Monday, September 5, 2011

Casey's latest letter from Georgia!

Hey, Dad!
It's good to hear from ya, hope the weather is better in Nebraska than here at the moment lol.
I'm in the Conyers Inner area, which is the central part of Rockdale County; it is mostly suburban (like Orem), with a few more rural parts. It's a nice place; my only qualm is the lack of sidewalks and bike trails; more often then not we are biking on the side of the road.
At the moment, we are doing a lot of what Elder Collin Jensen (in his letter to me just the other day) refers to as "Bounty Hunting," which is the tracking down of former investigators, less-active members, and recent converts. More often than not they have vanished off the face of the earth; something our mission president said to do when an appointment falls through or we can't find the person is to turn around and talk to the next person we see, which as worked amazingly well. We have gone tracting a lot, but less so now that we have a few potentials; everyone else is never home anyway. The one couple we had a baptismal date have sort of disappeared on us, so we're looking high and low for them lol.
The hours of the day are filled by biking from one end of town to the other; we usually have a 20-25 mile day! I feel my legs getting stronger everyday!
My apartment is nice; it is now mandatory that every missionary apartment has a washer and a dryer (Yea!); times have changed lol. I think some pictures of the apartment were sent with the rest; if not, I'll send the SD card once I get another one.
I actually have not put the bike together yet; I haven't had too much down time, even on P-day. I just keep using the other Elder's bike, and he is fine with me using it. My companion and I are getting along swimmingly; we have a similar sense of humor! He is pretty car crazy; he knows them inside and out (it's all Greek to me). Elder Nielsen is from Sandy, Utah, and he has been out six months; that's pretty young for a trainer. But he has a contagious enthusiasm and a lot of energy; I've learned a lot from him. We are both new to the area, so we got a lot of work to do; but I'm way excited and can't wait! Part of the 12-week program I mentioned last time is that I have to do door approaches one week, then lead the lesson the next, etc. I'm not too good at it yet, but I'm learning!
I have meet so many interesting people from so many diverse backgrounds and stories, and I'm excited to meet more!
The Elders in the area next to us had a baptism, and we were there to help with the program and set up and such; it was such a cool thing, and the spirit was so sweet. I'm really happy for them; they are now numbered among the people of God, and are the newest members of the ward. It almost didn't happen; the husband is a trucker, and was delivering loads around the southern-east U.S. We were not sure if he would get home on Saturday; but he did. The Lord hears and answers our prayers.
Oh, another highlight this week was that I got invited by a potential to attend an African Methodist Episcopal Friday Revival; we always ask people to come attend a service with us, so it's only fair we come if they ask. To say it was interesting would be not only a massive understatement but also does not correctly define it; if I could use a word for it, it would be LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They had drums and pianos playing and the choir was singing and the Reverend was bouncing up and down and yelling and the congregation was yelling "Amen" and "Praise Jesus!" They sure were having a ton of fun! While amusing, I didn't find much anything edifying about it; the Reverend guy has going crazy! He reminded me of Dave Chappell; he was running around and yelling and saying funny things and always saying "Can I get a witness here?!", to which the congregation would respond with more amens and hallelujahs; they hardly used scripture at all, and not any doctrine. His theme was we needed to grow up and out of childish things; it was just a big show to me. I know now more than ever our church is true; revelation comes through reverence, not volume.
I heard about BYU winning from a member; AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If we couldn't beat Ole Miss we couldn't compete with the rest of the teams on our schedule. Everyone here is sorely disappointed that Georgia lost to Boise State, so the wars was pretty grumpy on Sunday lol. Keep me posted on BYU and Nebraska!
People here use "God bless" all the time, so I'm getting used to it.
Today (Labor Day) we have a good ol' fashioned southern BBQ provided by some awesome members, and I'm way excited!
I've been here almost 3 weeks, and I miss everyone A LOT. But anytime I dwell on that, I remember why I'm here: to assist in to bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. As long as I keep that in mind, I can continue to go forth in faith, for the work I forth to do is great in the sight of God.

Elder Casey 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)