Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year from Elder Dickson!

I can't believe another year has come and gone!

Hey, y'all!
Hope y'all had a very merry Christmas! It was terrific seeing everyone on the computer, Devin looks taller and sounds older every time...The tricky thing with Skype (as we discovered) is that everyone wants to talk at once; I guess we have a system for next time in taking turns like we did on Christmas. I felt a lot more relaxed talking to y'all then last Christmas for sure, though it still took me a second to remember how to talk to everyone lol. It gets to a point to where I don't know what to say or ask since the e-mails have worked out pretty well, and I have forgotten how to interact with ya. I'll be quite the weirdie when I get home lol...
Anyway, thanks for being the awesomest family anyone could get at a reasonable price (just kidding; you don't put a price on family). Too bad about Aunt Nina, is she doing okay? She's in my prayers every night, as is the rest of y'all, but the focus is on her...
Did you guys get to open the package at the Jensen's yet (Say hi to them for me!)? How'd you like them? Christmas shopping is always difficult for me, I have no shopping or gift wrapping talent...
Our Christmas was pretty good; we got up pretty early and opened our gifts; thanks so much! I got everything I needed and them some; I wear the Star Wars shirt every night to bed, and those shoes were a tremendous help! Then we skyped at the Poulters (they had many laptops and desktops for us to use, so we all got to Skype at once), then went to the Macks for dinner and board games. The Macks are pretty awesome; they have two sons on missions now, and a daughter who is one of the funniest people I have met lol. We had ham and all that good stuff, and I took a Christmas nap (it felt soooo great lol). Then we ended with some beautiful looking and tasting hot chocolate and cookies by yours truly. Overall, a pretty good day.
So what is everyone up to? When everyone gets settled, I wanna hear all the adventures y'all are having...
Oh, I found out Friday night that one of the people I was teaching in Jackson was getting baptized on Saturday! It blew my mind! Author Price a.k.a. Blue finally kicked smoking and got dunked by Bro. Vanhoy (Elder's Quorum President). Thanks to Elder "I" and his new companion, as well as God, for getting that accomplished. It made me pretty happy even though I couldn't go see it (it was too far, and I was notified too late...).
Went on exchange with Elder Larsen, Elder Everett's greenie, on Wednesday after district meeting (we had it on Wednesday because Christmas was a Tuesday), which was good; he got a flat tire almost as soon as we stepped outside. Someone obviously didn't want us to work that day lol, but we went out anyway and just walked around. Had dinner with the Koch's, one of my favorite families here; she is a sweet lady, a single mom with funny kids who feeds us almost weekly, and we love her for it.
Thursday we finally got a hold of a referral we have been trying to see for a few weeks; he knows a kid in our ward and wants to get right with God, so we'll see how it goes. Baptize!
Sunday was alright; all our gators were gone for the holidays, so it was just us and some less-actives in Gospel Principles. In Sacrament, the young man assigned to give a talk didn't show up, and the deacon's president bore his testimony; how embarrassing...
The Priest's Quorum is always my favorite; the kids are fun and the leaders are cool, and they usually have some pretty spiritual lessons in there; this time we talked about extending invitations to make commitments as missionaries. It's the most important part of the work, otherwise nothing gets done!
The rest of this week was a bit of a drag; the holidays kept everyone busy except for us lol. All our gators were out of town or state, and no one was outside besides us because it was too cold; I love this gospel. Why else would I bike in 18 degree weather (wind chill included) with no one around to share a message people think they don't want to hear unless I knew it was what God needed me to do, and that I knew that this Church is the only true church on the face of the earth, with His Authority and His authorized servants leading it? Why would I be in Georgia of all places, postponing school and dating and such to get bashed and ignored and yet love the people here and desire their salvation unless I was dedicated to do the will of the Lord? I has been hard (especially the loving my neighbor part), and I have wondered what is the point, why am I even out here, and feeling like I am not accomplishing anything. Then moments like Keya's baptism, like hearing a less-active decide to turn his life around, like seeing a elderly woman smile because she got a visit from the elders, like hearing about Author's baptism the other day; those make it all worth while. Especially in Jackson, I felt like there was no one there to teach or baptize, and that I was wasting my time. Now we see the fruits; all credit for Author's baptism goes to the Lord, of course, but it just showed me that even if you can't see immediate results in the work, we have no idea what influence we have on someone to make a decision in the future and such. It took 7 or so months for Author to get baptized, and it was definitely worth all the empty days and long hours I spent there. This church is so true; how can it not be? I love my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ, and I do this for them. Amen. 
I love y'all so much and hope all your wildest dreams will come true! Take Luck! 

