Sunday, April 3, 2016

From City Girl, to Mainiac, to cow girl, to Indiana Jones, to cow surgeon

This week was literally the BEST!

First of all, zone conference was on Tuesday and it was so fun to see all of the friends I have made! Sister Bee, Sister Jensen, Sister Rodgerson, and Sister Watson were all there! Ah man, it was SO fun!

We learned at zone conference the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy and how we can help investigators and members to be strengthened in their conversion to the gospel by living the gospel everyday, not just on Sunday's. I will now share with you some awesome quotes from zone conference.
"If you don't set your priorities then satan will set them for you." Elder Seamons
"Wake up!! Don't waste time and enjoy and love every moment of your mission." Sister Hawkes (Thessalonians 5:5-6)
"Are you going through your mission, or is your mission going through you?" President Stoker
"Faith of multiple people can bring about mighty miracles and magnify the power of our testimonies" Pres. Stoker
"Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death" Sister Stoker
"Missionary work is professional friend making" Sister Harman
"Kill the natural man!!!" Elder Alcarion

They also had homemade Cafe Rio for lunch their.. So there I was sitting with some of my best friends eating Cafe Rio, feeling the Spirit and looking hecka cute! It was the best!!!

Wednesday we were in Bangor all day for exchanges with the Sister training leaders and I was with Sister Harman. She is a fiery red head and oh my heck she is literally the funniest girl I have ever met before!! We only got lost a few times and we only met a few crazy people. Haha it was such a fun day.

Thursday I helped give a cow stomach surgery on the farm. Yupp.. You read me right. Cow stomach surgery. It was literally the NASTIEST thing I have EVER seen in my whole freaking life. Yucky yucky yucky!!
So what happened was that one of the cows 5 stomachs was twisted all jankie. So they   gave the cow a sedative and then tipped the cow over... Hahahaha cow tipping.. Haha..
Then I had to help hold the cow so it wouldn't roll over while the vet poked two HUGE needles into its stomach and then Sister Hoopes pressed down on the stomach and all this nasty liquid crap started shooting out of the needles. It stunk so bad. Then they had to give it an IV and give it glucose and it was so nasty watching the vet put that one in.

It was pretty much the coolest thing I think I have ever done. Plus there was a little baby just an hour before we got there! She was all yet and couldn't stand up Brother Bissell's daughter in law was blow drying her! She was so stinking cute!!

Saturday was the women's conference and we got a ride with a member down to Bangor to watch it there. They had a yummy dinner before and some fun activities. Our job was to sort out all the jelly beans by color. Women's conference was soooo good!!! I love this church. If you didn't get the chance to watch to oh my gosh go watch it right now!! It was all about service and how you won't find your self until you lose yourself. I definitely know that is true!

Easter Sunday was so fun! Everybody kept giving us the cutest Easter things. I wasn't too sad at all being away from family, even though I miss you all, but I have learned so much about Easter and the true meaning of it. I feel like I have grown so closer to my Savior. Because of Him we will ALL be resurrected and live again with a perfect body. I am so so grateful for Him.
We had two Easter Dinners. One with our landlords family (who we had Christmas and thanksgiving dinner with too) and then another family. Everybody is so sweet I am so grateful that I get to stay here for another transfer!!

Oh yeah.. Transfers.. Sister Hoopes and I are staying again for another 6 weeks!! Woo hoo! But some crazy stuff is happening in our district. They are taking the sisters in Skowhegan out and putting in elders. So that means sister Hoopes and I are going to be the only sisters in our district... Haha so I can definitely tell this upcoming transfer is going to be a crazy one.

Spiritual thought!!!
It's about the commandment that Jesus Christ gave to all of us to always remember Him. Before my mission I thought that we were suppose to remember Him so that we would remember not to do anything bad, or to be thankful for the sacrifice that He made for all of us-and while I believe those things are true-that commandment to Always Remember is so much more then what we think it is. That phase is repeated in the Book of Mormon 59 times. So it is pretty freaking important.
We need to remember Him always, so that we will always be reminded that He has never and will never forget us. That He has always remembered us, that He suffered and died for us each individually and personally.
We are never alone,
Never forgotten,
Always loved,
And forever remembered by Him who so easily forgives and helps us with EVERYTHING.

