Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Merrrrrrry Chrrrrrrrrristmas...from Great Falls!
Hello family and friends,
I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and loved being with those you love and taking a little break :)
Christmas here was fabulous! I got to see my family over Facetime and chat with them for a while, and that was wonderful.  We spent most of the day in members' homes and just enjoyed family traditions and the love of Montanans. In case you didn't know...(which probably most of you don't because Montanans stay in Montana), Montanans are hilarious.  They say it like it is, do what they want, and love SO easily.  And the reason they stay in Montana is yes, because Montana is the greatest place ever....I just love it here in case you couldn't tell ;)
Life is wonderful.  Today I read 1 Nephi 17:20-21.  Laman and Lemuel are angry with Nephi and they say, "if this and this and this hadn't happened then, "...we might have been happy."  I am like this sometimes- always trying to reach perfection to the point where it's hard to see where I have come and where I am at, and loving it.  Sometimes we aren't in a place where we necessarily want to be, but, because of the gospel, we can get there.  God has in store for us more than we can ever imagine.  As we follow him, we progress, step-by-step.  It takes time to become who He is trying to make us.  When we look for the rays of sun, the flowers in bloom (sometimes figuratively speaking...oh, winter... :), the little things in life- then we are happy.  God is blessing us even when things are hard.  We just have to open our eyes to see it.  
How do we follow Christ? How do we let God make of us who we can be?
We live the gospel of Jesus Christ that He has given us in the scriptures (2 Nephi 31):
Faith
Repentance
Baptism
The Gift of the Holy Ghost
Enduring to the End

Sometimes I feel like I don't know enough.  I am not enough.  I can't help these people.  There is not enough time to study! But today, I learned that yes, maybe you don't know enough, and yes, you will never have enough time to study BUT that is ok.  God will help you.  Just keep doing what you can, and His Spirit will guide you.  I have a testimony that God loves every one of His children.  He wants them all to return to Him, and He has given us the way to do that. 

For those of you who don't yet know of the gospel,  start reading the Book of Mormon, and then pray about it.  Come to church and see what we do and learn.  Then see how happy and grateful those people are who live it.  I promise that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found in its fullness in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is true.

And for those of us who have been blessed with the gospel and the way, share it :)
I love you all so much! Keep being amazing! I just am so grateful every day for the people in my life.  Thank you for the packages, letters, and love I have felt this week.  I may not always respond, but that never means I didn't absolutely love it.  It just means I am going to give you an extra ginormous HUG when I see you again.
Keep the faith!
Love always,
Sister Hixson <3

Thursday, December 26, 2013

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!
That's the title of my journal...that I bought for myself a while ago because it is so cute.  It was in my favorite store in Dillon- a flower shop owned by the nicest lady ever.  You walked into that store, and you were immediately happy.  The journal says, "Life is Beautiful" on the front cover and then has flowers all over it and a little crown at the top.  Then, you open it up and all the pages, say "Life is Beautiful" and are all colorful and happy with butterflies and flowers.  Every time I see it, I think, "Yeah, life is beautiful."
Merry Christmas! For reals this time :) We had an early Christmas on Thursday when we had Zone Conference with half the mission.  If it wasn't enough that I got to see Sister Barrus, President and Sister Mecham, and all my other favorite missionaries, then can you believe how awesome it was when we got packages to open and letters from our families? Family, thank you so much! I loved it :)
This week we've had the opportunity to help a lot of people.  It seems like there have just been situations that have come up where we were able to help out, and it's been wonderful.  I have been reminded about the purpose of Christmas a lot.  There is a lady who we know who has nothing in her fridge and didn't have gas money to go get food.  She is the sweetest lady and is in some bad situations at home.  She wants to be a part of the church and we were able to teach her about the restoration of the gospel.  We are not sure what will happen because of her home situation, but we hope to see her again. 
The highlight of the week might be last night when we saw a young family in the church.  The husband is not a member, but after going to church and feeling the love and the Spirit that was there, he wants to learn more.  He has been married to his wife for years, but never wanted to come to church.  But then he met the people at church and listened to the talks and just wants to learn more about what this all is.  The gospel is true.  I know this, and I know that everyone can know this for themselves.  They don't have to follow someone else's statement that it's true, but they can pray, read the Book of Mormon, come to church, and keep on praying, and God will let them know.  I am grateful for my Savior.  I am so grateful to be on a mission, helping share this joy with the world.  Love you!
And thank you Sister Lamp, Mom, Dad, Gma and Gpa, Grandma and Grandpa, and Jenessa for your letters :)
Love, 
Sister Hixson <3 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I'M TOO LITTLE FOR THIS KIND OF WEATHER!
Merry Christmas! :)
 
What a wonderful week it's been! I LOVE Great Falls.  It looks and feels like the little miniature towns you set up at Christmas time.  The roads are small, Christmas lights are all around, and it is quiet and covered in snow.  The people are wonderful!
 
Last night we had an appointment fall through, so we drove around with a member and no one was home.  Then we headed to a home to meet someone who we had been told to visit.  That person was not there, but someone else was! And that girl was Margie.  Margie wants us to come tonight to teach her about the gospel! Little miracles like this happen all the time, and I know it is the Lord leading people to our paths or leading us to theirs. 
 
This gospel is true. I am grateful to be able to share it.  It just makes me happy. 
 
Love you all.  Not much time today,  but know that I love you and am thinking of you, especially this Christmas season :) A scripture I love: Isaiah 41:10...
 
"Fear thou not; I am with thee; be not dismayed; I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
 
Thank you Leticia and the Sharps for your letters.
 
