|Sisters Dixon, Probert, and Christiansen|
June 10, 2013
GO SPARTANS is right because I am a campus missionary at MSU! My new address is:
4912 South Hagadorn #103
East Lansing, Michigan 48823
Ok first of all let me start out by saying I absolutely love it here! And people really are called Michiganders so that's kind of fun. I will give you an overview of all that's happened so far... sorry if it's long but I have so much to say!
So we arrived at the Lansing airport on Wednesday afternoon. We were greeted by President Hess and his wife, the assistants, and all of the missionaries going to Lansing (the visa waiters arrived an hour later than everyone else). Overall, there were 27 new missionaries coming in to the mission. We packed up all of our stuff and drove to the mission home. The mission home is in the same city as MSU (East Lansing). We spent the rest of the day doing training and we even got to go on campus for a bit and go finding just to see what it was like. I had tons of fun. I was exhausted, but it was awesome to finally be talking to real people instead of fake investigators. I do miss the MTC though. We had a nice home-cooked dinner at the mission home and then spent the night there. They have so many beds! They were so accommodating of everyone. On Thursday, we woke up and had more training. Then, we met our companions and trainers! It was awesome.
I am in a trio as you have probably been able to see by the pictures you received from the Hesses (if you received them). By the way, I probably look way tired in them so if you think I am sickly or anything, don't worry. My trainer's name is Sister Probert. She is from Oregon and she has been here since January. She is AWESOME! You were right, I didn't have to worry about my trainer. She is the best example to me and has been so helpful with everything. I am so grateful for her. When we teach lessons, she just connects with the investigators so well. It's so touching to watch. I am trying every day to be more like that! She definitely teaches by the Spirit as well. Our other companion's name is SIster Christiansen from San Francisco. She is absolutely hilarious. She has an incredible knowledge of the scriptures. Also, she was on a Danish reality TV show that you should look up. She said the episode of her getting eliminated was absolutely hilarious. Nick, I think you would enjoy it. It's call Alt for Danmark or something along those lines but she has great stories. She has been to Sweden too. Oh and my zone leader is from Sweden! I can't remember his last name though but he didn't know who you were. Anyway, we all get along really well so that is such a blessing! We are still trying to perfect the art of teaching in a trio but I know that will come.
Once we met each other, we dropped our stuff off at our apartment and got to work. It turns out my new area is MSU! I am a campus missionary and I couldn't be happier about it. When we went finding on the first day I kept thinking how cool it would be to be serving there so I was way stoked to find that out. I love working with the students. It's been kind of hard to find people to teach because of summer break but we go door knocking a lot to try to find. Sister Probert said it was almost harder when school was in session because the number of people was overwhelming. You didn't know who you should talk to. There is an institute building right across the street from campus and then our apartment is right in the same parking lot. It's awesome. We live in the "Living Center.” It's actually a church building that is dedicated and everything. Pretty much everyone who lives in the same complex as us is LDS so we have gotten to know the ward members really well. We are serving in a student ward and the people are so solid. The ward is small, but so strong. We don't have a car which is a blessing and a curse. We can only teach people really close to us (we usually teach people at the institute building) but I am glad we don't have to worry about a car. We also get tons of mosquito bites. Any remedies? Also, you should look up about a Michigan left turn. I don't know if you have ever heard about it, but it's this crazy traffic law I do not understand so I am grateful I don't have to drive here. I absolutely love my area though! We are about 5 minutes away from the mission home and the assistants also work on campus with us so we have great resources all around. I just feel so blessed!
We went door knocking on Thursday in some apartments. We didn't find a ton of people, but we found someone golden! Like seriously a miracle. His name is Bruce and he is from Shanghai (most of the people we teach are from China. I guess a ton of Chinese people go to MSU for some reason. Like 3/4 of the investigators we have are Chinese. They are great and they always give us referrals (hard to understand, but so great). He was so interested in all we had to say though. We taught him on Saturday and then he came to our ward bbq right after and he hit it off with all of the members. He came to church on Sunday too and really enjoyed it! We are so grateful we were able to find him and hopefully he keeps progressing.
On Thursday night we went to a member’s house for dinner. We don't get a ton of dinner appointments so I was really excited to have one on our first night. Ashley had us over and get this--she served in Brazil! So I got to speak a little Portuguese on my first night there. There is one other member in our ward from Brazil so I try to falar com eles com frequencia. It was so cool though! And both of them have offered to help me with my language study.
On Friday we had weekly planning and then we taught some lessons. Sister Probert found an investigator named Rooney a couple weeks ago and we have been teaching him almost every day. He is from Iraq and he has a crazy story. I can't even imagine some of the things he has gone through. He is solid though. He wants to be baptized but he wants a testimony of the Book of Mormon first. We have been trying to help him with that but I love meeting with him. He calls me Colorado instead of Sister Dixon because he said that's his favorite state even though he has never been there. Whenever we ask him who should say the prayer he always points at me and says "Colorado."
We also do this thing called Book of Mormon every Friday night where investigators and members can come and read The Book of Mormon and talk about it. We brought one of our investigators named Kenzy. She moved on Sunday though :( so she isn't an investigator anymore but it was still an awesome experience. There was an investigator there named Yassr and he is also from Iraq. He is getting baptized soon and he is a hoot. He definitely speaks his mind. Nick, I told him the Arabic I know from Islam and the Gospel. I guess that class was good for something!
On Saturday we went finding with not too much luck but then we had the ward bbq. Sunday was good too. We taught Rooney again and found out some of the elders in a family ward are passing us one of their investigators because she will be in the singles ward. Her name is Brooke and we are SO excited to teach her! She has a baptismal date on June 29th so it looks like I will witness one baptism here. It is such a miracle. We get to meet with her the first time this week and I am really excited. She has only been taking lessons for a week but she knows it is true and has such a solid testimony. The people in Lansing are awesome!
Here are some general things about Lansing. It is very green and so beautiful! The MSU campus is really nice and pretty too. We are up there almost every day and it is gorgeous. The weather is pretty nice. It hasn't been hot at all which I am really grateful for. It rains or drizzles almost every day and it is pretty humid. Kirst, my hair hasn't really been wavy but when I straighten it, it flips out weird and stuff. I need to experiment with some things though and see what happens with the humidity. When it does get hot, though, the mosquitoes really attack. I swear the mosquitoes here are like some crazy breed--the tracker jackers of mosquitoes! I got around 20 bites the other night when we were tracting. I have been trying to use that roll on repellant, mom, but they still go crazy. And my bites have been getting HUGE! It's disgusting. I don't itch them either. I know you probably don't believe me, but I figure if I can invite people to live the Word of Wisdom and challenge them with that then I should be able to restrain from itching. I am trying to keep an eternal perspective and not go with the temporary satisfaction. Anyway, I am trying to wear my longer skirts more often for protection and to hide my legs! They have bites all over and it isn't a cute look.
Even writing that, though, I feel so blessed! That is really the only thing I have found here to be remotely disappointed with. It will be hard to leave. I am already dreading the day. It's weird though, because I am still so excited to go to Brazil. I also have to keep reminding myself the living conditions will definitely not be so nice in Brazil. I have to enjoy it while it lasts!
Well, that's about it. I have unlimited e-mail time so tell me if my letters get long-winded. I could talk for hours about the people here! I hope everyone is doing well. I pray for all of you. I hope you have a great week!