Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Week 31: Insert clever subject line here

Other than a couple appointments, this week was pretty slow.  We did some service at Beads of Courage and did a lot of finding, but this week ended up being a very good week, spiritually.

The highlight of my week involves the temple cultural celebration and temple dedication.  We are going bowling today, so that should be fun.  Here is how the rest of my week went:

Monday:  After I finished emailing you guys, we didn't have a dinner appointment scheduled, so we stayed at the Family History Center and did some family history.  After than we went home, ate some beans and went to bed. Exciting, right? Welcome to the missionary life, lol.

Tuesday:  This is going to sound really boring, but all we did on Tuesday was a 6 hour zone conference, after which we did some shopping that we forgot to do on Monday.  After that we had a dinner appointment with the R___. Following dinner we went home, did our studies and then played basketball with the Elders Quorum until 9:00 then went to bed.


Throwback to the night before I left Wisco.
President Lonsdale and myself as a new Elder

Wednesday:  Since we didn't go to Beads of Courage on Tuesday like usual, we decided to go on Wednesday, after cleaning up the apartment just a little bit. After that we did some studies for a while and headed out to do our finding for the day.  After having zero success we had a dinner appointment with the K___s, but they're little kid was sick so they brought dinner over to our apartment.  After eating, we went and did some Family History.  After doing so much finding with no success, I got out my Open When Letters (OWLs) Mom and Dad wrote for me before I left on my mission* and I read the one that was about when you need confidence and that actually helped a lot!  I want to thank you guys for that.  I love these OWL letters and it made me realize that I'm not the only one in my corner, you know.  I’ve got everybody pulling for me and if you want to know more, we can talk about it when we email back and forth tomorrow.

(*On the day I left Wisconsin and fly to Provo UT to begin my mission, right before I got on the airplane, Mom & Dad handed me a bundle of OWL letters.  They had titles printed on the envelopes like ‘Open when you feel homesick,’ or ‘Open when you feel like you need confidence.’   There were about 15 OWL letters in that bundle and they have been awesome pick-me-ups when I need them.)

Thursday:  We woke up and went back to Beads of Courage and did some service there for a couple hours.  We then ate lunch back at the apartment and then we did our studies.  After that we went out and did some finding with no success, once again.  It’s starting to get kind of frustrating, but it is what it is.  No finding effort is wasted, I guess.  We had dinner with the W___ family.  They feed us about twice a month and it’s always fun to go over there and share their evening with them.  After that, we did some more finding.

Friday was an interesting day.   Instead of doing our weekly planning right away, we had a lesson with a referral named David.  He is a Presbyterian minister who went to the temple open house and decided to go up to Salt Lake City and see Temple Square.  Some Sister missionaries at Temple Square spoke with him and sent us his referral information.  He has been reading The Book of Mormon and is very interested in baptism.  He has a lot of questions and is super fun and its a super cool opportunity for us to meet with him.  I thought it was super cool because his questions were very interesting, because our faiths are actually pretty similar - with a couple of small differences.  After meeting with David, we went out and got some lunch.  After that, we did our weekly planning while we cleaned our apartment.   It is super clean and I love it...not that it wasn't clean before ;)

Chillin at the bowling alley on P-day
Saturday: We went to Bro. B___’s house to help him further the work on building his new home.  We did a lot of different things - mostly landscaping.  Afterwards, Bro. B___ bought us Taco Bell.   After getting cleaned up, we went to visit K___ in the hospital.  He is still in the hospital and hopefully he'll be out tomorrow night, so please pray for him. We visited with K___ in the VA for a while.  It was a fun time and he really enjoyed our visit.  He was feeling down and lonely, that poor guy.  Following our visit with K___, we went home made a quick dinner and then we went to the Stake Center to watch the cultural celebration part of the temple dedication.  It was very neat to experience - possibly once in a lifetime.  I enjoyed it a lot. The celebration presentation covered all the history of Tucson, otherwise known as the Old Pueblo.

Sunday was a very special day.  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf dedicated the Tucson Arizona temple today.  There were three temple dedication sessions.  This was the first one I've ever seen and it was an awesome experience.  It was a beyond awesome experience and the people Tucson are super happy to have a temple only minutes away - or within an hour at the most.   The theme of this temple dedication was ‘The time is now.’  So, I guess I'll add my testimony to that and tell you guys that family history work is awesome!  The feeling of taking a family name to the temple and doing all the work, from start to finish, is unlike any other.  I would also like to invite you guys to find a name and take it to the temple within the next month, or so.  As you do, I can promise you will find the joy in knowing that it is now up to that person to make the choice. Once again, you WILL find great joy and taking a name through the temple and start to finish.

The weather this week was hot again.  I've come to the realization that I am NOT a fan of Tucson weather anymore.  It has stopped raining and it has gotten hot again.  Working in this heat is just flat out not fun, lol.  But, we are going bowling today – so, Wahoo!!

I love yall so much and would love to hear from everyone,


Elder Dickinson



Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 30: Happy 7th Birthday to me!

Hey guys! This week was wonderful.  As for the work, there was nothing. To be honest.. nothing to report. This week was super slow, but it was still a good week!

So, I’ll start of by talking about Monday.  We had a good day.  We finally played some sports, but it wasn’t basketball - whatever.  We played a game called fivestar. It is a combination of dodgeball and kickball.  It was super fun! That night we went on exchanges and I exchanged with Elder Lorenzen. He’s my favorite.  He is so relatable and chill.  It was a super good time! We actually were on exchanges through Wednesday, so it was just so awesome, lol.

Care Package! Loved it!

