Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 40: No drums, no electric deal?

Well, this week has been one for the record books!  It was crazy, to say the least. It was another one of those weeks where we had a lot of busy work things, which all were time consuming ...catch my drift?  So, that is what I had to deal with this week and it went by fast - now, that I look back at it.

That being said, it was a beautiful week, we just need you guys to send some cooler weather our way. That would me much appreciated!

Monday:  We had a good P-Day, but I was pretty sick. So, I just laid in the same spot all day.  It sucked, but I got to email home all day – so, it wasn’t that bad after all.  That evening, I was still sick, so we came home and I slept, since we don’t have dinner appointments on Mondays anymore. Why? We are just too rushed for time. So, we just decided to eat on our own on Mondays, which is totally fine by me.

Tuesday:  We got to sleep in, because I was too darn sick and just felt like trash, so, I slept until 9:00 a.m. and then Elder Ikimau made me breakfast, which is a nice little thing he did for me.  He is such a good person! After all of this I mustered up enough courage to go to the foodbank. Later, we went to the library for an hour of family history and then went home so I could rest some more.  It was kind of funny; I got such good sleep during my nap, I woke up thinking it was the next morning, lol. In reality, it was 5:09 on a Tuesday evening, lol. We went to dinner with Sis L__ and the C___ family.  It was a blast!  We visited and shared stories while eating tacos! I guess that makes it Taco Tuesday, right?  Lol.

Wednesday was the beginning of the onslaught of some crazy days. First, we had District Meeting. It was fun, we played a scripture chase game with our district.  After that, we drove a good 45 minutes to our church building for a lesson with a new investigator we had never met with her before.  She is a super cool lady.  Her name is K__ S__.  She has really interesting views on how to connect the gospel. science and the bible.  So she believes it all, but with some additional features and details of her own, lol. The half hour trip to the church, a 2 hour lesson, then the half hour return trip took up our whole day. So, after that, we had dinner with the R__s, Sis. R___ made us chicken breaded in Capt’n Crunch. It was awesome! Then Bro. R___ started a fire and us boys just sat around the fire just relaxing and sharing mission and other stories.  It was a good wind down.

A FIRE in 100 degree Arizona, wierd huh? I LOVED it! :D

Thursday was day two of our four crazy days.  We started with two hours of service at the food bank. After that, we drove to the church and taught K___ the restoration. It was another 2 hour lesson…she talks a ton, but I was able to invite her to be baptized and she made a baptismal date for Oct 28th!  After her lesson, we drove to the C__’s for a dinner appointment. We shared the evening with them since they knew Elder Ikimau previously, so they caught up after a year and a half. 

Friday was day 3 of 4 of our crazy days.  Instead of doing our full weekly planning, we did half of our planning to make time for another 2 hour lesson with K___.  That sucked up a lot of time – with all of the driving.  We did manage to go out to Sushi Ten for lunch, but then we ate dinner with Sis. D___ at Chili’s! It was a blast getting to eat out and watch Clemson lose!

Saturday, we finished our planning and then taught K__ another lesson.  Yes, it was another 2 hour lesson and yes, she talked a lot, but how often do you find an investigator who wants to meet every day for 4 straight days?  After this, the people we had a dinner appointment with had a baptism to go to. So, they took us along and we ate with them afterwards… at the person who got baptized house.  We didn’t know any of the people there, but we got to meet new people and make new friends who I will never see again, lol - but it was a blast!

Sunday fun day,

Sunday was cool.  Our investigator K___ came to church for the first time! But, she was genuinely upset at the lack of drums and electric guitar...... so hopefully we don’t lose her over that!  That would be disappointing.  After Sacrament Meeting we headed to the newly returned Bro. Collingwood’s house for an awesome breakfast of apple cinnamon pancakes, and they were darn good!  After that, we drove out to Sells AZ and had church out there and then drove back and went to dinner with the C___’s again! It was nice and it was the first time I honestly enjoyed eating broccoli, or however you spell it, lol.

YUM, these when I get home please.... <3

This week was awesome, but tiring physically and spiritually to be honest! And I want to personally thank Sis. Sell for the Halloween package! I loved it!

I hope yall had an awesome week, love you

Elder Dickinson 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 39: Highs and Lows

This week was wonderful! 

However, Elder Bangerter was transferred out and that makes me sad.  He was made a District Leader in Clifton, AZ.  Elder Bang, if you read this, good luck with your next companion!  Also my mission Dad (my trainer, Elder Degrange) died (finished his mission and returned home).  It is so crazy to think he has been back to normal life for almost a week now!  Also, I hit my nine month mark this week and we had another baptism!