Looooove,
Sister Hixson :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

I'M DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS...
December 9, 2013

I have been hearing from everyone how they are feeling so happy about Christmas! Hot chocolate, sweets, Christmas music, lights, trees, the Spirit of the season.  It really is the greatest.  And surprisingly, or not surprisingly, it feels just as amazing on a mission! Although we don't have Christmas trees or lights at our house, we get to be in others' all day, and I love it.  We helped Sister Probst decorate her tree the other day while we listened to "Count Your Many Blessings" on her phone.  Haha, she thought it was a Christmas song.  Why not right? So basically, I am so happy all the time.  It snowed this week!! According to people here, it hardly ever snows, but vwala (note from Jeanette: I was going to correct this to voila but I thought it was so funny I had to keep it:)! It is soooo pretty. I am literally living in a Winter Wonderland.  Aaaaand it might be -18 degrees.  Now I know what that feels like! But really, it's not that bad.  I just get into a home and realize a while later that yes, I still can't feel my feet. Hahaha.  I just want it to snow forever. And I am dreaming of a white Christmas.  I have never had one of those before, and I am thinking, why not have it on my mission? That would be so cool.
 
This week we have had some really cool experiences.  We met with this girl Randy, the one we helped move that one day.  It was awesome to meet with her.  She has a lot of apprehensions about everything and lots of doubts, and Sister Barrus and I were literally on our knees in front of her promising her that amid all her fears and apprehensions, she will be prepared to be baptized on her baptismal date if she does all we ask of her. She told us she trusts us and won't let anyone else in her home.  (P.s. I am being transferred to Great Falls, so she will have to get used to another companion, but it will be fine.  Yes, I am sad to be transferred.  I LOVE Dillon, but I will be back, and Great Falls will be awesome). 
 
Anyways, so that happened, and then Saturday was awesome.  Sister Barrus and I had been praying to know where to go and what to say to people.  We got a call Saturday morning from a man in Utah who coaches the Westminster Basketball teams, I think.  He said they were playing in Dillon today and there are some return missionaries we could talk to and maybe do some missionary work while we are there.  So we had the feeling this random call was not by coincidence and it was an answer to our prayers.  After praying and feeling good about it, we worked it in to the crazy day we had planned.  We got there 45 minutes late with an appointment starting in 30 minutes.  We talked a little with the girl getting our tickets, and she said she has met missionaries before and things, but the conversation ended and we said bye.  We sat down in the bleachers and felt so out of place.  Haha, why are we here? I thought.  Heavenly Father, why are we here? We sat and sat, and then we had to leave for our appointment.  As we were leaving, I felt like, we can't just come and leave.  Maybe we need to do something.  So, as we were walking out, I said to the girl at the desk, so have you ever learned from the missionaries before?  Then she told us she hasn't, but her and her fiance would love to, and she gave us her # and we made an appointment for Wednesday! Her name is Ariel, and she is even from southern California! Soul sister. I am sad I won't be here to teach her, but I am so glad I had this experience, and it strengthened my testimony that God expects us to ACT. 
 
We are starting to work more with members here too.  We have been asking them, what can we do to help the ward? Getting their advice, showing them we trust them.  We also have committed some to pray to know someone specifically that they can share the gospel with, and then we will follow up with them and see how it is going and if we can help. 
 
I will miss Dillon.  I love the people here.  They have changed my life and really made a bigger impact on me probably than I realize.  At the same time, I am excited for Great Falls.  It will be a blast.  P.S. -34 degrees and windy.  If I end up in Utah or California, it's because I blew away. Haha. Someone told me to use an umbrella to keep me down, and I was like, Mary Poppins! How cool would that be, except I really like it here, so pray that I stay put.
 
Keep Jody Housel, Randy, Hilary's mom, and Sienna's family in your prayers.  These are some people who we are working with who need prayers.  I wish I could tell you about all these people.  They are awesome.  I say awesome waaaaay too much. 
 
"Come, come ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear; But with joy wend your way. Though hard to you, this journey may appear Grace shall be as your day.  'Tis better far for us to strive our useless cares from us to drive; Do this, and joy your hearts will swell- All is well! All is well!" 
 
I truly feel so blessed to be here.  I know that God has helped me as He helps all His children.  Though we still
have trials, He is there.  He is still blessing us, strengthening us, and there is a Balm in Gilead.  I love you all! Merry Christmas! :)
 
Love,
Sister Hixson :)




From Lexi's posting of December 2nd...a week late, sorry.

Guess what? I am writing this email first, before all others, because I never seem to have time for this one.  It is so hard to remember everything that happens each week, even things that I think, "I'll never forget that." Time really is different on a mission.  Christmas is tomorrow and summer is in a week! (Which is actually really awesome because I love summer)

This week has been really great though.  JD got baptized and confirmed! We asked his mom how she felt, and she said, "Blessed." There were many of his friends there to support him, and one of his greatest friends was able to baptize him.  To think that it would never would have happened if we hadn't received and followed a prompting a few weeks ago.  JD is an awesome kid who really has so much faith.  His prayers are some of the most hilarious and sincere and honest prayers I have ever heard.  Haha. We laugh every time.  I am so glad Heavenly Father has a sense of humor :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone! Our Thanksgiving was spent at Sienna's house and the Lochridges and the Bishops.  We were full.  Sienna is one of the most wonderful people I know.  She is not a member of the church and her husband is in Korea in the service, and she has four kids.  She is an AMAZING mom, and she loves her family so much.  She and her kids have questions about God and want us to come over and teach them.  They have welcomed us into their home and let us teach and love their family.  The oldest boy (9) and Sienna want to be baptized, but she wants to wait until her husband is around.  She asked us for a Book of Mormon that she can send to him in his Christmas package.  I know God prepares people to hear and accept His message.  I don't know when Sienna's family will be ready, but they have great faith and love for the gospel.  There have been so many miracles with her and her family.  