Love, 
Elder Casey Guy Dickson 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from Elder Dickson!

Hola, Familia! Feliz Navidad!
This letter will be kinda short since I'm speaking with a lot of y'all tomorrow, but I'll tell you about my week:
First off, thanks for the packages and the cards and such! I hope everyone has gotten their Christmas card by now lol! I sent them a week or so ago...
Tuesday was District Meeting as well as interviews with the President; good news: I passed! Yay! Bad news: some other elders had to go home because they did something, and another set had to confess publicly what they did (they're staying, though). It is very sad to see Elders (especially ones you know) go home for anything, but especially disobedience; I mean, they ruin the rest of their lives, not to mention their salvation, because they don't like following the rules; right before Christmas too! I couldn't face you guys if I was sent home dishonorably, I can't even imagine around this time of year! The reason we have rules is not only to keep us and others safe, but we can't do this work without the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit will only come to our aid if we are worthy and obedient. I'm not saying I've been perfect in obedience, but I know I need to be, and try my hardest to be. I need those blessings if I am to get by.
Anyway, we also had dinner with Susan, a lady Elder Rogers knew in Colin's Hill, which is close to us, a few times this week; she covers us when we don't have a dinner, and we usually have dinners here, but we had a few cancel, which is fine. She is a super funny lady, and just got back from Utah, where she saw Elder Rogers family. How cool is that?
Wednesday we had the Mission Christmas party, which you'll see plenty of pictures of in this e-mail lol. It was such a blast! We had a wonderful turkey dinner, some musical numbers, Elder McAllister's chin-balancing trick (he had a table on his face, it was nuts!), and a slide show of 2012; I was in a lot of those pics, so I felt pretty awesome (I'm kind of a big deal lol). The best part was getting to see everyone I haven't seen since the last Christmas party almost! What a good time!
The next few days we tried without success to see gators, potentials, referrals, and less-actives... everyone is out of town or busy or just straight up doesn't want us around... a bit of a disappointing week, but what do ya do?
Saturday was Elder Grant's birthday (20), so we went to Zaxby's, a fast food place everyone goes to. I don't know what I'll do when I get home and there is no Zaxby's or Waffle House or Chick-fil-A or ABDub (Atlanta's Best Wings); I practically live off these places!
Sunday was nice; some nice musical number, a less-active family and their 9 year old who we are trying to teach came, and had a pretty good lesson in Priest's quorum about the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation. Read 2 Nephi 9 to see what life would be like without an Atonement. It's no fun.
We also had an awesome dinner with the Stake President and his family; his grown-up kids were visiting for Christmas, and they were very funny! Had some sweet garlic breadsticks! Pizza Factory, anyone?
It's raining pretty good today, so we might just be playing board games and restlessly waiting for what tomorrow will bring lol. I'm so excited to see y'all and talk to y'all! We've got plenty to talk about (Christmas festivites, movies, moving back, starting to talk about schools and such, etc.)! I love you all so much, and I love this holiday season where we reflect on God's gift to us, as well as Christ's gift of the Atonement. Take Luck! See ya tomorrow!
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson a.k.a The Dicksonian (like the Smithsonian... get it?)
 
