Monday, April 28, 2014

What a wonderful week it's been! It's already almost May, and it's crazy to think that almost a year ago I entered the MTC.  I'm learning how fast time really does fly, and nobody has time to waste it.  My trainer would always say, "Aint nobody got time for that," and a lot of other funny things, but I find myself saying that sometimes.  Recently, I was getting down about something, and I thought, Ain't nobody got time for that! Haha, but I really meant it! There is no time to waste when it comes to being the best we can be.  I know that life gets us down sometimes and things come that we might not expect, but the Lord has prepared us for all of it.  It's called the Gospel!
This week we had a baptism! Doug was just ready, so we moved his date up a week, and he got baptized on Saturdayand confirmed on Sunday! :) What a happy day. 
Sometimes when we don't see the light at the end of the tunnel or the sun through the clouds, it's hard to look up and have faith.  It's hard to have hope.  Well, one thing that my mission has been focusing on lately is the Book of Mormon.  Of course, we always focus on it, but it has been a huge focus recently.  We started a Book of Mormon read on Easter and will finish in June.  We are highlighting the words of Christ, whether directly or quoted by prophets.  I just love reading the Book of Mormon.  All of the prophets and leaders in it are incredible...and they have hope and faith.  When Nephi has the vision of all his Father saw and sees the destruction of his people, think how discouraging that would be.  Then, he comes out of that to find his brothers in dispute with his dad.  How exhausting.  He says to them, "Have ye inquired of the Lord?" (1 Ne. 15:8)  He still has faith in God.  He doesn't let his troubles and family situation take away his faith.  Do we?  I hope I never will.
Sister Frost and I have tracted a lot this week- just here and there when we have a few minutes or an appointment falls through or we feel prompted to stop and tract for a little bit.  We had a loose appointment with someone a couple days ago.  It was really cold, and we had asked a member who lives a few blocks down the street to come with us.  Well she got a little lost and then when we found her, we got out and walked with her to the house.  When we got to the house, no one answered.  Well, we didn't walk here in the cold for nothing, so we knocked on the two doors next to it.  A man named Johhny answered and said it wasn't a good time, but come back tomorrow. As we were walking away, we were talking and somehow were on the wrong street and couldn't find the car.  But, while we were on the wrong street we saw a less-active outside that we hadn't seen in a long time and who is hard to get in to! We were able to talk and laugh with her and set up a time to see her this week! We eventually found our way back and get warmed up in the car.  But what is cool is that it was cold, we went the wrong way, the appointment fell through, and the member got lost for a while, but the Lord prepared the way for us to met Johnny and the less-active lady, Kim. 

We went back and saw Johnny last night and he wants to be baptized! He answered the door in a suit and tie, and we were like, "Are you a member?" Hahaha.  It was confusing, but he goes to a different church.  We had a great lesson with him.
I just love everyone.  Seriously though, I meet someone for a second, and I love them.  I want to be like this forever. 
One more thing: My nephew, Asher, just sent me an awesome scripture- 1 Nephi 3:7
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
I know this is true. The Lord will always prepare a way for us to keep the commandments. 

I love you all! Thank you for everything- your love, support, prayers, letters- everything.   Have a great week! :)
Love always,
Sister Hixson

Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's been another week already?

The weeks go by SO fast.  It's insane.  Then I try to think of what's happened and my mind goes blank- empty, a white page, every time.  So I'll again do my best to remember and write my thoughts, experiences, etc. from this past week...

First of all, Sister Frost and I decided we wanted to teach thirty lessons this week.  Normally, we teach twenty, and on a really good week, twenty five.  Well this week we taught thirty two!! And we talked to 66 people about the gospel, not including active members and recent converts.  I'm pretty excited :) It was a great week.
On Monday we taught Penny at the sacrament table- our new favorite thing.  We taught her with the Elders in the ward.  Lately I have been struggling to feel like I am following the Spirit in lessons.  Well, as we taught, I learned that I am following the Spirit! Everything that I went to say, Elder Schlenkler said.   After the lesson, I told him that and Sister Frost said she had been feeling the same way! I love when the Lord helps calm my fears and remind me it's all ok. Also, I love knowing the Spirit speaks to me more than I recognize.  If you ever are wondering how the Spirit speaks to you, study in Preach My Gospel, p. 96-97.  That's what helps me.  Also, pray about it.
Doug.  Doug is a sixty nine year old man we met who wants to be baptized! He is willing to do everything we invite him to, and he even comes to church when he is sick! He is in a wheelchair and waits at the front door of the nursing home every time we come and waves!
This week with transfers it was crazy...and we weren't even being transferred! We were with Sister Chapman for a few hours though! She trained me, and I LOVE HER.  Haha, she is hilarious.  The whole day, as we said goodbyes and hellos, I realized how much I love these people.  The missionaries in my mission have made a huge impact on me.  It was sad to see them go, but also good because they are off to great things!
This weekend was Stake Conference.  Saturday, Sister Frost and I went and invited as many people to church as we could! And all week long we have been sharing the "Because of Him" video I sent last week.  As we have done this, my testimony has grown.  I have to tell you one experience that topped things off.  After Stake Conference we had a Mission Prep class given by my ward mission leader who was a Mission President a few years ago in Colorado. We did some role-plays, and he had me invite him to church.  Afterwards, he had us all silently walk in a single file line down to the chapel.  One by one, in silence, we all took a moment to stand at the Sacrament table and then sit down in the pews.  It was such a special experience.  I was reminded of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and had the chance to really think about it and what it means for me. 
I can't do it alone.  None of us can.  I am grateful for the trials and experiences I have had on my mission because they have shaped me and are continuing to teach me.  I am realizing that my trails are actually blessings.

