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.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 33: More rats, Mexican tan, hands that look like a fighter.

What 7 things made you smile?
1. We were out visiting people with our bishop and another member and we saw a rat in the street. I ran down the street and did not look back:)
2. I carried a 20 lb. thing of water for a man we contacted in the street and bruised my hand. Some of the members have asked me what happened because it looks like I fought with someone because my hands are so bruised!
3. We practically dragged a investigador to church. She was sleeping until we knocked on her door:)
4. Five men that sell candies in the street came to church. They don´t live here in Tuxtla and they know only Sotzil.  A member of our ward knows Sotzil and we gave them the first lesson (not us the member). I really really want to go to an area that speaks Sotzil:)
5. One day we came home and C... our neighboor who is pretty much a member came to cook in our house because she did not have gas to cook. She cleaned our house while she was there.
6. I have a family that I just love so much that we eat lunch with them on Sunday and they always pull jokes on me.
7. OK number 7 this week on Saturday we wanted to visit a whole bunch of people because Saturday is when everyone is home and we can invite them to church. This week we split up my companion went with a sister in the ward and I went with a different sister. I was pretty nervous all day. We went to visit D.. and K... They are a young unmarried couple that we have had a lot of ups and downs.  We got there and started the lesson and K.. started telling me that they have problems in their marriage. What was I suppose to say I had no idea, but somehow Heavenly Father put words into my mouth about the example of you and dad praying together every night.  Then K.. had the question of why she can´t baptise her two little kids. We had given her the homework to read Moroni 8, but they did not read it so we read a little together.  K... said no because the sins of Adam and Eve are our sins. Everyone tells us this and my companion always tells them a scripture in the bible from memory but she was not there and I had NO idea where the scripture was.  I saw a footnote that was in Mark so I opened my bible, but I did not have time to read what it said so I said a prayer and handed her the bible to read it.   What smile it brought to my face when it was the exact scripture I wanted:)

 Tell us about the most unusual contact you made this week?
I contacted a girl when we were in the bus and told her about English classes. A boy sitting next to her who niether of us knew jumped into the conversation and i invited him to English classes too.


 What is different about the homes in Tuxtla?  Do most people have all the things we have in our home?

 Well first off in the area I'm in right now is mostly apartments. The main difference is they don´t have yards and the whole family lives in the same house with their kids and grandkids and great-grandkids.

What was the best day this week and why?
Saturday and Sunday we had a lot of members that helped us out which was great:)

 When you are hot and tired, what inspires you to press forward?
 I joke around with my companion to contact so that I can take a little break from walking:)I also think about my future children and how I can tell them I walked uphill in the pooring rain on my mission. 
Love you all
Hermana Hickman

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 32: Slept with frozen water bottle,played futbol and took out 2 Elders...opps

So what 7 things made you smile this week?
1. When I woke up at like 3 am because the fan stopped working.   I found a frozen water bottle and slept with it because I was dying of heat.
2. That almost every day this week we have done 30 street contacts and we have come to the point that almost everyone knows us.
3. We have had some great first lessons. 
4. 4 different members came with us to visit people.
5. Playing soccer as 3 zones and I took out 2 elders. 
6. Playing fútbol en México. 
7. A new elder ran up to me and said Sister Hickman,  "You don´t know me but  read all your blogs and saw all your pics and ever week waited for your blog....... then he shock my hand hecka hard...... :)

Tell us about your best lesson  and best contact this week?
We found a women named G.. who is the sister who visited for a long time about two years ago. In the first visit we invited her to be baptized she said, "YES".

Sometimes I wish I could just be a fly on the wall and watch you in action as a missionary.  Tell me about a time this week  that you would want me to see?
 I wish you could see everything I love. The sweet experiences I have had where the Spirit tells me where to go and puts words in my mouth. Sometimes after I say something I sit there and say no way I´m speaking Spanish:)

How do people react when you tell them you are American?
They get all excited and they all know because there are no Americans here. I stand out like a sore thumb.  When people ask where are you from.... I say I´m from Chiapas:) they always laugh.  

How are you feeling? I feel good tired and sad sometimes but I´m good. I really just miss expressing my feelings.
 Are you staying healthy? Yes

In one of the other missionary's blogs they talked about seeing some ruins.  Do you ever do anything cool on P-day? 
 Well today we went to the Zoo.   The ruins are not in my area but I hope one day to see them.

I love being a missionary! I love studying the scriptures. I can read better in Spanish now and I get to see Heavenly Father work with me every day.  I´m thankful for the Atonement and all that I have learned on my mission.

I love you all REMEMBER the CHURCH is TRUE

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 31: Dead Rat, 145 Street Contacts, Soup with Fried Bananas

What 7 things made you smile this week?
1. 2 Nephi 26:30 "...wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing."  I also read some amazing scriptures and pages in Preach My Gospel that told me to get to work and forget myself. I have been so worried about myself but I now remember who I am serving.