The other night we stopped by because it was two of her daughters' birthdays.  They are the sweetest.  Verah had all her little friends over for a sleepover and Sienna's friend was on the couch- her friend, Randy, who we met a few weeks ago and helped move out of her house.  After moving, she asked us if we had a book, so we had given her a Book of Mormon and talked about the Plan of Salvation with her.  So, we were able to sit and chat with Randy and everyone else there.  Verah loves to pray, so she came up to us three times and asked if she could pray.  We said sure! She got all her friends together and said two prayers while we were there.  

We ended up staying at Sienna's for a while because our appointments had cancelled, and we both felt like we should stay.  We are so used to running around and teaching that when we get a moment to just enjoy a party, we feel like we have to be teaching or something.  Haha.  So we stayed, and guess what? Heavenly Father gave us the opportunity to teach Randy! We ended up sharing a mormon message, answering her questions, and inviting her to read the Book of Mormon.  The Spirit was strong, and we will be seeing her again.  Also, another miracle- Sienna's mom and stepdad are members of the church.  Her mom converted a few years ago and married Wes who is recently active in the church again.  Wes joined our conversation and was able to testify of the gospel as well.  Members are amazing in the work.  They truly help people come unto Christ even when they feel inadequate or like their lives are not worth sharing.  I have felt that same way at times.  I have felt like I don't have experiences and skills that are going to help anyone, but I am learning that God gives everyone different experiences and traits and talents for a reason.  If we all had similar experiences, we could not share anything with others.  

I read this scripture this morning:
1 Nephi 13:37

"And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, and tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be."

How blessed I feel to be able to have the gospel to share with others.  Peace and great joy, that's what I get to bring to people all day every day, for the rest of my life! 

I have a great testimony of God's love for His children.  I know that His hand is in all that I do every day.  Sometimes it can seem like I am just driving to people's houses, making phone calls, and eating dinner, haha, but then God's hand is revealed as we continue to try.  I know that He places people in our lives who needed help preparing to receive the gospel and who are prepared to receive the gospel.  He loves everyone so much and He will trust us to bless the lives of His children if we are willing.  

K, so now I know why I don't write this email first...BECAUSE I WILL NEVER STOP WRITING :)  

Dillon is still the greatest place I have ever lived.  Oh! I went to the Big Hole this week again and Nate and Hilary are doing awesome.  We rode out with the Olsen's who also came with us to Nate and Hilary's, and they gave so much to the lesson.  Their testimonies and love.  Hilary's mom was there and asked for a Book of Mormon and wants to change her life as Hilary has.  She has talked to Hilary since and has already been reading the Book of Mormon and likes it a lot! Hilary is already a missionary, bringing the gospel to her family, and it is bringing her and her family so much joy.  It is so joyful knowing that you can change your life and start again.  And it is all possible because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for the Atonement and for the opportunity to see it change people's lives.  

After the lesson, we went to the Olsen's who live in a National Forest in a log cabin.  We could see the Idaho border from their home.  They are the most amazing, kind people.  Brother Olsen is a literal mountain man.  Literally.  He rides his horse from his house to the Grand Canyon, living off the land, eating pine cones and sleeping in buffalo skin.  They love buffalo meat so they buy a buffalo each year and let it go on their property and go hunt it with friends.  I think Chase would be best friends with him :) Self-reliance at its best.  

Thank you for your prayers and letters.  I am grateful every day for the people I have in my life who have blessed my life so much.  Have a wonderful week! 

Keep the faith,
Love,
Sister Hixson

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BLESSED AS CAN BE!

 Sister Barrus and Lex...are they happy or what?

The happy couple at their baptism--2 hours after they got married.  Congratulations!


Hello!

Happy Thanksgiving week! It's already Thanksgiving? Where is life going? I am so confused...anyways :) Guess what? This week we had a wedding, two baptisms, and two confirmations! I don't know if I have ever been so happy than I have been this week.  So happy.  On Tuesday, Sister Barrus and I committed the couple in the Big Hole to be married and baptized by Friday! They were nervous, but she just says, "ok! I'll do it! I just have to do it!" Haha.  And her boyfriend followed her lead.  Their wedding and baptism were beautiful.  Sister Barrus and I ran around like mad missionaries, mad as in crazy, planning both of them.  They said to plan everything, just let them know what time to be in town.  Wedding planner? Who knew, haha. It was so fun. 

The confirmation was on Sunday in the Big Hole branch.  There are about 9 people in the branch, and it is the greatest thing.  Everyone in the branch was at the baptism and wedding in Dillon, and they all have taken care of my companion and I as we have traveled out to the Big Hole twice a week.  When I got up to the podium to say the prayer, one of them says, "hey, there's a stool that pulls out under there!"  Don't worry, I stood on that stool proud as can be ;) haha. I will miss these people. 

I am all better from the flu! I am alive and kicking! Well, maybe not kicking, but yes, alive. 

We are working with a 15-year old boy who is getting baptized this Saturday! We have been helping his mom since July- she is a member, but she hasn't come in years.  Recently, she has started coming back to church and her son always comes too! We had the impression to ask him to be baptized, as he has been a part of the lessons for a few months now and has seen missionaries for years.  He prayed about it and feels good about it and has already invited like 20 people to his baptism, including his new girlfriend! He is amazing.  He is one of those people who you would never expect to grasp the gospel so much, but he does.  For months he seemed to us like someone who was uninterested.  He would fall asleep in lessons, drop the pamphlets, talk about his cat, hahaha, all this crazy stuff, but now he is praying, coming to church each week, and opening up to us.  He really does have a testimony.  I am so glad we were impressed to invite him to be baptized on November 30.  I have learned from him that I never want to pass someone up, thinking they are not ready or not interested in the gospel, without inviting them.  I am learning to step out of my comfort zone.  I am learning to exercise my faith and to not doubt.  I am loving Dillon with all my heart.  Never want to leave, but I know it will be right when I need to.  

