Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 54: Guns and dogs: A country boys best friends...missionaries’... not so much

This week was pretty darn interesting  J and I have a decent amount of good news to share – and that is always good!   

Hopefully, the email servers stop acting up and will actually work this week - unlike the last couple of weeks L.  Anyways, I hope you all had as wonderful of a week as did Elder Lee and I did. 

Remember the goals Elder Lee and I set last week?  Here is how we did...drumroll......

Goal #1: Hand out 30 copies of the Book of Mormon
·         We handed out 37
Goal #2: Have 40 Quality Gospel Conversation (QGC)
·         We had 33 QGCs
Goal #3: Find 4 new investigators
·         We found 4
Goal #4: Set 1 baptismal date
·         We didn’t get anyone to set a date
Goal #5: Have 4 investigators come to church
·         We had  had 4 investigators attend church this week

As you can tell, we had a wonderful week with some cool stories to add. 

Monday we got to email home, which is always my favorite!  It was wonderful, but sadly we didn’t get to talk much because of the stupid email server.  I am not sure what they are going to do about it, but hopefully it will work better this week.

P-Day Pool

Tuesday:  We went out to the food bank for two hours of service. After the food bank, we went out with Bro. Collingwood to visit people and check out addresses until 5 o clock.  Just like in Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk about the ‘Fourth Floor, Last Door,’ after visiting over 50 addresses on Bro. Collingwood’s list, the final door we knocked on that evening we found a guy named T___. His dad is also named T___, making him T___ Jr.  We were looking for his dad, who is a less active church member, but T___ Jr. was there.  It turns our T___ Jr. is searching for a church.  He has read the Book of Mormon and wants to be baptized. It’s a pretty cool story of how persistence and faith pay off. After that we had dinner and studies.

Crazy Crime here! One out of 4 is near our neighborhood! :O

Wednesday:  We had district meeting that went really long. So, we went out with Grandpa (Bro. Collingwood) from 2:00 until 7:00 visiting people again. While visiting people we entered some private property.  Following Bro. Collingwood’s lead we started talking to this lady who was really standoffish.  She said her husband wasn’t home.  It turns out she answered the door with a pistol - safety of, finger on the trigger and ready to shoot.  It was pretty scary, but we smoothed things over and headed to the next house. That afternoon, we handed out several copies of the Book of Mormon and found a former investigator, who we are going to start teaching again.  So, it was super good productive day.  Later that night we ate dinner and went for a run.  During our 3 mile run we managed to hand out four more copies of the Book Of Mormon. Yay!

Thursday was another interesting day. We didn’t work at the foodbank, which gave Elder Lee time to work on his talk for today.  After that we went to 3 points with Grandpa visiting some more people. We went up to this one particular door and this lady came storming out super ticked off trying to sick her dogs on us, but she tripped watching us run away.  She had 3 massive pitbulls.  But because she tripped we got to the truck before she got to the gate and let the dogs out.  It was super close, but exhilarating none the less.  After visiting more people we headed to Sells to teach our Book of Mormon class - then drove home for the night.

Friday was our planning day. We planned for most of the day. Somehow, we still managed to give out several Books of Mormons, even though it was our planning day. So, Friday was good day.

Zone Conference fun!

Proper Posing! :)

Saturday was a wonderful day and a testimony builder to say the least.  The weather was really coooooold and it rained pretty hard.  Man, I loved being able to see my breath again!  We were driving home from wherever we were - probably finding.   As we were driving home Elder Lee spotted one of the Books of Mormon we handed out in a wash (a ditch for run off).   The rain was pouring out of the sky so we pulled over and Elder Lee went to get it.  To our surprise, even being in a flooded ditch laying in the rain, the book was in pristine condition!  The cover was a little wet, but there’s no way that book should not have been totally destroyed - yet it was perfect! Amazing right?