 

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'll be home for Christmas (if only in my dreams)

Missionaries are always ready to strike a pose.
I have a Christmas package for y'all. Since you're going to Utah for Christmas, where should I send it? Also, where will I be Skyping to? I almost sent the package to Lincoln today, but something told me to wait; I guess that's why lol. Should I send it to Grandpa's?
The "end of mission" talk doesn't make me too trunky, but it makes me realize it's about time to start talking about it... to start talking about school and filling out applications and how to work out where I'm flying to lol. It kinda scares me that I'm that close to the end that I need to get this going...
I got Aunt Nina's package this last Thursday, so I got it after I sent my letter. I just sent her an e-mail to thank her.
Did that family you guys were helping fellowshipping come to church yet?
Anyway, this week:
Tuesday we had a zone training (which is in between a district meeting and a zone conference), which was good. They talked about a new way to try to get referrals from members, LA/RC (less-active/recent converts), and investigators. We teach a lesson to the members about missionary work or the Restoration or Plan of Salvation or such, asking them to keep friends in mind as we share it, then we help them understand that when people come to their minds as they hear truth or something about the gospel their firneds don't have, that is revelation from Heavenly Father to help them feel that Christ-like love for their friends, and that it is their duty to share it with them. Then we'll kneel with them and pray for those names they have, or to have names come to them if they don't have any yet. It is only through the members we can ever hope to accomplish this work.
Also went Christmas shopping for y'all that day, hope y'all like what I got ya guys!
Did service on Wed. for Sister Draney, a super awesome lady in the ward who deals with everyone else's problems aside from her own, so we decided to help her with some of the moving boxes and funiture that she needed done. Even with all she does, she still finds time to give us rides, and she apologizes to us for not being able to do more; wish we had more like her!
Thursday Elder Rogers had a leadership training meeting, so I went up to Milton with Elder Ontiveros (his name is hispanic, but he is not) for two days. It was a pretty good exchange, Elder O is a brand new missionary who wants to baptize the world, but doesn't know how yet lol! I remember those days... anyway, he did A LOT of biking when I was there, but we talked to a lot of nice people and met a super elect guy who already had a Book of Mormon, was reading and praying about it, and believes it's true; Holy cow!
Then Friday evening I got back to John's Creek, and went on exchange with one of the zone leaders, Elder Sarniguet (he IS hispanic); two exchanges in a row takes a lot out of ya! I didn't see Elder Rogers for like 3 days!
Saturday my real comp. and I got back together and got back to work; he share with me the new thing they learned at leadership; about doing what's called a "Peace and Blessing": as we find, we ask people if we can say a prayer over their home; we figured whether they want to hear our message or not, not a lot of people would say no to a blessing. It gives them a chance to feel the spirit, and a chance for us to explain priesthood authority. Tried it a few times, and it worked pretty well; we got a lot of return appointments after the holidays, so we'll be busy in a bit. We also went out and took some cookies to gators and LA's, which was nice; got in with the Kelly's, a family we have been trying to see for a while; they have a 9 year old daughter that has wanted to get baptized, but her mom keeps saying she'll call us and hasn't. Will get 'em this week! 
Sunday was a good day; we had our top gator Steve come, and he loved it! We had a stellar Christmas Music Program, and had some good discussions in the classes, so I suspect he felt the spirit and that we'll see him again; trying to set up an appt. for Thurs...
Then we had dinner with the LeCheminants, a fun family who moved from Utah to Alabama to Georgia while their son was on a mission... sound familiar lol? Anyway their son is back now, and he's a funny guy. Then we weekly planned Sunday night because Elder Rogers and I were apart on Friday. 
That's about it so far; we got some ballin' to do today, and have a team-up with our ward mission leader Bro. Lakip to see some LA's and maybe the Kelly's.
Can't wait to hear from y'all, and to open the huge package I was told I have waiting for me at the office lol...
Our family is on a journey across the map, trying to do what we can; but no matter where we all are, because of the sealing power, we are all strapped together, and we are never truly separated from one another. I know God and His Son live, and that families can live with them forever in His Kingdom if we keep the commandments. In Christ's name, amen.
Good luck to everyone! Love ya!
 