I have a strong testimony of this gospel.  I know that God loves me and all His children.  I know that the fullness of the gospel has been restored. 

Thank you for your prayers, love, and support.  I feel them! 

Thank you Sister Lamp, Mom, Dad, the Lathens, and Andy for your letters this week.

Love,
Sister Hixson 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

DILLON IS THE GREATEST PLACE IN THE WORLD!

Hello everyone,

I hope you have had a great week! This week has been great here.  We are working a lot with our iPads (I now have a picture of the San Diego temple as my wallpaper that makes me SO happy).  We can share videos, talks, and the scriptures on them, and our pamphlets are even downloaded onto them too.  Technology.  It's amazing.  

On Monday night, we were invited to this family's house for dinner who are not members of the church, except for the mom, but she has not come for years.  We had dinner with them, and then shared the message of the Restoration and invited the three daughters to be baptized at the end of December.  They said yes and are now preparing for baptism! What a miracle.  The youngest daughter said the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard.  She is soooo sweet and has short blonde hair and just jumps around like the happiest thing on earth.  When we gave her a Book of Mormon, she just held it to her chest.  Another miracle is that, while we were teaching, Dell walks in with her husband! They are long-time friends with this family.  Dell and her husband bore their testimonies to the girls and were a great part of the lesson.  Dell just got baptized last month and has such a strong testimony.  

This week I got a little sick with the flu, and I did get the flu shot, but this flu said no! I am getting better though, which is great! Sister Barrus mothered me back to health and spent Friday planning and studying...while I slept! She is amazing.

I have been learning a lot this week about different things.  Probably the greatest thing is that God loves me.  No matter what I ever do, He will always still love me.  We get trained a lot on how to be better, and we study a lot how to be better, and we are always trying to be better.  So, it is comforting to know and be reminded that God still loves me how I am, even though He knows I can be even more.  I am grateful for the work He has entrusted me and Sister Barrus with right now.  It is keeping us busy, and it's awesome, tiring, and awesome. 

Sister Barrus and I did crafts this week to help with the people we are teaching.  We watched this video from President Uchtdorf about creating and how we are ALL creative because we are the children of the most creative Being in the universe.  He says this at the end of the video: 

"The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create."

I know this scriptures are true and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet.  I love sharing this with others.  I love you and thank you for everything :)

Love,
Sister Hixson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dear family and friends,

It's been an awesome week.  We have seen so many miracles!  On Tuesday, we were at an apartment complex and saw this lady moving.  We helped her, and she was so happy! she kept looking at the sky with her arms out, saying thank you! Haha. She had just a couple hours to move all her stuff, and she lived on the second floor.  Sister Barrus and I and her lifted a dryer into the Uhaul...and we filled a whole Uhaul! It was crazy.  At one point, she told us how her dad had died a few weeks ago.  We asked if she felt that he was somewhere else now, and she said she didn't know and she has been pretty bitter.  Then, a little while later, she said, "Do you have a book?"  Do we have a book? We sure do!!! We gave her the Book of Mormon and a pamphlet on the Plan of Salvation.  It was good to feel that we were in the right place at the right time, and she is moving pretty close to us, so we are excited to see her again.

Then Wednesday we met with a couple who committed to be baptized on November 30! It was amazing.  Then, we went over to see this lady who we see every week, and she has started coming back to church.  Her fifteen year old son sits in on the lessons, but he has never showed much interest. But he goes to scouts each week, knows lots of members and has been coming to church with his mom.  As we were getting out, I said....why don't we ask him to be baptized? We thought for a minute, and were like....yeah. Let's do it! And we did! We prayed with him right there and talked about the decision.  He prayed about  it on his own and then we saw him last night and he said, he wants to be baptized! He said he felt encircled with God's love when he prayed.  It's amazing.  He has been there for the lessons and has seen missionaries for years, and I am so excited that he has prayed and received the answer to be baptized.  

The couple out in the Big Hole is another miracle! They have made so many changes in their lives to live the gospel. They are so excited about it and are even sharing it with their family members.  We had an awesome lesson planned, and then we got there and didn't teach any of it.  We ended up teaching Hilary's sister who was visiting and inviting her to hear from the missionaries where she is from.  She accepted a Book of Mormon and said she would read and pray about it.  It's amazing how anyone can find out for themselves if the church is true by reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it.  God will answer anyone if they ask in sincerity.  

Anyways, so much has happened, I can't write about it all.  But it's been an exciting week.  I think I will one day live in Montana.  Yep! I think it will happen.  And it will be on a farm.  I LOVE wide open spaces now.  It is beautiful and refreshing and the families out here are amazing. They work so hard to follow God and do what is right.  I will miss them so much.  We never know what impact we are having on others.  There are families out here who have changed my life already.  

Well, I'd better go.  Have a wonderful week!
Moroni 10:23

Love,
Sister Hixson     

Monday, November 4, 2013

 Lexi's zone...with President and Sister Mecham
 APPARENTLY...Lexi didn't notice the Medium/Tall sizing when buying some thermal underwear.  At least they will keep her nose warm too.
Lexi's new companion, Sister Barrus from American Fork, Utah.
Utah, Candy and Miracles
Dear family and friends,
 
It's been a great week...or two weeks, I should say.  I couldn't write last week because there was a line for the computers.  I have a new companion, Sister Barrus, from American Fork, UT.  We have been companions for four days, and yesterday and the night before were spent in Wisdom! We had another lesson out there and went to church in the Big Hole.  Beautiful place and amazing people.  There were 12 of us, and Sister Barrus and I got to teach a little 7-year old girl about baptism in Primary.  I love that branch and everyone in it.  It is a special place I hope to visit again after I leave.  The land is beautiful, untouched, and the people are so loving.  
 