<3


Tuesday:  We started off with doing service at Beads of Courage. We were talking to the main person there and they figure since January, alone we have packaged over 2.1 million beads, just the six of us Elders who show up. That’s just since January!  They have been doing this for 3 years. After service, we ran up to the mission office and grabbed the package Mom & Dad sent, which I loved by the way. I have missed getting mail from Mom and Pops! So, that was a very good brightener to my bad previous week. After that, we ran home ate some lunch and then did some finding until dinner.  Lately our finding has consisted of visiting part-member families and helping to clean up the ward’s membership records and our district log book. We had dinner at Boston Market.  It was super good! 

Shhhh...dont tell the Badgers :O

Wednesday:  We went to District Meeting and Zone Breakout Meeting - and this is when we exchanged back. Afterwards, we did some finding, with no results. We also had another appointment with A___. This time the lesson was about life after baptism. It went great. She and K___ are both still on cloud nine. After this we went to dinner. Some members gave us money for our dinner, so we just ate cheap. After this we went and did family history.

Thursday: We went to Beads of Courage for another service session. Following that, we went and helped our housing coordinator clean out the building they use to store everything missionary apartments would need. It was super fun, but took forever.  Afterwards, I was super sore, but we got a lot done.   We did that until dinner. Then, we visited with some less-actives for the rest of the night.

Friday was a repeat of Thursday, until dinner.  After dinner, we did our weekly planning. Friday flewwwww by, like crazy fast! 

Saturday:  We helped build the B___ family’s house again. It’s fun to help them out.  We shoveled rock and did some landscaping. It was super hot and I got to use my new cooling towel Mom and Dad sent in my package. Wow, is that thing amazing, or what?  At first, when I saw it, I was like ”I’ll never use this, “ but dang, I love that towel, lol.  It’s the best thing since sliced bread. After service, we took a nap and then visited K___. He is doing well, but has have angioplasty and have a stint put in his leg on Wednesday. So, prayers are needed there! Other than that, he is doing awesome.

The "before" picture

Sigh, still working! :D

After we were done...it looks awesome!

Sunday was an interesting day.  A Lutheran clergyman came to our Sunday meeting block and asked our Mission President, President Browning, to come and speak at one of their masses. Hopefully, we can go with President Browning.  He wants his congregation to understand Mormons and their beliefs.  He wants to grow a friendship between the congregations. It was a really neat experience to be a part of.  The guy was possibly one of the nicest people I have met! Other than that, nothing else happened worth mentioning on Sunday. 


This may look like a short email; but we just did a lot of finding with no success and a bunch of our appointments fell through. 


This week was brutal because of all the finding, but I made the best of the hand I was dealt.   I chose to be happy, and so should everybody. Choose to be happy and choose to make someone’s day better and it will help make yours better too!

I am SO proud and excited to hear Elder DeMille returned home today "Mission Accomplished"
It made me reflect on this throwback picture taken of my district leaving the MTC for Tucson, AZ and
why I am serving this mission. Go Caleb! (I can say that now...I am sure Logan, UT misses you)

We learned about charity today in Sunday School this week.  Charity has become my favorite thing. I’ve been striving to become more charitable, so far so good, but there is always room for improvement…always.


I love y'all so much 

Love,


Elder Dickinson 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 29: The best two years of my life…(its not what you are thinking)

The best two years of my life started when I picked up a little pup for the first time. He was mine, I named him Finley.  As we grew close to each other we formed a bond similar to that of someone who had accidentally super glued their fingers together. Yes, we went everywhere together.  He trusted me and I trusted him. He was my shotgun rider, my right hand man, my brother. He was my everything. Unfortunately, Finley developed a brain issue and passed away this week.  Now, he is taking good care of (and vice-versa) my Grandpa Dickinson. He’s in a better place now.  Am I happy with it? That he is in a better place; yes. That he is gone; NO.  I’m not okay with that.  He only lived for two years, far too short of a time, but he completed and aced his mission.  Why he was sent here? Not only to steal the hearts of the Dickinson family, but to bring us closer together as a family. So, I not only want to thank him for that, but I wish he knew how much he meant to me. What hurts the most is…the night before I left on my mission, seven months ago.  I told him, “I will see you in two years,” but I won’t.  I wish I could have been there for him, but I wasn’t. We had different ideas on when we would see each other again, I guess - but until that time, Finley...I love you and hope you enjoy chasing rabbits for days up there. Take good care of Grandpa D!

My Bestfriend. RIP buddy, I love you
PC: E.V.

But anyways, this week was kind of lax, so to say.  Almost nothing happened - just a lot of finding with no results.

Tuesday: We woke up and did our morning routine and then we went to Beads of Courage and worked there for two hours.  Afterwards, we ate lunch and then did more finding until our dinner appointment with the W___ family. After that went to the church and synced up our area books - that is when I got the news that Finley wasn't doing too well.  Tuesday night we also played basketball with some ward members until it was time to go to bed.

Wednesday:  We woke up and then we went to Zone Break out Meetings, then later went to our District Meeting followed by lunch at home.  We went out to do some finding, then did our studies.  It was then I got the news that Finely was going to be put down and I lost my mind!  I was so distraught, so sad, but it was for the best. It’s always hard to say goodbye, but it had to happen.

Thursday:  I was broken. I was so sad. I didn’t know what to do and kind of moped around the first part of the day.  But, then we went to Beads of Courage and did service, which got my mind off of how I felt.  After Beads, we went and helped move some Elders out of their old apartment and into a different one.  So, I ended up doing service for most the day to keep my mind off of Finley. So, I was able to cope with it.  We had dinner and then we did some family history until the end of the a day.  I ended up being super sore from doing all the service.

