Monday, December 12, 2011

'Tis the season to be jolly and eat goodies and all that

Dear family,
Happy Holidays! Thanks so much for the package; I just got it! Thanks for the CD's; they have already come in handy! I can't wait to open the rest of them on Christmas! You guys rock!
 It was a pretty good week this week; we saw 12 less-actives! That's the most I've done so far! It has been tricky getting new investigators (not for lack of trying), but I think a lot of the work here in Dahlonega will be with these less-active members. This ward has the most members, but the lowest attendance; we have met some members who haven't come for years, for one reason or another. A lot of the leaders in the church are surprised we have gotten in with so many; a lot of them have wanted nothing to do with the church before. I guess sometimes all it takes is a friendly new face; it makes me really happy to see those less-actives come to church.
We have also seen a lot of active members this week; we are trying to get everyone on and make a profile. The elders and high priests are helping us make this push; we go out every Sunday on team-ups with them to try to see all the members. We haven't met them all yet, but the ones we have met are pretty awesome!
Our actual investigators have been out of it for a little while; the parents of the recent convert we have been teaching have been sick, so we haven't been able to meet with them or have them come to church. Our other investigator (the one with the date) is a little flaky; we are trying to help him gain a desire and to have him act on it; we'll see.
We met this other less-active family that no one has seen for a year; I don't know where they went, but they're back! They have had it rough lately; suspensions from school, death of close friends, divorce, you name it. They recognize that the need to come back unto Christ and repent, so we'll help them through it (with the ward's help of course).
Oh, a less-active lady is teaching me how to knit; fun, right?
We had a pretty sweet Ward Christmas Party; there was a ton of food, and a ton of members and less-actives, and even a few investigators! What fun! This ward knows how to throw a party!
We volunteered (or rather, we were volunteered lol) to work at this thrift shop; Brother Sandoz knows the guy who owns it, and has volunteered himself, members, and missionaries alike to volunteer time there occasionally. Anyway, we helped store bags of po-tay-toes!, broke up boxes, swept, and dug and dumped dirt so they could have more parking space. It was good, hard work! There were also many people there doing community service; we had a good talk about the Church with them. They don't actually live here in Dahlonega (dang it) but they were open to having the missionaries who are in their area to come visit them! Yay! We'll see what comes of that. What was cool was we didn't even bring it up; they asked us. People can tell the difference between everyone else and us. The best way to spread the Gospel is to be an example of the believers in word and deed. There is a quote I heard; I don't know who said it, and I'll probably butcher it, but here it goes: "Preach the Gospel everywhere you go, and, when necessary, use words."
This is the season for giving gifts to another; gifts of service, gifts of thoughtfulness, and, most importantly, gifts of time and love. Elder Ian S. Ardern mentioned that in his talk this past conference: "Love is really spelled T I M E."
Not only is this the season to recognize and celebrate Christ's birth but to also give gifts of time, service, and love to everyone around you. This IS the reason for the season. I know this church is true, and since it is, the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was the Prophet of the Restoration, Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet of this day and time, and the great Plan of Salvation was laid down in the beginning, to show us where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. I know that when we are in the service of our fellow men, we are only in the service of our God. I know that nothing is more important than the salvation of souls. I say this in His Holy Name, even Jesus Christ, amen.
I'll do my best to see if I can Skype on Christmas Eve, but I'm not sure; we are still supposed to proselyte that evening still. I still have to find a member who has it; the one who I know does will be out of town for the holidays. We may just have to call on Christmas, but let me find out what they'll let me do.
Go Cougars! I guess it's the best for BYU if we only have one QB; Jake will still do fine wherever he goes. Go, Cornhuskers!
I hope y'all have an awesome holiday! Thanks for the package, it was great! I hope to see y'all Christmas Eve!
Love, Elder Casey Guy Dickson
P.S. Hey Mom! Thanks again for the package and letter; you're the best mom ever! I may need socks. Love you!
P.S.S. Hey Devin! How's Psych/Basketball/School/SWTOR/KOTOR/Your Game Boy game I gave ya etc. Merry Christmas!
P.S.S.S. Hey Shelby! Same question to you as well! Love ya!
P.S.S.S.S. To everyone else who reads this; Happy Holidays! Send me letters lol!

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Casey Guy Dickson

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