I am seeing people's lives change through the gospel.  I am seeing people try to make those changes that are difficult.  I know that the Lord wants us to change because that's how we become like Him.  I know that we can speak to Him through prayer- that He is listening.  
 
We had many miracles happen this week.  One this week is that our plans needed to change because of planning or something, and so it was now time for us to head out, and we had to choose where we would go.  We chose to go to a girl's house just close to our house.  We had met her a couple weeks ago and she had welcomed us back, but we hadn't contacted her again.  We knocked on her door, and she was there.  She listened to our message and welcomed us back tonight.  She was having some family issues and was going through some tough things, but she listened to our message about the Plan of Salvation and how God has blessed us with families and a plan.  She is open to learning more.  It was a miracle.  
 
Last night, we shared a message with a man who Sister Barrus thinks her grandpa knows.  I had been telling her about the area and mentioned this man's name who isn't interested but is the kindest man and very Christian and religious.  She felt that we should stop by last night.  We did and he was canning pumpkin.  He tried to remember if he knew her grandpa, and we are still not sure if he does, but then  I had the impression to share this mormon message with him that we had watched recently.  We played it and he watched and listened.  Afterwards, we invited him to read the pamphlet on the restoration of the gospel and left it with him.  He took it and said goodnight.  I don't know if he will read it, but I feel like we were supposed to share that message with him.  He left us with some pumpkin, of course :) and we left him with something that I know will change his life.  He is close with God already.  He has prayed for us before and told us the entire experience of him finding God, and we have shared our testimonies with him.  He is a wonderful man.  And I know that, even for him, who has a close relationship with Heavenly Father, Heavenly Father wants him to have the fullness.  I am so grateful to have the privilege of being His servant!
 
This week we received homemade bread, rolls, candy, macaroni and cheese, candy, cookie mix, candy, pumpkin, squash, and a cake. Hahaha.  If you ever worry that I go hungry, you can rest assured that I am not ;) 
 
Thank you Sister Lamp, Mom, and Dad for your letters. 
 
I know that the gospel is true and that it blesses the lives of everyone, no matter who you are.  I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father.   I know that they love us too, no matter what choices we every make- they still love us. 
 
Have a wonderful week! Keep the faith!
 
Love,
Sister Hixson
 
p.s. I hope this detailed email makes up for the lack of one last week! hehe

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lexi didn't write a mass e-mail yesterday...somehow her computer time got cut short.  But I do want to add a picture she sent us last week.  This is Rhea Taylor, a dear aunt of Ken Bowden who lives in our ward here in San Diego.  She's 91 and full of spunk and Lexi thinks the world of her.  She's even been out working with the sister missionaries.  You go girl!
Hello!

This week has been good.  We went again to the Big Hole Valley- to a place called Wisdom.  We taught Nate and Hillary who are doing well and loving the gospel.  We also met Nate's dad who was staying with them.  He talked about fishing and how much he loves it and then gave us his # so we can call him and go fishing with him some day, haha...We can't do that, but now we have his #!  The people here are so funny.  Sometimes I feel like my face is glued in a happy face as I'm listening to someone talk about something because they are so funny about it.  

There is a family, the Lochridges, who are amazing.  They are the most self-reliant family I have ever met.  They are so funny because they love to talk.  I sit and listen and learn so much because they love to talk about the gospel! What better thing to talk about! Especially to a missionary who loves talking about it too! 

This week we went to a lady's house named Betty.  I don't know her very well, but she lives in a cottage.  A little red house down a dirt road, tucked behind some trees.  We came in, sat down, and she was so nice.  So so nice.  She lives back there and crochets amazing things and sells them in craft shows.  She doesn't own a car. She used to go to church when she was little, but then her neighbors who took her moved away.  She hasn't gone for 40 years and would love to learn more.  I am excited to see her again! I have been amazed at the simplicity of life here.  Some people's lives are crazy, but some people's lives are just so simple.  They accept what we share with them because they see it as good.  

Sister Spencer and I spoke yesterday on missionary work.  I shared a little something on how Christ shared the gospel.  He "went about doing good."  I love that phrase.  When we go about doing good, we are following the example of Jesus Christ.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed with everything that I am asked to do, but I try to remember that the gospel is one of joy and hope.  I have been thinking about the scripture for a while and finally found it this week! Yay. It is Ether 12: 4-

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

That's all I have for now.  I wish I could tell you about everything, but actually I don't.  I wish you could just sit in my bag and come along for the ride!  

Thank you Terri Lamp for your wonderful letter.  I loved it!

Love,
Sister Hixson

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's getting cold!
 Lex thought this was a picture worth taking.  Probably a common sight.
Kara at her baptism, with Lex and Sister Spencer.
Hello,

This week has been another adventurous week filled with fall leaves, travels, laughs, lessons....and Kara's baptism! 

It snowed last week, and then reverted to Fall, so it is so pretty here.  We traveled this weekend to Butte and the drive was gorgeous.  One hilarious thing that happened this week is the three kind men in camo (camouflage attire, I assume) with missing teeth that helped Sister Spencer back me out of a parking spot.  It was a 6-point turn and Sister Spencer was backing me up while eating a bag of chips and these three men in camo come out of the parking lot.  Then, suddenly they are helping Sister Spencer back me.  Haha, apparently she wasn't doing the best job.  They were smiling and laughing and helping and had no teeth, and it was so funny.  Haha.  There is no place like Dillon.