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's the holiday season (sing it with me!)

 

Hey, how ya doin'?! I've sent a Christmas card, hope y'all see them soon!
Elder Rogers loves Christmas music, and I do too, but we have been listening to it since the day after Halloween, and I'm just about done lol! I'm actually okay with listening to Christmas music by Thanksgiving, but I know for a fact that we'll all be sick of it before Christmas even comes!
Dang it Nebraska! Oh well. I find it kind of ironic; Casey's mission vs. Casey's new home, Elder Dickson vs. The Fam lol! I thought it was funny, anyway! I actually still don't care for either team...Go Cougars!
It hasn't snowed in Nebraskaaa yet? I guess I don't know that much about Nebraskaaa but it has probalby snowed in Utah by now. We certainly aren't getting any snow here! Two years ago they had a freak snow storm here that pretty much shut down the whole state for a week; panic in the streets, people starting their food storage late lol. They don't know how to handle snow out here; I mean Georgia only has like 4 snow plows for the whole state! Last year it didn't snow at all, so we'll see about this year; I doubt it, though.
Dang it, Ronnie! Are you willing to sell your salvation for 5 more minutes of sleep? Follow the missionaries direction, of course, but it sounds to me like it's time to be bold; go big or go home! He can take a nap in sacrament meeting, for all I care, as long as he is there, the Spirit will tell him why he needs to be there. Be gentle and loving, but it's time to call them out I think!
On behalf of all the missionaries of the world, thanks a bunch for feeding the elders lol! Too bad they don't get a Christmas party over there; how were your Christmas parties in your mission? I always like hearing about your mish...
I know I've asked this a lot, but have you run into Elders Boddy, Brown, Chesley, Widmer, or Sister Coats? They serve in your mission, and were in the MTC with me... maybe the other elders know them...
Anyway,we spent this whole week setting up for and hosting The Festival of the Nativity; we had nativity sets from all around the world, live music, and a ton of pictures of our Savior. It was a decent turn out; Friday and Saturday were a little slow, but Sunday we must of had about 300 people there! Our hope is not only to share with our neighbors our belief in Christ but also to get them interested in learning more. We are expecting a few referrals from some members that brought some friends, so keep your fingers crossed!
The good thing about the holidays is that everyone is more Christ-minded; the bad thing is that everyone is super busy or out of town or has family visiting, so they don't want us bothering them. We should be good up until a few weeks before the big day, though.
I can't believe how little time I have left! Time is slipping through my fingers! While I don't want to go home yet, I'm warming up to the idea some lol...
Not much else happened this week; we went on exchange with Spanish, where I let Elder Chugg do all the hablar-ing lol; still got some teaching done, and when I was in our area with Elder Grant we talked to a ton of people, and had a lesson with Keith and a few less-actives. I'm not sure what to do with Keith; he keeps wanting to meet with us, but doesn't understand authority or the necessity for baptism; we gave him 3 Nephi 11 to read, and we plan to teach Gospel of Jesus Christ next time we see him, but I don't know how to be clearer on biblical concepts like priesthood and baptism and such...
We had stake conference this Sunday at Lanier Technical College, which was interesting; the Roswell Stake center is not big enough for all the stake, so in past years they have split up the stake into multiple buildings for stake conference. This year though, they decided to try something different and rented a space at this college, which actually turned out great! The stake presidency spoke, as well as some sisters from various wards, the stake patriarch, and our Mission President and his wife. They all talked about what the holidays are supposed to be, and how we can be more Christ-like. President Wolfert and Sister Wolfert both talked about the joys of missionary work, and preparing to go now. Good stuff.
One of the missionaries I'm serving with, Elder Chugg, had an investigator die this past week; they went to the funeral and apparently had a very powerful experience teaching about the Plan of Salvation. I haven't been to a lot of non-member funerals, but they always seem so gloomy and very very sad. Not that we aren't sad at Mormon funerals as well, but we know that there will be a joyous reunion in Heaven. I don't mean to make fun by saying this, but it does make me think of the end of Lord of the Rings 3, when everyone is reunited for the first time since the first movie, and everyone is happy and clean and all is well; that's what I imagine it to be like. We just have to keep trucking along till it's our turn. The Plan of Salvation is a wonderful thing, because a lot of people see death as a scary and terrible and lonely thing, and it can be, but it doesn't have to be; because of the knowledge we have of God's plan, I know exactly where I came from, why I am here, and where I am going. We are promised to see one another again, and that gives me a lot of comfort. I know this church is true; how could it not be? I know Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and it's because of His Atonement that it is possible to return home to our Heavenly Father and our families. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, because together with the Bible, we have a fullness of the Plan of Salvation, and another witness of Christ's divinity. I know that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God, because if he wasn't, how could he translate the ancient record of the Nephites? I know Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today, because God has not ceased to be a God of Miracles, and he still loves us and speaks to us now as well as then. I love this church and this gospel, and say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Thanks for being the best family any elder can ask for, I love and miss ya'll tons, and I'll see ya Christmas day through the magic of computers! Take luck!
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
 