Saying Goodbye to my Dad (Elder Degrange) 

Even though this week was full of wonderful things, by the end of the week I started to get sick.  I don’t know if it is a cold or what, but I have also had endless stomach aches. Even though it is seems minor, prayers would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance ;)

Well, I might as well hop right into my week:

Monday was a good day.  After our P-Day activities and the fun stuff we went out to see Sis. C__,one last time with Elder Bangerter.  Then, we had dinner at Denny’s.  I had the salted caramel banana cream pancakes, they were very good! That was Monday, and of course emailing the wonderful people abroad!

Tuesday morning, I had to say good-bye to Elder Bangerter and Elder Degrange.  It was bittersweet, minus the sweet part.  It actually hurt to see my trainer leave to return home.  He was like family to me out here - because I have none out here - but that’s life, so I’ll roll with the punches.  After saying goodbye to those two, I was in a temporary trio companionship with Elders Lorensen and Wilko while I waited for my new companion to show up.  We had a dandy ole day - then Elder Ikimau showed up at four o’clock. After I picked him up, we had a dinner appointment with the C___ family, then returned home so Elder Ikimau could get unpacked and settled in.  Here is a little background on Elder Ikimau.  He is 26 years old and is from Nieu (pronounced New Way) an island 2,400 kilometers northeast of New Zealand. Nieu is about 100 square miles, a populaion around 1,600 people and is considered a self governing country in free association with New Zealand. He is a spiritual giant and will finish his mission in December.

Bye Bye Bang!

Wednesday was a long day.  We drove to Sahaurita, AZ for our District Meeting.  On the way, we had to pick up the Valencia Elders.  After District Meeting, we came home, had lunch and then did our studies until dinner.  Sadly, we didn’t have a dinner appointment and had dinner on our own, but that’s OK.  After dinner we drove to the Church for S__’s baptismal interview.  He is such a smart kid!  He passed his interview, lol.   He already knew all the stuff from Primary, so we basically just had him teach us the lessons - reverse psychology, lol.

Elder Ikimau's flag of Niue 

We started Thursday off at the food bank.  We were part of a group of Elders and Sisters and we did the same amount of crates in an hour that some groups can do in an entire day!  We assembled over 500 crates - so it was a job well done!  After the food bank, we went to the library for an hour and did family history, then we came home and ate lunch.  Later, we attempted some stop-by visits with no success.  We had to cancel a dinner appointment because of the Book of Mormon class we teach in Sells, but guess what.  No one showed up for the class, so we drove 100 miles and cancelled a perfectly good dinner appointment for nothing.  So, after a long day and a lot of driving we got home late and made ourselves some dinner and hit the hay.

Coconut Drink from Brother O! :) Literally, a COCONUT!!

Friday we did our weekly planning, wahoo!  Not really…it was just alright, but we had dinner with the K__ family before S__’s baptism the next morning.  So, Friday was comprised of two time consuming things.

Saturday was S__’s big day!   S__’s baptism was something special!  I think a huge part of it was because one of the speakers’ talk really set the tone for the Spirit!  It was a super awesome moment!  I can’t really describe it fully because it was all just kind of blurred together in happiness and joy! I performed the baptism and Bro. O__ confirmed him.  After his baptism, we headed home, ate lunch and I got lined up (got my hair cut). Uce (Elder Ikimau’s nick name) cut my hair.  He is an amazing hair cutter – which comes in handy! After that we went and visited Sis C___ and Sis P__.   It was awesome!  She surprised us with a strawberry and banana trifle she made, and man, is it delicioso!  So, Saturday was just an awesome day!

S's Baptism day! So proud of him!!

Sunday - fun day:  Man this Sunday was brutal!!! We woke up and attended Sacrament Meeting in the Midvale Ward, then we drove home, ate breakfast and drove to the Sells Branch for their Sacrament Meeting.  Just like Thursday’s Book of Mormon class, almost no one showed up.  Everyone must have been all thrown off by General Conference last week.  Anyways, after our block of meetings in Sells, we had to drive back to Tucson and pick up some food that had been prepared by Midvale ward members and then drive all the way out to Three Points to deliver it to two families in need.  After that, we headed back to Midvale for Ward Correlation Meeting.  We wore our suits all day, so it was hot!

Ugh what a week it was!  I can’t wait to hear from y’all! I hope y’all have a wonderful week!

Love dearly,

Elder Dickinson 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Week 38: R.I.P. Dad (trainer)

Well beloved family and friends, another week has passed and that means I’ve already been in Midvale for 6 weeks, which that means its transfer time again.  I have two items of sad news.  First, my mission Dad (the Elder who trained me - Elder Degrange) is dying on Tuesday (finishing his mission and returning home to his family).  Second, Elder Bangerter is getting transferred to Clifton, AZ.  We thought we would be together for a while, but President Browning had something else in mind.   My new companion will be Elder Ikimau. He is from Samoa! I’m excited to learn from him, he is a great guy!  I’m pretty positive that after this next transfer he is headed home, too.

Man, I'm going to miss Elder Bangerter!!

So, last week didn’t end as planned, but that’s life.  You’ve got to roll with the punches!