Friday started off at Beads of Courage to help out with service and then we went out to lunch to Sushi Ten. After that, I don’t need to eat sushi for a while now, lol. The good thing about Friday was I was able to be so busy I didn’t have to think of you know what.  I’m doing a lot better than I thought I would be.  We also did some weekly planning and finding and then headed to a dinner appointment.

Saturday morning started off with doing service for the B___ family.  They are building a house and we are helping them with a whole bunch of stuff.  I helped by sanding their floors upstairs so they can put hardwood flooring down. It was fun, but my knees hurt afterwards. We did this from 9:00 to 3:00, so it was a pretty fun time and they had good food! After this we did family history until dinner. After dinner we did some finding and then worked out for the rest of the night.

Sunday:  We went to church and it was an awesome Sunday.  I don’t exactly know why, but it just kind of flew by, for some reason. After church, instead of eating lunch we took a nap and then did some finding and then went to dinner a dinner appointment, which was awesome.

I’m super sorry this week’s email sort of sucked.... but I’m still kind of broken from all that has happened this week.  We had planned to go fishing today, but everything fell through.  So, today will be just another normal P-Day.  I’m kind of glad about that because I want to email with Mom since she has the day off and I usually don’t get to email with her that much when she is working.

I just want to let y’all know, I love each and every one of you. I honestly do!  Missionaries, i resect what you are doing; Satan doesn’t want you out here on your mission so keep on trucking!

Love, 


Elder Dickinson 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 28: Best week of my mission yet! Wooohooo!

Two more souls are closer to inheriting the kingdom of God this weekend...

Howdy!

This week has been amazing! I guess I will just cut right to the chase...why not, right?

Last Monday was awesome.  Getting to write home and trade emails with you guys; it literally is the highlight of my week! It is what gets me through the hard parts of the week - even though I didn’t have a bad week, it still helps! The weeks feel like days and the days feel like weeks, it that makes sense, lol.


Tuesday: We did service at Beads of Courage. We usually do service there for two hours at a time.  After Beads of Courage we ate lunch and had time to do our studies. I've just started the New Testament. I have gained a better knowledge of the Book of Mormon. So, why not expand and study the books of scripture people try to use against us, right?  After studying, we had K__’s baptismal interview. He passed! His testimony is awesome. He told us he would have a cup of coffee every morning, then the day he meet us, he quit - cold turkey! He is so solid!

Remember, K__ is a retired veteran. One of our converts of three years named Billy, also a veteran took K__ shopping and bought K___ a suit, white shirts, ties and shoes. It goes to show that there is still hope for humanity!

After all this we had dinner and a follow up visit with K___ that went well!


Wednesday:  We had District meeting until lunch. After lunch we did our studies, then we went on splits with our District Leader.  I went to Tucson Central Ward, because the work there is slow.  We did some active member visits then we talked to some crazy people. That pretty much sums up our splits.


Thursday:  We headed out to Beads of Courage.  They pointed out; since I transferred to Tucson I have done over 38 hours of service for them! So, they gave us some home baked goods!  I loved it!  After Beads, we ate lunch and went with A____ to her baptismal interview. She passed too! After her interview we stopped by K__’s and taught him one last lesson before his baptism! Then we had dinner then did some stop-bys.

These monsoons here are amazing!


Friday:  We went to Beads of Courage and then we had lunch until we did our weekly planning which took up the rest of the day - literally!

Saturday was probably the highlight of my mission so far!  It started with us waking up early for zone sports. Having to wake up super early is not fun.  When we got home, I accidentally fell asleep while we were talking in the kitchen, lol.  I must have been pretty tired!  Later, went to a baptism for a convert taught by the other Elders in our District.  We went to feel the Spirit and support the Elders and the new member, as well.  Shortly after baptism, K___ showed up in his new suit and looked good.  When he saw the program for his baptism had his name on it, he was so spiritually overwhelmed and excited.  Is there any way you guys can blow up some pictures and frame them for K__?   He was still on cloud nine afterwards.  He was so, so happy. We Skyped in his friend that referred him!

My favorite part of the whole thing was the hug he gave me when he first came out of the water.  No joke, I think he had a smile on his face while he was under the water, lol.  While he hugged me he said, “I can’t believe my Elder tried to drown me.". I almost lost it, lol. There are so many details, I’m probably missing some.  Maybe the best way to put it is in K__’s own words “The best day of my life.”  

The baptismal service was special because it was a double baptism.  A__ was also baptized by a friend of hers from the ward she had been attending.  Remember A__?  She was the investigator who had been going to church for 3 years and hadn’t had a desire to be baptized, until she went to the temple open house.   Having a double baptism was an awesome experience because it opened my eyes to how fast the Lord’s work is progressing.  A__ and K___ are proof of that.  They both reached out, trying to find us because they knew it was true!  And, it’s just proof that as missionaries we are privileged to be out here, serving the people of Arizona and New Mexico.

Myself, K__ & Elder Thompson

A___& K___'s Baptism
Skyping with K___'s friend who introduced him to the church.
HOW COOL IS THAT!!! :O

Hmmm, how many baptismal poses can we come up with!
Love how happy K__ looks! :D


Sunday, during Sacrament Meeting, I got to confirm A___ a member of the church! It was a special moment as well. It was my first time doing it, but it went well so that’s good! 

This week was a major success and one of the best weeks of my mission so far, no doubt.

I love y'all so much!

Love.

Elder Dickinson


Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 27: It's Monsoon Season!

Rain is a Good Thing!!

This was a pretty good week, now that I look back and reflect on it.

