Monday, July 22, 2013

The fairer half of Sister Dixon's district

July 15, 2013

Hello family!

First, all of us are still at MSU!  It is such a blessing to be together for another transfer.  We were pretty sure we would be, but sometimes we would speculate about the crazy things that could happen.  For a while I was convinced I would be training a visa waiter and opening a new area...just kidding, I didn't really think that, but I was expecting the most crazy thing so I wouldn't be disappointed.  We are so happy to be still here and still together though!  Thanks so much to everyone for writing.  We had such an amazing week.

Seriously, we were so blessed this week and I just saw miracle after miracle!  I'll share the highlights with you!

On Monday for P-day we went to a thrift store that just opened up by our apartment.  It was awesome.  You'll probably see some new clothes in pictures and stuff.  I got 5 skirts and 4 shirts for 21 dollars!!  Anyway, that was really fun for us and it was a good time to bond as a companionship.

On Wednesday we had our last district meeting.  I really loved my district and I will be sad to see some of them leave.  One of the elders in my district got his visa!  (Oh, and 3 people from my MTC district are flying to Brazil today.  Crazy!  I feel like my time is soon, but we will see.)  The other visa waiter in my district hasn't gotten anything, though, so he is starting his 3rd transfer in Lansing.  Our district leader is now one of our zone leaders and we have a new district leader named Elder Lyman.  I think it's going to be awesome with them!  I can feel this is going to be a terrific transfer.

I have some exciting news!  Yifan is getting baptized this Saturday.  And guess who is baptizing him?! Bruce!  It's going to be an amazing night.  Yifan progressed so well this week and he just loves everything about the gospel.  We are so excited for him.  (By the way, Bruce reads my blog so here is a shoutout to him.  HI BRUCE!)  

Yifan is the funniest guy ever so I thought I would include some quotes from him.

When the elders passed around their dinner calendar, he thought it was a sign-up to feed the elderLY.  He told us how confused he was because he was like "I thought they already had families and they probably don't even want to get up and come over for dinner."  Too good.

We are also helping him move on Saturday before his baptism.  He told us this is our second time helping him move--we already helped him move from the world to the kingdom of God! How great is that?!

Sacrament meeting was way awesome this past week.  All of the guys passing the sacrament were Chinese recent converts--Bruce included.  They did it with such reverence and joy.  One of them (Frank, he has been in pictures and he is a riot) would pass it to each row and say "Take one" before he passed it on.  It was too good.  Our ward is forming a priest’s quorum as well which has been wonderful to see!  You usually don't have that in a singles ward but we are making one in light of all the recent converts.  Bruce got called to be the 1st assistant.  We are so excited for him and it really is inspiring to see all of them growing in the gospel!

We had such a huge miracle this week.  We had been praying for referrals and for new investigators and on Saturday our prayers were answered!  We had invited all of the ward members to invite friends to the bbq. Well, we got a call from Lyons on Saturday morning and he said he invited 2 friends.  We were like "Lyons, that's so cool!  2 friends?  We are so excited!"  And then Lyons was like "no, 10 friends!"  And it really happened!  Lyons brought 10 friends to the bbq.  And some of his friends brought their friends as well!  We ended up having like 25 members and 40 nonmembers there.  It was so amazing.  We were able to talk to many new people and get return appointments up the wazoo.  They all loved the Slip and Slide too!  It was a success and I know we will see so much work progress from that event.  We are so grateful our prayers were answered!

One last thing:  This week, I just kept feeling like I should read over the family history stories you gave me, mom.  I ended up reading them one night and I especially loved Grandma Dixon's conversion story.  I had never heard it before but it was so powerful to me.  I love thinking I am around the same age as she was when she got baptized.  I am grateful for her strength and conviction.  I am so grateful I get to represent the Dixon name, too.  I hope I do you all proud! I just feel really grateful that we all have the gospel in our lives and that our ancestors worked so hard to have it as well.

I love you all!

Sister Dixon

Monday, July 8, 2013

I'm in love with the glove!

4th of July

July 8, 2013

Ok this title was a stretch but I had to think of something that compared to last week's title!

Thank you all for the letter!  I loved hearing from grandma and grandpa too and I can't believe you left on 4th of July so spur of the moment.  It sounds wonderful though, and I hope you are having fun!

