Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Well, this week, a lot is on my heart and mind.  It's been an awesome week.  As always.  It's so hard to write the email each week because I can't remember half of anything, except that it was Awesome, Hard, and I'm alive and well.  Haha.  Today I wanted to tell you about all of it because for once, I can remember it pretty well :)
The week started out with a visit to Russell who loves with his less-active grandma.  It was during preparation day hours, and I was a little not excited about that because Preparation days are stressful enough to get everything done, but it was the best time for them to meet, and Sister Frost is my best example and said, "Sure! Works for us!"  Good thing, because we went over and had a wonderful lesson with him, and told him, k, so Russell...we are going to see you every day until your baptism.  (Russell is 11 with little glasses and the cutest little smile ever- he is my favorite- along with the rest of Montanans, but really..he's my favorite.. :)  We told him we would stop by every day and he has to answer the door.  If he doesn't answer the door, we will call him.  If he doesn't answer his phone, we will climb a ladder and knock on his window...stalkers much?? Haha.  He thought it was funny and actually we have seen him every day but one!! His dad who has not been supportive of him being baptized, said yesterday that if he wanted to be baptized, he could!!!  Miracles!
Katherine is someone else we are teaching.  She is 17 and amazing!!! She just soaks up the gospel and wants everything about it.  She even signed up for Trek...and is excited about it! She also wants to serve a mission and told her less-active mom about it who cried and wants us over for dinner. Katherine's uncle who lives with her just joined the church a few months ago and ever since we have been coming over to teach Katherine, he raises his arms, looks up, and says with a huge smile on his face, "Thank you!" Hahaha  Keep in mind he is huge, tall, and has long brown hair and a long beard- like Santa Claus except its brown.  To say the least, this makes me so happy every time, haha.  I am so grateful for Katherine and her faith and example to her family.  We teach her in her bedroom, and her little four year old brother, Noah, comes in and lays on her bed with her and gives us hugs every time we leave.  He says, "Katherine is getting bap-i-tized."
Kyle Hughes....oh, Kyle Hughes.  Yes, another one of my favorites....He is ten, and hi-lar-ious.  We taught him his last few lessons this week before his baptism this weekend.  As we went through the interview questions with him, we asked him the first simple question, and he looks at us, like, "Are you seriously asking me that?" and says, "Well, yeeah!!!!!!" and throws out his arms.  Like duh! When we taught him the ten commandments, he commented the whole way through, and when we got to Though shalt not kill, he's like, "I would never do that!" And same with though shalt not steal.  Except he says, "Well, unless I have to steal, like if me and my family's life depended on it, and then he gets into this whole conversation with his mom who rolls her eyes at everything he says.  Haha.  It's the cutest mom/son relationship I have ever seen.
At his baptism, Kyle wore his sunglasses on his head (keep in mind...MONTANA WINTER..) - so stylish, and wore a tie and collared shirt.  He was excited and looked great! I wish everyone could meet him. 
I hope you all know that there is seriously no way to describe my life here. Words don't do anything justice.  That's probably why I have such a hard time writing about it....but don't worry, Mom, I will continue to write :)
K, one proud mama...that's me.  Nich and Nathan=AMAZING.  I'll explain.  We got a call a couple weeks ago from this random number and this guy left a voicemail saying that he found our number on a blue sticky note in his house and wondered who it is.  Well, anyone who knows me and my sticky notes knows that probably half of Great Falls is covered in sticky notes by now, so we had no idea who this guy was ;) We had tried to get a hold of him since, but no success.  He finally calls early this week and we answer! He says he wants to know the truth.  We teach him on the phone and then he invites us to come over that night.  So who do we bring? Nich Willard.  We felt impressed to bring him out with us earlier in the week, but we didn't know who to take him to.  The opportunity fell into our laps.  We went over with Nich and taught this guy, Josh, and his roommate Preston.  They sat and listened while we taught the first lesson, and they said, will this book (the Book of Mormon) bring me hope? How do I know the truth? As we were teaching, Preston said, "I can't believe this is happening.  It's strange to have visitors, and they aren't our co-workers bringing beer over.  It's so much happier."  Josh asked a question that Nich had asked a few weeks prior as we were preparing him for baptism.  So, he chimed in and bore his testimony and answered Josh's question.  Both Josh and Preston are moving in the next couple days, but they have member friends and now own a Book of Mormon which they said they want to read and pray about.  I am so grateful to be a servant for the Lord and be able to bring the gift of the gospel to people. Even if I never see the end results in this life, I'm excited to see Josh and Preston one day and see how everything went.
