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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From a city girl, to a cowgirl, to the next Indiana Jones



Well, here I am sitting here in my cozy barn, eating some of Sister Jensen's homemade kettle corn and thinking to myself how I am going to be able to even know where to begin this letter.


The only thing that is going through my head right now the the Christmas song that goes ๐ŸŽถglory glory hallelujah! Glory glory hallelujah! ๐ŸŽถ
Probably because this week was jam packed straight all up in here with miracles!!!


No one is sick and the whether has been unreal! It literally feels like it is April. But this next week we are supposed to have ice storms, so bye bye my sunshine!


We have been buzzing around like little bees this week. Sister Jensen and I have really been trying to focus a lot on less active members and recent converts to help strengthen their testimonies and get them to the temple. I would guess around 60% of the members here aren't active in the church. A thought has kept coming to my mind is why would Heavenly Father let more of His children come into His church if we can't even keep the ones that are already in it.


Though we have a good amount of investigators, 3 of which are still planned for baptism, we won't be able to get anymore progressing towards baptism if the branch itself isn't strong. What's the point of baptizing if they aren't going to stay? So Sister Jensen and I have really made it a huge goal and priority to help all of these less actives.


We have made a special effort to help these people and one sweet lady who is near and dear to my heart came on Sunday for the first time in a year or so. She was the only one. But we know that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. I fully believe that Angels were rejoicing and high fiving when she walked into the building.


Something that I have learned over and over again it seems like is that this gospel is for everyone. The gospel and doctrine that Christ taught when He was on the earth is what will bring us true happiness. Doesn't matter who we are, what we have done, or what our circumstances are. There is a place for everyone is God's kingdom and everyone is loved and important to Him.

I think you would all like to know that in addition to being a cow girl, I am now the new Indiana Jones. There is really no point in being in the boonies if you don't go on a few hidden off road adventures. On Friday night Sister Jensen and I were looking for a less actives house and the GPS got us lost. The first time we were lost we were heading down this one way dirt path. There was nothing but trees on either side of us and there was no where to turn around! The path was so skinny it was impossible to turn around, so we just kept driving until eventually there was just barely enough room to turn around. When we finally got back on the main road we looked at the GPS to find out that we had typed in the right address.. Just the wrong town. I could just picture God standing up there in the clouds shaking His head and laughing. So we typed in the right address and the right town and we headed on down the road, through the woods and up the hill to the less actives house. But then when we got to the road the GPS told us to go down is was closed and blocked off and private.


I right there felt like an old hill billy redneck from those old TV shows. You know, the one who is like 500 pounds, wearing a old tank top with grease stains all over it, only one tooth and one hair on his head. Scratching his head and saying, " Well, now whatta we gunna dew!"


So we banged our heads on the dashboard a few times, patted each other's shoulders trying to make each other not feel so silly and sang "On the Road Again." As we typed the address of our next appointment into the GPS.


Well folks, 3rd times the charm because the GPS took us on some unknown off road dirt path. One way, with deep ditches on each side and trees sticking out all over the place! As we went up the path it started to not be a path anymore. But a legit Indiana Jones trail ride. Just like the one at DisneyLand and everything! I felt like we were on an secret mission to deliver gold up Mt Everest to the king of a long lost ancient civilization.


Don't worry, we didn't die. And we made it to our appointment on time too! Woo!


Then the next day we got to go play with the cows again! Oh my goodness it was so fun! There were like 3 brand new baby calfs. It was sad because one of them was sick and not doing to good. But we fed them their milk and they had a nice warm heat lamp to lay under. I also made a new friend. He is a little mini goat that followed me all over the place. Every time I stopped petting him he would bump his head into my hand and try and get me to pet him again. I also got to pet the horses. Oh yeah and I put the little milker suction things they used on the cows utters. It was nasty and I can check that one off my bucket list.


We saw some great miracles this week. One thing that I have really seen is that God really does answer prayers. As we pray for miracles, work as hard as we can and the expect those miracles to happen, God really does provide them.


We prayed and prayed and fasted that our investigators would accept the word of wisdom so that they could be baptized, and they did. We prayed and prayed that we would get someone new to teach. And we did. We prayed and prayed that we would be safe. And we were. We prayed and prayed that we could get less actives to church, and some came. I could go on and on really about how I have been able to see my prayers get answered.


But that would take to long so I am just going to say that prayer works. Heavenly Father is there, He is listening and He cares. This Christmas season I have been feeling a newer and deeper love for my Savior and my Heavenly Father. They care for all of us so much and really do want the best for us. Because of the Savior there is hope and happiness in all of our lives. Discover why!
They are waiting, all you have to do is ask.


