Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas! Feliz Natal!

Back at MSU for a day
December 23, 2013

Hello family!

We had such a wonderful week here--probably one of my most favorite weeks on my mission! 

On Tuesday, I went on exchanges with the MSU sisters.  Sister Anson and I got to go to MSU and work with Sister Richardson!  Holy moly, it was so awesome to be back at my stomping grounds.  I taught some of the people I worked with while I was there and it was so fun to be back.  We even managed to fit in some lessons with Bruce and Yifan!  Unfortunately, Hu Wen Qi is out of town, but it was so fun to see those guys.  Man, I love them so much.  Bruce and Yifan are both doing so well.  Their testimonies are growing stronger and stronger, which strengthens my own.  It is amazing to see people who give up everything for the gospel!

We went back to Williamston Wednesday and we taught scripture study class that night.  We talked about the Christmas story and sang hymns to go along with the verses.  The Spirit was so strong there.  The investigators were so touched and everyone was in awe of the sacrifice Christ has made.  It's especially humbling to think of him as a small baby and think of all of the things he would have to endure.  As President Hess put it in his weekly e-mail, "He came in to the world a helpless baby. From the moment He was born, he stirred up darkness and the wrath of Hell tried to take his life before he reached his first year. He met opposition wherever He went. But He just kept going, always saying that He was here to do His father’s will. In obedience to His father’s will he never faltered, even in the last great act of His suffering, death and atonement. He gave everything He had and invites us to do the same."  How beautiful!  We ended the lesson by watching “Mr. Krueger's Christmas.”  I was touched by his exchange with the newborn Christ child and how we can each have intimate relationships with the Savior as we study the scriptures, pray, and become more like him.  Man, I love Christmas.

We have been finding and looking for new ways to share the gospel.  We met some really awesome potential investigators this week.  They are busy until after the new year, but I am way excited to meet with them!  Also, a lady named Sister Jeffery in our ward had a great idea.  Sister Jeffery visit teaches Sister Nelson, who recently had to move into a retirement home.  Sister Jeffery thought it would be cool for us to do Family Home Evening at the nursing home.  We went to The Marquette and talked to the coordinator and she was stoked by the idea!  We are going to start in January and do FHE's there every other week.  I am so excited!  What a creative way to share the gospel!  The work is progressing here! 

We got to eat with a family this week and they invited us over for a "Shepherd Dinner."  It's a tradition they do where the children dress up like shepherds and they each get to pick their food to contribute to the dinner. Then we sat on blankets and read the story of the shepherds as we ate.  It felt like I was doing the Jerusalem Dinner again!  It was so fun to be with the Conveys.  I am amazed by them inviting us to participate with them in their tradition.  Sister Convey even gave us goodie bags at the end with hand warmers inside!  Hallelujah! 

Which leads nicely into my last point....ICE STORM!!!  This taught us a ton about the blessings of being prepared and how good the members are here in Williamston!  So it started getting really icy on Saturday night (we ate dinner with the Hunters that night and Brother Hunter gave us the sad news about church being canceled).  We were pretty bummed because we were expecting SO many investigators to come!  Sandy was going to finally be able to make it but now we have to push her date back, so we were a little sulky.  But as it turns out, it was a huge blessing because the weather turned out to be crazy!!! We got a call from our district leader on Saturday night telling us we would have to stay in until 12 p.m. and then call before we left.  We woke up Sunday morning and we didn't have any power in our apartment so we had to do studies by flashlight.  Members kept calling us to make sure we were ok and I was so touched at how willing they were to help!  We got a text around 11:50 a.m. that said we would have to stay in the apartment until further notice because the weather was worse than they expected.  We ended up staying in the whole day!  It was crazy, and I definitely missed doing missionary work.  Our power ended up coming back on around 6 p.m. and we got to study a ton, which was a huge blessing.  I guess trees were falling over all around town and the light signals were out.  The roads were really icy and conditions weren't that great.  It was a crazy adventure!  We will see how it affects our Christmas...most of the members we were planning on eating with don't have power and/or water, so this week should be fun.  I am excited for our Christmas plans, though.  We are planning to see lots of members and less-actives so it should be amazing!

I'll talk to you soon,

Sister Dixon

Monday, December 16, 2013

There's snow place like home!

With Sister Empey (from the MTC)
Hi family and friends!

Wow, we had quite a crazy and exciting week!  We had some interesting setbacks, but miracles always followed.  It was a great week though, especially with the half-mission Christmas party!

Here is the rundown:

We did a lot of door knocking in the snow and freezing cold.  It has snowed a ton here these past few days so it's been reminding me a lot of Colorado.  I think I have finally figured out how to be sufficiently prepared in the snow, though, so the snow has provided us with quite the adventure!  We lost our car last Wednesday so we knew we would have to get creative with ways to stay warm.  I have been wearing 2 pairs of fleece tights, 2 pairs of sweat pants, 2 pairs of warm socks with hand warmers in the toes, 2 jackets, a hat, and 3 pairs of gloves and it has been great!  Tuesday was awesome.  We were finding for about 3 hours and we had 5 minutes left before our dinner appointment so we decided to do another door.  A lady named Tabitha opened the door and let us right in and offered us hot chocolate and was so nice.  We declined, but told her about the restoration of the gospel and she was interested and invited us back!  She is from Rwanda and her husband is from Uganda--I learned a little bit of Luganda (the language they speak in Uganda) from an investigator at MSU so I showed her and she absolutely loved it!  We haven't been able to go back yet, but that was a complete miracle.  We receive the witnesses after the trials of our faith.  It seems like it's always the last door!

On Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning, Sister Kaegi woke up and was throwing up.  We think she ate some bad salad dressing at a member's house and it upset her stomach.  We had to stay in the apartment for a while which is always a bummer.  It's amazing to see how much I have learned on my mission about the power of work.  The happiest times are when we are working hard.  I love this quote from PMG-
“I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
I have definitely found this to be true and I know it relates to our lives in general--not just missionary work.  We are happiest when we are progressing and not complacent.  The greatest gift God has given us is the atonement--the ability to become better every day!

We had a few other interesting run-ins with sickness this week.  We were eating dinner at a member's house on Thursday and Brother Ruggieri is a doctor.  He knows I was a nursing major so he pulled out some cool pictures from the ER to show me.  One of the elders who was there stood up and left after a while and his companion followed him and it turns out he was about to faint!  He was really pale and lost his vision and hearing and was swaying back and forth.  Luckily we were able to get him on a couch and get him some water before he actually passed out but that gave us a good scare!

