Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Abinadi vs. Alma

With Sister Barraza at the temple

September 22, 2014

Hello family!!

This week was so so great.  I was so grateful for the experience to go to the temple and renew my covenants.  It was a very spiritual experience!!  I received an answer as well about when I will be coming home...if you remember I was fasting and praying to receive an answer and when we got to the temple, one of the assistants told me missionaries can’t extend anymore, so there was my answer!! I feel scared and sad about leaving my mission, but I know it’s necessary for me to progress and continue with other things in life.  Needless to say, I will do everything in my power to make every day of these last three weeks count!!

This week we had lots of miracles and cool spiritual experiences, but pretty much every good thing happened because of the members in our ward.  I wanted to bear a little testimony about the power of members in missionary work!

Think about Alma and Abinadi.  Abinadi was a fantastic missionary, but only one person converted from the things he preached.  However, we read in Mosiah 18 about all of the people who were converted from the things Alma preached.  I firmly believe that one of the differences between Alma and Abinadi was Alma knew the people he taught.  He had relationships with them, and they could trust him.  Abinadi was a stranger...in fact he had to enter in the city in disguise.  People are more likely to respond to the gospel when they hear the message from a source they trust.  

In every ward I have served, there has always been a huge example of a dedicated member who absolutely LOVES missionary work and will do ANYTHING to help the missionaries.  At MSU it was Lara Ellsworth, in Williamston it was the Ruggieri family and the Chaffin family, in Cidade Vargas it was Claudio and Eneida, and here in Utinga, I am learning lots from a wonderful member named Debora.  I am grateful because these examples have taught me who I want to be...no, who I NEED to be when I am a member missionary in the future.  Missionary work truly changes when members get involved.

We got a referral from a member this week named Marta who is progressing lots and loving the gospel.  We also brought members with us to teach our investigator Ronaldo this week and they brought such a power and spirit into the lesson.  We, and the members, are excited about the work that is happening and I am so grateful!!

I’ll get off my soapbox in a second, but I want to invite you all to go out with the missionaries and do things to help further the work of the Lord.  You will feel more joy than you have ever felt before!

LOVE YOU ALL!! Have a great week!!

Sister Dixon

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Children of Our Heavenly Father

September 15, 2014

Hello everyone!!

It was such a great week here and I am loving my new area.  It’s different, and sad to think I am leaving soon, but I am treating this transfer as if it’s not my last transfer and trying to build strong relationships with the people here in Santo Andre.  

As you all know, my favorite hymn is “Children of Our Heavenly Father.” https://www.lds.org/music/text/hymns/children-of-our-heavenly-father?lang=eng
After Grandma Dixon passed away and I had to learn the music to play for the funeral, I became entranced with the words to this hymn and I loved the message it portrayed. Heavenly Father literally is our Father and He loves us with the most infinite and perfect love that exists.  He gives us things and He takes away things in our lives, but He knows what will benefit us the most in the end.  I always read the words to this hymn when I am feeling down or alone and without fail, I feel my Heavenly Father’s love every time!

This week I pondered about how we are all children of our Heavenly Father and how much He loves each and every one of us.  I have said this before, but I think one of the greatest parts about being a missionary is the ability to feel a teency portion of the love God has for each one of his children.  We see others in a different light when we are helping them learn about the gospel.  And throughout my mission, I have had the grand opportunity to meet many of God’s children from many parts of the world and from many walks of life.  I feel like this week in particular, we met some awesome people and it really made me feel I am sooo lucky to be a missionary right now!!  I get to meet God’s amazing children daily and feel of God’s love for them.  Here are some examples of some wonderful children of God whom I have met here in Brazil:

·         Jose Carlos--We met him while we were door knocking here and we taught him this week for the first time.  Jose Carlos makes and sells Brasilian percussion instruments (probably why I thought he was so cool).  However, last year, he was making a drum and he accidentally cut off his own hand!  How awful! But, he learned how to continue making and playing drums and is really so positive about his situation.  What a cool lesson on positivity!
·         Viviani--One day we were searching for a woman in an apartment complex and we met an eighteen-year-old named Viviani.  She started asking us the most absurd questions about religion that we had no idea how to respond to.  However, we started teaching her about the restoration and plan of salvation and though they didn’t have direct answers, she said she felt peace about her questions and didn’t need the answers right now.  She is absolutely hilarious and really makes me think.  I am grateful for people who challenge us and help us seek new knowledge.
·         Conceicao--We met her on the street one day and went back to teach her another day. She offered to make lunch for us and truly made a feast.  She has tons of children and grandchildren and her husband passed away.  Many of her children and grandchildren have problems with drugs and alcohol but she continues to fast and pray and have faith one day they will come around.  She really took us in and became a Brasilian grandmother of sorts. 