Sunday was just a cool day in general.  For the first time in my nearly 6 months in Midvale, we went to church for all three hours in the Midvale Ward and did not drive to Sells.  It was awesome!  I met a fellow named Mauri Kingi.  He is a member who is a snowbird from South Dakota.  (snowbird is a nickname for people from northern states who spend in the winter in Arizona).  He is part Native American and part Mauri (New Zealand).   He is from the Pine Ridge Tribe. He says he spends a lot of time in Rosebud, ND where my Mom spent parts of two summers as a student nurse working at the hospital on the reservation.  I told him about how my Mom had worked there and asked him he knew one of my Mom’s friends that she meet when she was there.  He said actually knew my Mom’s friend very well.  Being part Mauri, I asked him if he knew the Tika Tonu Haka, (the Haka I learned and performed for Elder Ikimau when he went home). He said “No way, Absolutely!?!  Bro, that’s my haka!”  So, I felt bonded to him for some reason.  He is a super nice guy!  That was pretty much it for Sunday, other than blessing K___’s house.

Anyways, I obviously had a very interesting and busy busy week and we hit most of our goals!!!! Yippy.

I love you all and cannot wait to hear from you!


     🌵🌴Elder Connor William Dickinson🌵🌴

Monday, January 15, 2018

Week 53: Insert Catchy Subject Line Here

Well, let me be the first to tell you this week was less than eventful because I was sick for 60% of it. But, during this week I’ve found/rekindled my desire to work - and to work hard. We had a Zone Conference this week and we learned about a bunch of stuff.  We will have interviews with the Mission President on Tuesday (tomorrow) and we set some pretty lofty goals. I can’t wait to share the success we will have had by the end of this week. Hopefully! 🤞 Not only that, but I am starting an awesome transformation story and hope next PDay I can share the major difference between now and next Monday,

Mondays before my mission were bleh, Mondays during my mission are the best days ever, because I get to communicate with the loved ones! And likewise, I bet, lol.  Monday night we ate at buffalo wild wings, I ended up not getting a salad but found a new favorite there. Traditional wings with the chipotle barbecue dry rub = darn delicious!

Tuesday was an interesting day.  We woke up got dressed up in our suits and went off to Zone Conference. It went from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. Let me just say that the mind can only learn as much as the butt can endure. So, the first 2 hours were great and lunch of course.  In zone conference we learned about:

·         Love and obedience and how they actually go hand in hand 
·         How can I change my heart to be the best me possible
·         Monthly mission goals and
·         New standards of excellence

That evening following zone conference I’m pretty sure my mono kicked in. I slept from 4:00 that evening until 11:00 am the next day.  We and a small lunch, which I couldn’t keep down That was pretty much my Wednesday.

Thursday:  We were able to go to foodbank to work for two hours and then went out to visit people with the awesome Bro.  Collingwood. Later that night we taught our Book of Mormon class in Sells, AZ. We read from Mosiah chapter 10.  Following that we gave Sis. B___ a blessing and all went well. 

Friday:  Thursday night we received a text from R__ asking if we and some other missionaries could come over for lunch and to watch President Monson’s funeral service.  It was a beautiful service followed by a surprisingly darn good lunch of spaghetti squash and sauce with chicken mixed in and salad on the side and horchata to drink. It was a wonderful lunch. After Spending time with R__ we did our weekly planning until our dinner appointment with the I__s, a very cute old couple.  Aside from being slightly awkward, it was good, lol.

Saturday: Elder Lee was not feeling it Saturday so he rested and I read Preach My Gospel in 2 days. Man, it’s a wonderful book. Very helpful and very informative. While it was a down day, we still got to visit sister C__. We learned that she had a heart attack this weekend. But she’s home and resting and any prayers would defiantly be helpful.

Sunday was a good day. Most of the members in Sells didn’t show up, but it was OK because Elder Lee and I had to give talks. Luckily there was only 12 people there. I realized as soon as the sacrament song started. The person who brings bread was not there…so I ran to the fridge in the kitchen and found the only thing possible = corn tortillas. So, Sacrament Meeting was kind of funny, weird and hopefully had a few good talks, lol.  It’ll be an experience I won’t forget. We both gave talks on the Book of Mormon.

I know this week’s email was pretty short, but being sick attributes to a short week with not much to report. This coming week we have interviews with the President on Tuesday, and exchange on Wednesday and some darn lofty goals to work towards. Our goals for this week it to find 4 new investigators, set 2 bap dates, have 3 investigators at church on Sunday, hand out 30 books of Mormon and have 40 quality gospel conversations. Once again prayers appreciated, lol

I cannot wait to hear from you guys tomorrow, I love y’all so much

🌴🌵Elder Connor William Dickinson🌵🌴

Monday, January 8, 2018

Week 52: Happy First Birthday to me! :)

Hello family and friends, 

This week was full of good and bad things - mostly good, so no worries.  I’m sorry for the short and slightly detached email last week, but it was New Year’s Eve and I was basically multitasking the entire time I was writing it.  This week, I will try to do better. That’s all we really can do - continue to try to be better, right?