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

A great week in the mission field!


A missionary's Christmas tree in Georgia.
Hey you guys!! 
What's going on in Nebraskaaa? How's work/school/play? How's the weather? TELL ME!!!
Anyway, my week was pretty good; Monday we played Monopoly, and I DOMINATED, for once lol! I usually stink at board games (except Disney Scene-It lol; wish we could play it...), but I cleaned house! Then the next game I went out first lol. 
Tuesday we had dinner with the Macks, who have two sons on a mission, so they help us out a lot with supplies and dinner and such; we are skyping from there for Christmas, I think. After dinner we visited some less-actives, including the local crazy guy that no one in the ward really knows what to do with lol; he wasn't so bad, but he was all over the place in our conversation, and told me I was a beautiful person. What is sad actually is that he is not the only crazy person to tell me I was beautiful lol. The mission is so great just so ya know! I love teaching people, and all the little quirks that come with meeting people. Doesn't get better than that, lol! 
Thursday we went out with the Elder's Quorum President to see a lot of people on his home teaching list, which was perfect, because a lot of them are on our list of people to see as well. We have been going out more with the members to see people, so things are under way. 
We were also supposed to see Keith, but his wife was at the hospital longer than expected so we'll catch him next week. 
Friday was our miracle day: it started slow, we just did some weekly planning, when to Stevie B's with Spanish (of course), then we went to go see a referral the mission office gave us, who turned out to be golden! His deceased mother is a member, and his sister is as well, and he is now wondering how life would have gone if he would have joined when he was a kid. He couldn't make it to church this week, but he wants to get baptized before Christmas, so we're excited! He is living with a lady friend who he shares rent with; we'll cross that bridge when we come to it lol. She is agnostic, so this will be fun lol! Later that day we also taught Bro. McRoberts, who is recently been coming to church. As much as I love gators coming to church, it seems more sweet when a member who hasn't been in quite a while start making their way back. It's all part of missionary work; bringing EVERYONE closer to Christ. 
Saturday there was a tree-lighting festival in town, so we went and talked to everyone! Seriously, we talked to like 100 people! Then we went to dinner at the Koch's, one of my favorite families in the ward. 
Sunday is always good; we go to priest's quorum instead of elder's quorum; the priests here rock! They brought us a REAL Christmas tree and decorated it for us in our apartment (picture disclosed)! It even looks like young men put it together, and I love it lol! Gives it character! Then we ate at the Belnap's; by the way, I eat salad now. I know, crazy, right? I eat all kinds of things now. 
Today we have been helping the ward set up for the Festival of the Nativity this weekend; it's gonna be big! Seriously, we are going to be working on it all week, there is so much that goes into it. Lots of people, particularly non-members, should be there! Yeah! Baptize! 
That's about it for now. 
So what do you guys want from Georgia before I come back? Devin has all the shirts lol...
It's so weird to not have snow here this time of year; it's like 75 degrees still, it ridiculous! I can still short-sleeve it...
Can't wait to see y'all on Skype, be prepared to tell me all about Nebraskaaa and BYU and what Devo's and Missy's mission plans are now that the age changed lol...
I love you guys a ton! Know that everything is according to God's big plan; as long as we are prepared, and doing what we are told to do, we have no reason to fear. With God on our team, we can't lose! Take luck! 
Love ya, 
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
P.S. First pic is our lovely tree, second is us all playing monopoly, third is yours truly, and lastly is my strange companion...
The face of a happy missionary!