Probably the crowning event was on Sunday.  We had our ward Primary program (it was seriously so cute) and Jaszzameen wanted to come.  She wasn't feeling her best, but she decided to try and go anyway.  Here is some background information:  Jaszzameen had a total knee replacement surgery a couple years back and recently she was moving around in bed and felt her knee pop a little and has been in some pain since then.  She has been taking pain pills for it but for some reason on Sunday morning she didn't take any.  Jaszzameen and her daughter, Danielle, both came and really loved the Primary program.  We went to Sunday School after and Jaszzameen said she was starting to feel a little pain so the elders gave her a blessing.  We went to Relief Society with her and I was sitting next to her when all of the sudden she leaned to me and was like, "I need to get out NOW."  I went out in the hallway with her and then she leaned over her walker and started bawling!  I had no idea what to do and was saying silent prayers to myself.  Jaszzameen is a pretty heavy-set woman.  I wouldn't really be able to move her anywhere myself.  Luckily, some men in the ward walked by just then and one ran and got her a wheelchair.  We wheeled her over to some comfy chairs at the end of the hall.  She was crying and wanted to go home right then.  Our ward mission leader (he is a saint!!) came from priesthood and he gave Jaszzameen and Danielle a ride home.  We went with them to help out.  It was pretty difficult because we had to get her from the comfy chair to the wheelchair, the wheelchair to the car, the car to the wheelchair again, and then the wheelchair to her bed in her apartment.  The whole time she was crying and in pain so it was stressful!  It was amazing to see how much the ward helped us and her though--we definitely couldn't have done that alone!  We were emotionally and physically drained after that but here is the miracle:  As we were helping Jaszzameen get out of the car, Danielle came over and said "Want to hear some good news?  I want to go to church every week now."  It was SO awesome!  We were really excited for her and we think it will help both her and Jaszzameen progress.

The Christmas party was awesome.  We were with about 100 missionaries and I got to see some past companions and good friends from the mission so it was wonderful.  We had some amazing training, then played Christmas games, and then sang Christmas hymns.  I am SO GRATEFUL I get to be on a mission right now.  I wish I could be a missionary every year on Christmas, because it has just been the most beautiful and spiritual experience.  I have never felt the impact of the atonement on my life so deeply and fully before.  I am learning to understand day by day how much it means to me that Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer, took upon Himself every sadness, doubt, feeling of discouragement, frustration, guilt, or mistake I have made and ever will make.  It's amazing, and I am so excited and grateful for this season to reflect on His birth.  I love being a missionary so much.

Most of our investigators were still sick last week.  It might get hard to meet with them this week due to the holidays as well, but that's alright!  It provides plenty of time to go finding, which I absolutely love!
   
I had another cool experience I forgot to mention...we had dinner with a family this week.  Their son was in town and he actually served in Sao Paulo South so he was telling us some stories from his mission.  I thought it might be hard to hear about it there...he was saying they baptized every weekend and how it was 70 degrees there right now and such.  However, I was filled with so much peace and calm and the quiet assurance I am right where I need to be for now.  I have a firm testimony Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us, and it is so much better than the plan we could pick out for ourselves! 

Well, I hope you have a wonderful week!  Love you all,

Sister Dixon

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sister Dixon didn’t include a picture for me to post this week.  But she did include the paragraph below.  If you’d like to participate, please send your testimony, favorite scripture, and/or favorite hymn to debibd@earthlink.net.  I’ll print everything up and include it in the “little book” I hope to send her December 23.  Thanks in advance!
Debi Dixon 

“I thought of a Christmas gift...I would love a little book that has pictures from my mission thus far and also little snippets from family members and friends with their testimonies, their favorite scriptures, and/or their favorite hymns.”

December 9, 2013

Hello family and friends!

We had a wonderful week here!  Christmas is coming so soon and everyone is being touched by the spirit of the season so it is a great time to be a missionary.  It was a difficult week as well due to the fact that almost all of our investigators, potential investigators, and members have been coming down with nasty colds and haven't been able to meet.  I guess the spirit of the season is responsible for that too because the temperatures are dropping and it's been snowing quite a bit!  It was difficult to schedule lessons and we experienced disappointments with many of our lessons being cancelled and people not showing up to the ward Christmas party and such, but it's amazing to see that the work is still progressing and that we still feel joy.  I have come to learn as long as we are obedient, working hard, and using our agency to choose to be happy, there is no reason to ever feel discouraged or disappointed.  There are many things we can't control, and as we seek to focus on becoming better ourselves and loving the people, Heavenly Father will provide us with tender mercies and opportunities to feel joy along the way.

For example: on Friday we had 3 member-present lessons set up, which we were really excited about.  Well, in the course of about an hour, 2 of them canceled.  We went to visit the third investigator and he said it actually wasn't a good time.  We were walking away, feeling a little bit bummed, and then I slipped on his front porch steps and fell down all of them.  Here is where agency comes in:  We could have said, “Wow, that is the worst luck ever!” but instead we all laughed about it and went about our work.  I know it sounds weird, but that was definitely a tender mercy from God.  We laughed about it for sooo long and throughout the day we recounted what happened and it was still funny every single time.  It brightened our spirits all day and we found ourselves being more charitable and excited about the message we get to spread.  And now I have a HUGE bruise on my backside so that's fun.  I bet you are glad to see that though I am changing in many ways, I am still the same old klutz I have always been.

We haven't been finding very many new investigators lately.  It's been pretty hard.  Please pray we will be able to!  There are still so many other things to be grateful for, though.  The Williamston ward hasn't had a baptism in over a year which is a huge contrast from the MSU ward.  It's been hard for me to adjust and I have been pretty hard on myself at times, but I know the work is still progressing in different ways.  I would really love your prayers! 

We were able to make a ton of progress with Jaszzameen this week, though.  We figured out she has a testimony of the gospel except she still lacks a testimony of Joseph Smith seeing God and Jesus Christ.  We had a wonderful lesson about Joseph Smith and were able to share scriptural accounts of God appearing to men.  The member we had with us bore a really strong testimony of Joseph Smith and her son had given a talk about Joseph Smith a few weeks earlier so she was able to share his experience as well.  It was amazing.  Jaszzameen still has to receive the answer for herself, but I know it will come soon because our accounts strengthened her desire to know the truth for herself.  She wasn't able to come to church because she was sick, but her daughter came to the singles ward and then Jaszzameen came to the stake musical program and Christmas devotional and I know she felt the Spirit there.  She is so close, I can feel it!