I want to start this week’s email with invitation. As you know by now, President Monson passed away this week, and I have had some interesting experiences.  I would like to extend an invitation to start...or to continue reading the Book of Mormon - every day.  Even if it is just one scripture a day or one chapter a day - I invite all to feast upon the words of Christ.  If President Monson, a man called of God, used his last General Conference talk - his last words and breath - to invite us to read The Book of Mormon…it must be important. 

That being said, here is what we were up to this week:

Monday:  I’m sorry we didn’t get to email much this week.  We usually have volleyball from 9 to 11:00, but this week we had Zone sports after volleyball.  For Zone sports, the whole Zone gets together to play some sports once a transfer (about every 6 weeks).  So, we were busy all morning having fun.  After all that was done, we emailed until it was time to head to town, we then didn’t have any Wi-Fi, so I sadly was not able to finish emailing. We had to do our shopping and then it was time for bed.  

Tuesday was a good day. We didn’t do service at the foodbank, because they were doing their inventory.  After lunch we went out and talked to people and did some stop-by visits. Sometimes, I feel like stop-by visits are a waste of time, then I remember that no effort is wasted.  We had a late dinner on our own.  I fried up some potatoes.

Wednesday was a very good day!  We picked up Elders Perry and Mitchell and drove down to Sahaurita, AZ for our weekly district meeting, where we learned about the passing of Thomas S. Monson. While sad, we shared our favorite memories of him and talks he had given. We also learned about how to make our personal study more effective - not only for us, but also for our investigators.  Later, we ate dinner on our own, due to Elder Lee not feeling well.  It’s in my New Year resolution to work out more, so we also ran 3 miles. I’ve worked out every day since New Year’s! This however was kind of mistake because that night, I did not sleep at all.

Thursday (aka Birthday):  January 4th. Its hard to believe one year ago I said goodbye to my family, left Wisconsin and entered the MTC. It has been an awesome journey so far and I am looking forward to this next year. We worked out again after waking up, which stunk because A) no sleep and B) I was sore form the night before.   We went out with Bro. Collingwood and contacted and spoke with a lot of people.  We gave out 5 books of Mormon and visited over 40 people that day. I’d say it was a very successful day.  We visited people from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm. After 4:30 we drove to Sells to teach our Book of Mormon class. The class went very well!  Instead of having 1 person there, like last week, we had 12.  It was crazy! Crazy good. Then we drove home and that was our day.  We went to bed and I stared at the ceiling from 9:30 pm until our alarm went off = Day 2 of no sleep :(

Friday was an interesting day. We woke up and I worked out pretty hardcore.  After which, I ran another 1.5 miles.  I need to somehow find the joy in it, instead of trying not to die, lol (I might be a little out of shape).  After we worked out, we picked up the other Elders and did our weekly planning until 3:00.  After our planning was complete, we got some fish tacos to satisfy a craving we’d been having.  One thing I’ve noticed, we haven’t been teaching a lot. We have been trying, but no luck. We had a dinner appointment with Sister D__ that night, but it fell through, so she gifted us some money and said dinner was on her. 

I did have an awesome experience Friday.  Mom and Dad, if you want to know I will share it with you.

Oh, and guess what else happened.  I couldn’t sleep Friday night, surprise!

Saturday was another good day. I obviously was beyond exhausted at this point, but we went on a short hike with K__.  I wore Ikimau’s old cowboy boots he left behind.  After the hike, man I was one sore fella.  After the hike and handing out some more Books of Mormon, K__ treated us to lunch at Texas roadhouse and I had a very, very good steak. After this we went to the library for some family history, then we did some finding with no luck.

Sunday:  We were told we would have to give talks in the Sells Branch, but luckily it was Fast and Testimony Sunday, so instead we bore our testimonies.  I find it a lot easier to do it in the Sells branch than at home in Wisconsin.  After Sacrament Meeting, we taught a lesson to the Primary kids. Its like we were teaching in a zoo, but I feel that it ended up going somewhat okay.  We then drove home and ate a linner sort of deal on our own. But then we did studies and later that night we ate a PDay eve meal with Elders Perry and Mitchell. We made a Vidalia onion chicken and cream over rice with a side salad.