Anyways, I would love to hear from y‘all!  Feel free to email me and I will reply back!

Other than transfer news, this week was just like any other here in Midvale! 

Tomorrow (Tuesday) marks the start of my 7th transfer and Thursday (Oct 4th) will by my 9 month mark!  Brother Collingwood is still on vacation for another 2 weeks.  We miss him and the great work he does.

Monday:  I know I say this every week, but it rings true – every time!  I love talking to you guys - especially Mom and Dad.  Seeing what I see out here every day, makes me grateful for the family I have.  I’m not sure if I could do this if it wasn’t for talking to you guys on Mondays! That’s how much of an impact a simple email on Monday has on me. After we finished emailing on Monday we had a dinner appointment with Sis. G___ at Whataburger. Its one of the burger chains you need to eat at, just so you can cross it off your bucket list, it was a fun time!

Tuesday we helped out at the food bank for a while then stopped at the library to do an hour of family history.  After all this fun stuff we came home, did studies and ate lunch.  Later, we headed out to see some people (referrals). They always seem to be working, lol.  We had dinner with the G__ family, but they were super busy.  They gave us a $20 to split and we ate on our own.

Wednesday was a pretty good day.  We had Zone Conference. The subject of this conference was using Facebook for proselyting and how to iron clothes. It was kind of a weird combination of topics, but was very informative. We had chicken taco salad for lunch and it was super good. After Zone Conference, we had an hour before dinner so we ran home, freshened up and headed out to a dinner appointment with the M___ family.  We ate at some Mexican restaurant…I swear after my mission, it might be a sloid year before I eat Mexican food again!!!!!!! Anyways, it was good, but we were so full from lunch, ugh.  After dinner we had a Ward Correlation Meeting and talked about the ward. That was about it for the night.

Our totally serious faces!

Yes, that is Elder Bangerter on my shoulders! LOL :O


Thursday was basically the same as Tuesday, except our dinner appointment cancelled, so we ended up eating at our apartment and then doing some stop-by visits. Oh, I did receive my package!!!!! Thank you so much Grandma for the gifts and Mom and Dad, thank you. I love packages and am looking forward to more to come! 

I LOVE care packages!

 Japanese candy my Dad had on his mission! Its surprisingly good!

Friday was our planning day and of course we taught S__ K__.  I will probably end up baptizing him - who knows though.  We taught a simple lesson on Tithing and the Word of Wisdom!  He is still on track for baptism this upcoming Saturday!

Saturday consisted of driving to and from church 3 times! Church is 30 minutes one way, lol. Why? We had General Conference = 3 sessions on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. It was hard to pay attention because the A/C went and it was 95 degrees in the church!  I sweat through my shirt, lol. We also visited Sis. C__ in between sessions. Later, we got Elder Bangerter’s transfer call. :(

Tahono O'Odham maze man theory 

Sunday - fun day! Luckily, we were able to watch General Confine at the P___ family’s house – were it was nice a cool. They live in Sahaurita, but we got permission to go down there to watch it with them.  They made us some awesome French toast and eggs for breakfast and then for lunch they made us some baked Italian sandwiches! It was a fun time with a house full of people enjoying conference shenanigans!

This week here in Tucson was pretty darn good!  I hope y’all had the same!

Love you,

Elder Dickinson 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Week 37: Days feel like weeks, weeks like days

If you would have told me that I have been serving in the Midvale Ward for a month already, I would firmly argue that that could not be true - but it is!  I’ve been here for just over a month already.  It is so crazy how fast time is flying by.  In a week, the sister missionaries I came to Tucson with will be halfway done with their missions already!  Man, time is just flying by – the days feel like weeks, Weeks feel like days and months feel like…well…months, lol.

Fun Fact: Elder Bangerter got his weekly email this morning and it had pictured attached.   Heber City, UT (Elder B’s home town) woke up this morning to snow on the ground and it was still coming down!  Man, I am SO jealous of that!  This year, I might miss snow even more than I miss my family.  Just kidding!  Not really, but almost ;).

This week was weird. We were almost always busy doing something, but it seems like we got so little done.  It is a little frustrating, but sometimes that’s just how the work goes. And, with our area being so big, I guess that feeling mostly comes from all of the driving we do.  Yesterday, (Sunday), I drove 150 miles, if not more. So, that’s at least 3 hours of drive time.

I guess I will jump right into my week.

Monday:  We woke up, did our shopping then drove to Sahaurita, AZ. We played volleyball and then emailed we everyone until some other Elders showed up and we played basketball just to keep us busy between emails. After P-Day ended, we had dinner at Chili’s.  As you already know (Dad), I had the chicken and waffles and man, where they good!  After Chili’s, we did some more shopping and then went home.