2. We watched the movie called Faith in Christ and a little boy of a less active family said "this movie is chido (sick) " . He is like 2 years old and it was so cute.

3. The same little boy who is our neighboor saw me leaving the house one day and ran into my arms.

4. I prayed for help to get up in the mornings and every day this week I woke up on time}

5. It poured rain one day as we ran to the church to take cover everyone looked at us funny because we could not help but laugh:)

6. Ok so we made the goal to finish the mission goal of 140 contacts in one week and on Saturday night we still needed a large number to finished. Joking I  said to my companion.... Heavenly Father  will help us find a party(fiesta) so that we can contact people..... not 5 minutes letter we passed by a party. I think sometimes Heavenly Father  has a sense of humor:)  

7. I tried to do math this morning and I did not remember how to divide....(I´m in trouble when I have to go back to school) 

How have you changed the most since serving as a missionary?

A love for the scriptures and I am not as afraid.... I talk to people in the street everyday that I have never seen before and in a different language. 

Best lesson this week?  and why?
We have an investigator that is from  Arizona. She is visiting family here that are memebers of our ward . I llove her to death. Her name is S... and she has come to church 3 times. We invited her to be baptised but it will be hard because we don´t know when she will leave to go back to Arizona. She told me when I go home we can visit Mexico together:) The lesson we taught was lesson 3 and the 3 kids of the member family participated so much and it was really neat:)

You mentioned that it was a mission rule to not knock is most of your finding done on the streets?
Yes but one thing that is really different here in Mexico is people are always in the street.  It is nothing like in the states there is ALWAYS people  
 How do you typically approach people and start talking to them?
 "Can we give you this card we are missionaries de la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los últimos días!  
How many street contacts this week? 145 :))))))))))))))

Most interesting food this week? A soup that had fried bananas, ham and others strange things:)

The members in Mexico are great because those that really know the church is true do everything in their power help the work of the Lord.  We have members that companion us almost all day. We have other members that make us feel at home and others that give us references. More then anything their love.

We have one investigator that is our neighboor and married to a less active.   We love her to death. She washes all our cloths, makes us dinner sometimes so that we can eat when we get home and right now we are going to go shopping with her. Pray for their family she can not be baptized.

What is the weather like right now? Really hot but then almost every day it rains really hard and then because of the rain it gets more hot:).

I love you all so much the church is true and so thankful for the opportunity to be a missionary

Hermana Hickman 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 30: 134 Contacts this Week, High School Spanish Teacher Wouldn't Recognize Me!

Did you stay or go?  if you are going...where are you going and who is your companion going to be? Nothing changed

Did you find any new investigators this week?  If so how did you contact them and did they come to church? We found a couple of people, but it is going to be a struggle to get them to church... we contacted 134 people this week!

Share 5 things that made you happy this week:
1. Another older man called me Sister Jicama.
2. When the sister in our ward couldn't feed us and we tried to make something in our house but it turned out gross.
3. Wednesday in the temple (story is yet to come).
4. The Family home evening we had with L.. y C... this week.
5. Finishing the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon. 

What is one thing that you will teach me to cook when you get home?  What is your favorite Mexican food?   beans, rice, and a chicken with vegetable dish that is amazing!

When you are contacting everyday are you knocking on doors or just walking the streets? It is a Mexico mission rule that we can not knock on doors so the work in million times harder.....

What is the hardest thing about being a missionary?  Being extremely tired and trying stay awake when your companion is talking during lessons. 

 What is the BEST thing about being a missionary? Feeling the Lord work through you. Yesterday I was sitting in church and could not help but be grateful that I could understand Spanish.

Best lesson this week? We left the church on Sunday and I felt like we needed to ask a brother to go with us to visit but we left without asking ... but because Heavenly Father has his hand in the work the brother passed by again and I asked him to visit with us. He said yes and it turned out that the investigator and the brother are friends from forever ago. 

If your high school Spanish teachers could hear your Spanish now what do you think they would say?  They would say that she is not my student Melanie Hickman because Melanie did not know anything about Spanish.... and she never pronounced anything right. 

Ok so everyone asked about the temple....   C.... had an amazing experience. He is the older man that has been a member for 7 months. We helped him find and prepare the names of his wife and mom to take to the temple. I invited him to pray before he went to the temple so that he could feel the presence of them and he said ok but thought I was crazy that he would be able to feel them in the temple. Well it turns out that he got to not only feel the presence of his wife and mom but he said he saw them and that they talked together for a long time...... He told us later that it was like when we will return home to our family and how excited we will feel he said I feel the same way in the temple. How special right? I told him that in January of this next year I will return to go through the temple with him for the name of his wife or mom.... he is so excited!
I love you all !

Hermana Hickman