Elder Rodgers, BYU fan!

Who owns Park Place?

Monday, November 26, 2012

I can fix anything ... just give me time

Elder Dickson, bike mechanic.
Hola, Familia!
This week: Elder Rogers was sick, so we didn't get to work very much; we did get to see a lot of less-actives, and members who have recently moved in; we made a lot of phone calls too. Sunday we helped the Priests with their PMG class, which was cool; we shared something I heard and don't remember who said it: something along the lines of: if you think that your friends would be upset if you tried to talk to them about the gospel, how much more upset will they be when we all meet up in the spirit world, and they find out that you could have shared this message with them, but you were too scared to talk to them about it. That one still keeps me up at night...
Anyway, glad to know that the fam is still representing in Nebraskaaa, Dickson style! I wish I could have been there for Mum and Dad's talks... sounds liked they killed it! What time do ya guys meet on Sunday, out of curiousity? We are at 1:30 now, but next year we will be 9 a.m. again...
Glad y'all had a good Thanksgiving! We had ours at the Rowberry's, one of the many studly families in the ward! The also had the Richards over, a family that recently move in that are fairly recent converts and their kids, as well as Bro. Rowberry's brother and his wife and daughter; it was a full house! They made this excellent fried turkey; we have to try to figure out how to make it when I get back lol! It takes maybe an hour to make, and it's at least twice as juicy as a baked turkey! The down-sides are that you need to let the turkey completely thaw, or else it will explode in the fryer lol! Also it is apparently a messy clean-up, but I think the taste was worth it! They injected it with Cajun Butter too! I think they'll have fried turkey in heaven, pretty sure lol! We took a lot of left-overs home, so we'll be good on meals for probably a week and a half lol.
Also had a pretty sweet turkey bowl game earlier that day; yours truly caught a few, and even got a diving touchdown where the ball was bobbled out of like 3 players hands lol. It was Elders vs. Elders Quorum, and the Elders won soundly lol!
Go, Nebraskaaaa! Go Cougars!! Who is BYU playing in the Holiday Bowl?
I do really like my new area, I just am looking forward to when the work picks up a bit; we have a few potentials, some part-members, and a guy named Keithe who has been out of town for the Holidays. Being on bikes when it is cold with a large area has been a good test of my commitment lol, but I know that there are people here for us to teach, we just need to try harder to find them.
Dang it, Courtneys! Oh well, get 'em next time! The Elders are the ones who recieve the revelation on how to teach them, but when it's time to be bold, and the spirit prompts, I like to use Luke 14:16-24 to teach about the importance of the sacrament (which is THE most important reason we need to go to church). It's the parable of the Lord's Supper; the Lord invites several people to attend his feast, but on the day of the supper, everyone who was invited gave an excuse for why they couldn't go. The Lord was angry, and sent out his servants to bring anyone and everyone off the streets who was willing to come, saying, "None of those men bidden (previously) shall taste of my supper." The Lord's Supper is the Sacrament, and we make the Lord angry when we choose not to attend. It's pretty bold and condemning, so use it as a last resort.
I'm so excited for when all these new missionaries coming in; it'll be crazy for a while, but the work will explode! Question: did you ever train or was in leadership? Not that it matters, but since we are going to have so many missionaries, all us veterans need to step up, and I'm a bit fearful I will be put in leadership, lol! If the Lord requires it of me, I'll do it, but I'm not striving for it lol; all I'm stirving for is to be the best missionary I can be! The church is true, the book is blue, and God is a Mormon! Thanks for being awesome, keep it up! Look forward to seeing you Christmas!
Love ya, Miss ya, Take Luck!
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
P.S. I think it would be cool if you guys could each send me your favorite scripture in the next e-mail...
P.P.S. The first picture is of me and Elder Hernandez (who I served near in Kennesaw) who is home now (sad day...), the second is myself and Elder Peterson, who was my district leader here (my companion is the DL now), and is now going to be zone leader in Conyers with Elder Youd for his last transfer. Elders come and go, but memories last... (yes, that was kinda cheesy, sue me.)