Kara got baptized on Saturday! We have been teaching her and her family for a few months now. The Reynolds family is so nice and the baptism was wonderful.  Kara got out and said, "I feel so happy."  I'll send a picture of her.  

I'm just going to send pictures now.  Love you all. 

I got letters from Sister Lamp and Mom and Dad.  Thank you!

Love,
Sister Hixson

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hello everyone,

This week I won't have any pictures, but I will just tell you about one experience.

We went out to a place called the Big Hole.  It is a valley next to Dillon and we serve there too.  We rarely get out there because it is so far and we don't know too many people out there, but we got a call from someone who had a family for us to teach.  They picked us up Thursday and we went out to the farthest place from civilization I have ever been.  We drove for 2 hours, and probably 45 minutes of that was on a dirt road.  I start to get really panicky feeling inside when we go far away from civilization, so I was starting to feel kind of sick.  I was also nervous about the lesson because I didn't know what to expect from this family.  But then, we stopped the truck and said a prayer.  I started feeling better.  We drove a little further and got to their house, and it was this young couple who had a 2 month old baby.  They welcomed us right in their home, and I felt more at peace.  We taught about the Restoration of the Gospel and invited them to be baptized and they happily agreed.  They said that since they have had Daniel, their baby, they have wanted to turn more toward God.  They asked many questions and are very sincere.  It was a really cool experience to feel their strong desires to know the truth and to be able to share it with them.  (There was even a bird flapping around in the wood-burning stove that wanted to hear some of our message...good thing he calmed down so we could continue the lesson, haha :) I was grateful for this experience because it showed me again how true this message is and also how there are many people who want to hear it, even far far away in the mountains of Montana.  They were humble and grateful and so kind to us.  

We walked out of the house and just stopped and stared.  It was so dark. And there were so many stars.  I haven't seen anything like that in a long time.  Sister Spencer said, "Listen."  But, I couldn't hear a thing.  Then, I realized that was the point.  It was sooo quiet.  I am grateful for times where we can be still.  God says, "Be still, and know that I am God."  I am trying to do that a little more.  I am learning that "Being still" doesn't just mean "do nothing."  It is more than that.  To me, I think it means pausing and remembering what I know.  

I love you all.  Just like our leaders said this weekend in Conference, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the light in the world.

Thank you Gisselle for the package and letter and Mom and Dad and Sister Lamp for your letters.

Love,
Sister Hixson

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Here is an explanation of the two pictures below, which Lex sent me in a personal letter.  Quoting verbatim (because it's SO Lexi): "Well, I wanted to tell you that this weekend we went to a ranch in the mountains with the Rhodes'.  They wanted us to experience a cattle branding and meet their friends.  We tagged cows and sat on them (really Lex?  How'd that work for you?) while they got shots and got branded and got castrated....Yes, Mom.  It was crazy.  I was just like...I have never seen anything like this before.  Haha."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

 Those lucky Montana missionaries.  Look what they get to do!
 Lexi tagging cows.  Or should I say, taggin'.  
 On the way to Bozeman.
 Lexi's view from the back of her house in Dillon.  Not bad!
People tend to give the missionaries lots of homemade jam.  This is how much she and her companion currently have in their fridge!


Hello!

Today I am actually emailing from Dillon! It has been 6 weeks, I think, since this has happened...minus one week :) It feels nice to email from home.  

This week, we met a lady named Sienna Babcock.  She is someone who we thought was a member of the church who we didn't know, but apparently she is not a member, but her mom and step dad are.  Her dogs were jumping all around us and she was taking a break smoking outside, so it was kind of an awkward approach, but she just talked about her dogs and then invited us in her house.  Her four kids were there, and they pulled out their Kid's Bible books, haha.  It was so cute.  They started  asking us "who this prophet is, and who this prophet is!"  Sienna came inside and told us her kids have been asking her about life after death and she doesn't know how to answer them so she recently got these Bible books for them.  She wants to help them, but she can't answer their questions.  So, we taught her about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and she said she would read and pray about it!  We told her kids that God loves them and know them very well.  They were so cute.  We are excited to see Sienna again this week!

Also, Jody Housel is another lady we are working with.  Last week, she said she didn't know how she would find time to read the Book of Mormon....and then she read 16 chapters!!! She said it brought her comfort and she prayed about it and she feels it is true.  Amazing.  The Lord really wants to answer our prayers, and He will. 

Also, Dell hasn't smoked for 10 days!!!! 

Good things are happening all around! :)

The weather has changed brrrrrr.  And our car came just in time!! :) And, we have two heaters in our little house.  It is the best thing :) 

So next to Dillon, there is a valley called the Big Hole Valley.  I love the name.  There are just a few hundred people who live out there, but we work in that area too.  It's far away so we have only been there once.  This week, the Bishop out there invited us to come teach a family on Thursday who want to learn more.  How exciting! 

Thank you Mom, Dad, Brooke, Paige, Kathryn, Kenzie, Gma and Gpa, Grandma and Grandpa for your letters.  They make me so very happy!