Ahh.. It's like a breath of fresh air every time I remember Him.

Have a fantastic week my love bugs!
I love you all!!
Stay safe
Sister Dickson

This whole mission thing is just going by way too fast..

Hello my love bugs.

OH MY GOODNESS I JUST LOVE ALL OF YOU SO FREAKING MUCH!!! I can't even handle how much I love every single one of you that is reading this email right now! I legit have the best family/friends EVER! Thank you so much for all of your love and support.

I love Maine! The sunsets here are the best ever. Forget them western sunsets because Maine is literally where God paints the sky. Sister Hoopes, the scriptures, the wonderful members here and sunsets I feel are the only thing that are keeping me sane.

People come to Maine to get away from people. People come to Milo to get away from the people who are trying to get away from people. In other words, nobody here really likes people. Which is difficult for me because I literally want to hug and love and talk everyone, but they done really like us. Haha oh well.

So it warmed up quite a bit this week. It was in the 40s and 50s. Oh gosh do you here me.. I can't believe that I think 45 degree weather is warm! But I didn't where a jacket so I guess my body is used to it.

Well on Tuesday it was like in the 50s all day and it was BEAUTIFUL outside!! People actually started coming out of their houses! I never thought I would see people walking out on the street in this small little town. But it wasn't what I expected. We were diving down the street and it literally felt like we were right in the middle of an episode of the Walking Dead. I guess that happens when you go in your house in September and don't come out until March. I guess now I can say in have lived through the zombie apocalypse.

So let's do some math with each other for a moment. Let's see if you can all get this math word problem correct. If you live in Maine in the winter and it snows 20 inches that season about how many pairs of shoes will you ruin walking on the muddy roads?
A. 60
B. 17
C. 45
D. None because you have an awesome member in the branch you serve in who took you to Bangor last Monday so you could get some rain boots. Except all of Bangor for some reason doesn't have size 10 rain boots so you went back to your muddy town empty handed. But then Charlene orders super cute owl rain boots for a ridiculously cheap price from Amazon and ships them to your apartment because you forgot to ask your mom to send you some while emailing and you can't go online.

The answer is D for those of you wondering.

Well anyways it was a sunny and joyful week of all of our plans and appointments falling through and canceling! Man, it's just the best when that happens because that means that Heavenly Father needs you to do something else.
So on Thursday I slipped on my owl rain boots and Sister Hoopes slipped on her sparkly rain boots and we went out in the warmth and passed out cards prompting the new Easter video #hallelujah for two hours and we made sure to jump in every single mud/rain puddle we saw.

Well the glorious 50 degree weather didn't last very long at all because it has snowed about 3 inches.

I really do not like the cold. Not even a little bit nope.

So when I came out on my mission I had to learn a whole new language. "Missionary Language" which I will teach you a little bit about now. So when you first come out in a mission you are "born". And when you are go home off your mission you "die". So one of the zone leaders name is Elder Cook and he is dying next week. So we had to come up with a really good way to kill him off. So we decided to sacrifice him after district meeting on Wednesday. So we went to the good old primary room and found some rope and tied him up and grabbed various kitchen utensils and I got to draw fire on the white board. Don't worry I have pictures!!

Well I don't really have any crazy stories that happened this week. We helped make quilts, contacted a bunch of people who aren't interest in eternal salvation and everlasting happiness, jumped in rain puddles, almost got stuck in the mud because of a dog, watched Sister Hoopes get out of the car and chase the dog down the muddy road which she almost got stuck in, helped cleaned a hoarders home, ate scallops for the first time, almost got killed by a diseased cat, helped clean the chapel, had custard for the first time, testified of Jesus Christ, gained a stronger testimony of the gospel and loved every single second of it.

So I guess you can say that it was a pretty good week.

Ok time for the Spiritual thought! I want to share this awesome scripture I read this week. Mosiah 14:6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

Every single one of us has made mistakes. We have said things we wish we never had, hurt someone feelings, lost the trust of someone, and sinned. We all do it. We are all lost sheep. But we have an amazing Shepard, Jesus Christ. He chose to suffer for each and every single one of us even though we and He will continue to watch over us and search for us when we wander off.