Nich passed the sacrament yesterday! And invited his member boss and his wife, from another ward, to come and watch him since they couldn't be there for his baptism.  Nich has lost all his friends since being baptized. (But gained some new ones:)  He has stood up for his beliefs. Even though he still has so many questions, he knows it's right, and he is sticking up for it (1 Nephi 8).  He is so happy. 
Nathan is doing so well.  Yesterday we had a lesson with him and his home teacher, and when he explained principles of the gospel, I just looked over at Sister Frost with the biggest smile ever...I feel a tinge of what Heavenly Father feels like when we remember the things He has taught.  So proud for them.
Lastly, yesterday after stopping to see Russell and his grandma, we drove next door to see Russell's great grandma.  Well, everything is covered in snow here so a big pile of snow doesn't necessarily mean that it's flat there.  I drove to the side of the road onto the snow, and what do you know, there was a ditch! So, Sister Frost was trying her best to maneuver me out of there without success, when a truck backs up to us and two guys jump out and start attaching a big rope to the car to pull us out! Long story short, we get out after a few hiccups and Russell's grandpa came out and helped us.  His name is Kevin.  Kevin is not a member of the church and has never wanted to be from what we have heard, but he is so kind.  We were able to talk to him for a second, and he was able to help us out.  Then, as we were leaving, we found this drunk man down the road who had been snowmobiling and was getting frostbite.  We called Kevin, and he came to help.  Although it was a really weird day, I know it was a blessing to get stuck in the ditch because Kevin was able to serve us and get to know us, and we were able to seek his help with the drunk man.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.  One thing I know is that those things in our lives that seem like trials? They are blessings.  As a missionary, I feel at times that I know what Heavenly Father is thinking.  Then, I get humbled and remember, oh yeah, He knows more than I do.  And then I try again to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and act in faith. 
I can't not write about Penny and Marissa.  They are going through so much right now- more than anyone I have ever met.  Every time we go over, which is every day, we are not sure what we will find and what they will be going through each day, but we follow the Spirit.  My heart is heavy when we leave most of the time.  But, I just love them so much.  I know without a doubt that the gospel will bring them so much happiness.  They know this too.  Little Gavin is Marissa's son and Penny's grandson.  Last night he finally said, "Jesus," when we showed him the picture of Jesus! He smiles and says, buh bye, buh bye" every time we leave.  I love that lil' guy.
Well, if I haven't said enough, I love you and thank you for all your prayers and support.  While I recognize every day I am weak, I remember the scripture, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass." And that the gospel is to be preached by the weak and simple.  We can do it! Don't give up! Follow the Spirit, even if you don't know if it's the Spirit.  That's when miracles happen.
Now it's a while later....
A man came up to us at the library and asked us to preach the word to him. We walked over to a table in the library and taught Roy the gospel just now!  He told us we have a power about us.  He can feel it.  He told us how the world is so hard and bad right now, and he needs to make some better choices in his life.  I am so grateful for the opportunity we just had to teach him.  He just strengthened my testimony that when we pray for those opportunities to share the gospel, they come.  I am grateful to be a servant for the Lord and to be able to declare His true gospel.  It will go forth no matter how crazy this life gets. 
Love you all!

Love always,
Sister Hixson <3

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