Here are some updates from this week:

This week was a little slow because lots of our investigators were out of town for the 4th of July.  It was a bummer for sure!  They are all getting back this week though so hopefully we get to see them soon.  We spent tons of time this week meeting with members and setting missionary goals with them.  I loved meeting with the members so much.  They are so cool and they have the strongest desires to be good missionaries.  They all set some really awesome goals, too, so hopefully they can start seeing the fruits of their labors.  We have a missionary bbq coming up this Saturday, the 13th, and we have been challenging lots of members to bring friends to it!  We are even having a Slip and Slide so hopefully that will bring lots of new people to teach!  Also, the Chinese people have no clue what a Slip and Slide is so I am really excited to see them do it for the first time.  They played football for the first time on 4th of July and it was too funny.  Ah I love them so much!

The 4th of July was a slow day, but it was an awesome day as well.  I loved being a missionary on a holiday.  So many people we saw commented they couldn't believe we were out working on a holiday so I told them the message is so important that we don't ever stop!  We started the day by doing some service for a girl in our ward.  We cleaned her kitchen and it was really fun to serve!  Then, it was time for us to go tracting because we didn't have any lessons that day.  We always have an interesting dilemma since we don't have a car.  We usually have periods of 2-3 hours between teaching our lessons where we can go finding.  However, most of the apartment complexes near campus take 45 minutes to 1 hour to walk to so we can't really go door knocking there.  So, usually, we go on campus and talk to people there.  However, it was empty this week for some reason.  We saw 1 person in 1 hour on one of the days.  Therefore, we were pretty nervous for 4th of July because we knew campus was going to be dead and most people wouldn't be in their apartments.  But, we thought of the brilliant plan to go bus finding!  We thought tons of people would be on the bus going to various parties and stuff.  We got to the bus stop and waited there for like 20 minutes and then someone told us the buses weren't running on 4th of July.  Haha.  We felt pretty stupid.  We had to change our plans and we ended up going door knocking somewhere else for a bit.  It wasn't the most fruitful day, but it was still enjoyable.  The night of the 4th was seriously the best, though!  We had a little ward BBQ (we really like those) and 2 of our investigators were able to come.  They absolutely loved it and I did as well.  I love this ward so much.  Later, we were able to teach Bruce another lesson.  Bruce has been doing AWESOME this week.  He comes out teaching with us and the elders almost every day.  He always bears the strongest testimony during our lessons and it is seriously so inspiring.  He got the Priesthood yesterday, too, and he was just so happy!    Bruce has also been Skyping with people in China and sharing the gospel with them.  He read his mom some verses from the Book of Mormon.  The Chinese people in our ward are the best missionaries ever.  I am just trying to be more like them. After, we finished planning and then had some free time.  We were allowed to stay out until 10:30 to watch fireworks and stuff.  We tried to find some but all of them were blocked by the tall campus buildings.  We ended up going outside and watching the fireflies fly around.  It was a fun time and I was overwhelmed by how much I love it here.  That night for sure I felt like I really am supposed to be here for however long.  I hope I can do the work I know I was sent here to do!  

We had exchanges on Friday with Sister Smith, the Sister Training Leader.   She is basically like a zone leader but for the sister missionaries.  She came to MSU with Sister Christiansen and me and Sister Probert went to Williamston.  We had an awesome day!  We went bus finding for a long time and talked to some amazing people!  I hope they turn into investigators.  Bus finding is one of my favorite things to do.  We meet some characters for sure.  Anyway, Sister Smith was really helpful and I learned some valuable tips from her.  Remind me when I get home from my mission to tell you about a crazy guy I met on the bus.  I would tell you now, but I just don't think it will do it justice.

I just got word Sister Cox from my MTC district got her visa.  I am so curious as to see when mine will come.  We get transfer calls this Friday too so we will see what happens.  Maybe I will be speaking Spanish like Hayley.  Just kidding, I am pretty sure I am staying where I am but as we all know, sometimes the Lord has different plans for us!

