Monday, July 25, 2016

"Sight and Sound" Fourth Month and Third Trio

Week #19

You know you're Hermana Dickson when you are placed in a trio companionship again.

Third trio in my mission and I've only been out for 4 months. Forever destined to be in a trio. I have been with Sister Drollinger and Sister Bell this week. It's been super awesome. We have been in their area most of the time, but we did get some Spanishing in there too.

So I know that I told y'all that last week was stressful, but in comparison with this week, last week was a breeze. My beautiful, wonderful, amazing trainer (love you Hna Coca) went home to get un-sick, so last Monday all of the sister missionaries in our zone came over to our apartment and helped us pack. That means that there were eight girls in our itty bitty apartment! It was a little crazy. That's why no one got letters and I only wrote like one itty bitty email.

President Tateoka came and visited us and said "Well now we've got to figure out where you are going Hermana Dickson" and I said "well the Forest Grove 2nd sisters have room". So that's how I ended up where I'm at. We gave our appointments to the Spanish Elders for the week and I was thinking that I would just be speaking English until transfers, but a couple days in I was called to repentance. I'm still set apart for my area. We had a few lessons this week and doorstep conversations and because I'm the only one who speaks even a little Spanish, I got lots of practice speaking and teaching. Wooh! We still have language study and Sister Drollinger is loving it. I think I've heard "si" more times this week than my whole mission.

There is a new Senior Missionary Couple in the Spanish Branch which is awesome. They are Elder and Hermana Burke. They are from Michigan and they both served missions in Spanish. They are a hoot. I met them on Saturday at District meeting and I went to church twice yesterday, once with my companions, and once with the Spanish Branch so I saw them then too.

We did something called a Restoration Tour yesterday. It is pretty much teaching about the Restoration in the church. It's super powerful. While we were setting up Sister Bell and I were trying to close the folding dividers between the chapel and the gym and we were on opposite sides obviously. We closed it and then we both said "wait, sight and sound!"(because as companions we are supposed to always be in sight and hearing of each other) so we both ran towards the doors to meet each other. You know the part in  the movie Freaky Friday when they run straight at each other and slam together? Yeah... We both rounded the corner and let's just say that we both have some new bruises. Fun fun :)

We have transfers tomorrow and Sister Bell is getting transferred. I will be getting a new companion tomorrow as well and will be back in my area full time.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer! I forget that it is summer because I don't have a summer vacation.

I love you all,

Hermana Dickson

Build Upon the Rock

Hermana Dickson, Sister Drollinger, Sister Bell (the 3rd Trio)

Our favorite missionary

"4 Months Baby!"
Beautiful spacious skies and amber waves of grain

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"Christ Knows Me"

Week #17

You know you're doing something right as a missionary when your prayers are answered.

I've been praying for a lot of things, people, blessings. This has been the hardest week so far. I know I'm only a few months in, but I will be surprised if I have one worse than this. BUT there are blessings in everything right?

This week has been super long. I looked at the calendar last night and was really surprised that we had interviews with our new President just this week. It feels like so long ago. We each met him and got to talk to him for awhile. I asked him if he had everyone's name memorized yet and he laughed and didn't respond :) He's doing great though. I can tell that he is close to the spirit and that he holds the priesthood keys to preside over this mission. I feel like he knows me already, but I realized that I feel that way because he is Christ's servant and Christ knows me.

Christ knows me. He does. If I didn't already have a testimony of the power of the Atonement, I do now. Yes, he suffered for our sins so that we may be clean, so that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. What I've learned this week, what I've realized and felt this week, is that he suffered for the sicknesses, the infirmities, the pain, and the anger. Every disappointment, every frustration. He suffered all. When you think no one understands, there is always one person who does. Physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. I already knew that, but this week I have seen others experience it and have experienced it myself.

I went on exchanges this week and every lesson was about prayer. I think I've prayed harder this past week than ever before in my life, no exaggeration. And prayers have been answered. I've been praying my whole mission for help with controlling my emotions (if you really know me you know that I have zero control over my tear ducts) and this week amazingly I have been able to not cry about everything that has been happening :) it's a miracle! Really though. I've felt the Spirit so much this week. I have felt it guide me and help me know what should happen. I have felt comfort and I have felt the confirmation that everything is happening according to God's plan.

We met some miracle people this weekend. Every missionary dreams of getting a call from someone who wants to come to church. We didn't get a call, but we got a text. We were a little weirded out at first because he wanted to meet with us in the evening at the church. We couldn't find a male member to come with us so we brought the Elders with us. He is so humble, so ready. He is already a member, but he hasn't been (to church) for years. His faith is so strong and we are so blessed to have met him. Earlier that day he saw the English Sister missionaries
and they waved to him. He took that as a sign to contact us. Sister Bell (the sister who waved) had no idea her impact on him. A wave brought a man back to church.