Tuesday:  We woke up and realized we had two phones. Now, how did this happen?  Yesterday after playing basketball, Elder Bangerter picked up our phone. I didn’t know this and picked up a phone that was sitting nest to my stuff.  It turned out to be Elder Fort├ęs phone. We thought, we will just call them and tell them - oh wait a minute, we had their phone, lol.  So, after several calls to the ZLs and returned calls, we finally arranged to meet them at church and give them their phone back.  Because of that we didn’t get to work at the foodbank, but we did get the situation taken care of.  Later that night, we had a lesson with a part member family who just moved into our ward.  It went pretty good, she seems solid but there is some work to be done.  But before this all we had dinner with the C___ family. They have been helping us eat more healthily lately, which it is much appreciated!

Wednesday was a pretty good day.  We drove to Sahaurita AZ, for our District Meeting.  It was alright.  Afterwards, we drove home and ate lunch, then drove out to Three Points and helped some non-member friends of a member - if that makes sense, lol.  We were out there moving in the heat until 5:00, or so.  It was only really hot because I was in the U-Haul; it was like being in a frying pan!. But after helping with the move we met Sis. R___ at Burger King.  After dinner we did some stop-by visits.

Thursday:  We went to food bank with a group of about 8 to 10 of us and we ended up doing 538 large boxes of food!  It’s awesome to help out there.  It’s kind of monotonous, but it passes time – so hey, no complaints. 

I have no idea why, but Thursday morning I finally came to the realization that life is too short to be upset. For the life of me, I can’t remember what I was upset about, but if this is the only message anyone gets this week’s email, it is to just be happy because life is too short to be upset or sad.  "When life knocks you down get back up. Smile, and give it the ol’ right, left combo."

Since this realization hit me, I’ve been finding joy in a lot more things. This is all thanks to Mom and Dad’s Open When Letters (O.W.L. letters)

After working at the food bank, we did some more stop-by visits and did some Bible referrals, but nothing happened.  Later, we had dinner with the O__ family.  It will be our last one with them before they leave on their Disney cruise. We had a Hawaiian style dinner with rice, teriyaki chicken, potato salad and salad!

Friday:  We did our weekly planning for most of the day, but most importantly it was Elder Bangerters 20th birthday!!  He got a lot of mail (I miss getting mail from home but once again it’s whatever, lol).  Later, we drove out to Three Points for a lesson with S__ K__’s son.  They also had us for dinner. They made Elder Bangerter a carrot cake. It was the best carrot cake I’ve had since Lordsburg. To be honest, it was the only carrot cake I’ve had since I was in Lordsburg, but it was good, lol!  After dinner we drove the 30 miles home.

Saturday:  When I woke up, I wasn’t feeling the best, but felt better after a while. We went and visited Sister C___.  She had a rough week, but is feeling better now. After visiting with her we tried visiting some Bible referrals, but once again they nobody was home. One of them is a minister, but he’s almost never home.  Later we had dinner with Bro P__ and Sis R___.  It was a super sad dinner appointment. Sis. R__’s family lives in Puerto Ricco, but with the hurricane damage and power outages, she hasn’t been able to contact any of her family.  It was super sad. She asked us to share a message so I shared a couple of verses from D&C:121. She said she felt great peace as we were leaving.  I wasn’t sure if it was because of the message we shared or because we were leaving  , lol. I’m just kidding, we had a great visit.

Sunday-fun day:  This Sunday was a lot better than last week and not only because the Packers won, lol. Not really, This week was the Primary program. It was a pretty good, typical Primary program.  After that we drove home, ate breakfast, then drove all the way back to church to pick up the High Priest Group Leader for the Sells branch, then drove all the way to Sells, AZ.  I was asked to give an impromptu talk, which. I thought it went pretty darn good.  Everyone thanked me for it. It was kind of fun talking in the Sells Brach. After that, we were in charge of Primary, again. We only had 3 kids this week. It went a lot better. We then drove home and ate dinner. And that was a wrap for the week.

Not a lot going on, but we managed to stay busy.

Mom, I am sorry for not taking more pictures, but there weren’t any good opportunities. The one time we went out to Sells I was driving so I couldn’t take pics.  You’ll have to wait another week.

Love you all,

Elder Dickinson

Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 36: If I could sum up my week in one would be cancellations :(

Hello everybody,

Yes, it’s that time of the week again! I love emailing home on P-Days, and enjoy hearing about all of your guys’ weeks.  It makes my day, emailing with everyone.  It is still a constant 100 degrees here - everyday.  I am not a fan!  I need some of the weather you guys have in Wisco.  I’m dying out here.

Here is how my week went:

Monday was a great day!  E-mailing y’all and playing sports sounds boring, but makes for a good day!  We usually play volleyball in the morning with some members and once they leave, some other Elders show up and we play football or basketball.  It makes for a good work out, that’s for sure. After sports, we went home and ate dinner because we didn’t have a dinner appointment.  I have officially been on the longest diet of my life!  It’s been almost to a month (August 2nd) and I have lost exactly 10 pounds.  I’ve actually lost more than that, but the weekends kill the diet, lol.

