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, September 29, 2014

Week 38: Baptism brownies, teaching a deaf woman

How has your testimony been strengthened this week?  How has your testimony of the atonement changed since you have been a missionary? 
One day this week my companion and I had some struggles and I felt so bad.  It was a hard day but we forgave each other and I felt whole again.  I got to feel that the Atonement can clean us of every mistake. Realizing that every day I have the chance to be better, and that it depends on my efforts. He will do the rest.

What 5 things made you smile?
1. I made brownies for the baptism and they got a Little burnt, but the members eat every drop. They were eating out of the pan because they liked them so much. They asked me for the récipe and I told them they are from a box.
3.  A P-day nap for 45 minutes today.  It felt soooooo good.
4. Listening to the Nik Day LDS songs that my companion has on her music player.
5. That it is boiling hot during the day, but then in the afternoon it rains really hard and we get soaking wet.  
6. We are teaching a deaf women and she is amazing. It has been a neat experience my companion understands her hand actions and somehow I´m able to talk to her. We make a great team and it is amazing to feel Heavenly Father speak through us. (I have been thinking about maybe studying sign language when I get home.)

Favorite thing about being a missionary this week?
 Seeing our numbers at the end of the week and knowing that we have been working super hard.

Do you ride the buses a lot in this area or do you walk? 
We walk

How far it is to church? about 15 or 20 minutes

Do you have other missionaries in your ward? yes 2 elders

What will you miss the most when you return home?
I will miss speaking Spanish and how loving the sisters are.

How are you feeling?  
I like this question.... good and bad I love being a missionary but it is passing by so fast.  I want to change more, but the change is going really slow.

When do you feel the closest to the Savior?
 When we sing hymns or when we are teaching and I realize that the ideas leaving our mouths are not ours.

I love you all so much. I know the church is true. I know that Jesús Christ lives and that He expects us to give this life all we´ve got.  I know I have a lot more to give and that I need to change who I am.  I´m thankful for the hope I have through my Savior. I know that he is at my side to help me find out who I am and help me reach my potential. I know he has grand plans for each of us. I hope all is well I love you all and pray for you every day! May God be with you until we meet again!

Hermana Hickman

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 37: I love Tapachula! Aging? no hablo English:)

Hi All!
Were you alone on the bus to Tapachula or did you go with other missionaries?
No there was about 7 of us one of my old companions

Who is your new companion?  Where is she from? and how long has she been out?  what are you enjoying most about her?
Sister H... she is from Tijuana, Mexico. She only has 2 transfers left on her misión. She is AMAZING! I love her to death and every minute of every day we are laughing and smiling.

Tell us about your new area.  How is Tapachula different than Tuxtla?  What do you like best?
 Our área is like 5 or 6 or 7 miles long. It is super hot and rains a lot. In Tapachula we almost never get our mail until way late and we don´t have very many things like books of Mormon and cards to contact people.

What 5 things made you smile this week?
1.My district leader is Johnny´s (a good family friend) twin but for REAL.
2. One of my first contacts was a man from Africa and he only speaks English.  We taught him in the park today and I could not remember English.
3. People have told me I look like I´m 29 years old.
4. My first lesson  here there were 2 rats in the house:)
5. Our misión leader has a moto with a cart in front. When he went on visits with us we rode in the cart.
6. We have a bat in our back yard that enters our house sometimes (I´m not going to send pics of our house to you mom ever.... :))))
7. My companion for something different every day!!!!!

I noticed on the map that you are now very close to Guatemala border.  Do you interact with Guatemalans ? 

How was your new ward?  How many members?
  148 members came to church this week. This Sunday was their first week in there new chapel. It is soooo pretty.... prettier then any chapel in the United states......!!!!!!! The members are super sweet!

Do you have a big teaching pool or are you starting from ground zero?
No we have a whole bunch and we have a family that is going to be baptized this Saturday!

Wow everyone Í don´t know where to start.... I have had any amazing week and it seems crazy that I´m on the down hill of my mission. I hope it never ends. Thank you for the many prayers.... they sure have helped. I love you all! The church is true and the book is blue!

Thank you so much for worrying about me. I´m doing great! I want to thank you both for your examples sometimes we have to help old married people because there don´t get along but I always come up with things to say because of all you have taught me. I love you both SOOOOOO much and think about you often but please know I´m super happy! I learned something this week as we were teaching about the Plan of Salvation and I told the investigator that we needed to be away from the presence of God to learn things and for our faith to grow.  It hit me that I´m doing the same on the mission, I´m away from you both but I´m learning so much!
I love you All!