We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday night, which was wonderful.  All of the investigators who said they would come ended up canceling because of sickness, but we still experienced a huge miracle.  Sandy, one of our investigators, has a strong testimony of the gospel.  We have set a baptismal date with her for January 4th and she is progressing and reading the Book of Mormon but she hasn't come to church yet because she is held back by her daughter Haley.  Haley is really involved in a different church--she is in the choir and dance programs and has performances almost every week.  Sandy and Haley were both going to come to the Christmas party.  Sandy canceled but Haley was still able to come with a member in our ward and her daughter--they are in Girl Scouts together.  It was such a blessing Haley got to come because she made so many new friends there and really got out of her shell.  Sandy and Haley should be coming to church on the 22nd and we think it will be a much easier transition for them now Haley has a friend base!  It was cool to see how that all worked out!  There were also a bunch of less-active members who were able to come, so it was a really nice evening and a really fun party. 

On Sunday there was a stake music program before the Christmas devotional.  Holy cow, it was beautiful!  There were many non members in attendance and the Spirit was so strong there.  I was touched by how much Heavenly Father loves us--so much that He would send His precious Son to atone for our sins.  The Christmas Devotional was really cool as well.  It's crazy because I was at the Conference Center for last year's devotional.  Time flies so fast!  I really wish it would slow down.  This will be my only holiday season on a mission, so I am really trying to embrace every moment. 

This week I was really impressed by the story of Enoch in Moses 7.  Enoch and his city have been translated.  The Lord is looking at the residue of people and weeping because they are not following His path.  The Lord loves His people SO much.  Enoch cannot understand why the Lord would weep.  These people have just rejected Him and are not choosing to follow His ways.  The Lord explains to Enoch that these are all His children, despite whether or not they are following Him.  Then, the most beautiful thing happens in verse 41.  Heavenly Father grants Enoch the ability to love the residue as much as He does.  "And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and atold Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his bheart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook."  Is that not the most beautiful verse?  I love the phrase “his heart swelled wide as eternity!”  I have learned loving the people, loving God, and loving your companion is really the only way to do missionary work.  When we allow our hearts to align with God's heart, the necessity for the gospel becomes that much more urgent.  We just know.  The Spirit is much more able to penetrate our hearts.  I aspire to have a moment similar to Enoch's--once he had that love, all eternity shook.   I take that to mean the gospel was able to have success among the people.  I just think that story is so beautiful.

Sorry this e-mail has been scattered.  I wish I could adequately express my thoughts during my e-mails but it is pretty much impossible to write what I am learning and feeling out here.  I am pretty sure I sound bonkers at times, but I want you to know that my testimony of the gospel is deepening every day and that I do have times where my faith wavers, but I am learning how to trust in the Lord and His plan more and more. 

On a funnier note, we had a crazy experience this week where we helped a member clean his house that HE HADN'T CLEANED IN SEVEN YEARS!!!!!!!  SEVEN!!!!!  It was soooo disgusting and I volunteered for bathroom duty because normally I enjoy cleaning bathrooms (weird, I know).  BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE!!  It was really fun though and I definitely gained a testimony of cleaning our apartments every P-day!

Thanks for your notes and experiences.  Love you all and have a wonderful week!  

Sister Dixon
With Sister McCord
December 2, 2013

Hello family!

We had a wonderful week!  Thanksgiving was seriously SO GREAT!!  We had weekly planning and then we visited a man in our ward who is homebound and doesn't have many visitors.  I really loved getting to meet with him because he didn't have anyone else coming on Thanksgiving.  He was really grateful to have us there.  After, we went to the Rinners house for dinner.  Side note--they told me they know the Hammonds!  Apparently Hammonds used to live in Michigan in the same area as Rinners--you will have to ask Hammonds about it.  Rinners are an amazing family in our ward!  Brother Rinner is a convert to the Church and they have 3 children who have all moved out of the house.  Their daughter, Lizzy, was in the singles ward with me.  She goes to BYU, so she came home for the holidays and it was really fun to be with her and their family.  We had a couple of other families there with us and it was incredible.  Sister Rinner is an interior decorator and she likes to go ALL OUT with EVERYTHING!  Her favorite word is fabulous--and that is definitely what Thanksgiving dinner was.  We came over for appetizers before dinner and then we had dinner itself and then we played games and had pie.  It was extravagant.  We had such a nice time and they also had a chalkboard on the wall where everyone could write what they were grateful for.  I loved seeing everyone's responses--some things were small and simple but so beautiful! 

It was kind of a hard week work-wise because of the holiday--people were out of town or had family in town, so it was hard to meet and hard to get members out with us but it was still really fantastic and a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the blessings I have. 
So...I decided to have a gratitude e-mail this week and share some of the things I am particularly grateful for in light of Thanksgiving.  Sorry the holiday has passed already, but better late than never, right?

I am grateful for a family that is supportive of me being on a mission.  I am grateful they take the time to write to me every week and they pray for me every day.  I can feel the power of their prayers as I struggle and grow on my mission.  I am grateful for a family that loves each other.  I am grateful that our home is filled with laughter and love and that we honor the commandments of God.  I am grateful for parents who have honored their temple covenants and raised me in the gospel. 

I am grateful for the scriptures.  I am grateful for the guidance and counsel they provide, and I am thankful for the people who labored and suffered so we could have the Book of Mormon and the Bible today.  Most importantly, I am so grateful for the sweet Spirit that comes as we search and ponder the words from our Heavenly Father.

I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves me.  I am grateful He provides me with so many opportunities to grow and He gives me so much help along the way.  I am grateful He has created a perfect plan for me and He gave Jesus Christ as a sacrifice so we can return to live with Him again.

I am grateful for Michiganders.  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve here and to really learn what it means to TRUST in God's plan and be patient along the way.  I am thankful for the kindness of the members I have met here and the way they have touched my heart. 

I am grateful for fleece tights, boots, jackets, and gloves.  I don't know where I would be without them.

I am grateful for the opportunity to pray and communicate with our Father in Heaven.  I am grateful for the peace that prayer brings and that we can receive answers to every one of our prayers.

I am grateful for music and that we have such a beautiful way to worship our Father in Heaven. 

I am grateful for all the companions I have had.  They each are such beautiful daughters of God and such hard workers.  I am thankful Heavenly Father knows who I need to serve with at each time of my mission.  I am grateful they have all taught me different things and have been patient with me.

I am grateful for President Hess and my other mission leaders who inspire me to become better every day.  I am so thankful for the lessons I have learned from them that will truly impact the rest of my life and influence the kind of disciple I will be as I work to endure to the end.