Love, Sister Hixson

Wednesday, September 25, 2013



Hello!
This week has been great.  This is the longest I have spent with one companion, haha, and I just love it.  Sister Spencer and I have spent some more time on our bikes this week, but.....drumroll.....we just got a car!!! We are in Bozeman today because we had to come get a car, and we are taking it back to Dillon later :D
Guess what?  Our investigators were at church yesterday!! Kara and her mom, and Dell and Seth.  And Sister Probst, who hasn't come to church for years, came with her son.  She has come a couple times but not the past few weeks.  It was so awesome, and Sister Spencer and I sang "How Great Thou Art" in church.  Dell is still trying to quit smoking and she gets baptized in just a couple weeks, so we are really praying for her to be able to do it.  Speaking of a couple weeks.....General Conference is coming up!!!! :) I am reeeally excited.  I am excited to listen to the prophet and everyone else.  It will be a special weekend.
I'm not sure what more to say today.  The week has been good and things will keep on getting better.  I know that God is with us and rooting us on.  I know that He is rooting me on, personally.  I know that this gospel is true.  I know that He trusts us, and that is one of the best ways He shows His love for us- by trusting us.  I love Proverbs 3:5- "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." 

I love you all.  Thanks Mom, Dad, Paige, Kenny, Brooke, and Grandma and Grandpa, and Gma and Gpa for the letters this week. 
Love,
Sister Hixson 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to be quick today.  We have another district preparation day, so our time is short.  We got our transfer call this morning, and Sister Spencer and I are both staying! 

I just wanted to share one cool thing that happened yesterday.  We were in church when Brother Rhodes whispers behind us to grab a Book of Mormon and come to the foyer.  So we did and there was an Argentinian lady out there who Brother and Sister Rhodes had helped on the side of the road on their way to church.  Her car had broken down so they picked her up and brought her with them to the church and somehow were getting her car fixed.  Because they helped her, she said she wanted to learn more about their church and she wanted a Book of Mormon.  We met her and shared with her the Restoration.  She told us about how she is angry with God and she has seen all these crazy sad things happen in her life, but she lives for her children.  She is a single Mom and she was on her way to Upland, CA.  She wants to find out for herself if Joseph Smith is a prophet, but she thinks it sounds crazy, but she would be willing to learn more because the Rhodes helped her and she wants to be part of a church where people help others.  It was so cool.  She just had a few minutes with us because she had to drive 14 more hours to get to California, but I was glad to be there so we could teach her and that the Rhodes picked her up.  The Rhodes are an awesome family I want you all to meet one day.  

I have to go now. I'm not sure what we are doing today, but it might include tennis and it might include frisbee golf woohoo! I love you.

Thank you for the birthday packages, letters, and emails Grandma and Grandpa, Gma and Gpa, Lathens, Mom and Dad, Andy, Asher and Bella, Sister Lamp, Kenzie, and Kenny.  

Have a wonderful week.  Moroni 10:3-5 :)

Love,
Sister Hixson 

Monday, September 9, 2013

 
This is my favorite picture Lexi has sent so far.  I can see why she raves about the beautiful surroundings on her mission.
This was taken in Sheridan, Wyoming.
 Lexi and Sister Spencer.  It's raining but they don't care; it's always the right time for a model shot!
Lexi says these sunsets are the reason so many people in Montana believe in God: "they just look up and see right into Heaven."
Hello!
Another week has gone by bringing with it many miracles! We have been working hard to fill our time with effective things and have been spending a lot of time with those who are not active in the church.  We also have decided to make a few changes to help us strengthen the ward here.  This week we got to see our President! That's not very usual with our huge mission, but he was in the area and stopped by and interviewed us, giving us counsel and love for the work we are trying to do.  It was really good to see him and get some counsel.  He really is inspired. 
I don't know yet if I have told you about Clark and Paige Christensen.  Paige is 11 and Clark is her dad.  He has so many questions.  He is a member but hasn't been active for probably 30 years or so.  He thinks our church might be of the devil, but he's not sure, haha. As we have been meeting with him, his mind has been changing, and along with it, his heart.  Really slowly, but yes, changing :)  He feels like we are trying to earn our salvation through our actions, so he has a lot of questions about works and grace.  There is a talk in the September Ensign about grace and works that we gave to him. It's AWESOME.  He has really warmed up to us and this week, after asking us many questions again and really making us think, he said, "Don't think you are wasting your time with me.." Hahaha. He is the kindest man I know.  When I said that, I thought, "Clark...really? You're not wasting our time....Anyways, to answer your questions....READ the Book of Mormon and pray to know it's true."  He said he will! He understands that he needs to find out for himself, but he holds on to all these doubts, contradictions, and past experiences with the church that he won't let go of.  But, he's getting there, slowly but surely. 

Now Paige is his daughter who is sooo funny.  She likes to be mean to people, but she is actually really really sweet.  She is in a wheelchair and this week she got a bike! You ride it with your hands...it is the coolest thing.  So Sister Spencer and I were on the street right by the Christensen's on our bikes, and Paige's mom stopped us and said that Paige's bike came and she won't ride it without us! So we changed our plans and went over to her house and rode bikes with her, and Clark ran along side us....he is an avid runner.  Paige has been in a wheelchair her whole life, so can you imagine the feeling of all of a sudden riding on a bike?? She LOVED it.  Her arms are going to be SO buff. She wants to come to church so bad, but her parents are confusing about it, and she hasn't yet showed up, but we will keep working on it. 
Some scriptures we read this morning that we want to commit Clark to read are Moroni 7:13-17.  How can a church be of the devil that brings people to Christ? :) Verse 13 says, "But Behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God."  The verses go on to say so many other good things, but basically, anything that brings people closer to Christ are of God! How do you know if something will bring you closer to Christ? That's where you have to judge.  And that's where we have resources to learn from...Book of Mormon, prophets, leaders, and most importantly, the Holy Ghost. God himself can tell us through His messenger the Holy Ghost.  It's not always as easy as it seems to know what is truth, but I know that everyone has the power to find it out for themselves, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is a great place to start! :) You might as well look into it right? Because if it is true, it's about to bring you the greatest joy you could ever experience...eternal joy.
Well, time to head out.  Today we are in Butte and are driving to Helena now until tomorrow night. I forgot to tell you that last Tuesday we went to Sheridan for our preparation day and we went on a BEAUTIFUL drive up the mountains. I'll attach pictures.  I love you all.  I think about you a lot and hope that you are doing great! Thank you for your birthday wishes this week.  It was a really good day! Thank you Dad, Paige, Gma and Gpa, Mia, Chase, and Allison for the letters and packages. 
Love, 
Sister Hixson

