Monday, August 22, 2011

Casey's first letter from Georgia!

!Hola Familia!

Wow, where do I start? It's been incredible being here; I'm loving every minute of it!
I guess I'll start from the beginning: I awoke at 4 a.m. on Tuesday the 16th so I could shower and be ready to be at the travel office by 5; at 5:30 we left for the airport. We ended up driving past University Mall, Utah Valley University and the baseball stadium, Coney's in Orem and AF, and all the places I recognized from my former life lol; it was a little weird for me to see all those things after weeks secluded in the MTC, but it didn't bother me that much. I was bound for an even greater adventure, and I was dang excited!
The airplane ride wasn't so bad; in fact, I slept through most of it. When we landed we found President Wolfert and his wife waiting for us, along with the two assistants. They took us on the MARTA, which is a train that goes across most of Atlanta, and goes pretty dang fast! We got to President Wolfert's home, got situated, then had a delicious southern meal of BBQ pork sandwiches, cream of corn, baked beans, and peach cobbler! It was great! The next day we arose to another great meal (cinnamon fresh toast, bacon, and eggs), then left to attend new missionary orientation, then transfer meeting.
I was assigned to Elder Nielson (that's him in the picture); he has been out 6 months, loves fixing cars, snowmobiling, wake boarding, boating, and sharing the gospel! It's his first time as a trainer, but I won't hold that against him lol. We were assigned to the Conyers Inner Area, which is an hour and a half from Atlanta. It is kind of a mixture of small town and what Orem is like; there is all the Wendy's and Arby's and such, but there are also places in our area away from the busy road. We were assigned to bike; mine hasn't arrived here yet, so I've been using someone else's. We were taken to our apartment to unpack, then went tracting. We will be doing alot of finding here; the missionaries before us have some incomplete records, and a lot of the formers we are tracking down are dead ends. It's up to us to find some new investigators, and revive the less-active members. It's been a lot of work, but I'm enjoying it so much! I've met so many interesting people!
There was this one lady the other day who was a Catholic, then a Jehovah's Witness, and now she's not sure what to believe, but knows that the Catholics and Witnesses are not right. Another guy is a from Jamaica originally, and is a master of the Bible; his wife is a member, but he wants to make sure all the stuff we believe he agrees with. He does have a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but won't commit to baptism just yet. So many people from so many different backgrounds and so diverse in their stories, but they all need the same thing; to come closer unto Christ by receiving His restored gospel! I'm so excited to begin teaching!
Most people here are originally from Alabama, and there are alot of black people here (culture shock!). The accent is pretty strong in my area; no doubt I will pick it up in a few days. The people are wonderful; southern hospitality is a true thing! But they are also pretty reluctant to accept anything but the Bible (working on that!).
Thanks for all the extra shirts and clothes, Mom, I certainly needed them! It's so hot and humid I need to change my shirt twice a day, sometimes shower twice a day! According to the locals, this is cool weather compared to how it was a week ago; Geez Louise! We did get rained on the other day; good thing I was already soaked! Thunderstorms are cooler here than in Utah; lightning lights up the whole sky, and the thunder is a lot louder! I'm loving the weather lol!
There are so many cool people in the ward; I can't wait to work with them! We do have dinner with members or part-members almost every day, so I haven't had to cook anything yet (haven't been shopping yet, so we have nothing to make anyway). I had Ox-tail the other day, at the Jamaicans home the other day; it was delicious! I'm sure it is the start of many interesting foods to come!
I am way excited, but also way tired; the weather and the work is fairly draining! But I'm happy at the same time; it's kind of weird. I have been doing work, and while I'm nowhere near satisfied (nor ever will I be), but I am grateful to serve and looking forward to it all!
Love and miss ya'll! E-mail me back when you get the chance!

Elder Casey Guy Dickson

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Casey Guy Dickson

Casey Guy Dickson
Called to serve in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission (July 2011 to July 2013)