Not only did we get a lot accomplished, but it rained for the first time is 6 months!!  I got my stitches out and while doing service I met someone whose wife’s sister was born in Gresham and  knows me by first name!  We have had some amazing monsoons, had a good pair of exchanges and we will get to go fishing sometime in the next couple weeks.  All around, it was a good week.

CLOUDS! YEA!!!! :D


Monday:  After I finished emailing for the day, I witnessed my first monsoon! Man, was that something else or what?!?! It was awesome! We ate dinner with a member at Frankie’s Philly Cheese Steaks. Once again, it was amazing - easily one of my favorite things to eat here in Tucson, so far. After dinner, and the monsoon cleared out and we took some awesome pictures of the sky. As always, it’s awesome writing home to my awesome parents!

Tuesday, we started the day by helping a companion set of Elders move out of their apartment - since they were getting pink washed out of that area.  We took them to the transfer site so that they can go on their separate ways to their new areas.  After doing that, we went to the Mission Office and got some commissary (supplies that we needed for teaching throughout the week) After lunch we did our studies for most of the afternoon.  Afterwards, we went and did some finding until our appointment to teach A___, which fell through, because her car was in the shop.  After dinner, we had a lesson with S__ R___, she is a long-time investigator that previous Elders had struggled teaching, but she came to church on Sunday and has finally had a change of heart.  I was able to give her a blessing of comfort and council.  It was an awesome experience.

I had to say goodbye to my mission Grandpa, Elder Pinson (He’s not really a Grandpa – he’s 20.  He trained Elder Degrange – my mission Dad who trained me – get it?).  He died (finished his mission and went home to his family). I miss Elder Pinson already.  He genuinely helped me a ton.  I owe him greatly for getting me through my last transfer in Lordsburg

Saying Goodbye to Elder Pinson (aka Gramps)


Wednesday, was also a pretty good day.  We went to Zone Break-out meetings and I got to meet all the new sister missionaries, which was pretty cool.  After Zone meetings, we had our District Meeting where we talked about our District’s goals, then we went out for lunch at Raising Cane’s - the awesome chicken place I told you about.   After that we had a lesson with K___.  He is out of the hospital and the lesson went very good.  We talked about the Word of Wisdom and giving up coffee.  He agreed to work on that and working towards baptism.  After that, we had a lesson with A___ again and it went very well.  After that we had a dinner appointment with the M___ family and he made us French toast.  After that, we started our exchange with Zone Leaders - pretty intimidating, but it was a fun time.

Yes, MORE rain clouds!


Thursday:  We were still doing our exchanges with the zone leaders.  We started off doing service at the Arizona Historical Museum, cleaning out old exhibits.  It took 6 hours but we were given an underground tour afterwards- so it is well worth it.   It was also a good bonding activity for our Zone.  After that we went to Del Taco for lunch.  That afternoon we went and got my stitches out.  That was pretty interesting.  I don't think my finger was healed all the way and I might have to see a specialist depending how the healing process goes these next couple days.  After that, we went to the mission office and picked up a large print triple combination for S__ R___.  We then went home did our studies then had a dinner appointment with Bro. F___ .   Guess what, we had French toast – again.  After dinner, we exchanged back. I forgot to add we also dropped by the large print copy of the Book of Mormon with S___, with specific scriptures mark for her to study to work towards baptism.


"Zonin'" it up!

 
Friday:  We did some service, did our studies while we ate lunch and prepared for a lesson we taught A__.  During the lesson, we went over the commandments with her.  After the lesson, we went to dinner with the V__ family and had breakfast for dinner for the third day in a row.  It was good though. We also did some weekly planning. Friday was a pretty slow day.  We did see some hobos shooting up heroin behind our church building again. Ugh, don’t do drugs kids.

Saturday started off with some Zone Sports as the Stake Center.  It was fun!  We played a game called chair soccer where everyone has a chair somewhere around the gym.  Your chair is the goal you protect.  Think of it like soccer but everyone is their own goalie. It’s a free for all and I won. lol. It was super fun. After that we did service by helping someone move for 5 hours.  While doing that, I met a guy whose sister-in-law knows  me on a first name basis.  Apparently, they were texting back and forth and she’s like:  “Oh, Elder Dickinson?  As in Connor Dickinson?”  I almost lost my mind, lol.  Needless to say, I grew up with her daughter,  lol. After this we had a meeting with K___ and then we did some family history until our dinner appointment with the D___ family.   It’s always a fun time going there, and they are awesome people. 

I cant get enough of the RAIN! :)

Sunday:  We didn’t find any new investigators this week, but we did have 5 of them at church. So, that was awesome!  We sat through the Sunday block of  meetings with both K___ and A___.  After church we went home and did studies and other administrative stuff and then we had dinner with our Ward Mission Leader.  After dinner we went to a bring-a-friend fireside about the temple.  Sadly, nobody brought a friend and no investigators came.  It was poorly planned and announced - not even going to lie. 

Always that was our week.

Keep on keepin on!!

I love y’all


Elder Dickinson 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 26: Fingers; Who Needs 'em?

So sad to hear about the loss of our Poppa T. Please give Grandma T a big hug for me and let her know I’m praying for the family. Poppa T. will be missed. (The T’s are our non-related neighbors from across the street in Weston, Wisconsin.  They adopted me as their honorary grandson and I have known them since I was 5).

Dad, now you know the importance of safety glasses and why we wear them.   Please wear them! You don’t need any more cuts on your eyes. You need to see my face when I get home, lol.

Here is what we were up to this week:

Monday:  P-Day! Monday was a good P-Day and we had fun.  We played water balloon capture the flag! So fun! I wish I had pictures, but it’s so hot and dry here, after you get hit with a water balloon you are almost dry immediately!  Emailing home is always my favorite! ‘I live for Mondays’ - as usual!