This Easter we get to celebrate Jesus Christ' resurrection, and that because of Him we will ALL be resurrected. We all can find new life in Jesus Christ. If you haven't seen the new Easter video #hallelujah go on and watch it right now! Do it right now!!

I have found new life in Jesus Christ by coming out here and being able to play a small role in helping others discover Him. I have found the happiness and complete joy He brings by serving Him all day everyday. I have seen Him work His miracles everyday and get a glimpse of the love He has for His sheep here in Maine.

How have you found new life in Jesus Christ?


Have a happy Easter!
Sister Dickson

Ps Tip of the day: don't try to drive with your car in neutral because it won't go anywhere.

You know you are a missionary when..

you say amen when your companion sneezes.

This week has been the usual. Completely crazy and odd but wonderful and joyful.

It's so weird to think about that 4 months ago I didn't know any of these people here existed. Now I know all of their birthdays, likes, dislikes, blood type, deepest darkest secrets, favorite foods, callings in the church they have had, friends, addresses, family, when the best day of their lives was, when their dog died, when there cat died, and all that jazz. And what is so crazy is that I can remember their whole life story of the top of my head.
Yet when I was back home I couldn't even remember to make sure I had my cars keys before I locked the car.

Tuesday we went to Bangor to go get some blood work done-and yes I am healthy as a horse-but then we got to talk our lunch break at the mall. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER. I got two cute new skirts. (Thanks Mom, you are the BEST). It was so fun to be in a actual city!! Well.. I wouldn't say city, more like a town with a mall.. but still its way bigger then Milo.

Wednesday we had district meeting where we got to watch the new Easter video early before anyone else did!! Perks of being a missionary I guess!! Our Book of Mormon study class that us and the Elders do each Wednesday had a pretty good turn out this week so that was good.

Thursday at the Food Cupboard we got trusted with the duty of lugging groceries up and down stairs so we got a pretty good work out from that. Also our good old handy jeep passed car inspections!! Woo!

Friday we were busy teaching and it was so fun!! We have dinner at a members house every Friday and their grandson had a friend over, who LOVES the missionaries. He put a pink peep on our plates as a gift for us. It was pretty sweet!! I let Sister Hoopes eat my peep though.

On Saturday it was the Dover Fox-Croft Branch annual lasagna bake off.. so of course Sister Hoopes and I made lasagnas with every intention of winning. She made a TO DIE FOR chocolate lasagna and I made a Mexican lasagna. Thanks my love bug Niki for sending me lasagna recipes, because DANG! That was one good mexi-sagna. Everybody really like both of our lasagnas and they were both all gone by the end of the event. But you will never guess who won the bake off...


Like what the heck.. they can't even make cereal right and they won the bake off.
Whatever though.. I am not bitter.
The members were all shocked too.
But those Elders were on cloud nine let me tell you.. so we didn't be too mean to them.

Then later that night we went to the cow farm where we got to feed 6 healthy calves. So it was a happy day!

Sunday was daylight savings day and man on man did that mess me up. I could barely even function, and to make matters worse the missionaries did primary! We volunteered to do primary so that the Sisters there could have a little rest and go to relief society! It was pretty fun. The Elders taught a really cute lesson on following the prophet and Sister Hoopes and I did music time. Apparently it was the most fun thing ever for the kids, but they are easy to please! It made me miss playing for the cute primary in the South Weber 3rd Ward.

We also had dinner with some Amish people. Well they weren't like full on no power Amish. They were Messianic or something of those sorts but oh my goodness they were so freaking awesome!! They had the cutest sweetest kids ever! one of them drew me 3 pictures! She was the little artist! I am going to hang them up on my wall!! But they were so kind to invite us for dinner and even though they weren't ready to convert they were so respectful.

As Sister Hoopes dad says, there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who are LDS and those who are going to be. haha!

Then Sunday night the sweetest little old lady that lives on the same street that we do invited us over and she gave us headbands she made. THEY ARE SO CUTE. I got a purple one and a blue one, man I love the people here!!

Anyways for my spiritual thought I want to bare my testimony.