And most importantly, I am so grateful for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  I feel as if I have started to understand the atonement more on my mission, but I am still nowhere close to understanding the depth and the beauty of the sacrifice Christ made for me.  It's humbling to realize I stood in the same spot where He performed the sacrifice that will allow me to return to live with God again and that helps me to overcome all that is unfair about this mortal life.  I am grateful that I can have forgiveness from my sins when I use the gift of repentance and that I have someone by my side who is able to empathize with every challenge I face. 

The gospel is amazing, and I am so grateful I have had this opportunity to come on a mission and experience its power in a whole new way.
  
Have a great week everyone!

Sister Dixon

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

James's baptism
November 25, 2013

Hello family!

We had a truly wonderful week.  We have been applying many of the principles from Elder Golden coming and I can see them paying off!  One thing he talked about was comparison.  In missionary work, we should NEVER compare ourselves to other missionaries.  We should always compare ourselves to the Lord, though, and strive to be more Christlike.  The way we can truly experience the miracle of the atonement is to compare ourselves to our old selves.  We have been applying that to our goal-setting and Heavenly Father has been helping us with increased desires to improve and increased faith.  Here are some highlights from this week:

We were door knocking on Friday and we met this lady named Alba.  She is from Columbia and was feeling sick when we came to the door.  She was on her way to closing the door but we asked if we could say a prayer for her health.  She let us in to her house and we talked more about the restoration and said a prayer.  She invited us to come back the next day.  We were so excited!  We even got a member who speaks Spanish to come with us.  We showed up Saturday at the time we planned and she wasn't home.  However, her husband was there.  We explained we had an appointment set up with Alba and he invited us to come in.  He said while we waited for her to come home, we could give him "a 15-minute presentation."  It was amazing.  As we started bearing testimony of restored truths, his heart truly softened.  Alba eventually came home, but her husband stayed and we ended up teaching for over an hour.  He started posing questions like, "What happens to people after they die if they have never heard of Christ?" and it was amazing to see we had the answers.  We are going back this weekend so we are excited to see them again!  It was such a huge miracle!

We had two more opportunities to rake leaves this week.  It was awesome!  One of them was so cool.  We door knocked into this lady named Del on Halloween.  She is pretty old and set in her ways but was really nice.  We had an impression to go back last Monday after P-day and she mentioned her neighbors had to leave town for a family emergency so no one was there to rake their leaves.  We offered to help and we went back on Thursday to do that.  We raked with a guy named Daniel.  He lives in that neighborhood and offered to help out as well.  Del told us Daniel was studying to become a minister and so we were really excited to talk religion as we were raking.  Sure enough, we raked for a couple of hours and Daniel asked questions the whole entire time!  It was so awesome to be able to teach in a service-oriented setting.  We got his number at the end and he wants to learn more so that was awesome.  We will have to pass him off to the MSU missionaries, but we are all working for the same team so that's ok.  ALSO, we asked him at the end about wanting to become a minister and he said, "I have no clue why Del said that.  I am a web design major."  It was hilarious but also so inspired Del said that!  It set us up to expect having religious conversations with him.  When we have that faith and those expectations, Heavenly Father meets them!

We taught Sandy Saturday night.  We felt like we should teach the restoration again and we really emphasized there being one true church.  She told us at the end she knows Joseph Smith saw God and the Book of Mormon is true and we asked her what she would do with that knowledge.  She has a goal to read the Book of Mormon by the 1st of the year so we are doing that challenge with her and she accepted a baptismal date for January 4th! 

Jaszzameen is progressing well.  She has been consistently coming to church for a while now and is really well-fellowshipped by the ward.  She is just waiting for Heavenly Father to tell her if this is the right thing to do.  It was really cool to see her at church on Sunday.  We learned about family history and baptisms for the dead and she was so touched by that restored truth.  We read with her about it in 1 Corinthians 15:29 and it really brought the Spirit showing the Bible talks about these ordinances as well.  Pray for her that she will be able to recognize her answer!!

One of my old investigators at MSU got baptized this weekend.  His name is James.  I think I talked about him before.  He was the one who we found after an hour-and-a-half of walking and not seeing a single soul!  Heavenly Father really knew where we needed to go.  His baptism was such a spiritual experience!  Right after James came out of the water, he said, "Wow, I feel different."  He bore such a powerful testimony of the atonement after.  He is definitely someone I have seen change throughout the process of becoming converted.  I am so grateful for the atonement and how truly joyful it can allow us to be.  Also at the baptism I was able to talk to the sisters in the Lansing area.  Do you remember the lady I talked to on the bus named Rikisha?  She was super prepared--she even had a daughter named Cumorah!  Well the sisters told me she is on date to be baptized as well!  Miracles are happening all over and it is so amazing to be a part of it.  Missionary work is truly an invitation to participate in miracles.

In other news, it is freezing.  If you have any good ways of staying warm, let me know!  The humidity here is killer during the winter time. 

Also, I did a cool thing where I counted the number of times it says, "Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land."  It says it SO many times!  It is such a testimony to me Heavenly Father really does keep His word.  Our family really has been blessed so much.  I am amazed at the things I took for granted growing up.  If we all commit to keep his commandments for the rest of our lives, we WILL be blessed. 

I love you all!

Sister Dixon

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'm not "leafing" Williamston!

With Elder Wiscombe, who is leaving Williamston
November 18, 2013

Hello everyone! 

I chose this title because I am staying in Williamston with Sisters Anson and Kaegi.  And it's also symbolic because we raked leaves SO MUCH this week.  It was wonderful! 
Well, we are all super shocked we are staying together but really excited too.  Sister Anson trained Sister Kaegi and usually they separate trainees from trainers after training is done but we are all staying together.  It is going to be a great transfer, I can feel it. 

We had a wonderful week here.  The highlight was obvious--Elder Golden coming.  It was incredible.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude I get to be on a mission at this time and in this area to learn from such a great man! 

Our mission spent time spiritually preparing for Elder Golden to come.  We fasted and prayed that it might be a revelatory experience and that we might ponder the questions we need answers to.  I wrote down questions about faith and following the Holy Ghost, and lo and behold, he hit really hard on those subjects.  It's like this church is true or something!  I really loved what he said about faith.  Faith is personal righteousness, and personal righteousness comes from obeying God's commandments and laws.  Our church has many commandments and laws to keep--and missionaries have even more rules to abide by!  However, obeying those increases our faith, and Elder Golden said our church is the ONLY church on the earth that helps its members cultivate enough faith to enter back into the presence of God.  What a blessing it is for Latter-day Saints to know commandments are not restrictions, they are opportunities!  We are working hard to implement what Elder Golden said into our missionary work.  I am confident we will have increased success.