Tuesday,
Happy 4th of July!

We did service at Beads of Courage and then after lunch, we went out and contacted some referrals, who were not in interested. We focused our efforts on finding for the day, but came up short and couldn't find anybody who wanted to hear the gospel and our dinner appointment cancelled on us. So, we had a BBQ cookout with all the Elders as you saw in the pictures - it was fun!  I burned a tie in honor of my 6 months in the mission field!  After that, we went up to the top of Campbell Avenue and watched fireworks over the whole city of Tucson.  We counted that as our finding activity, because we did talk to people!


Celebrating the 4th ATM style

Thats a cheesy looking bunch...for sure

If only the weather was as cool as we look!! :D


Wednesday:   We went to district meeting, which was about a 1989 talk given by Gordon B. Hinckley titled ‘Beware of Pride.’ It was very good and afterwards we ate lunch back at the apartment – again. Afterwards, we headed out to an appointment that we had with A___.  She is the investigator we have that set a baptismal date set for July 22nd.  After our meeting with A___, we went home and cleaned up a little bit and then went and did some finding until dinner. after dinner we went to the Family History Center and did our family history!

Thursday - what a day!! (that doesn’t mean it was good)  We started out at Beads of Courage and after that we ate lunch at Subway.  After that we did some finding.   Our dinner appointment for Thursday cancelled - again, so we made our dinner at home.  After we ate, I was washing the dishes and I reached into the sink and cut my finger open on a knife!  The cut was super deep and I lost a lot of blood, so Elder Thompson took me to ER & I had to get stitches.  After that we had a really lax night because I was in so much pain.  It was super deep, and it was the most blood I’ve ever lost! I almost passed out, lol.

I spared you the more gorey photo :O  ... You're welcome!


Friday we woke up and got ready for the day and went to zone conference - our first one with President then Sister Browning (own new Mission President.  It was a very fun time and we learned a lot.  Sister Browning pulled me aside and told me she and Pres. Browning had read my whole blog when they were getting ready to come to Tucson and they loved it😁.  After that we all went out to eat lunch at Wendy’s.  Afterwards we did some finding and then we had an lesson appointment with K___, but it fell through because we found out he was in the hospital.  He is okay and we will continue teaching him, but we will have to push his baptism date back probably to the 22nd!  I’m just glad he’s still alive!  After that, we did some weekly planning and had dinner at Wendy’s.  It was awful because we ate lunch at Wendy’s....so much for the weight loss. 

Saturday:  We had a couple lessons lined up for the day, but they all fell through.  Later that night we received transfer calls and found out that Elder Thompson was staying!! So that's good! I'm excited to work with him for another six weeks.  Two of our Zone’s areas are getting pink washed (sets of elders being completely replaced by sister missionaries – due to having so many single female ward members and investigators) So, we'll see what that brings. All those new sister companion sets are training new green bean sister missionaries. The Central Zone (my Zone) went from 18 Elders and 4 Sisters to 12 Elders and 10 Sisters, so it should be interesting to see how the work progresses.

Sunday:  Somehow, we accidently slept through our alarms and woke up late.  So, we had to scramble to get ready for church – which made everything more interesting, lol.  We had stayed up late the night before preparing a lesson on sacrifice we were going to teach in Gospel Principles class. It went very well and everybody said it was awesome! After church, we ate lunch in the apartment - again, and what do you know?  Our dinner cancelled - again. So, we ate on our own - again, but it ended up being a good day.

The ATM has a tradition of burning your 6th month tie!
I turned 6 on July 4th! :)

This week was another slow, hot week. But thankfully we still have the two baptismal dates set for the 22nd.

I want to leave you guys with my testimony of sacrifice.  While preparing the lesson we taugh on Sunday really had me questioning - Why am I on a mission?  I’ve lost too many people who mean a lot to me while I’ve been out on my mission.  So, why am I still out here?

The answer is:  Because it’s what I want to do.  I love the Lord, his prophet, and especially the Plan of Salvation. Knowing I will see those I've lost again makes me not fear death, because it’s not the end, it’s only the start of what is to come. 

Keep reading and praying in faith, because faith without works is dead, and work without faith is pointless.

Anyways I hope you all have an amazing week,

Be safe

Love,


Elder Dickinson 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 25: Out With the Old and In with the New….Mission President

Our mission president is now home! It’s crazy that we have a new mission president. Elder Thompson and I were the second pair of missionaries to meet President Browning! The APs were the first. It was really neat to meet them, they are so nice, and very talkative. We already talked about after the mission, he told me some good fishing spots in Idaho. It was awesome.

Always, I should probably get started telling you about my week! This week was truly amazing! We were able to meet our mission’s Standard of Excellence (SOE) goals over the last 2 weeks.
 To reach SOEs we need to find two new investigators, set one baptismal date and have at least one investigator attend church.  Pretty high goals, right?

Well, last week we found three new investigators, set one baptismal date and we had one investigator attend church.

This week, we found two new investigators, set three baptismal dates, and had three investigators attend church.

So, needless to say we wrecked it this week!!! :)

Monday:  I loved emailing with you guys, it’s always fun. Emailing home makes my week. So much so, I have a new motto, "Survive until Monday."  So, no matter how rough my week is, all I have to do is "survive until Monday"

Tuesday was a good day.  We got to go to Beads of Courage and we helped out for two hours.  After lunch, we did some finding and studies until we had a lesson with an investigator named A___.  A___ has been coming to church for several years and has never felt a desire to be baptized…until she went through the temple open house. Now, she is meeting with us and said she would do whatever it takes to be baptized.  We have a baptismal date set for the 22nd of July and we are looking forward to helping her make the next steps.