Tuesday:  We headed off to the food bank and did two hours of service. The food bank here isn’t as fun as other places, because it is so much larger in scale.  It is so big and there is so much to do, you can’t really track your progress. Other than that, I don’t mind it.  After the food bank, we stopped by the library to do an hour of family history. After that, we headed homeward and got changed into proselyting clothes and made some visits until dinner time. We had dinner with the B___s.  Sis. B___  made us some awesome pork carnitas.  After dinner, we were supposed to have a lesson with a less active family but guess what happened … it got cancelled. So, we ended up going home and did our studies.

Wednesday:  We headed out to Sahuarita, AZ for our District Meeting. This time our District Meeting was on spiritual gifts and finding out what your gifts are!  After the meeting, we drove the 20 minute drive home and made lunch, then headed out to Sells AZ, to meet with D__, our recent convert.  We talk to him about the priesthood!  After that, we drove home from Sells to meet Sis. L__ (we call her grandma) at The Olive Garden for dinner with some less-active members.  The Olive Garden had this awesome deal called Buy one/Take one. So I chose alfredo to eat there and got to take home five cheese ziti al forno. Pretty good deal if you ask me! After The Olive Garden we were supposed to have a meeting with the S__ s, but guess what.  Yep, you guessed it, it was cancelled.

Elder Bangerter and myself at a member dinner appointment
(Yes, those are his glasses I am wearing!) LOL

Thursday was just like Tuesday.  We went to the food bank and work, work, worked.  Then we came home, ate lunch did our studies and then did some stop-by visits.  We’ve come to the realization that the middle-of –the-week and the middle-of-the-day are not the best times to do stop-by visits because nobody is home, but we gotta do what we gotta do, lol.  After that we headed back out to Sells for the Book of Mormon class we teach.  After an hour-and-a-half of that followed by a short meeting with a church member, we rolled into Tucson around 9:30 and had dinner with Bro Collingwood, because our dinner appointment was....yep, cancelled, lol

Friday:  We did our weekly planning and played hide and go seek with some other Elders.  I know it sounds childish, but you have to find a way to blow off steam when you don’t have a ball of some kind!  After planning, we had dinner and a lesson with S__ K__. He is still on course for a baptismal date of October 7th!  Hey Mom, guess what?   I used the Plan of Salvation lesion aid thingy again and it worked so well!  Thanks again! After driving back from Three Points, it was late.

Saturday was a day of service, studies and meaningless stop-by visits, no need to go into detail.

Sunday funday:  Sacrament meeting was awful, I’m not going to lie.  We had 3 monotone speakers in a row, all talking about the church’s Pathway Education Program. I don’t know why, but think I had one of the worst stomach aches I’ve ever had when I woke up Sunday morning. After Sacrament, we went to Bro. Collingwood’s house and had German pancakes for breakfast.   Then, off to Sells we went.  On the hour long car ride, my stomach ache managed to plague me again!  To be honest, it bothered me on and off throughout the day.  Sacrament meeting at Sells was alright, followed by an hour and a half of Primary hell! We had 6 kids.

Anyways,  I hope you all have a good week!!

Love y’all

Elder Dickinson 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 35: Where were you when the world stopped turning? 9.11.17

This week just seemed to have flown by.  Anyone else feel that way?  Anyways, I would love to hear from you all.  I know it’s a simple thing, but it means a lot! This week we set a baptism date with S__ and did some service. It might be a shorter email - mainly because we did a lot of small things that aren’t necessarily worth reporting, lol.

Monday:  I know I say this every week, but it is true!  I just love writing home and trading emails with everyone! It makes the monotonous weeks a lot easier!  We didn’t have a dinner appointment, so we came home, worked out and tied up some loose ends from last week.

Tuesday:  After an intense work out, we went to the food bank and helped out there for 2 hours. After that we came home, ate lunch and then did family history at the library for an hour. After that, we tried contacting some referrals, but for some reason, no one was home, which made no sense. Anyways, that was pretty much it for our day. 

A King/Bull snake we ran over!! :O

Hump day:  Everything after Wednesday seems to be downhill, in a good way, lol.  We had our District Meeting, which was good.  It kind of started off with us talking about online proselyting, but that doesn’t start for us until the 27th.  After District Meeting we drove 20 minutes home and ate lunch. We then did some contacting before we had to drive to a lesson with J__ and A___. A__ has a baptismal date for October 14th.  They are looking forward to getting married and then for her baptism.  All is going well there!  After the lesson, we drove clear out to Three Points and helped an active/part-member family move in the area. It took forever because they had a ton of useless stuff, but..."When ye are in the service of your fellow men, ye are only in the service of your God."  So, needless to say, just serve!

