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 74 & 75: Cambio Grande (Big Changes)

‘Big Changes’ pretty much sums up the last 2 weeks – which I haven’t emailed.   The biggest change, sadly, was transferred back to Tucson....