Anyways, this was my week, not very exciting, but it was defiantly uplifting and motivating. The lack of sleep however killed me. So I am hoping for a good night of sleep followed by an awesome day of emailing you guys.

I love you all, signing off from Tucson, AZ


 Elder Dickinson!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Week 51: El burro sabe mas que tú...just kidding... well maybe

First things, must go back to last week and check out the additional pictures! :)

Now to this week:

El burro sabe mas que tú...just kidding... well maybe

(Everybody just says this phrase down here...its just a funny thing)

Heres a Merry Christmas video:

Why yes, I am still alive! Whether you thought it’s because you haven’t heard from me for a while...or the holiday cooking...and or crazy church members, I managed to survive the holiday season -a.k.a. the Mexican New Year.  I am writing this email on New Year’s Eve, because all missionaries have been ordered to spend from 8:00 pm on in their apartments due to the absurd amounts of gun shots being fired into the air to celebrate.  For some reason, the Mexicans here think it’s a wonderful idea to fire millions of gunshots into the air. Silly them, they don’t know where all of those rounds are going to land. So that why we had to be in by 8pm tonight!

These last two weeks have been a blur, and somewhat uneventful - other than the wonderful holidays! 

Skyping on Christmas

Monday (Christmas) was by far, undoubtedly the best day of my mission!  Being surrounded by my adopted family down here (church members and missionaries) made being away from home for the holidays super easy.  We woke up and unwrapped presents from home and then made and at breakfast. Mom sent a great Christmas breakfast of banana caramel pancakes with real maple syrup made by one of her friends in Wisconsin.  They were killer.  Elder Perry and I enjoyed them while Elder Mitchell was throwing up (this is going to haunt me later – stay tuned) and Elder Lee couldn’t eat them. After breakfast we went to Grandpa’s (Bro, Collingwood) house and delivered his gift from my family.  He always feeds us different types of pancakes, so my family sent him a jug of Wisconsin maple syrup.  He loved it. 

Elder Perry

Banana Carmel Pancakes for Christmas Breakfast with Wisconsin Maple Syrup

A few of my care package goodies

I loved all my gifts so much, but cherished all the letters from my homeward, family and friends!
After this, we headed over to Bro. R__ S__’s house for Christmas day.  We spent the day with him while we all Skyped home.   Calling home was the best part of my mission yet.  I absolutely loved it! We also ate dinner at the Bishop’s household. It was awesome, just like thanksgiving! 

Tuesday:  I had Post-Christmas blues.  Apparently, whatever made Elder Mitchell sick on Christmas Day was contagious.  I ended up being sick with something like the stomach flu. Want any more details? Nah, I’ll just leave it at that.

Happy New Years Day!

Wednesday, we had our district meeting. It was a good meeting.  After that meeting we did some service that I absolutely enjoyed!  There was some skirting on a member’s trailer home that gotten blown in by some strong spring winds – we fixed it.  Broken fence post - we fixed it!  Blown down facia -I fixed that.  See latter pictures. It made me super excited to start working on construction management, lol.  I just enjoyed myself so much! That was basically our Wednesday.

Thank Goodness NO SNAKES!!!!

Job well done by all!

Thursday started with service at the foodbank.  We worked there for 2 hours then headed off to visit a few people with Bro. Collingwood.  We got home around 7:00 pm. We ate dinner at home and decided it would probly be best to clean up our house. It needed it - trust me on this one!

Friday, we did service at the foodbank from 9:00 – 11:00.  Elder Lee had an appointment of some kind that we got to go to around 11:00. So, we were at that appointment until Noon. Then, it being Friday, we did our weekly planning. Believe it or not .... that was it, we went home and ate a late dinner and went to bed.

Saturday:  We went to the library to do a little bit of family history. After an hour at the library we came home ate and then went a visited am few people and then ended up at sister C__’s house. We ended up talking to her and sister P__ for a solid 2 hours. Being that it was Elder Lee’s first visit, they bombarded him with questions. I almost fell asleep, lol. We then had dinner on our own that night.

Sunday was an interesting day. We had some fall out with an investigator. We drove out to the Sells Branch for meetings just to have one person show up.  Later that night we had ‘Gun shots in da hood all night.’  And I have never cared less about a New Year’s Eve, lol.