Thursday we headed off to the foodbank and worked there for a while.  After the food bank we came home, changed and then went contacting.  Yay, right?...Nope!  Anyways, we had dinner with the O___.  They took us and there massive family out to Texas Road House.  Bro. Olive introduced me to prime rib.  Man, I’m never getting anything else, because I love it so much! Now, when I come home I can hit up the good prime rib places in Wausau. We had a fun time watching the Patriots lose too! Man, Texas Roadhouse has a dang good ceaser salad too!

Look close...VERY CLOSE...yup folks that is some HAIL!!
Can you believe it??

Friday:  Blessed planning day.  Guess what we did?   Yup, you’re right…we planned!  Oh, and we meet with S__.  He is 11 and is part of a part-member family. He wants to be baptized on the 7th so we are meeting with him and his family every Friday for 3 weeks!!

Saturday:  We woke up and did service for most of the day moving people. We had breakfast at R__’s house. We had chorizo, eggs, tamales and chicken for breakfast, lol.  It was good. Then, in the afternoon we made our weekly visit to Sis. C__! She is so sweet. We always love stopping by to visit with her.  After that, we had dinner on our own and then did some more contacting.

The scree saver on my tablet..Helps me cope with the loss of Finner....

Sunday - Fun day:  This Sunday was the same as the last week. We had Ward Conference and left after sacrament to eat breakfast at Bro. Collingwood’s house.  We had blueberry pancakes.  After breakfast, we made the trek to Sells AZ to attend Sacrament Meeting and Primary and Priesthood meetings. In the Sells branch, we pass the sacrament because they don’t have enough priesthood.  We are also in charge of the Primary.  In small branches like Sells, they usually do not have Sunday School, because there are just not enough leadership and people to staff the teaching positions. After that we drove home ate dinner and then went to the Bishop’s house. His family was in town from Portage and Gresham WI. So, we talked about everything Wisconsin under the sun. It was a blast.
That was our week - a whole bunch of little things.

This coming week we have the potential to set 4 more baptismal dates!  So, we will see what happens.

I’ll leave you guys with my testimony of love. We are living in the most chaotic of times. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all your heart. And the second is like unto it. Love thy neighbor as thyself. (I probably slaughtered that)  But the point is; we are all Heavenly Father’s children = go out of your way to serve someone, even if it’s just a smile or something like taking the time to get to know your neighbor. Do this and I promise the missionary opportunities will follow.  Missionary work is done out of love, so it all comes full circle.

Sister McBride and whhhaaattt Sister Carter from my District in the MTC...
What a small world! :)

That being said; I love you all so much


Elder Dickinson 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 34: Another week bites the dust!

Another week draws to conclusion here in Midvale.  This week has just flown by, unlike last week.  This week was filled with highlights:  D___’s baptism, his confirmation, Kitt Peak, I got down to under 230 pounds (but am back up already) and good ole Three Points.  Those are just some of the highlights I can think of.

Monday:  After we finished emailing each other, Sister G___ took us out to eat at 5 Guys.  Man, it was so good, but it killed our diet, but it was well worth it!  That was basically it for the night, since we met so late.

Three Points a few miles from the U.S. Border

Tuesday:  We woke up and worked out in the fitness center and then went to foodbank and helped out there for a while.  After food bank, we drove home changed and then headed out to work out in Three Points, AZ with Bro. Collingwood.  It’s a small town about 15 miles north of the Mexican border -  way out in the boonies. Let’s just say there is not a single piece of pavement in Three Points.  All of the roads are dirt roads.  We contacted several people throughout the afternoon and well into the evening.  By the time we got back into town Bro. Collingwood took us out to Wendy’s and that was a wrap for Tuesday.  By the way, the apple pecan salad is the go to - every time!  After that, we worked out before bed.

Selfie Photo Bombing Bro. Collingsworth

Wednesday:  We went to our District Meeting in Sahuarita AZ, pronounced (So-wa-rita).  After our District Meeting we hauled home and met Bro. Collingwood. He took us to Kitt Peak before our lesson with D___.  We had some time because one of our other lessons fell through.  Plus, he has always wanted to go up there.  So, we drove up to Kitt Peak National Observatory, it has 27 space telescopes on top of a 6,883 foot mountain.  It reminded me of Mount Haleakula on Maui. It was super awesome!  But the best part was the weather, lol.  It was only 87 degrees and blustery.  I loved it!!!  After that fun little fieldtrip, we went and taught D___ about tithing and the Word of Wisdom.  He was so ready for baptism.  The lesson went super smooth.  After the lesson, we chatted for a while and then drove home and Bro. Collingwood took us to Wendy’s because we had a rough week with dinner appointments falling through.


The colleges that use the telescopes (notice the University of WISCO!)