Guys, this gospel is so true. Its a happier way to live and I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have. 2 Nephi 25:26 "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

Christ is the way and He will be able to make more of our lives then we ever could on our own. I have never felt so much happiness and purpose in my life then when I put my full heart into serving Him.

The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is so so so true!! It is the only church with the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ which makes it possible to make it back home to Heavenly Father. Now, don't get me wrong. There are many good churches that have truth in them. Most of them do actually we volunteer and work with them weekly! But this church has the fullness.

It continues to blow my mind that I am lucky enough to be a missionary!!

If you don't know if the church is true then get on your knees and start searching. Because you will be able to know for yourself. God is always there waiting to bless us and support us. No matter who you are, where you have been, or what you have done.

I love you all!!
have an awesome week!!!
Sister Dickson

sorry.. I forgot my camera again.. so no pics this week.. I will try again next week we will see!! haha

Well.. It's been a week

This week was just an up and down roller coaster of complete weirdness sprinkled with miracles and joy.

But that's not anything new because that is basically the definition of missionary work.

On Tuesday we went over to a members house and went to help with their sheep. Their sheep had little lambs the day before so we got to bottle feed the little runt who was rejected by his momma. :( isn't that so sad?? Poor little lamb, he is fine though because we gave him lots of loving.
Tuesday was a finding day. We were in Brownville, Maine so we went and tried to contact all the names in our area book that we didn't recognize in that area. We met a lot of really nice (but not interested in learning more about their future salvation and eternal happiness for some odd reason) people. Including one lady who I am pretty sure was not fully accountable. She let us (us being two random strange girls she's never met before) in her apartment and continued to tell us every single small detail of her life, that I don't think any other person would even tell their own doctor.

Wednesday was another really good district meeting in Newport. I'm trying to think of some other really excited things that happened between Wednesday and Saturday, but there isn't really anything. We taught lessons, tried to contact people we didn't know, and we felt the Spirit. But all of the investigators we have had are kind of falling off the face of the planet so we have been trying very hard to find new investigators. None yet but we have a few really promising potentials so more news on that in next weeks letter- hopefully.

Saturday we went to the cow farm and helped with all the babies. So what I am about to tell you all is way sad so brace yourselves. There was one little calf who was born on Thursday who was really really sick. So we went out to try and bottle feed her and make sure she was nice and warm under the heat lamp, but she wouldn't eat. So we went and got Brother Bissell and he made some medicine for her to drink and a shot with some antibiotics to give her. So we followed him over to the calf barn and tried our best to help the poor little thing.. But then she died. :( IT WAS SOOOOO SAD!! I never thought I would ever have to endure watching a baby cow die.. But I did and now I am sad. But now that cute little cow is up in the green pasture in the sky with Heavenly Father.

Well.. On a happier note we had two less actives come to church on Sunday which was such a tender mercy since no one, we thought would come, came. We are also working with another less active who has decided she wants to get her life together and come back to church, so we are excited for that!

Since it was fast Sunday we took our lunch and dinner hour at the same time that night and we made popcorn and brownies and watched Mormon messages. Haha it was the pretty fun.

Well... That's about it for this week but now it's time for the Spiritual thought.
It's all about the Savior. So many have disrespected Him. They spit on Him. Mock Him. Use His name as a curse word. It completely breaks my heart. I wonder how He feels when His brothers and sisters reject His love. If I was Him I would probably get frustrated and say fine and zap them with lightening or something. But He doesn't do that. He doesn't get angry or hate us. He probably wipes away a tear or two and then stretches His hand out even farther to grab ahold of us when we finally reach up to Him.

And the most beautiful thing ever, is that His hand will always be there. He will never reach back, He will always be reaching out as far as He can hoping we will trust Him. No matter what we have done, or house deep the hole we dug is. 2 Nephi 19:12 "...For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."

And let me tell you how wonderful it is when you finally grab on. He brings so much joy and peace and comfort.

Love you all!!
Have a happy day!
Sister Dickson

PS I am so very sorry, I did take a lot of pictures this week, but they are all on my camera and I didn't bring the cord to put them on the computer so I will send them all this week!! So sorry!