You know your* Hermana Dickson when you accidentally get pepper spray in your eye.
Don't worry, I didn't have to actually use it on anyone. My pepper spray decided to leak ever so little in my bag and I grabbed something out, then touched my face. I also found out that you can use pepper spray in place of tapatío if you are running low. I ate a chip after touching my pepper spray as well and it made that sunchip taste like an extreme taki chip. Adventures of being Hermana Dickson.
This week has been spirituall full. I have loved my studies recently. Recently I've read more in the Old Testament than usual. I love it. So many promises and I love learning more about how our Heavenly Father is truly the same yesterday, today and forever. I have felt the Spirit confirm that countless times during my time on a mission.
Speaking of the Spirit, He gave me a little call to repentance this week. We were running up to our apartmet to grab a list of less actives that the stake asked us to visit and there was a man walking a little ways off in the parking lot. We weren't going to talk to him but then I thought "Hermana Dickson, someday your (sic) going to meet this man in the spirit world and he's going to either thank you for bringing the Gospel to him, or ask you why you thought you were too busy to talk to him". So I did a 360. He turned out to be really cool. Definitely a highlight of the week. Pretty sure he was drunk, but I heard more truth come out of his mouth than most. He started off telling us that he knew who we are because he has amigos who ride bikes (aka Elders). We started talking about Christ and then how we are each a child of God. He started quoting scriptures and testifying to us of God's plan, going into some really deep doctrine and none of it false. We asked him if he had ever been taught by other missionaries and he said no. At one point I had to make a conscious effort to keep my jaw from floating in the air. It was so cool. We walked away from that contact in bewilderment. It is just another testament to me that there is so much truth in the world and that the Restored Gospel is here to confirm what truth we already have, and add on to it.
So for some reason people think that Sister Missionaries are the perfect candidates to give all their marriage advice to. It's funny. We do service at a cemetary and the man who works there gave us enough advice to write a book. We have to laugh about it because marriage is a long way off for both of us, but it was a special opportunity to testify of eternal families in the temples.
Speaking of temples, we have a new investigator who loves the temples (we'll call him J). Yesterday we showed him a picture and he could not get over how beautiful they are. I love being able to testify of the sealing power in temples, theat our families can be forever. This is the investigator I talked about last week who came to church even though we havent' had a complete lesson with him yet. He is so prepared! We went over after Pday and had a lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is so humble and has already born his testimony to us about how God has worked in his life. He read the pamphlet twice before we came over and when we asked him if he had any questions from church the day before he only asked us how he can help others and what his responsibilities are. He works all week so we can only see him ont he weekends but we have had awesome lessons. He is a cute little old man who is lonely and so he easily connects with the members as well and some have really taken him under their wing. He is also a Spanlish master. I always struggle with that because that means you have to be thinking in Spanish and English and most times it's harder to understand the English because of his accent, but it stretches our minds and makes the lessons interesting. He wants to get baptized, it's really just a matter of when. He works all week so the only contact we have with him is through teting during the week. He doesn't know how to work his phone very well though. He told us that he can read texts when they come in, but can never find them later and can't respond. This last week we received texts with no spaces or punctuation but they were the best texts we have received. It shows that he was really trying! We were able to help him set up an email and that was an adventure as well. We walked up to his house yesterday and he was painting it a bright yellow. He asked us how we liked it and we said that it looked good . . .And very bright. It was brighter than the fire hydrants. He came back onto the road and realized how bright it is and started worrying that the home owner association will get mad. I told him that we will help him change it if need be. This man is a miracle. I'm so excited to continue helping him. He told us yesterday that this week was the first week in a long time that he hasn't gone to the bar or the casino. We haven't even taught him about the Word of Wisdom yet. It's so amazing to see the Atonement already working in his life. If you were to drive by where he lives you would see 3 chairs and a table on his porch. He set them up so that we always have a place to sit if we come by. He is so sweet. He also refers to us as "las Hermanas de Oaxaca" because Hermana Jensen likes to tell people she is from Mexico. Yesterday my testimony grew of how much God guides His work. J does not have confidence in his prayers. He feels like that he has to learn more before he can have good prayers, but we have explained to him that every prayer is perfect to our Heavenly Father. yesterday at church we felt that evey lesson and talk was truly meant for him. It was all abouat prayer and baptism and confirmation. They addressed so many of his concerns. I just felt an immense love from Heavenly Father. That even though we can't understand how, he knows each one of his children deeply and personally. He knows exactly what we need to hear. I've thought abou that a lot recently as I try to think of questions that I have for General Conference. I have such a testimony that we can recieve personal answers through the words of the prophet and apostles. I'm so excited for Conference!
We had lots of parties this week. The Relief Society had one for the anniversary and they all wore bonnets. I'll include pictures. We also had a quinceañera for one of our investigators. It was crazy. There were so many people and so much dancing. The music was so loud. We guarded the cake that had a fountain in it . . .I also went to my first Hispanic baby shower. Learned lots of new vocabulary and had lots of fun. It was supposed to start at 4. Half of the people showed up after 8. Nothing ever happens on time here and I feel like I will have a hard time adjusting back to events actually happening on time. Other than that I think the only other highlight was that we ate pie for Pi day. This week felt so long, but good. I hope that you are all happy and getting excited for conference!
Hermana Lauren Dickson
* You know Hermana Dickson is becoming more fluent in Spanish when her English grammar and spelling starts to slip. She types fast on her iPad and typos and auto-corrects happen so mom usually adjusts them for the blog. This time I had to smile and just leave the "your" that is used twice in place of "you're" because it happens when you speak two languages.
|Quinceanera cake with a fountain in the middle!|
|Relief Society Birthday Celebration|
|Silver Falls State Park|