Text Messages from our Zone Leaders :)
ZUMBA----Haha!

Wednesday was another amazing day.  We had our district meeting and zone breakout where we meet to discuss our goals.  After district meeting we went out to eat at the new Costa Vida that is owned by a church member.  We went on their grand opening and there was a lot of church members there. We talked to most of them and they all wanted to pay for our meal.  Everybody loves the missionaries.  It was a pleasure being there, lol. Especially, when you live the life of a broke missionary.  After Costa Vida, we meet with another referral named K___ S___.  He has a friend in Oregon who has been talking to him about the church.  One day, a couple months ago, a set of missionaries stopped by K___’s, but never returned.  Now, he had us over to teach him three lessons one week.  He is on track for baptism on the 15th of July! I am truly blessed to be helping both A___ and K___ towards baptism!

Thursday:  We did service at Beads of Courage.  After lunch, we did some finding until we had an appointment with A___ again after that we had a good member visit with Bro.  L___.  He is a Samoan who plays rugby. He and his wife will be getting sealed in Temple on Oahu in November!  After this we had dinner with the S___ family.  After dinner, two of our appointments fell through, so then we did family history instead.

Forest Fire


Friday:  We did our weekly planning and then had a lesson with K___.  It went very well.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation and we emphasized it’s importance. K__ loved it!  After the lesson Elder Thompson and planned for a couple hours and then had dinner with the C___ family.  He owns a restaurant called Kneaders (Super good, look it up).  He made us his favorite dish from his restaurant and then gave us gift cards for Kneaders!!!!  I’m so excited to go there because it was awesome!  After we ate, I shared a message with them.  I shared Mormon 9:19-21. They both loved it. They were going through a rough time and they said that this message made them realize they needed to take a step back and look at how good they have had it! They loved it! After that we did some finding.

Saturday:  We had a whole bunch of tiny things to do.  We did a little service here a little service there.  We ran to pick up some stuff we need and we dropped off something for someone.  We had another lesson with A___ and later with K__.  K__ didn’t have a tie to wear to church on Sunday, so I gave him both of my purple ties since purple is his favorite color.  He was so happy and loved the ties.  I figured he could use them more than I needed them. Here is a little bout K___, he is an African American retired air force vet! He is quite a hoot and we love teaching him.

Sunday was a good day.  We got to set through the meeting block with K__.  Man, he is so funny, everyone at church loved him and he got along with everyone.  For the first time ever, I got to sit through a High Priest lesson, and believe it or not, it was better than Elders Quorum, lol. We did more finding and family history after Sunday meetings.

More forest fire... :O


All-in-all, it was a wonderful week!  This week, I want to invite every one of us to look for the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives. Whether its rain, you haven’t seen for 6 months, a beautiful sunset, or anything that helps you realize how amazing life is!  If you going through a rough time, turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones!

Mom, Dad, everyone, 

I love all so much!  Thanks for all the support and everything you do.

Love,

Elder Dickinson 


Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 24: Lived through history . . . AND broke the record!

This week I was a part of history – kind of!

This week tied, then broke the record high temperatures for Tucson.  This week it hit 117°, that’s the hottest it’s been in Tucson – ever!  This week, our old Mission President finishes up his mission and we will get a new one on July 6th.  I will miss the President, he has changed my life in many ways.  

Also, between June 3rd and the 24th, 1250,000 people went through the Arizona Tucson Temple open house!!!  Out of the four Temples I’ve been through the Tucson Temple is by far my favorite.  It is so unique and awesome that worlds just can’t describe it.  You just have to see it for yourself.
Here is how my week went:

Monday:  After signing off from emailing everyone, we had dinner with our bishop and his family.  It was kind of funny because his oldest son is dating our mission president’s daughter.

Tuesday started off with a couple of hours of service at Beads of Courage, then we went home and ate lunch, then did a lot of stop-by visits in the afternoon.  Tuesday was probably one of the worst days to do this because the temperature peaked at 117 that afternoon.  We made it a point to be out working just so we could say we were part of history.  Granted, Tuesday would end up being a three-shirt day, lol.  Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to give a blessing to an investigator of ours who needed a pacemaker.  Her procedure went very well and now she has a bunch of questions about the church, so it was a very good opportunity and she’s looking very promising. 

#truth


Wednesday:  We had Zone Breakout meetings followed by our District meetings.  It was very cool, but kind of boring at the same time – if that makes sense.  Then, we went out to lunch at Raising Canes’ for some chicken and then made some stop-by visits and visited the M___s.   After that, we did some more stop-by visits and then went to dinner.  After dinner, we went and did exchanges with the other elders.

Thursday was kind of a slow day.  We went to Beads of Courage and then did some stop-by visits in the afternoon.  It was a very slow and hot day.  We also did some planning at the church, which was fun – and cool.  Thursday night, we did a less-active member visit with D___ L___.  It went very well and we invited him to go to the Temple open house and work on fulfilling a promise he made to a friend who had passed away two years ago.  We set up a date for him to go, which turned out to be the last day of the open house.  I was kind of worried that it wouldn’t work out, but it did.  Then we exchanged back later that night.

Friday:  We woke up early and went and played ultimate frisbee with our Zone.  After showering and getting ready, we and did service at Beads of Courage, then we decided that our apartment really needed to be cleaned.  So, we deep cleaned all day long while doing our weekly planning.  It worked out very well and now our apartment is super clean.