Love you all very much!
Sister Dickson












 

Monday, December 7, 2015

๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

Well jolly good day to you all my loved ones!

My week was great and I hope yours was too!

 Don't particularly have a lot to tell you all about this week because I was sick and stuck in the apartment for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  We called the mission nurse and she said it would be best for me to stay in and get better. So I took a lot of naps and a lot of NyQuil, man that stuff is golden. 
Poor Sister Jensen though being stuck in the apartment with me! She was such a sweetheart though. She surprised me with yummy chocolate chip pancakes and she warmed me up soup. We made homemade kettle corn and watched Mormon messages as I slowly died on the couch and she painted my nails really cute. They are blue and she painted a snowman on them and made them glittery! And a sweet angelic member brought us dinner, she brought yummy pulled pork sandwiches and a salad. It was such a blessing! Sister Jensen and I sat and talked a lot which was great because we got a lot closer. She is such a sweetheart! I am so blessed to have her as my new companion. 

Friday I was, with the exception of a stuffy nose, a new women! All better and ready to get out there and do the work! We went out and worked our little bums off! We had a lot of lesson with less actives and then Saturday was awesome too! We helped a less active member with her family history and we found her long lost grandparents! Then we headed back to Milo to meet a member who was going to come to two lessons with us, when our first appointment canceled. We had about 10 minutes until the member showed up so we called all of our investigators to try and set up and appointment and none of them were able to meet! I was kind of stressing out when this sweet member showed up in our dooryard (otherwise known to the rest of the world as driveways). So we got in her car and explained the situation. We were all stumped and we had no idea what to do for the next hour and a half until our next appointment. 

Then a name popped into my head The Browns. I had remembered seeing the name Brown once before on the Branch Member list but I had no idea who these people were. So I asked the sweet Sister who was with us if she knew them. "Yeah!" She said, "they used to be very active and they haven't been for years now. I think that would be a great idea to go visit them."

So we went and they were home and let us in and we had a wonderful lesson about the Savior and the told us that they had been talking about getting back into church. It's so true that this is God's work and He will make sure the things He wants done gets done! 

Plus there is never really any reason to stress because everything always works out as long as we are trying our hardest. It's so cool seeing these miracles!

Then we went to our next appointment with our progressing investigators with the baptism date and had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and how to recognize symbolism using the Tree of Life dream as an example. They told us how they really enjoy church and the Book of Mormon and they have just been happier since meeting with us. It's awesome being able to see them change and their testimonies grow. I love it!

Then on Sunday we had an... Interesting day. The Branch Choir Director had a great idea so have a Christmas concert with other churches choirs. So we got to go sing in that. It was really nice to see all these different churches unite together as we celebrate Jesus Christ. 

Then we went to a sweet members house and watch the Christmas Devotional. It was so good! I love devotionals like that. I love the spiritual high it gives me and I was just so full of gratitude for my wonderful Savior. 

I loved all the talks that were given but one talk I wanted to focus on today was Elder David A. Bednar's talk. I loved how we talked about the light of Christ in our lives. I loved how we are taught in the Book of Mormon that in the Americas on the night of Christ's birth the sun set but it didn't get dark. The heavens so light and it lite up the world! Then at His death there was 3 days of darkness. When Christ came to the Americas He brought the light back. Because He is the light of the world. 

This life is so hard. I don't have all the details about all of the horrific crap that has been going on, I just know that there is waaaay too much of that crap going on. This life is scary and dark. There is depression, pain, sadness, regret, and tragedy. But it's so wonderful because this time of year we celebrate the birth of a Savior who can take all of that ickiness away from us if we let Him. He is always at the door knocking and all we have to do is let Him in. 

So I would love to invite all of you to do the same invitation that Elder Bednar extended. To look at all the beautiful lights this Christmas and remember that we have light in our lives know because of Him. 

I love you all so so very much! I hope you have a wonderful week and be safe and have fun enjoying this Christmas season. 

Love, 
Sister Dickson 

Christmas Choir Concert

Having dinner at the church and watching Mormon Messages before watching the Christmas Devotional 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ I'm a real cowgirl no folks๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ

Well.. My long lost dream of being a cowgirl has come to pass ladies and gentlemen.