Service was kind of a theme for this week.  We ended up doing 3 different service projects of raking leaves which was amazing:  for a couple we met while we were door-knocking; for Kenneth, our 91-year-old investigator; and last, for a couple who was moving next door to our ward mission leader.  Each time it was amazing to see how touched people were for the simple acts of service we rendered.  Hopefully we continue to be blessed with opportunities to serve!  The Relief Society lesson was about serving others as well.  It really made me think about something I heard once:
Trials either make you BETTER or BITTER.  The difference between those 2 words is the letter "I.” When we experience difficult times and we focus on how they impact ourselves, we become bitter and lose faith.  On the other hand, when we focus on others, we become better for it and we are able to bless others in the process.  This has been so true for me throughout my mission.  Missions can be terrible when you focus on yourself.  However, when you focus on helping and serving others, you find yourself lifted and ennobled by the spirit of charity.  The spirit of charity helps us to become more like our Savior.  I think Mosiah 5:13 says it best:
For how aknoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?  Our ultimate goal on missions is to become as the Savior, and the way to do that is to serve others selflessly.  Loving the people is the key.

Here is a quick weather update:  Last P-day after we left e-mailing it started snowing a bit!  It melted the next day and then it was pretty good weather for the rest of the week.  Hopefully it stays pretty nice because we lose our car this week.  Yesterday afternoon after church we were going door-knocking and then we got a text from our zone leaders that there was a tornado watch!!  The weather was CRAZY!!!  It was so much fun.  It was pouring rain and there was so much wind.  People at the doors were so receptive because we kept telling them how important this is to us!  Tons of people lost power though and we taught a lesson that night with flashlights in hand in case the lights went out--they kept flickering throughout the lesson.  It was such an adventure. 

I know God has a plan for each and every one of us.  I hope I can serve my best in this area and I am grateful to serve here!!
  
Love you all!!!

Sister Dixon

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nono's baptism
November 11, 2013

Hello family!

We had such a wonderful week here in Williamston.  I realized this week I have fallen in love with this area. It was shockingly different at first, but day by day I have really grown to love the area and the wonderful people I have the privilege of working with.  I really hope I get to stay and see the miracles unfold next transfer, but we will see what the Lord has in store for me.  I can't believe how quickly the time has passed. I love reflecting on this past transfer and seeing how much I have learned and how many tender mercies the Lord has sent us.  

Here are some miracles from this week:

We have had some issues figuring out the best use of our time during the days here.  None of our investigators can meet during the day and none of the members are home, so we usually go door knocking at that time.  However, many of those people are not home either, so we feel pretty unproductive.  We have been praying for an investigator who would be able to meet during the day.  Lo and behold, we found someone out in Williamston who is amazingly prepared and is a stay-at-home dad so he told us to come back any time during the day.  It was such an answer to our prayers and I am so grateful. We taught the restoration to him this past week and it was amazing.  We have lots of hope and faith for his progression.

Getting investigators to church here is always kind of hard.  Our proselyting area is like 30-40 minutes from the church building and many of our investigators need rides to church.  The Lord always helps out, though. The standard here is to have 3 investigators at church every week and we have been praying for that to happen.  We were expecting 2 investigators to come and then church started and another strolled in all dressed up in a suit!  We were not anticipating it in the slightest and it was such an amazing miracle.  It was the first time this transfer we have been able to achieve that goal and ahh, we were so happy!  Prayers are answered, folks.

One of the girls whom I taught at MSU got baptized this past weekend.  Her name is Nono and it was amazing to go.  Bruce was able to baptize her and then he confirmed her the next day in sacrament meeting. I wasn't able to go to the confirmation, but it is so humbling to see him fulfill his duties as a priesthood holder. The baptism was so special.  Nono had the strongest desire to follow her Savior's example.  It's amazing to see our impact goes further than the time we spend in an area.  There are hundreds of people in Michigan whom I have had the opportunity to talk with and share the message of the restoration.  Sure, only a few of them have made a covenant with their Heavenly Father, but missionaries leave more of an impact than they know.  It is so exciting to think about the people who, for one reason or another, will eventually be prepared to come unto Christ and follow His gospel.  I know missionaries everywhere in the world have more of an eternal impact than they can ever comprehend.  And that is reason alone to never ever get discouraged. When we are participants in the Lord's work, our efforts extend into the eternities.

When I first got to this mission, President Hess gave us each a Book of Mormon and a red pencil and invited us to read it and highlight all of the references about Christ found within.  I finished yesterday.  It was an amazing experience.  The red passages found on every page have truly strengthened my faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I was especially touched by verses 25 and 26 of Moroni 9.  Christ was lifted up so He can lift us up.  The good news of the atonement is enough to help us out of the deepest of trials or afflictions.  As I read the beginning of Moroni 10, I was filled with the Spirit and I know without a doubt the Book of Mormon is true!! Because it is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet and this really is Jesus Christ's church once again established on the earth.  What a huge blessing the Book of Mormon has been in my life.  I feel truly blessed to be able to share it with others.

In other news, we have a general authority coming to our mission this week!  Elder Golden is here and we have the opportunity to hear from him this Wednesday.  I am SO excited.  I can't wait to tell you all what I learn.  We fasted as a mission last week that we will all have a revelatory experience with Elder Golden here and so I am excited to see what the Holy Ghost teaches us!

Also, I keep forgetting to tell you, but we heard a couple weeks ago our mission will be getting iPads soon! We should have them by January.  It is so exciting to see how the work is hastening.  It is tangible.  I know people will respond to this technology and it will bring a new side to missionary work.  We are really excited for them.  Each missionary will have his/her own iPad that comes equipped with an electronic planner and area book, Mormon Messages (we can show them on doorsteps!), all of the study materials I could dream about, and much much more.  It will be amazing.

Here are some funny things that happened this week:

Nono wanted us to sing a musical number at her baptism and the song she requested was “Angels We Have Heard on High” hahaha.  People in the audience were pretty confused but hopefully there will be a YouTube video of it soon. 

A less-active lady named Sister McCord came to church on Sunday!  We go and visit her every week or so in Williamston and she is SOOO hilarious.  She is older and sure knows how to speak her mind.  Yesterday in the middle of sacrament meeting a member of the bishopric was up speaking and she yelled out to us, "Who is that?  He looks like he really needs a haircut!"  Later on in the meeting, she pulled out her wallet and started paying us each $10.  We tried giving it back to her but she kept pushing it away and yelling, "I can afford this!"  Oh gosh, we were dying laughing.  By the end of church we were able to give it back but we learned there is never a dull moment with Sister McCord!  