I’m sorry in advance for such a lame weekly email, but it’s what I got.  I am more than willing to answer any questions yall may have tomorrow and I cannot wait to hear from you!

Love my Tucson tie clip (Christmas gift)


Elder Connor William Dickinson 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Week 50: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

It was a wonderful morning. Today will be the hottest Christmas since 2002, at a whopping 78°.

Being that today is Christmas and a PDay...this email is going to be super short!

This week was an interesting one:

Monday:  We spent nearly all of Monday driving Uce (Elder Ikimau) all over to say good-bye to as many people as we could.  We visited Bro. Collingswood and Sis. C__ and a few others.  By the time we were done with that we went home to get all of his luggage for his short trip to the Mission home.  Before we left, Elder Ikimau presented me with his Lava lava and I surprised him with an New Zealand All Blacks Ruby jersey (his favorite professional rugby team) as a gift from my family to him.  I think he really liked.

The Pig Roast we had to send off Elder Ikimau

We dropped Uce off at the mission home at 6:00, and we sent him off in style – with a haka!  Check out the video.  The audio is not very good, so turn it way up and enjoy.  It was a very sacred a special moment for all of us.  It was so awesome and I was very proud, happy and humbled to be part of it.  It was very emotional, because shortly after, we had to say good-bye and he would fly out for Nieu bright and early Tuesday morning.

With all of this happening, I also received my two Christmas packages from home.   I’m so excited to open the presents!

Saying Goodbye to Uce

The trio of tribal ties :D

The Lava Lava / All Black swap with Elder Ikimau

Tuesday:  I spent Monday night at the other Elder’s apartment until my new/old companion could transfer into Midvale.  My new companion turned out to be my old companion.  Elder Lee, my MTC companion and I will be working together in Midvale for probably the next 7 weeks.  By that time, I will have spent the last 6 months in Midvale and the Mission President told me, I would probably be transferring out.

Nice gift from a thoughtful member. :)

It turns out, good-bye wasn’t actually good-bye.  We got a call late Monday night that Uce had forgotten his Go-home suit at our apartment.  So, we woke up super early and we went to our apartment to get his suit then drive to the airport to deliver it to him personally.  It was good to see him before he left the country.  (A go home suit is when a missionary has about 6 months left on his mission.  He picks out the nicest – least worn out - suit he has and has it dry cleaned and puts it away so he can look his best when he walks off the plane and meets his family).  Earlier this month, we had a Stake Conference were young man who just received his mission call to Chile shared his awesome testimony about missionary service.  It just so happens that we ran into him at the airport as he was getting ready to catch a plane to the South American MTC.  It was a cool experience.

Some Uce Swagger

Like I said, with sending off Uce and welcoming Elder Lee and the run up to Christmas, it has been an interesting week 

I am so excited to get to skype with Mom and Dad today! I am so excited to talk to you guys! 

The Tucson Temple Nativity

I promise to share more details about Christmas next week.  Until them, I love y’all,

Elder Dickinson

Monday, December 18, 2017

Week 49: The last week of Uce

Breaking news: Uce killer on the loose
Well, well, well, this week has been a crazy week for sure. We had almost no teaching opportunities.   Did I mention, this week was crazy?

We tried our best to find some people to teach.  Finally, after attempting to contact a media referral four times, we finally got in touch with her and she is interested in learning more.  Hopefully, it will be a family we can teach.  Being we have been so busy, I haven’t been able to absorb everything that has happened. Seriously, this week has just blurred all together.  I won’t be able to encompass every day like normal, but I will share with you the highlights:

Mondays highlight:  Writing home. I don’t think that will ever change, lol.  One fun thing we did was drive out to the Old Mission San Xavier del Bac.  It is an old historic Spanish Catholic mission about 10 miles south of Tucson on the Tohono O'odham San Xavier Indian Reservation.  It was a really cool place to visit.  I’m glad we took the time to go there.  We only did the ‘self-guided’ walk around tour because as missionaries we couldn’t afford the $20 tour, lol.

Sportin' the Hawaiian shirt in front of the Old Mission San Xavier del Bac

Tuesday’s highlight was seeing sister C___.  Sister C__ and her daughter Sis. P__, gifted us with a box of Russel Stovers’ and $20. I love spending time with her. It usually turns into an hour talking about the Ward and/or sharing stories of our week! She is so sweet. It will be hard to leave her when it is my time to transfer.  Elder Ikimau also worked on his ‘My Plan’ for after he returns home.