Although not everyone we meet progresses in the gospel, I still feel really lucky to meet these children of God daily.  I am loving the experiences I am having and I am so grateful because I have learned, through feeling love for others, more about how Heavenly Father feels about me.  The gospel is true, folks.  There isn’t a doubt about it!!

Have a great week,

Sister Dixon

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


September 8, 2014

Hellooooo familia!

As you all know, the Brasilian flag has Ordem e Progresso written on it.  Order and progress--I think those two beautiful words are some of the biggest blessings the gospel gives us. This week I was thinking lots about PROGRESS and progression.  The opportunity to progress is one of the most exciting things we can have in this life.  The gospel, and all of the blessings and trials that come along with it, gives us a huge opportunity to progress and become more like our Heavenly Father in this life. Progression is hard at times, growing isn’t always easy, but in the end it is thrilling to see how you and your spirit have changed and developed.  

Anyways, I wanted to start off with that thought because I am so grateful for the change that happened this last transfer!  I didn’t realize it before, but I needed an opportunity to progress.  And with a new area and companion, that’s exactly what I am doing.  I am loving my new area and companion.  Seriously.  At times I still feel a little bit sad about leaving my old area (side note:  Maria Ines and Karine were baptized this past weekend!! Woo woo!!) but I am so happy to be in Utinga with my new companion, Sister Barraza.  Cool things to report on:  We share a ward with two other sisters and we all live in a really big house!  Sister Barraza is from Chile and she will go home a transfer after me, so we are working hard to make the most of our missions until the end.  I feel so blessed and our ward is truly wonderful as well!  I was apprehensive about how my last transfer would be, but I feel so at peace and so grateful right now.

Sister Barraza’s old companion was sick a lot so they had to stay in the apartment quite a bit.  Consequently, they didn’t have tons of investigators when I got here so we have been getting out and finding new people to teach!  It’s been so cool and we have seen so many miracles.  Also, we decided to look in the area book and find people we could go visit who were taught in the past.  It’s been cool to see that in the past, people weren’t ready to accept our message but now, they are opening up a little bit more.  It’s a testimony builder to me of seed planting and also never giving up on people. The missionaries who served here long, long ago don’t know but we are still reaping the effects of their sowing! And we should never give up on the people who don’t accept right now, because it just maybe isn’t their time.

Thanks for your love and support!  I love you all and I am grateful for your prayers--I am sure this transfer will be full of miracles.  Love you!

Sister Dixon

Monday, September 1, 2014

Eu vou embora

Last "noite familiar" in Cidade Vargas

September 1, 2014

Hello family!!  

I am glad you all had a great week!! It was a good week here in Cidade Vargas.  We had some ups and downs, but overall I had a good time and loved the people we got to meet and work with.  

We started off on Tuesday with a mission-wide conference with President Broadbent.  He is really trying hard to increase the faith, power, and authority we have as missionaries.  The conference was AWESOME. President Broadbent is funny because he loves to talk and the meetings always go longer than planned...for example, the conference was supposed to be from 3-7 but lasted until 9 at night.  Luckily we live close to the chapel where the meeting was but it was truly a revelatory experience.  We set a goal as a mission for baptisms in September and for the rest of the year and I am so excited to be able to reach this goal and truly use the power I have as a full-time missionary of my Heavenly Father.  

The rest of the week was wonderful as well.  We had some ups--Karine finished the Book of Mormon; Iara and Fernanda stayed in Sao Paulo again; and Maria Ines (Henrique’s mom) went to church two weeks ago, felt the Spirit, and decided she wanted to quit smoking and get baptized.  She will get baptized in a few weeks--a huge miracle!

But also some downs--Karine decided to push back her baptism a week, Iara’s dad didn’t come to church so we have to wait for him to baptize her, and other awesome investigators fell off the face of the earth.

However, I have learned as a missionary the good ALWAYS outweighs the bad and the most important thing to do is have faith in God’s timing.

But the most unfortunate news is I won’t be in this area to see how these people progress because we got transfer calls today and I found out I am getting transferred.  I have to admit, I am more than a bit heartbroken.  I didn’t think I would get transferred with only one transfer left and I am sad to leave this area behind.  I am crying a little bit as I type this (the other Brasilheiros around me must think I am pretty pathetic) but I really did fall in love with my area and companion and investigators here.  

I don’t know where I will be serving or who will be my new companion but I will find out tomorrow...it will be an interesting experience to only serve in a ward for my last transfer but I feel very strongly Heavenly Father wants me there for a reason!  

Have a great week!!  Please keep me in your prayers and pray for the investigators here as well!!  This transfer will be a grand adventure!  Wish me good luck in my new area!

Com muito amor,

Sister Dixon