Have a great week!  Love you all!!

Sister Dixon

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 4, 2013

Hey everyone! 

Time is seriously passing so quickly.  I cannot believe it's P-day again and this transfer is rapidly coming to an end!  This week was wonderful.  The Halloween spirit was in the air.  

We started off the week by teaching an investigator named Sandy on Monday night.  Sister Nuttall and Sister Anson found her two transfers ago.  They were driving down the road and Sister Nuttall felt the distinct impression they should stop the car and go knock on her door and sure enough, she was interested!  I think that is just the neatest experience.  Sandy is AMAZING.  She knows it is true and takes notes during our lessons which is really awesome.  She is kind of hard to get a hold of though and her daughter is holding her back in a way.  Her daughter, who is about 7, recently started going to a different church and is really involved with all of the activities there.  Sandy doesn't want to tear her away from that so it's a difficult situation, but she is definitely progressing, so we are grateful.

On Tuesday, we had a ward Halloween party which was so much fun.  Sandy came with her daughter.  Her daughter kept calling us "The Holy Girls" which was really funny.  They both had a really good time and it was so fun to see all of the little kids dressed up in costumes.  It reminded me a ton of Halloween in Colorado--many of the costumes were covered up by winter coats and scarves and mittens but everyone had a really good time trunk or treating.  Also, pretty much everyone in the ward made jokes about us dressing up as missionaries for Halloween which I just loved.

Wednesday we had our weekly scripture study class.  An investigator named Kelle came.  Kelle is absolutely incredible.  I love her so much!  She has been investigating for a really long time.  She knows it's all true but she doesn't want to get baptized because she doesn't want to discriminate against other churches...it's kind of a hard situation. She comes to scripture study every week though and is such an amazing woman!  She used to live in Highlands Ranch a while ago so that was a fun connection to make.  She has been having some really difficult situations recently.  Her father passed away a month or so ago and she said her kids have been asking about the plan of salvation and we are going over there to teach it to them tonight.  I am excited to testify of the things I have learned about the spirit world from grandpa recently passing.  It's amazing to see how much the gospel really helps us in those dark times.       

Thursday was Halloween.  It was POURING RAIN the whole entire day which was so much fun!  We went door knocking out in the rain (my favorite--miracles ALWAYS happen) but we had to stop at 5.  We dropped by a less-active’s house and taught her.  It was pretty funny because her last name is Gentile.  We felt like we should read Ether 12 with her.  In the past when we have visited her, we usually aren't able to get a very solid message in because she diverts the conversation and is very talkative, but this chapter talked about the gentiles and she really wanted to read more about it!  Haha, the Lord definitely works in mysterious ways.  After we dropped by another less active’s and helped her pass out Halloween candy.  Our favorite costume was a little girl dressed up as a founding father.  It was revolutionary. 

On Saturday we had interviews with President Hess in the morning.  He is amazing, and I learned so much from him.  We talked about the Spirit and Christlike attributes.  When we have the Holy Ghost, we are able to cultivate our Christlike attributes.  When we are exhibiting those attributes, we are able to more fully feel the influence of the Spirit in our lives.  It's really amazing to see that these 2 connect so well and they fully help us to become like our Lord and Savior.  He also shared with me that they haven't heard anything about my visa so it's looking like I will spend Christmas in Michigan!  He said there is a chance I could get permanently reassigned here.  It's crazy!  I didn't really ever think that could be a possibility, but I am excited to serve where the Lord needs me.  He used a quote I really liked:  "Life is hard by the yard but a cinch by the inch."  Isn't that wonderful?  Focusing on the present is the key to being happy in life.  If we dwell too much on the responsibilities of the future or focus unnecessarily on the mistakes of the past, we won't have a good today. 

We went on Saturday night and taught Jaszzameen.  (We just learned that's really how you spell her name, haha.)  She got a priesthood blessing from Brother Winder and it was really powerful!  She was able to feel the calming influence of the Holy Ghost and the immediate contrast it brought from the stress of her life.  We went over and read with her after church on Sunday as well and she is progressing well.  I love her so much and I am so blessed to be able to witness how the gospel is positively changing her life.

Things are going so well and the members are amazing too.  We haven't had a car this week and they have been so willing to help with rides and appointments and feed us dinners!  The Hunters fed us again and their girls were so cute.  They wrote notes to us and gave us some of their Halloween candy. 

One thing I really loved in gospel study this week was reading Ether 6:5.  It talks about how the Lord sends a "furious wind" to direct the barges across the waters.  To me, that could be interpreted as a trial in their life.  It's funny to see how the trial came because the brother of Jared asked that they could receive steering to get to their destination.  Sometimes, we pray for blessings and guidance.  The Lord helps us to get to that destination and answers our prayers--but not always in the way we expect.  Sometimes, the path we take might seem like a "furious wind" is blowing against us but really it helps us to reach who we need to become much faster than a gentle breeze.  It made me think of a quote by Neal A. Maxwell:  "How many times, naively, have we vigorously protested while on our way to a blessing?"  I love it!  The church is true and trials are true!
  
Thanks for all your support and love!  I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve my loving Heavenly Father.  Have a great week!

Sister Dixon

Friday, November 22, 2013

At Hu Wen Qi's first baptism
October 28, 2013

Ola familia! 

Thanks for all your e-mails and sweet hellos.  Aren't we all so blessed to be in a family with each other?  Seriously, though, our family really is so great!  This week was amazing!  It flew by.  I really can't believe it is P-day again.  Time is so bonkers on a mission. 

The weather here is definitely getting chillier.  This past week we had a little snow even!  I love tracting in crazy weather though!  The other day we got to go door knocking in some hail and it was SO fun!  It makes you feel like you are working harder for some reason.  Luckily we have a car so the weather usually isn't too terrible, but we are losing our car this Wednesday for a week so hopefully the cold weather can hold out for just a little while longer!  I checked on the missionary portal and it said it should be in the 50s all week so that is definitely manageable. Phew. 