I've learned a lot of things on my mission, and I'm grateful for every experience. 
Last of all, a scripture...
Doctrine & Covenants 6:36-37
"Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not.  Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.  Amen."

Love you all!
Sister Hixson

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hello family and friends!
It's been a great week! It's gotten sunny and warm! Yesterday it was 7 degrees, but today it's back up to the 50s so it's good!
We got transfer information last night, and Sister Frost and I are staying in Great Falls!!! So excited!
Sister Frost and I are going to be companions for the rest of my mission I've decided.

I'm so glad we are staying because there is so much good happening here! This week we taught five new people who are preparing to be baptized! We are keeping very busy.  Their names are Krystina, Ben, Gary, Doug, and Raven. 
This week I was having a really hard day.  I was really down, and I can't really remember why.  I was talking to Sister Frost, and she said that I should have a purposeful prayer about it.  The next day, I did.  I prayed for about thirty minutes.  Then at lunchtime, I did the same thing.  I talked and talked.  I told Heavenly Father everything I was feeling, and then I listened.  President asked us recently to have a journal out in front of us when we pray so we can write down our impressions as we pray, so I did that.  It was the best thing that could have happened.  I felt so much better as I prayed, and as I realized what I needed to work on.  I love prayer.  I can testify that God listens when we pray and that He answers us. I can testify that prayer changes things. 
I can also testify that God supports us.  He answers our questions in the Book of Mormon.  When I have had questions and no one to turn to but Heavenly Father, He has spoken to me through prayer and the Book of Mormon. 
This morning I read 2 Nephi 32:3
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.  Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things that ye should do."
I love this scripture because I want to be an angel in someone's life! So I need to study the scriptures! Every question I have can be answered in it!

One last thing.  We watched this this morning.  It's the best.

Hope that worked.  It's on, and it's the new video, "Because of Him."
Have a happy Easter!

Love always,
Sister Hixson
Lexi and Sister Frost at the Ryan Dam in Great Falls


Lexi's letter from April 7th...It's always hard to remember exactly what has happened during the week.  We had some great lessons, some miracles, some struggles, and some Conference.  Conference was wonderful.  I'm excited to read it online and study the talks more. 
A couple weeks ago, our Relief Society President invited us to stop by her neighbors' house.  We tried and tried for a couple weeks, and then finally early this week, we got in to see the neighbors! The lady is actually a member of the church, and although she is not interested in hearing much about the gospel right now, we were able to get her records into the ward and invite her to church and Conference.  She is a really nice lady who may need some help along the road, and now she is connected better with the church members who can help her! That was a little miracle to find her.
Last Sunday, a young woman in the ward, Kali, invited her friend Raven to church.  Then Raven came to mutual on Wednesday, and we met her! She accepted the invitation to meet with us and we had an amazing lesson on Friday night with her.  Kali and her mom were able to bear their testimonies to her.  As she said the closing prayer asking if this is what God wants her to do, she started crying.  We all sat there in silence and the Spirit.  I am so amazed, still, how the Spirit can touch people.  It reminds me that it's not my words or skills that convert people, but it's the Spirit.  My job is just to bring the Spirit to them and help them feel Him.  That was another miracle this week.  I am grateful for members who reach out and invite their friends.  Kali joined the church a year ago because her friend Daisy, in our ward, invited her.  Now Kali has been adopted into Daisy's family, and now she is inviting her friends to join the church too!
We had another really cool experience.  Our ward mission leader invited us to teach a lesson at the Sacrament table, so we did! We invited Justin over to the church for a lesson.  We have been meeting with Justin for a while now, but off and on because he was doing some super intense thing with school/work, so he wasn't available for a while.  Justin has said he wants to be baptized, but he doesn't want to prepare for a specific date.  He wants to take his time.  So Sister Frost, Penny, and I sat at the Sacrament table and had one of the most Spirit-filled lessons I have ever had.  And I believe it's because we were sitting at the Sacrament table.  My testimony of the Sacrament and the Priesthood grew as I felt the power of it during Justin's lesson.  Justin feels that he is still not ready to be baptized, but he still wants to meet with us.  We feel that if he reads the Book of Mormon, the Spirit will testify to him that he is ready. 
Conference! So, I love Conference, and I was SUPER excited for this Conference.  I was also super tired.  Unfortunately, I struggled staying awake and focused, BUT I did learn some things that I am grateful for.  I am excited to be able to study the talks online soon. 

This week was good. Anyone who has served a mission and lived life knows there are ups and downs in each month, week, day, etc. It reminds me of something Brad Wilcox asked his wife one time.  His wife replied that the ups and downs are evidence that we are living.  It's like a heart monitor.  When it is up and down, it's good.  It means the person is alive, and the heart is well.  When the heart monitor flattens, that's when you need to worry.  When it is steady and straight, the heart is failing.  So, we have to be grateful for the ups and the downs because that means we are living.
The more ups and downs there are, the more I realize the need for the anchor of the gospel.  So when the winds push you down or from side to side, you at least are anchored- and not just to anything, but Jesus Christ.  Through covenants, and the keeping of covenants, I know that I am anchored.  I also recognize more and more the need for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I love the people here.  I love Great Falls.  I love this gospel.  Thanks for all your prayers and love.  The church is true!

I have thought about charity this week, and it brought me to one of my favorite scriptures, 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, endureth all things."
May we all strive to be filled with this love!

Sister Hixson