But more with that later because oh my gosh we had a baptism on Saturday! Oh my, it was a really great day. I had to play the piano and God really made up for my slack. I had to play a lot of songs that I didn't even know how to play. But He helped me so it all worked out. The only thing that went wrong though was that we had the branch president fill up the font before the baptism and when it was time to be dunked.. The water was freezing cold. But they pushed through the freezing waters and were baptized! Oh man it was great.

Oh my guess what I have more good news! Our progressing investigators have accepted to be baptized on December 26! Woohoo I am so very exited for that one, we will just have to make sure that the water is warm this time.

Thanksgiving day was not as terrible as I thought it was going to be. Yes, I did miss you family and all of your craziness and fun that you bring to the table, but I wasn't really all that more homesick. It was actually a really good day, the only bad result of it was that I gained 5 more pounds. Never have I been able to say that I have had two thanksgiving dinners in one day. Plus pie after pie after pie.


Our first dinner was with our sweet landlord and her adorable family. I have never met her family until that day so I was kind of nervous that I was going to be awkward but it wasn't. They were so sweet and kind. They made Sister Jensen and I feel right at home and my goodness the food was amazing. Here is a picture of all of them. Our landlord is the sweet lady in the brown. Her name is Fran.

The second dinner I sadly didn't get a picture with all of them. It was with a less active member and her husband and her son in law and his kids. They were so sweet and we shared a cute little thanksgiving Mormon message with them. Right when we got to the house all the lights went out. So we got out the candles and the lamps and thought we were going to have thanksgiving in the dark. But right when we sat down the lights turned back on! It's a Thanksgiving miracle!

Then we went to our investigators house (the ones being baptized on the 26) and had a lesson with them. They had their two oldest daughters there who were from out of town and we all taught them the Plan of Salvation. It went really well and that's when they accepted the baptism date. Then they fed us more pie after.

Oh you know, because we haven't had enough pie we of course were invited to go to our new recent converts home the night Before Thanksgiving. So Sister Jensen and I made pies on Wednesday for pie night and for some recent converts and investigators we had.

So much pie... But it was a wonderful holiday and I am glad that I got to spend it with these wonderful people.

So, the moment I know you have all been waiting for, I am a cowgirl. ๐Ÿฎ
After the baptism how do missionaries celebrate? By going and playing with baby cows of course! Our branch mission leader is a cow farmer and we went and fed all of his baby cows! They were so so so cute! But man those little buggers are stubborn. We had to fill up these buckets of milk and then go and try and get the babies to drink. We would have to let them suck on our fingers and then lead them to where the bucket is. It is the weirdest feeling having baby cows suck on your fingers and they do not let go!!
I know all of you will die when you here this because I got cow poop on my pants. You see, the baby cows were placed under a heater right in the middle of the barn. Where we had to go and walk through the lakes and mountains of poop to get through. We had on these big tall rubber poop boots and cows just go whenever they want to go... He had around 100-150 cows, so you can assume there was a lot of poop. Oh yeah, and the baby cows peed on my boots too.


It was worth it because we got right from the utter fresh farm milk to take home with us! And I got to play with cute baby cows๐Ÿ„
Here is me pouring the milk out for the babies

Notice how there is no poop on my pants.

And now here is me playing with the baby cows after feeding them

See of you can try and find where the cow pooped on me.

Never thought in a million year would I ever get to be a cowgirl and a missionary at the same time!

Any ways, I think it's that time for a spiritual thought,
What would the world be like without Jesus Christ?
Hopeless, hectic, and pointless.
Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not Jesus Christ is apart of our lives. He is the whole reason that we having meaning and purpose in our lives.
It saddens me to see so many people who don't recognize what the Savior has done for them, or when they fail to see the importance or even the need for a Savior.
In the Book of Mormon in Alma 7:11-13 it talks about the 7 things the Savior suffered for.
1: pains
2:afflictions
3:temptations
4:sicknesses
5:death
6:infirmities or weaknesses
7:sins
He know exactly how hard this life is. He went through and suffered for all of those trials individually and every single one of us, so that He would have empathy (not sympathy) and so He would know exactly how He can help us.
What is so amazing about Jesus Christ is that He didn't have to do it. But He did it because He loves us.
And by us I mean you. You personally and individually He knows and loves.
So let's all take a moment this Christmas season and think about Him, and celebrate that A Savior was born. Because of that glorious day, we are never alone and our lives are hopeful and meaningful.

I highly suggest you go and watch the new Christmas video A Savior Is Born. Discover why Jesus Christ matters in your life, and rejoice this Christmas season knowing that we don't live in a world without a Savior.


I love you all,
Sister Dickson