Thursday started out with us helping the D___ (not our investigator) family move just a couple blocks down the street.   After helping for a while, we had to go home and get changed for interviews with the Mission President.  My interview was 15 minutes of "What is your area like?” lol.  He said I will be in the area for a while.  I asked him if I could finish my mission in Lordsburg.  He said there is always a possibility of that happening, lol.  He also released news that our mission will have online proselytizing.  So, we will have Facebook and Google, with the addition of smart phones coming soon.  We get Facebook next month! That was basically Thursday,  except for a lesson we had with A___.  It was a good lesion, she committed to being baptized and set a baptismal date for October 14th. That went well, but she has lots to work on between now and then!

Elder Bangerter and I on INFRARED!

Friday:  We did our weekly planning, YAY!  Oh, after that, we went to Sushi Ten. (In Japanese, Ten means Heaven.  So, we ate at Sushi Heaven) Later that evening, D___ passed his baptismal interview lol.

Saturday:  D___’s baptism was awesome.  Bro. Collingwood baptized him, because he had been helping to teach him for the last 2 years.  It was awesome!  He is such an awesome guy and we are so proud of him!  Following that spirit packed baptism, we did some service and visited with sweet Sister C___.  She 90 years young, but is bed ridden.  Her internals are flawless and she is as sharp as a tack, but her skeleton is just not keeping up.  She is the sweetest person ever!  She has the best stories.  She told one about her husband who flew all kinds of bombers in WWII. He was a radar man and was from Boscobel Wisconsin!  Anyways, she just has so much awesome stuff to share.  I could literally stay there and listen to her all day.

A typical house in Sells, AZ

Sunday - Fun day:  We woke up at 6:00 to get ready for Ward Counsel  Meeting.  Following Ward Counsel, we went to Sacrament Meeting.  After sacrament meeting, we went to Bro. Collingwood’s house and they fed us brunch to break our fast.  Then, we all drove out to Sells, AZ and had Sacrament and D__’s confirmation and Gospel Principles/Primary.  Man was it a zoo in Primary.  We pulled out some CTR rings and passed them out to the kids.  You should have seen the smiles on their faces - it was priceless!  After church, we drove back from Sells and did our studies and ate dinner.

Primary kids :)

A Future Missionary is in the house (or primary)!

That was my week. It was pretty awesome! Can’t wait to hear from y'all!

I love you and each one of you guys are in my prayers.


Elder Dickinson

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 33: Dream Come True!!!

Well, hello everybody.  First off, I would like to say; I would love to hear back from y’all today!  I also want to apologize for the lack of a good email last week. I have no excuses other than last week was a long tiring week. Oh, and my dream came true!  I get to serve in Midvale, AZ!!!!

Anyways, as many of you may or may not know, I was transferred to the Midvale Ward of the Tucson South Stake. A little history about this area:  Geographically, it is the 2nd largest ward in America. It covers the south west corner of Tucson and spans half way to Yuma Arizona. It covers the sovereign nation of the Tahono O'odham tribe. Pronounced (ta-hono ah-tum) – sounds like autumn. Anyways, the town that we cover on the reservation is an hour car ride from our apartment. The town of Sells, AZ is a beautiful, but humble place. The crime is so bad that you can’t get arrested unless you have 6 warrants out. A lot of the houses have burned down due to issues resulting from alcoholism.  The average house size is a 10' x 20'. Like I said, humble. But there is just an amazing feeling you feel being on the reservation.

Anyways, here is my weekly report:

Monday was a good day.  I’m glad you guys had an awesome vacay. It sounds like it was much needed.  I enjoyed emailing with everyone. After sports and dinner at the H___'s, I had a late night of packing and getting ready to transfer on Tuesday. While I was packing, it felt like my 3 months here seemed so short. Poor Elder Thompson is going to be in Central Tucson for at least 7.5 months. That’s so crazy!!

Tuesday we woke up at the crack of dawn and loaded my stuff into the car. We drove to the transfer sight and greeted some greenies (brand new missionaries) and met my new companion. Man, I love serving with my new companion, Elder Bangerter. We knew each other and were good friends before and it’s been fun so far!  After I got all settled in and unpacked we did some shopping and got some Wi-Fi to check in with you guys! Tuesday night we had dinner with the D___s.  They are a sweet family that reminds me of a family in Lordsburg. They are just so sweet, lol.  After dinner, we went to Bro. Collingwood’s house. You will be hearing his name a lot as he is not only our Ward Mission Leader, but he’s retired - so he just goes out and visits less active all day long. He drives to Sells, AZ four times a week - twice with us and twice on his own.

On our way to TRANSFERS!

Wednesday:  We drove to Sahuarita, AZ for our District Meeting. I met my new district and talked about the Book of Mormon and stuff.  After this we drove back and ate lunch. We started  doing an actual diet. I started at 238.2 and I’m down to 235.3 in a couple days. I can do better, but its slowly working!  After lunch we headed over to Bro. Collingwoods house and planned for our lesson with D___ Y___.   He has taken the lessons 3 times and hasnt really wanted to be baptized.  He has been waiting for a slap in the face kind of revaluation. At the end of our lesson we asked if he had any questions.  He asked "How does the 2nd sound?”  “For baptism…” we asked, "the second of September?"  He said yes! We were all taken by surprise! So, he said he had a feeling of peace and said it (his baptism) needs to get done.  D___   is a police officer in Sells, for the Nation.  He is a cool guy and his wife has now become active because of his decision. After all this awesomeness, we drove back to Tucson, to our apartment for dinner because we didn’t have a dinner appointment.  After that, we went on a few more visits.

