Monday, June 24, 2013

Hello friends and family!
I hope you are all doing well and healthy and happy.  The news of the day is that I am being transferred! I am leaving for Dillon, MT on Wednesday to open an area and train! What an adventure! Haha, Sister Chapman can tell you I have been trying to learn the area here for a couple weeks now because I thought she was going to leave me...and I have realized that my sense of direction isn't the greatest, haha, but now I will be leaving, so my trainer and I will have to work together to not get lost, haha. I am excited though, and I know it's where God wants me.
This week I met a boy named Tater Tot, a boy named Wild Boy Mo, and a boy named Free Will.  All in one week! Can you believe it? Haha, and I live in the city.  This week, we had the opportunity to teach some really great lessons.  One to Karen, who is so kind and just growing so much in the five weeks or so that we have known her.  She is already changing. She is trying to gain the desire to quit smoking, and asked that we pray for her.  We have been praying, and when we saw her on Friday, she said the prayers are working because the cigarettes aren't satisfying her as much anymore. Yay! Kelsey, her granddaughter wants to be baptized, but her mom again said no, so we are praying that that will change over time.  We met a man last night named Bryan Leizer.  We just went over to get to know them, and we thought they were members.  We sat down and were talking and then, he was like, "Just so you know, I'm not Mormon," haha, we said that's fine, and continued to talk to him and his member wife, and then Sister Chapman said, "Well, do you have 30 minutes and we can teach you the first lesson?" And he said yes! We taught him the first lesson, and he said he would read the Book of Mormon and pray.  I am learning that sometimes people keep their commitments and sometimes people don't.  But, when they choose to because they want to, changes happen. We just keep bearing our testimony to people and telling them what we know is true, and we pray every day to find people that are prepared to accept the message we share.
Here in Billings has been so good.  Sister Chapman has truly taught me so much, and I have met people who are amazing and have helped me grow.  I'm excited to see what Dillon is like.  I talked to a man this morning who said "It's a big hole."  Sounds like fun, and I know I will love it! :)  I don't have an accent yet, and I told myself when I got here that I wouldn't call a creek crick and say oh my garsh, but I'm starting to convert a little.  I'm loving it here.

Thank you Emily, Mom, Dad, Gisselle, Sister Lamp, Brooke, Grandma and Grandpa for your letters.  They make me happy every time :) 

Here is a scripture that I was reminded of this week: Moroni 7:45-
"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, and endureth all things."
I think Christ is like this.  And that we can be too as we strive to.  I know that Jesus Christ loves each of us and is our Savior. I know that it is through Him that we can change.  I know that having love for other people will bring us great joy.  I love you all!
Love always,
Sister Hixson

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dear friends and family,
Another week has gone by! Transfers are over in a week, and I'm thinking...where is my life going? Yet, at the same time, I am thinking, how has it only been one and a half months? Haha, that is the craziest part.
Thank you Paige, Mom, Dad, Kenzie, Kenny, Kathryn, Alec, Grandma and Grandpa Hixson, Gma, and Sister Lamp for your letters.  They have strengthened me this week and made me so happy!
This week a general authority came to our mission- Elder Mervyn B. Arnold.  It was amazing.  Montana has crazy storms that just come really suddenly, and, during the meeting with Elder Arnold, all the lights suddenly went out, and the rain started pounding on the roof of the church super loud.  The microphone also went dead.  President Mecham, who was talking at the time, decided to continue.  The meeting continued for the rest of the day like this- in the dark with a couple windows on the ceiling for light, and with the speakers talking as loudly as they could.  Even though it was dark and we had to kind of strain to listen, the Spirit was so strong.  Elder Arnold spoke with power and authority, and I could feel it.  At the end, he talked about this experience with the power going out, and us continuing the meeting.  These words came to my mind, "And when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build, they cannot fall." (Helamen 5:12).  I love that scripture, and it has taken on more meaning.  Elder Arnold said, we never give up.  We keep going.  We keep enduring.  No matter what the devil sends our way, we stay rooted in Jesus Christ and what we know.  We keep trying, no matter what.  I was really grateful to have this experience, and to be with a general authority was really cool. 
We have had some funny things happen this week. We met a lady at her door and had a whole conversation with her without ever seeing her face! She said she didn't have her teeth in but she still wanted to talk to us.  When she gave us her #, she had it written on the bottom of a coffee can, and she held out the can for us to write her # down. 
A little miracle:
Last Monday, we were at Wal-mart and the thing came up asking if I wanted to get cash back.  I didn't really have a particular need for money that week, but I thought maybe I should get some just in case, and the smallest amount was $20.00.  I just decided to get  a 20$ bill.  Later in the week, we were driving, and we passed this man named Philimon who was outside his house selling tamales! We stopped the car immediately, and we decided to go talk to him (we had met him once before).  We got out and talked to him and asked how much the tamales were for.  A bag was $20 and my companion didn't have any money.  I remembered the $20 I had, and we ended up getting them.  We were able to talk to Philimon about things, and I was able to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ.  We met his daughter and then asked if we could come share more with him.  He declined, but it was still an experience that I feel was supposed to happen.  I don't know if Philimon will change his mind, but I hope we planted a seed for him.  And having that $20.00 gave us the opportunity to buy tamales from him and continue talking with him. 