Honestly, I can't think of what else to share this week. I just want to let you all know that I have such a strong testimony of the little things. Prayer, scripture reading, and going to church are so important.

I love you all,

Hermana Dickson

Monday, July 11, 2016

At All Times, In All things, & In All Places

Week #16

You know you are a missionary when you walk up to a house and a little girl says "They're back again Dad".

"Hola, Como esta? Soy Hermana Coca, mucho gusto. . . Dickson . . . Soy Hermana Dickson" Yeah that's how my week has been. (Tired enough that she introduces herself with the wrong name)

Actually this week hasn't been too horrible. The three people who were on date to be baptized in July aren't on date anymore. Can I just say that I hate "drop" lessons. I just want to cry every time. They are the worst.

We were teaching a recent convert's family this week and they have had really bad experiences with members of our church so they weren't interested, but they said we had good vibes. #notvibes #elespiritusanto.

They accepted a Book of Mormon and I really believe they will read it. It just made me think about how as a missionary I literally have Jesus Christ's name on my chest, but all members (of the church) are representing Him at all times. What we do can influence those around us for good or for bad. They could be interested in learning more or completely put off because of a bad experience. As members we need to be examples at all time, in all things, and in all places. We never know who is watching. I guess I am learning better how to be a member while being a missionary.

We did some service this week for one of our investigators. She is getting ready to sell her house so she had to power wash it. We asked if we could spray down our car at the same time. We regretted it. She has a high standard of clean so we were out there for a long time, but our car was sparkly clean (well and then it rained so it's not so clean anymore). We get to go back to help her paint this week. I'm so excited. She is so wonderful. She's this cute little old lady named Margarita and we teach her every week. This week we talked to her about President Monson. She saw a picture of him and said that she could tell that he was a prophet because he has an honest face. I love our Prophet!

We met our new mission president this week. He is President Tateoka. He and his wife are super sweet and I'm so excited to get to know them. We have interviews with him tomorrow. Also he sings. :)

So sorry if my email seems jumbled. I am running on very little sleep because two nights ago our downstairs neighbors decided to have a party until 5 a.m. Why do I know that? Because the last time I looked at my clock before finally falling asleep was after 4:30 so that's cool. I still haven't caught up on my sleep.

Speaking of tired, my companion fell asleep three times this morning in personal study. Seriously, I feel like our biggest trial on our missions are the limits of our bodies. Our spirits are like "Let's go! Woot! Lessons! People! OYM!" And our bodies are like "I don't feel like moving more than a finger today, maybe I'll get sick again" It's not fun. Both of us have been constantly sick while we've been companions, but I'm learning early in my mission that you still go out and you still do your best every day.

I finished the Book of Mormon this week. I've read it multiple times before, but this time was different. I've been reading and studying it everyday. Not just for my benefit and learning, but for the benefit of others. It's happened so often that I am able to share what I learned in my studies with investigators that day. I've seen the power of the Book of Mormon change the hearts of people and I've felt it change mine. I know that it is true and I know that every person can know of its truth by doing what Moroni invites; to read and ponder and then to ask God, in Christ's name of its truthfulness. The Book of Mormon is a story of family. It is a witness of Christ. It is the proof that Christ's church has been restored on the earth and that we have a living prophet today. I wish that everyone could look through Margarita's eyes and see that Thomas S. Monson is an honest man. A prophet of God.

I hope you are all doing well and growing your testimonies each day. :)

I love you all,

Hermana Coca . . . Dickson, Hermana Dickson

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

Week #15

You know you're a missionary when you have to be inside all day on the 4th of July. #alldaypday (Does this mean no fireworks for missionaries?)

I don't really have any time today to email, but a few quick updates. We met a lady this week and it didn't seem like she was interested at all, but she called us back over after we had walked away and she said "I dreamed this last night. I've been thinking about it all day". How crazy! What if we hadn't talked to her? Being able to answer someone's prayer is amazing, but being the answer to someone's dream is pretty cool too.

I got bitten by a German Shepard this week. Don't worry, she was only a year old so I didn't die (don't freak out and call the Mission Office Mom. I am fine).

Hmm. What else? We have found a lot of people for the English missionaries to teach. We have one investigator who speaks English and Spanish and halfway through the lessons she told us that she would rather attend an English ward. So we had to hand her over to other missionaries. It's really hard. I really didn't want to. BUT I have been called Spanish speaking so I am supposed to teach in Spanish.

Today has been crazy. Sorry for the short email.

I love you all,

Hermana Dickson