Thursday: We started the day with a work out and then we did some service at the local foodbank until lunch. Later, we went over to Bro. Collingswood’s house and he drove us out to Sells and we did some work and then we went to the Book of Mormon class that we teach.  Usually, only one person shows up, but this time there was 6 people there. It was awesome and Bro. Collingwood says the Lord is really stirring things up in Sells right now and softening the hearts of all the people. After this we drove home and then went to bed because it was late.

Friday was boring.  We worked out and went to the library to do family history. After this we ate lunch and then did our weekly planning at the Stake Center.  Later, we had dinner with a Tongan family named the O___s.  They are so kind and charitable. Honestly, they are my most favorite people in this area - so far. And man, they cook some darn good food!  Every time they feed us, they choose a different family from the ward and feed them too!

We did a bunch of service on Saturday morning and had breakfast with some numbers afterwards.  After that, we came home, got ready for the day and took a quick nap because we were exhausted.  After this we're went and got some Wi-Fi and checked in and did everything for our area logbook.  Then we went out and did some stuff with Bro. Collingwood again.  After this we had dinner with C___.  She is a recent convert who had us over and we had ribs, beans and potatoes.  It was an awesome time, because some football happened to be on. It wasn’t the Packer game, but I got my fix.  After that we played Yahtzee.

Sundays in this ward consists of us going to Ward Council and Sacrament Meeting at the Midvale ward then we leave and eat breakfast at Bro. Collingwood’s house and then we drive to Sells and go to Sacrament Meeting and Gospel Principles since that's all they have in the Sells Ward. We teach the primary kids, which is pretty fun.  We then drive back to Tucson for dinner and then we went to the Bishops house for dessert and talked with his family.

I attached some pictures of Elder Thompson saying farewell, lol.  I’m going to miss him.

Saying Goodbye to Elder Thompson :(

Until next week,


Elder Dickinson

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Week 32: This week was NO BUENO other than transfers

This email is going to be very short and unlike the others, but I will be able to email with people who might ask questions throughout the day.  This week was hard.  It was another one of those weeks where nothing happened.  It was a lull and everything we planned got cancelled. We got really exhausted from doing so much finding.

We also did a ton - and I mean a ton - of service for the mission’s housing group.  We loaded and unloaded a lot of trailers will all of the furniture and stuff a new missionary apartment needs.  So, instead of writing a day-by-day description, which would waste both your time and mine, (lol) I will just share the high and the low points of my week. 

High point of the Week:  Transfers!!!! 

Saturday: We got our transfer calls and I am being transferred to the Midvale Ward - back out to the boonies!  I’ll be back in the middle of nowhere, again – and I’m so excited!  My new companion will be Elder Bangerter, one of my favorite missionaries Honestly, he is one of my favorite people. We get along so well and he’s good at basketball and is only an inch shorter than me. I’m so excited!!!

The Midvale area covers the Tahono O’odham Reservation. Look it up, it’s huge. The Midvale Ward’s geographic footprint is the second largest in America.  It is only slightly bigger than the Lordsburg area, but has way less people.  We have a brand new Toyota Tacoma to drive.  The area has two wards.  The Midvale Ward meets in south Tucson and has about 70 people and the branch on the reservation has about 10 active members.

There is a chance that I might be in Midvale until next July.  If the Mission President is keeping Elder Thompson here so long, (this transfer makes 7.5 months for him in Campbell) I could be there until July. 

Low point of the Week:  Transfers!

Having to say goodbye to K__ so abruptly was the low point of my week. He didn’t take it too well. He was so sad that I had to leave.  We took some pictures and talked about walleye fishing. After that, we had to split ways, but I have his phone number, so that’s good.   We still need to get those baptism pictures to him! 

Saying Goodbye

Anyways, since this is such a short email I’ll leave you with my testimony.  I know that God lives.  I know this church is true and I know how important families really are and how they can be together forever.   I’ve been thinking of Finley lately and I still miss him. The sting is gone, but the pain of missing him is still prevalent. He is in good hands, I know it with all my heart.

Mom, Dad, others

I love you

Enjoy your trip and be safe!!!!

Elder Dickinson 


P.S.  Sorry, for this email, but it was emotionally hard week.

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!


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 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 


Elder Dickinson 

Week 40: No drums, no electric deal?

Well, this week has been one for the record books!  It was crazy, to say the least. It was another one of those weeks where we had a lot of...