Hermana HIckman

Week 36: Transfer....6 hour bus ride to Tapachula

Well everyone I´m leaving for Tapachula in just a few minutes.  It is a 6 hour bus ride.   Tapachula is the hottest area in the mission, so pray a lot.  I heard it rains like crazy (17 inches in September) and I hear there are more rats.  I  can´t wait for the adventures that await:) I love you all!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 35: Soccer with an orange, heart attacking, Happy 20th Birthday with a ward party!

What 6 things made you smile?
1. Living in a mansion for two days.  My companion has been very sick so we stayed with the Mission President and his wife. I slept like a rock .
2. My companion and I were kicking a orange in the street and pretending to play soccer and I kicked the orange really hard.  The orange spilt in half and my shoe went flying and almost hit my companion in the head. ( I think I got a LITTLE  to into it:) 
3. We heart attacked members and investigators doors with notes and hearts. One recent convert thought it was someone from his old church so he almost put them in the trash. 
4. We have two little kids that we are teaching and when we visit they tell us about the miracles of when they pray. E... prayed one night that it would stop raining so she could go outside to stop the water from coming into her room. She said a pray and it stopped raining for 15 mins and then started hard again. She said she was in shock. 
5. Brother C.... gave me a blessing this week.  We were helping him practice because he has never given a blessing before. He gave me a beautiful blessing of three lines, but it was super sweet
6. The family G (the family in the picture) the wife calls her husband grandpa and all of her kids think it is sooo funny. 

Share something that you learned about yourself this week:

I have learned that I´m very sensitive to the emotions of other people. If someone is sad so am I. 

Favorite lesson and contact this week?

We had a lesson with H... this week. He is golden, but he has been a little loco about a couple of things. This week when we had our lesson I gave it to him straight and told him he needs his whole heart in it or not but the church once he is a member is going to ask a lot of him.  I shared with them about dad got called as bishop when he almost did not have a job because Hugo does not have a good job. He has a job that he only works on Sunday. I told him when my dad gave his whole heart and service to his calling the Lord blessed him with work. I felt the spirit so strong and cried because I felt how important he was to God and the end of this story is he came to church this week and will be baptized September 20th 

What was the yummiest thing you ate this week?

A sister did not have very much time this week so she made us  tortillas with cheese and ham. They were yummy.

How are you feeling?  You mentioned you had been sick....what does that mean?
 I just had a really bad cold but my companion has a skin sickness that dogs get. It is from her bed and it is contagious. I keep praying that I don´t get it, but who knows. 

How do they celebrate birthdays in Mexico?  cake and ice cream?
Well on Friday our ward has a party because the 16th of September is big here. So I will pretend that the party is for my birthday..... lol jk . 
Well thats all for this week, Hope you all know how much I love you and that I KNOW the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is TRUE!

Hermana HIckman 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 34: Answering to Guerra, Big, green chili, Lots of rain, hiding birthday package from the ants

  What 7 things made you smile?
1. Three investigators came to church on Sunday.
2. I´m not sick any more.
3. We contacted a man in the street and he said my name is Jorge but then he said in English George and I remembered that Mr.George always called himself Jorge.
4. We were walking down the street and  Brother C...  shouted (Guerra) it means white girl and I turned around like it was my name  
5. We prayed under a shed that the rain would slow down because I was sick and we did not want to get wet and after the prayer the rain slowed down.
6. Realizing that I know Spanish.
7. When we taught a lesson and talked about how Christ came here in CHIAPAS.  You could feel the spirit.
8. My companion tried to get my to open my birthday package but I did not listen.
9. Ants got into my package so I put it in my suitcase so that they could not enter:)

In what ways have you changed in the last 8 months?
I´m more internal now because I can´t really talk about my feelings.
 Favorite things about being a missionary this week? (name 3)

1. When we plan and have the same idea and know that it is revelation.
2. Learning every day from the scriptures.
3. Wearing my name-tag.

How was zone conference?  Share something new that you learned?
That we are not doing enough:( and  that members need to do their part because if they don´t our investigators won't progress.

What are some of the mission rules that you feel keep you safe?  Do you still feel safe in your area?  Have there been times where you get nervous?
The rule is to be in our house at 9. Our área has spots that are bad. Our bishop told us last week that one área is where they sell drugs. We did not believe him at first because we had two families we were teaching there, but we know he is right.

Favorite meal this week?
 A big green chili that had mexican cheese in the middle and fried in egg .

Share one thing you learned from your companion this week?
She has always taught me that you work until your dead..... she has been a great example of giving all you got.
 The Church is true and I love YOU... :)