I know that we have to stand strong in today's world and that, with God, we can.  I know that God hears our prayers and we can tell Him anything.  I am learning that nothing is coincidence and that the Spirit is real.  I hope you all have a great week this week.  Thank you for your prayers and love and examples my whole life.
Love you,
Sister Hixson

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hello friends and family,
Some might say I am truly a missionary now because I now own 1) a backpack, and 2) Dansko shoes. Haha.  Truth is, anyone can be a missionary, no matter if they have those things or not, but, I must say they are both pretty awesome :)
This week has been great.  Lots of plans have been changed through cancelled appointments for various reasons, but we have also received a lot of referrals.  Even, a lady called us and said, come over Saturday morning for breakfast! I have a friend I want you to teach, and we did, and she said she would read the Book of Mormon!  Also, Chandler got baptized! Chandler is a boy whose parents recently became active in the church, and Sister Chapman and I have been teaching him the lessons.  He turned nine on Saturday, the day he was baptized.  The baptism went well and his dad found out earlier in the week that he could be the one to baptize him, and he was so happy about that, so it was an exciting thing for their whole family.  This week we were able to do yard work, laying bricks and weeding, and then were able to clean the garage and car for this 84 year old lady who is Catholic but she really loves us and we want to get some members to befriend her and do genealogy work with her.  She gave us some chocolate bars, and the lady we did yard work for gave us chocolate twizzlers (genius!) I tell you these things so all you chocolate lovers can move to Montana and have all the chocolate you want! It is in no short supply here.  But maybe that comes with being a missionary, haha, I don't know. 
I learned something cool this week.  I was thinking about why people become less active.  Then I read Elder Holland's talk from last General Conference.  He says, "In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited...the size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue-it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know."  Then he says that Christ says in the scriptures, "Be not afraid, only believe."  We have the scriptures, prayer, a Prophet and his Apostles, and Sunday meetings-all these resources to guide us.  We have these resources to know what we can do, and we do know certain things.  I was able to write down my testimony and be reminded of those things which I do know.  It was really cool to see how much more peace I had when I focused on what I knew rather than what I didn't.
Last of all, we were having dinner at the Bishop's house the other night, and we were talking about a part of Preach my Gospel that says, "Our message will enable you to improve the quality of your lives."  Our message-the gospel- enables people to improve their lives, it doesn't improve it for them.  The Lord doesn't solve our problems for us.  We can pray that He will take away things, but my Bishop said this:  It is when we change our prayer to please give me the strength to get through this, that He can answer our prayers.
I love this gospel.  I know it is true, and I know that when we pray for strength rather than that the trial will be taken from us, we will see our prayers answered.
Thank you Mom, Dad, Paige, Andy, Kenny, Randy, Mikkee, Gma and Gpa, Grandma and Grandpa Hixson, Brooke and Luke for your letters.  They brightened my week.
Keep the faith and have a wonderful week!
Sister Hixson