Also, here is a funny/crazy story that happened this week.  There is a guy named LeAndre who we met a while back and we have been trying to have a lesson with him.  We have called him a few times to schedule appointments and we always say "Let us know if there is something we can do to help!"  Well, the other day, we got a call from the East Lansing Prison.  LeAndre called us and tried to get us to bail him out of jail!  It was crazy.  He started the phone call with "You said you would do something to help me, so can you bail me out?"  That is something I never expected to happen as a missionary!  Every day is an adventure.  It's the best!

I love you all!  Keep being great!

Sister Dixon

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I'm smitten with the mitten!

Bruce's baptism

July 1, 2013

Hi all!

Cute title, eh?  We have seen that phrase on a few t-shirts and I think it's pretty clever.

We had a GREAT week.  It was seriously so awesome and Bruce's baptism was the coolest experience ever.  I was so grateful to be able to take part in it.  But I'll get to that later.

Last week we got to spend lots of time with the other missionaries in the Lansing mission.  It was so cool and I feel such a spirit of camaraderie.  We got together with all of the sisters in our zone last P-day and played basketball which was really fun.  It made me feel like a true missionary!  We also had half-mission training last Thursday.  We got to drive to Mount Pleasant and Sister Christensen, Sister Probert, and I had the amazing opportunity of riding there with President and Sister Hess.  I loved hearing stories from them.  They told us about the process of getting their callings and I just know it was so inspired.  I love learning from them and hearing their wisdom and strong testimonies.  President Hess has an amazing testimony of Joseph Smith and it has strengthened mine so much.

The training on Thursday was so good.  It made me feel guilty, but the good kind of guilty.  Like more of a desire to do better and a hope it is possible.  The training gave me a ton of good ideas about different approaches to missionary work and we had some amazing practice teaching.  Also I saw an elder there who I had a class with at BYU so that was crazy!  He was pretty shocked to see me in Lansing because he knew I was going to Brazil.

Other than that, we just had lessons and finding throughout the week.  Our main focus was preparing Bruce for his baptism.  The baptism was AMAZING!!!  We were just so excited for it all week because it was the first baptism for all of us.  We had to ride the bus to his baptism Saturday night and it was crazy because one of our other investigators, Ashwini, was there so we got to meet with him on the way.  It's amazing how the Lord puts people in your path!  Ashwini ended up coming to the baptism along with one of our other investigators, Ray.  The other missionaries in the zone brought lots of investigators too.  The Relief Society room was packed.  It was about half members and then half investigators and missionaries.  People in our ward really came together to help us prepare and I was so grateful for their help.  Bruce had been a little nervous for his baptism all week but he texted us Saturday morning and said "I am not nervous anymore I am so excited!" so that was really awesome.  He walked into the baptism and we were all shocked because he was wearing a nice suit.  He has always worn jeans to church but he said he bought a suit for his baptism and it was just so sweet he did that and none of us even asked him to!

Brother Barnes, a member of the bishopric, baptized Bruce.  He came out of the water and looked so happy.  It was amazing to see.  Other than that, our companionship sang a rendition of “Come, Follow Me” for the musical number and we had some members of the ward give talks.   The highlight was definitely Bruce bearing his testimony though!  He bore such a strong testimony and I know it touched everyone in the room.  I felt the happiest I have ever been in my life!  I am just so grateful that God gave me the opportunity to be here doing this work.  I just have loved seeing Bruce grow closer to Christ.  Bruce got confirmed on Sunday by a member named Ben.  Ben went to Australia on his mission and spoke Chinese so he did the confirmation in Mandarin.  

This week we are trying to put an increased emphasis on working with the members because we really want to help get them motivated.  I hope it works because missionary work truly is about getting members and missionaries united!  We are excited for the increased emphasis that is being placed on member missionary work.  This is such an amazing time to be a missionary.  

Here’s a funny story from this week.  It was hilarious at the time so if you don't think it's funny I am sorry.  Yesterday we were meeting with Bruce in the library of our institute building.  They have a ton of books you can check out and use.  We were helping Bruce check out a book and Sister Christiansen started busting up laughing. She had checked out Jesus the Christ the week before because she forgot to bring her own copy.  Anyway, on the slot where you write the book title, she had written that she checked out "Jesus the Christiansen."  It was too good.  She had absentmindedly just written her full name!  

That's about it from me, though.  I am loving it so much and I am grateful for all your support. 


Sister Dixon