The highlight of Wednesday was the Christmas half-mission conference (a conference that half of the mission’s 170 missionaries attend – the other half have their own conference). Here is a funny story, about the conference.  The three of us decided to be the best dressed and wear bow ties.  Needless to say, that didn’t go over well, lol.  We got slightly chastised, but were also complimented for being the best dressed.  The conference was interesting and included a game of Church/missionary Family Feud, which we won!  After that, we were served lunch and did a short training session.  That took up pretty much whole the day, because after that Elder Ikimau went to the temple for his last trip.  So, I was in a trio with Elders Perry and Esplin. That was the highlight of Wednesday.

The highlight of Thursday...hmmm.  We did some referral visiting and Uce (Elder Ikimau) had to finish his ‘My Plan.’ So, that took pretty much most of the day.  We had a dinner appointment with the I__ family. 

Friday’s highlight was dinner with the L__/C___ family. After an awesome family dinner, they gifted us with a popcorn tin and $30, lol.  We pretty much spent all evening telling stories before Elder Ikimau leaves for home. It was a wonderful evening with ‘family’ I have here.

More  pics of  Old Mission San Xavier del Bac

Saturday’s highlight as a BBQ/luau we had planned for Elder Ikimau’s leaving. Bro. O__ and Bro C___ butchered a 160 lbs pig for the luau.  That night they had all kind of Polynesian food like plantains and yams in coconut milk, their version of chop suey over rice and Kula pork. It was an all you can eat pig buffet, including lu. Lu is corned beef in coconut oil wrapped in taro leaf. Man, that stuff is good! Lol.  I told Elder Ikimau I need to marry a poly girl, lol.  He got a huge kick out of that!  That party lasted from 4:00 to 8:00 and it was a blast!  We probably had about 30 people gathered together in one house!

Selfie with the Saint!

Sunday’s highlight definitely happened after church meetings in Sells, AZ.  Some of the members made Indian fry bread and pop overs to eat.  After eating, Sis. M___ sang some O`Odham (native American) songs. Then, to thank them for what they did for Elder Ikimau, we did an impromptu haka for the members.  I still need a little more practice before tomorrow but it went well! It was very impromptu, but they loved It :) My first ever haka!  I messed up but Elder Ikimau said I did amazing for my first time, lol.

Those were just the highlights of my busy week.

I don’t know how much I’ll be able to email you today because in the afternoon we have to visit some people before Elder Ikimau heads off to the mission home.  So, since Mom and Dad won’t be able to email this morning, I’ll for sure be on WIFI from 7:30 your time until whever you guys conk out.  I’m sorry about this, but our day looks something like this:

Crepe party until 1:00 pm
Drive to the apartment
Get all of Elder Ikimau’s stuff packed up
Visit people until 4:30ish
Drop ikimau off at the mission home at 6:00

All with no WIFI.

Oh yeah, here is some transfer news:  Elder Ikimau will be replaced by my MTC companion Elder Lee!

Sorry for any inconveniences with no WIFI, I will try my best!

Good bye and I love you all

Elder Dickinson

Bonus Pictures of the Old Mission San Xavier del Bac Below

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 48: 897 Miles

Well this week was crazy - crazy good- and just plan crazy, lol.

We drove 897 miles this week...ugh!  At the end of this week, I can honestly say I gave my all. I’m tired, exhausted and all-around just done for the week!

I guess I might as well just start with how my week went:

Monday was a wonderful day with a mix of emailing home, good P-Day volleyball and practicing the haka.  However, the highlight is defiantly emailing home and hearing from my loved ones!

Tuesday, we started our day off with a wonderful foodbank session - unwrapping and restacking the goods.  After the foodbank, we went to the library so Elder Ikimau could do his My Plan program (remember, a program for returning missionaries – so they have a good plan of what they want to do when they come home). While he was doing his My Plan, I worked on family history for a little bit. After two hours of that, we contacted some media and member referrals. No one answered the door, which means no return appointments, but it was all a good experience. After dinner with the B___ family, we had a short lesson with the S___s.  The husband was conveniently absent, so we talked to the wife about faith and invited her to act on it. She’s a massage therapist and her best clients make appointments on Sundays.  If she doesn’t work Sundays she will lose over half of her income. So, it is faith vs. money right now. That would very hard to be in that position.