It really was such a great week though.  We experienced a MIRACLE!  Thomas has not been able to come to church because of his work schedule.  He said it's impossible to get work off at Walmart on Sundays.  He even had a family reunion over the summer and they didn't give him work off so he had to call in sick.  Anyway, we fasted with him last Sunday so that a miracle could happen and he could keep the Sabbath day holy.  He told us during the week he couldn't come to church, but he would come watch a baptism on Saturday.  We were sad, but happy he would come feel the Spirit at the baptism.  Well, he texted on Friday and said he got work off!  He switched his days around and he came to sacrament meeting.  He is student age, so we went to the MSU ward with him and this week we will be passing him off.  The Spirit was so strong at the meeting and I felt like the talks were directly applicable to him.  That was such a beautiful answer to our fast and I could feel Heavenly Father's power and love in my life.

We had exchanges this week and Sister Smith came to Williamston with me.  It was my first day in the mission with only one companion, haha.  I am so grateful for her wonderful example.  We found such an amazing man as we were door knocking and we got to tract on a street called Mullett Street.  It was a great day! 

Sister Anson shared something cool from her sister this week.  The gospel is full of paradoxes.  For example, we learn in the scriptures when we find our lives, we lose them; but when we lose our lives for Christ's sake, we find ourselves. I love that beautiful and simple message.  Her sister shared another one with us this week. 

If you read 1 Nephi 8:30, there is a huge paradox.
"But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of thearod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree."

It says they fell down and partook of the fruit but we know fruit grows at the tops of trees.  There is a beautiful message in there that we have to go down to feel true joy.  We have to experience humility and find ourselves willing to submit to the Father in order to feel God's love for us.  If you notice, the people who partake of the fruit and don't fall down (vs. 24-25) end up eating it and then being embarrassed and falling away.  So interesting!

I am so grateful for a gospel that tells us it's ok to rely on God.  It is beautiful to trust in Him and know we can't do it alone.  When we seek Heavenly Father first and humble ourselves, with an eye single to His glory, we are able to experience eternal bliss.  This is definitely not what the world teaches, so I am grateful for the scriptures that help us to know otherwise.

We went to a baptism this weekend with one of our other investigators, Jazzameen.  She ended up coming late and she missed the actual baptism which was a bummer but the baptism was really cool because Hu Wen Qi baptized the girl!  It was so amazing to see him do that and he told me he felt the Spirit really strongly.  These people are amazing.  The gospel is amazing.  I love being a missionary so much!

Earlier in the week, we were looking through our formers and there was one family who intrigued me because they were dropped due to a trip to China, and not for any other reason.  We decided to call them and they said they were interested in learning more and we scheduled an appointment for Saturday night at 8 p.m.  We were super excited because they were from China and they seemed so solid.  We got a member who spoke Chinese to come with us to translate.  We arrived on Saturday night and knocked on the door.  They opened it and we were shocked because their family was there but also our zone leaders!  It was so bonkers. We were both there to teach lessons and we still aren’t sure how it happened.  We think our former investigator gave his old phone to this family who just barely moved to Michigan like 2 days ago.  The zone leaders helped them move in and scheduled a lesson with them for the exact same time we did.  It was soooo strange.  But, it was a huge witness to the power of prayer because the zone leaders were looking for a fellowshipper who spoke Chinese.  So we brought them a fellowshipper and ended up leaving and their prayers were answered!  We were able to visit someone else who really needed us too so it was amazing to see how plans work out.  I don't know if that conveys how confused all of us were but it was really strange but also really hilarious. 

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week!  Remember during the down times that we have to go down to truly feel God's love and joy!  I love you all!

Sister Dixon

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sisters Anson, Dixon, and Kaegi

October 21, 2013

Hey family!

It's been a great week here in the Williamston area!  I love the area more and more with every day I serve here.  The investigators we have are all progressing nicely and we have met some more amazing people.  It's so wonderful to be able to feel of God's love for people and watch them be touched by the gospel message.  I learned especially this week that Christlike love and service and charity bring such a sweet spirit. 

Dayra is doing well.  She is such an inspiration to me.  We were able to go over this week and wash her dishes for her.  It was a simple act of service but she was so grateful for it.  Her children have been sick recently and the dishes were piling up--we came at the perfect time.  We sang hymns as we washed her dishes and it was just a powerful moment for me.  I felt blessed to be there and be able to help her. 

Another experience was when Jazzameen came to church on Sunday.  We went to Gospel Principles with her and our ward mission leader, Brother Winder, taught the class.  He showed us a few videos, so he set up his laptop and speakers to play them.  At the end, he was packing his stuff away and Jazzameen told him his speakers were nice and asked where he got them.  Then, he proceeded to say he had another pair at home and she could just have them.  It was amazing to see how charitable that gift was.  Jazzameen comes from humble circumstances.  I almost started crying because she was in such disbelief that someone would do something so nice for her.  She said, "Well, what can I do in return?"  And Brother Winder said, "Keep doing what you're doing.  Keep learning about the gospel."  It was powerful.  True conversion comes when we are able to disregard every worldly care and devote ourselves to the cause of bringing happiness through the gospel to others.

We had lots of finding time this week and we had some awesome experiences.  One of them was with a man named Kenneth.  We initially passed by his house and didn't knock because he had people leaving.  As we were walking by, they came over and started talking with us.  They were Jehovah's Witnesses (We have knocked on multiple JW's houses this week.  It's always kind of funny and bonkers how many we meet!) and we talked with them and exchanged literature and such.  They said they go to Kenneth's and read the Bible with him.  Later, as we were finishing up door-knocking, we went back and knocked on his door.  He invited us in and we read the Book of Mormon with him.  We invited him to pray about what he read and he told us, with tears in his eyes, “God will say it's true!”  It was so powerful.  We went back the next day and taught him the plan of salvation.  It was really powerful because he is a widower and he has had a son and a daughter pass away.  It's kind of an interesting situation though because he is not physically able to come to church due to his older age but it was definitely such a miracle and it brought such an amazing spirit!

Yesterday we were sitting in the chapel when all of the sudden Bruce came in with Erin and Greg!  They came to our sacrament meeting and it was really cool because one of the speakers was a recently-returned missionary who shared stories about the change he saw in people due to the atonement.  His message was powerful and I was grateful that we got to tell Bruce about God's love for us and that we can change and that he was sitting right there with me!  Afterward, I talked to Bruce and it turned out he and Yifan got to do temple baptisms on Saturday for the first time.  Ah it was so wonderful to hear!  Bruce said the temple workers looked like angels and he felt like he already knew the people he was doing baptisms for.  Also, bishop requested Bruce get the Melchizedek Priesthood early for some reason.  We don't really know why, but Bruce came to our ward yesterday so he could get interviewed by the stake president during the MSU ward's sacrament meeting.  It was just so cool to see him progressing so well in the gospel and to see how happy he is because of it!  I am grateful to have witnessed that.  The gospel is amazing.  God's greatest gift to us is our ability to change.

