a lot of walking because no one was home, no one wanted to talk to us and the fact that I have no idea where anything is. I am still learning the area.... it will come:)

 How many lessons did you teach this week? We taught about 12 lessons and about 3 or 4 with members but, this week we had 101 contacts (in the street or collectivo)

Share a tender mercy: I got to watch all of conference and 2 sessions in English.

What made you smile this week? When we received 8 referencias (references)..... I started crying I was so happy!

Where do you shop for food? Una Super pero next week.  I think we will shop in Walmart

Was there a moment this week when your said "you are not in the states sister" What happened? When an English missionary started talking to me in English and I could not talk in English because I don´t remember English.... lol
This week we had lessons that I taught everything pretty much.... which was interesting..... lol but really I feel Heavenly Father with me. He has help me with Spanish in ways that are incredible... I can see a difference!!!
 Yo envio me amor !!!!! Siempre recordamos Jesucristo VIVE.