Pic spoiler alert...there will be more of this next week.... :O

Wednesday was a good day. It started with our District Meeting – but it took some effort. We planned on having our meeting at the church building we always use.  However, when we got there, it was being used for a funeral - so we had to drive a bit north and hold it at a different church building.  After District Meeting, Elder Ikimau and I went out with Grandpa Collingwood (you might know him as Bro. Collingwood – but we call him Grampa, now). We visited over 20 families that day, and had in-depth conversations with most of them.  It was a lot and I mean a lot of driving. The family we had scheduled our dinner appointment with never got back to us to finalize plans, so we worked right through dinner, continuing to visit more families and individuals. I think out of 30 total families we visited, 24 of them opened their doors and talked with us. In the missionary field that high of a percentage is unheard of, lol. We worked until 7:30, that’s when we had a lesson in town with Sis. M___. We talked about a lot stuff with her, but nothing specific.

A majority of the roads we drive on look like this....

Thursday was the day-of-all-days! Usually we would have worked at the Food Bank until 1:00 pm. Instead, we commenced day #2 of contacting as many people on Grampa Collingwood’s list as possible. We worked from 10:00 until 2:30. We contacted 15 more individuals and families. Elder ikimau had his dying interview (his last interview with the Mission President before he goes home in a week) so we had to cut things short with visiting. Surprise!! I had an interview with the President also. It went well! Very well, in fact! Anyways after interviews we took Grandpa and headed out to Sells, AZ for Book of Mormon class we teach - and for the second week in a row, no one showed up, but we came with a Plan B and set up some service opportunities for this coming week.  We drove home and ate at McDonald’s at 9:30 at night.

Brother & Sister Collingwood (WML & Wife)

Friday consisted of weekly planning, weekly planning... and more weekly planning.  We didn’t have a dinner appointment, but one of the sisters in the ward bought us a $60 Olive Garden gift card.  We knew we would not use it all, so we invited our other missionaries. The server who served us said we ate the most bowls of soup he has ever served. Then we all ordered one more bowl each to pad our record!  The four of us each had an entreè and 5 bowls of soup. That is 20 bowls in total!  The final bill came to a total of $63. We tipped him $10 bucks for his soup running efforts, lol. 

Saturday was an interesting day. We did service which consisted of weeding the dessert (you might know it as yard work – but without the grass – because – you know – it’s the dessert) and cutting down dead trees. This all took place in Three Points, AZ – a.k.a. the Midlanowhere. We worked there for a huge portion of our day.  After doing service, our dinner appointment for that night was at the Ward Christmas Party, which was an ugly sweater contest. We just went for the food since we live on a missionary budget.  They had soft and hard shell tacos. It was a fun time. They had a wonderful turn out, but not as many as the Halloween luau. But it was a fun time.

Sunday was the best day of the week.  To start we had ward counsel followed by Midvale sacrament. Karen bore her testimony and it was wonderful, it made my day. Its so cool knowing after us elders transfer out of the area, she will be just as strong in the church as the other stalwart members. She is just wonderful in general.  After sacrament meeting, we headed over to Grandpa’s and had breakfast. We had some darn good French toast. After we ate, we were asked to give Sis. Collingwood a blessing (she wasn’t feeling well).  It was a wonderful experience. After that, Elder Ikimau and I headed out to Sells. We had Fast and Testimony meeting there too, and Z___, our 14 year old investigator, shared his testimony for the first time ever. Man, was it something special! There wasn’t a dry eye in the congregation. He was homeless when he was 12 until he turned 14. He has rolled with gangs and seen and done stuff nobody should have to see or do.  That 14 year old non-member stood in front of the congregation and bore one of the sweetest most sincere testimonies I have ever heard! 

Where we meet in Sells, AZ

That is why I’m on my mission - to invite others to come unto Christ and helping them receive the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring until the end.

I want to thank all of you for your support.

I love yall.

🌵🌴Elder Dickinson🌴🌵

Week 54: Guns and dogs: A country boys best friends...missionaries’... not so much

This week was pretty darn interesting  J and I have a decent amount of good news to share – and that is always good!    Hopefully, the...