Saturday was an awesome day!  We woke up and went to a lady named I___’s house to do some service.  It turns out, she was a hoarder and we were there to help her clean up some of her hoard.  It was awful!  We cleaned for two hours and it looked like we did nothing.  We had planned on working for four hours, but we took a break to pick up some water.  When we got back, she wasn’t there.  So, we left a note for her that said we had to leave…it was that bad!  After all of this, we went home to get cleaned up and changed, then the Mission President called asking us to help with the Temple open house tours.  It was a tender mercy, because this was the last day of the Temple open house and we also got to go through a tour with D___ L___ (the guy we invited on Thursday) so it was pretty cool.  One thing that makes the tours so awesome is they are silent tours, then questions are answered at the end of the tour.  It really adds to the spirituality of the experience.  After a full afternoon, we went and got dinner at Costa Vida and later that evening we got to go to a wedding for two of our recent converts at the church.  It was an awesome experience!  Honestly, Saturday was one of my most favorite days of my mission, yet.

Tucson Temple tour guides :)


Sunday:  We woke up and went to church, which was just OK.  After church, we got home, ate some lunch and did some studies – then we went to see a referral.  After that, we went to do some family history after dinner.
That was my week.  Now just imagine doing all of that basically drenched in sweat, because I’m still not used to this heat.
Anyways, hope you all had a good week.

Love you all,



Elder Dickinson

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 24: Happy long distance Fathers Day!

Being Father’s Day, this Sunday was special.  I was sad being away from home and my Dad was 
on my mind all day today. At church, they handed out the program which had the primary kids’ answers to questions about their Dads. All I could do the whole time was think about my answers to those questions.  It was rough being 2,000 miles away from home, but it was a good day.  Happy rather than sad!!!

Man it is starting to get hot.........Flights at the Tucson and Phoenix airports were being delayed today because the tarmac was melting.  There are excessive heat warnings today that say everyone needs to stay indoors as much as possible.  We are just going to hang at the Family History Center (for the wifi and AC) and email until its time to play some Zone basketball.  Rumor has it, the Mission President might show up.

Cool gang graffiti 


Monday:  P-Day was good getting to email!!!! It was such a good day. We played sports and then ate dinner and did some finding.

Tuesday was the best!!!  Frist, we had Zone Conference.  After zone conference we got to go to the Tucson Temple open house and take the tour. It was super awesome and so beautiful words cannot describe the level of amazingness. The blue dome is Rhine slate from Germany and it also had Swahili wood from Africa and marble from Greece – only the best of the best materials.  It was awesome!  After Zone Conference, we went to Costa Vida for my first time for lunch and it was amazing. I ate the sweet pork burrito that was so good.  Later, we had two appointments that fell through - just like last week. So, we ended up doing some finding and taking it easy in the shade. Afterwards, we had dinner with the H___’s he has a super nice Jaguar and lives in the foothills in a massive house.  It was an awesome time at dinner.

Zone Conference


Wednesday:  We had our district meeting that was pretty chill.  We talked about dress and grooming. It was pretty light-hearted, but still boring but better than being out in the heat. After district meeting we did some finding and went to one appointment, which we had to reschedule because we didn't have members to come with us, because she was a single sister. After this we had dinner with the S___s. It was a fun time.  Following that, we did some more finding and then went home for the night.

Elder Thompson & I at the Tucson Temple Open House

Tucson Temple


Thursday: We went to Beads of Courage and did some service until lunch time.  We went home and ate lunch, then did some phone finding.  After that, we went to a member visit. Following that, we did some more finding.  We had dinner with the Scotts who are from right outside of Idaho Falls ID.   They don't know Janet and Rory but we are probably related, so that's cool! After dinner, we had a visit with D____, which went very well.  We talked about the Plan of Salvation and it was a super awesome spiritual experience. He said he would come to church. He’s a less active ward member trying to find the path back. He has had a super rough path, but he is ready to fully embrace the gospel now, so we are helping him find his way back. He said something that struck with me. He said, "I will never be able to repay you." This is the number one reason I am a missionary!  This pulled at my heart strings and I almost cried, the Spirit was so prevalent.  Thursday was awesome!



Friday:  We went to Beads of Courage to do more service. After Beads, four of us elders went out to eat.  It was a fun time. After this, we commenced our weekly planning session - for a couple hours.  After that, we had dinner with the T___ family.  It was cool to learn about his temple experiences because he is the temple facilities manager. After dinner we did some finding then we packed up Elder Thompson for exchanges.  On the exchange, I got to team up with our new District Leader, Elder Nielsen – who was just an Assistants to the President, so it was kind of nerve wracking.



Saturday:  We started by helping move some guy from one apartment complex to another. Following that, we went out and saw a ton of people and had some awesome appointments. One particular appointment that stuck out was with a less-active lady.  Well, we thought she was less-active, but it turns out her daughter was taking her to a different ward.  So, that was a pretty interesting visit and it was very cool to know that she was still going to church. Later, we had dinner with the D___’s it was very good!  We had a baked potato bar followed by some homemade ice cream cake...super yummy!  After diner, we had another appointment, but it fell through, so we did some finding until it was time to end the exchange - and I got my little Elder Thompson back. But before that happened, Elder Neilsen and I talked and he shared three good things about me: 

1. I can make any bleak, plain situation a good/fun one.  For example, when he was AP he saw I was going to Lordsburg as a green bean.  He thought after Lordsburg, I’d probably quit and go home because Lordsburg was such a hard area to serve in.  Nope, instead I baptized two people. He was super proud of me.
2. Making connections:  I’ve made some super close connections with the people I serve. Even being new to the Campbell ward, he said he could see that I’ve already made people remember me in a great way by loving the people I serve. He also said I was one of those elders people will remember – like "I remember Elder Dickinson, he was the nicest most loving person ever” or “I remember Elder Dickinson, he was so cool". Stuff like that
3. I work hard and I have the drive of a work horse.