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Here's a zucchini I fell in love with at the Food Bank."
(probably because it's in the shape of a smiley face)
Here is Lex with her companion, Sister Spencer on top of Mt. Helena.
Hello!
I am about out of time again.  We are in Sheridan today, a small town of about 1000 or less people.  we are having preparation day with our district which consists of 6 elders and Sister Spencer and me.  I'll try to attach a picture....but this email might be short because many Elders are waiting on us :) We just love our families! Anyways, amazing things have happened these past couple weeks! The hike to Mt. Helena was so beautiful (I'll send pictures), and it rained and was sooo windy at the top, where we had a devotional on our work as missionaries.  The temple trip on Thursday was so awesome.  I just loved it because we were able to prepare for about a month before, and I was able to learn a lot because we prepared for it.  The Billings Temple is so so pretty. 
About a week ago, Sister Spencer and I attended a tiny branch that we actually are in, but it's an hour away so we never go.  But, we went, and there were about 15 people there.  It was amazing because it was so personal- everyone knows each other, of course, and one of the ladies even offered Sister Spencer and I extra winter clothes she has because we, being from SD and AZ....didn't bring any.  Guess what our opening song was? "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful."  Haha! Yeah, it was awesome.  I was smiling the whole time (I can't wait for Christmas!!! :D)
The Branch President lives 45 miles away.  He has one counselor.  You know how you can just talk to someone and feel their love?  That's how it was with the Branch President.  He just loves you, and you can feel it. 
We are continuing to work with Dell Carlin and Kara Reynolds.  Dell is working on quitting smoking with her husband and Kara and her parents are preparing for her baptism on October 12.  I am so excited for them both. 
Sister Spencer and I are studying charity this month.  We talked yesterday about the difference between charity and love.  We talked about how charity is the pure love of Christ, and when we have charity, we see someone how Christ sees them.  That is amazing huh! To see someone how Christ sees them is an amazing thing.  To really feel the love of Christ in us is really something we can feel.  Moroni 7:48 says that when we are filled with this love, "when he (Christ) shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."  We can one day see Christ and know him! I love that we have that opportunity and privilege.
Thank you Mom, Dad, Sister Lamp, Kathryn, Asher, and 
Paige, and Brooke for your letters this week.
Love you.
Sister Hixson


Saturday, August 24, 2013

 Lexi in Dairy Queen heaven!

Lexi studying her lessons.  Her companion thinks it's really funny that her feet don't touch the ground so she snapped this picture.


Letter from Monday August 19, 2013

Hi Everyone...

It's Monday again! And I get to write you all.  And hear from you D: If you ever wonder if I love your letters, the answer is YES. 
This week, we read the scriptures with Peggy Clark again and then invited her to take the lessons.  She said she would! I am really excited.  She is sooo funny.  When we got there, her husband calls for her to stop playing her video games in the other room...and she was like, stop bossing me around! Hahaha, She is like 55 or something and likes video games.  It's awesome.

Also, we taught this guy Clark Christensen.  He is a less-active and he has questions about grace v. works and we went over and spent a really long time with him and some members we brought, but hopefully he got some things cleared up a bit. When we asked if we could come back, his daughter Paige said, YES! Haha, so he said yes.  ("Thank you Paaiiige!") :) And Paige really wants to come to church, but her parents aren't sure yet if they want her to, so fingers crossed! Paige is 11, has spina bifida, and is so nice and cute.  But, don't tell her she's nice because she won't believe it.  She says she likes being mean, haha.  She doesn't want to be nice.  I told her being nice is fun.

Guess what? Even missionaries can have sleepovers! Sister Parr from Helena has been with us this weekend, and it's been a party.  She is our Sister Training Leader, so she travels to different sisters and stays with them and helps them out.  She has helped us out so much.  We read a talk by Elder Holland titled "Times of Trouble."  In it, he says, be of a good cheer is a commandment.
It is! Obviously there are times when we need to grieve and be sad, but when it is not those times, we should be of good cheer.  That was a cool thing for me to realize and change the way I think. 
Next week is going to be so awesome. We are going to the temple a week from Thursday, so we are going to Helena on Monday to hike Mt. Helena and then Tuesday we are having zone training there, and then Wednesday we will come home and have our preparation day and deep-clean our apartments, and then Thursday ride to Billings to go to the temple.  We are deep-cleaning our apartments so that when we come home from the temple, our apartment will be clean just like the temple is.  The past few months, we have been preparing for this temple trip, and we have been studying our covenants. It has been really cool to learn more and to see that we will never stop learning, even when we get to heaven.  That's pretty cool.
So, I might not write next week because we will be in Helena.  But, I love you for two whole weeks!!! That's a lot of love right now, I hope you know, haha, but it's true! I miss you all the time.  I am happy to be a missionary.  I know God loves us and that He knows us personally.  He always answers prayers, even when it seems like He is being silent.  That's why he tells the missionaries in Doctrine & Covenants 61:36 that He will not forsake them.  He must know that there are times when we need to be reminded of that.

Thank you Mom and Brooke for the package and Dad, Mom, Gisselle, Leticia, Kenzie, Asher, Starlee, Grandma and Grandpa and Rachel for your letters.  They helped me so much this week and reminded me how lucky I am to have such great people in my life!
Love,
Sister Hixson