Monday, June 3, 2013


I hope you're all doing good :) This week has been really good here! I went on an exchange for three days with Sister Ward, so I took a mini trip to downtown Billings.  We had the chance to teach two people who are on date for baptism, and it was cool to see that and to practice teaching.   I learned a lot from Sister Ward.  She reminds me of Brooke- full of personality and ready to work and share her testimony.  It was fun feeling like I was with Brooke for three days :)
We had a cool experience:  It rains a lot here, so it was raining all morning during study and we were hoping it would hold up because we were going out tracting.  But I didn't pray that the rain would stop, but that the weather would do whatever it needed to so that we could find the people we needed to.  It rained, haha.  We were tracting in a place that Sister Ward felt that we should, and at the last house, the man listened to us and then shared with us that he was a strong Catholic and we had differences, but he appreciated what we were doing.  When we said bye, we shook hands and he noticed how cold my hands were! A few minutes later, we were down the street and this lady is walking down the street towards us, in the rain.  We soon realized she was calling for us, so we walked to her, and she said we needed to come inside and get warm, and she was not interested in being converted.  She was that man's wife.  They let us in, and she gave us warm herbal tea.  But it was so cool because she opened up to us about her son who had recently passed away at age 19.  She shared with us his scrapbook and a poem he had written about faith.  She shared with us that her faith is really faltering right now, and we were able to share a little of our testimonies with her.  We felt the Spirit and were able to get to know this couple and the struggles they were going through at the moment.  After a little while, we left- each with gloves and a chocolate popsicle, which at first she said she wouldn't give us because she knew we couldn't have chocolate, haha.  We told her we could and helped clear up some other things about polygamy.  I felt taken care of and knew that this had been an answer to our prayers that morning.  The Lord is watching out for us.  Mom, He is taking care of us :) I thought of you during this experience because she was making sure we were comfortable and warm.  I was reminded of the love of mothers and how much they do for us.  Also, I was reminded of the love of our Savior for everyone.  He was looking out for this family, and I feel like their son Jake just wants them to accept the gospel because he already knows it is true.  We left a Book of Mormon, Plan of Salvation pamphlet, a thank you note, and their gloves on their porch. 
I am learning a lot here.  I am learning more about what the Atonement means, and I am learning to trust in God more.  I am constantly being shown what I need to improve, but I know it's for a good reason.  I know this gospel is true, and I know the Book of Mormon is true.  My favorite scripture this week: 2 Nephi 31:20. 
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, ye must press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, for behold, thus saith the Father, ye shall have eternal life."
Last of all, some funny things happened this week: I ran into a pole while I was reading the Ensign on our front porch, pacing back and forth.  I hit it with my Ensign and it scared me really bad, haha.  My companion is hilarious, and she says "Barnacles!" all the time, instead of like "darn!" or "oh man!" And one of the funniest things of the week I just remembered, haha.  When Sis. Ward and I went to tract, Sis. Ward's umbrella had some issues.  It was SO windy, so the first gust of wind came and whipped her umbrella backwards and she screamed and turned toward me and wacked me with it! Haha, it didnt hurt at all, but it was so funny I couldn't stop laughing, haha.  This continued for the rest of the evening- every gust of wind flipped it backwards, followed by her scream and me laughing.  This continued the next day too when a ward member gave us a HUGE umbrella, and as soon as we stepped off his porch, we both screamed as the wind pushed us backwards....and he just laughed at us.  One day we even couldn't ride our bikes because the wind was pushing me over on it, haha.  Good times. I am laughing right now thinking about all this. 

Well, this has been long, but most importantly, I want you all to know I know God is real.  I know He loves us, and that He answers our prayers.  Keep the faith and remember your blessings.  I am working on that as well...being grateful for all He has given us. 
Thank you Mom, Dad, Kathryn, Terri, Emily, Randy, and Kenny for the letters.  They mean so much.
Love you,
Sister Hixson

PS...I met a dog named Lexi.  They kept saying her name and it was a bit confusing!