This past week was fun because we got a car.  And ya I will get to drive a bit while I am here.  We have a pretty nice car too! I'll have to send a picture.  We are on a rotation but it's definitely good when we have a car because we can knock in different areas.  We live in Okemos which is not as much of a rural area but when we have a car we can actually go to Williamston.  It is a very beautiful rural area indeed!  The farms and fields are SOO pretty, especially right now in the fall!  It is crazy I have been waiting here for so long, but I have been cherishing my experience here.  This week is my 6-month mark--I'll have less than a year in Brazil.  Time is flying!  I am nervous about getting there at times but I know it's all in the Lord's hands!

We are going thrift store shopping today so hopefully I can get some boots and jackets and tights and such.  Wish me luck!  I have gotten a few new skirts but I also have companions who love sharing clothes so that makes it fun:-)  Probably very different from elders, haha. 

Love you all!!

Sister Dixon

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week won in Williamston!

October 14, 2013

I hope you all like the alliteration . . . sorry it's not grammatically correct but I hope it doesn't make mom cringe too much. Well, it's been an amazing week here in Williamston!  Everything is different from the singles ward, but different in the best ways.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have a change because I am learning so much.  Here are the details of the new area:

We cover the Williamston ward and there is also a set of elders in our ward.  Williamston just underwent a ward split right before I came.  The ward is about 1/7 the size of what it used to be so the members are really having to step up their game to keep the ward moving along!  With the change, our apartment is not in the ward or our area anymore.  We are on a car rotation but this past week we didn't have a car so it was an adventure for all of us to coordinate where to go.  We walked a lot of places which I absolutely loved!  The trees are beautiful and the weather was perfect this week.  Plus there were many crunchy leaves to walk on so it was just really fun.  Sorry I don't have pictures of the new area or companions yet but it is beautiful here!  We have some awesome investigators here.  I haven't been able to meet all of them yet, but we did have a few lessons.

Thomas is a college-age student.  He is a miracle find!  The sisters got him as a media referral (it comes in as a text on the cell phone) so they went to find him.  It turns out he didn't ask for anyone to come and he doesn't know anyone Mormon so it's like Heavenly Father sent in the referral Himself.  But Thomas was interested in learning more.  We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ this week and set a date with him for November 16th.  He works every Sunday at Walmart--we are hoping a miracle will happen with his work situation so he can come to church!  He is such a sweet guy and really loves reading the Book of Mormon.

Jazzameen is hilarious.  She is a middle-aged woman who used to be Jehovah's Witness.  She is reading the Book of Mormon now and is waiting to get her answer.  Whenever she would try to say "murmuring" in the scriptures, she would say "mothering."   She is so funny . . . I don't really know how to describe it but here is one funny incident.  She went to conference last weekend at the stake center and ordered a pizza into the foyer so she could sit outside and eat it.  Needless to say, she told us she didn't learn very much. 

Dayra is another investigator.  She is actually from Guatemala and doesn't speak very much English.  She has a very hard life--she has 3 children and her husband got deported to Mexico so she cares for them by herself.  Her littlest daughter is in and out of the hospital and is very sick!  We went over yesterday with Katie Parent from the MSU ward.  She recently got back from her mission in Argentina.  The lesson was awesome.  Dayra has so much faith!  She said such a beautiful prayer at the end of the lesson.  It was cool because I could understand most of the Spanish they were saying.  Hopefully that will be the same in Brazil.

We do a lot of door-knocking which I have really grown to love.  It is such a huge adventure and you never know what the person on the other side will be like.  People say the funniest things, too.  One couple started telling us if we really wanted some good work in the area then we should take up bowhunting deer.  Apparently people get paid for that because there is an overgrowth of deer in the area.  It made me think of Napoleon Dynamite haha.

I am really loving being in a family ward.  All of the people I have met are so awesome and really have strong testimonies of the gospel that are apparent in how they raise their children.  Oh and the Hunters are in my ward now!  We are having dinner with them on Friday.  The things I am learning here are teaching me so much about how I want to be.  I love the gospel because it is a gospel of progression and change.  I live for constantly learning and becoming better.  And the only way to do that is through the Atonement! 

I am excited to keep working in this area and to see the miracles that happen.  It's been a huge blessing to be here so far.  I am not the best door-knocker currently but I am learning more and more every day about how to help the gospel message resonate with people.  If anyone has any tips let me know!

Here is a quote I found this week that I liked:  "All the water in the world, no matter how it tried, could never sink the smallest ship unless it got inside.  And all the evil in the world, the blackest kind of sin, can never, ever hurt you unless you let it in."  I think it applies to discouragement and doubt as well.  We always have the choice to be happy!

Have a great week.  Love you all!

Sister Dixon

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It doesn't matter where you serve, it matters HOW you serve!

Farewell MSU!

October 7, 2013

Hi family!

Thanks for the wonderful e-mail!  I did indeed get transferred.  I leave tomorrow morning for my new area at 6:40 am...but it's like a 10-minute drive haha so not too crazy.  I am now serving in the Williamston ward with Sister Anson and Sister Kaegi.  Sister Smith used to serve in Williamston and loved it so I am really excited!  Sister Anson is also from Colorado--I think Firestone?  We will be co-training Sister Kaegi.  She is on her second half of training and is already amazing--I think she will be training me.  I got to go on exchanges with her last transfer and I was blown away so it will be fun.  Plus she is a visa waiter too!  We will get to have language study together which will be otimo!  She was in the same MTC district as Brianna Vail.  Small world:-)

The ward boundaries of Williamston just changed so the ward is a ton smaller than it used to be.  I think it will be a really great opportunity to know the members really well and get them involved in the work.  I am going to miss MSU SO much but I am excited for the opportunity to learn and grow.  I know it's where God needs me.  I never would have guessed I would be here for at least 4 transfers but it feels right!  I love Michigan so much!

The highlight of this week was definitely General Conference.  We had some investigators and recent converts come and it was amazing.  The talks answered my questions as well as their questions and it was such a revelatory experience for all.  We got to watch it together in the institute and it was fun!  I loved being there with the people I have grown to love and getting to spend time together before I have to leave.  It was the best conference I have ever experienced.  Can you believe it's already been a year since they made the announcement?  Boy has my life changed a ton!  I am grateful  for the opportunity to be here and to be surrounded by many amazing people.  I love this gospel so much.  

Love,

Sister Dixon
1862 Hamilton Rd. Apt. E6
Okemos, MI 48864