That’s what he said…his words, not mine.

Elder Dickinson signing off from Arizona the "Ditat Deus - God Enriches" State


Sunday:   Happy Father's Day Dad!   Sunday was a fun day and we learned a lot in church. After church, we had an appointment cancel, so we did some finding. After a long hot week, we took some down time to do some additional studies. The people our dinner appointment was scheduled with were out-of-town so we ate on our own and did some family history.


This week was a lot better!!!!!

Love you all so much!


Elder Dickinson

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 23: A Crazy Sketchy Week!


This week was quite interesting. We went from having an amazing week last week to having 97% of our lessons fall through this week. I’m not quite sure what happened. Although, during the summer months the university students and staff go home and the locals tend to leave during the super hot times. This week is supposed to be up to 111 degrees. I’m basically already dying in this heat.  I’ve already had a 3 shirt day. Not fun!

Monday was good day, even though I didn’t get to talk to you guys very much. But this week I will have more time to email. Last Monday we had a good time running the streets of Tucson.


Elder Thompson and I muggin' the streets of Tucson


Tuesday:  We went to Beads of Courage. It is good service we do there with the other elders. We were able to give out several temple open house invitations, so it was also a good finding activity. After Beads, we came home and did studies and ate lunch. After lunch we went through the Part-Member family list. It didn’t yield any rewards…yet, but it will eventually. Anyways we worked away on that list until we had to go give a blessing, which turned out to be a really good spiritual experience. So that was good.  Following that we had dinner with the R____s, thay are very cool people. It was taco Tuesdays, so we had tacos. After dinner, we had an appointment, which fell through, so we attempt to contact a less-active lady and we set up a return date. There are so many single sisters in this ward who we are not able to contact because we can’t get members to participate in lessons. The mission president might pink wash this area soon.  Who knows?  (Pink washing is when a set of elders is transferred out of area and a set of sister missionaries are transferred in to work with a large number of single sisters)


Wednesday:  We had district meeting. It was good and it was hot.  Arizona in general just gets so hot and I strongly dislike that much heat. Anyways, we then worked on finding people to teach from the Part-Member family list.  As of Sunday, we still have 63 names to contact.  After lunch we had a lesson, which once again fell through. If you can’t tell this week was kind of upsetting. We had a dinner appointment with the F___s. We had taco salad and a quick visit. After dinner we had a lesson with Bro. S___. He’s a less-active member who just needs to have a talk with bishop and he will be reactivated. Then, we did some more finding and that was our day.

The Tucson Temple at night (I will try to get a better picture)


However, Wednesday night was the sketchy part of this week. We were not able to fall asleep for who knows why, but about 11:00 pm we heard what sounded like gun shots - super close to our apartment. At first we thought it was the complex maintenance man shooting birds with his pellet gun, but sure enough two minutes later - there were like 20 cop cars, more shots fired and a police helicopter chase. All this happened two blocks away from our apartment in a nearby park. It was cool seeing the helicopter with the big spot light, but dang, it was pretty scary!

Thursday:  We did service at Beads of Courage and afterwords we ate lunch. Then, we went to contact an investigator that we will probably have to drop, who knows, it’s not going so well. He has a cat that was basically Satan, lol.  He kept attacking us…Satan cat…is all have to say about that, lol. After a decent lesson we did more finding, then we had dinner with the W___s, again. They are awesome!  After dinner we went to our 6:00 appointment, which fell through. So, we invited some investigators to come play ultimate frisbee with us and the elders quorum. Only one showed up -  they are moving for the summer....grr so upsetting. We just keep losing this week. 

Friday: We woke up and went to Beads of Courage again. After lunch, we did our weekly planning at the Fort Lowell Ward building - where our ward meets. It is the oldest functioning church building in AZ. Its super cool and old - the Chapel has stained glass. But, the down side is a bunch of hobos stay there at night.  They either break in or ward members accidentally leave it unlocked... they also sleep under an overhanging part of the roof outside the church building.  While we were doing our weekly planning at 3:00, we heard the voices of 4 people shooting up who knows what kind of drugs. It was weird and scary because they had a gun....That’s Tucson for yah. After that we got to set up chairs for a funeral on Saturday. Then we had dinner on our own.  We went to Panda Express and got take out for diner.  Then we had studies and planning for Saturday.

Elder Thompson getting ready to do some Panda Express damage

After Taco Tuesday and Taco Salad Wednesday, you just got to scratch that Panda Express itch


Saturday was a weird day.  We went to the funeral. It was super long and sad, but it was good with lots of laughter. So that was good. Then we had an appointment at 1:00 that fell through. So we went finding again, until our next appointment.  That appointment fell through, too. After all the finding we’ve done all week we just needed a break. So we took an hour and read the scriptures until it was time to head out to our next lesson, which…you guessed it…got cancelled.  So, we went out to dinner with some other elders at a make your own 12 inch pizza place. It was good, after that, we did family history from 7 till 8.

Dinner with the parents of one of my favorite families in Duncan!
(they are in this ward!!!)

Sunday:  The block of meetings were good, The sacrament talks were about family and having spiritually safe homes and all that jazz. It was okay, but very repetitive. After church we ate a nice lunch of leftover funeral food. Then, we did studies and some finding until dinner. We had dinner with the A____s. She is from Tahiti and oddly enough makes some killer enchiladas, lol. Then we headed of to do some more finding.  That was our week...kid of bummer to be honest.

I can’t wait to talk to everyone,

Love you.

Elder Dickinson