A funny t-shirt I saw.

"You're a panda ... He's a panda!"

Me and Elder Rodriguez, who is home now.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sticking around for Thanksgiving

Elder Dickson has many moods ...
Heyy...
Transfer news is coming in from the southeast... I'm staying for the holidays! Yay! So is Elder Rogers; not much changed to our zone except for a few leaving for home, one who is training, and Elder Rogers is District Leader now. The assistants told him that President Wolfert wants him to be a zone leader this next transfer (duh duh duh), and that I might train in the next few transfers; with all the new 18 year old's flooding in a lot of people will be training for awhile lol. I still don't want to train or be in leadership, but I am more OK with it then before; I want the Lord and the President to be able to trust me, so I gotta step up my game and serve diligently. Still, I'd be just fine if I wasn't ever given too much responsibility lol.
By Feb., 80-100 new missionaries will be coming to our mission (more than half of them sisters); we are not getting more cars and they are not dividing up the mission boundaries yet, so it'll be very crowded here lol. Almost everyone, even the sisters, will be biking; they are predicting that there will be 4-6 missionaries (2 of them sisters) in every unit, and that almost all the areas will be divided in halves or thirds. It's going to be nuts here for a good bit, but we'll get the hang of it. I'm excited to be out here as the changes happen! Go Elders! Baptize!
This week I went on exchange with Elder Jarman, who is a little strange but is a good guy, and we talked to a lot of nice people in his area, and I ate dinner with Elder Everett (my former District Leader who serves in the same ward as Elder Jarman), which is always a pleasure; he's a funny kid!
We spent a lot of this week biking, which yielded some fruit; we have plenty of potentials we need to follow up on, and we actually ran into a few less-active members we were looking for; what a co-wink-a-dink.
Saturday there was a baptism for an 8 year old named Fil Fil that we got to help out with; I love going to baptisms, there is an awesome spirit there, and it's the perfect thing to invite investigators too! We also contacted a referral we had gotten last week and have tried several times to see; a kid named Qwik (not kidding. I love Georgia!). His brother converted and has like 2 days left on his mission in Brazil; his mom is a non-member, and hasn't shown too much interest, but his brother had some questions about the church and the Book of Mormon, which we were happy to answer. He seemed to like what we shared, but wouldn't give us a definite time in which we can come back, so we'll see.
The less-active family with the unbaptized daughter we were hoping to get in with all got sick this week, but they apparently came to church and sat in the back and left before we got back there to say hi lol. Next time, baby!
We also got volunteered to do a sharing time in Primary (we get volunteered a lot lol), so we went in and talked about how they can be missionaries now, and invite their friends to all our holiday activities; the ward is putting on this HUGE nativity festival that apparently is a pretty big deal, and very well attended. We have been asking members to each bring at least 1 non-member friend to it; this should definitely invite a great spirit of Christ and plant a lot of seeds! Happy Christmas!
A priest also invited his girlfriend to church, and we talked with her and we might be going over this next week to share the first lesson; keep your fingers crossed!
Keithe didn't make it to church this week, and will be out of town for the holidays for a while; we taught him Thursday at Brother Colton's home and had a good Restoration lesson. We finally dragged outta him his concern; he doesn't know too much about the priesthood or the need for authority, so we focused on that. We also got him a big print BoM so he has no excuse about reading it, lol! Early christmas present!
Thanksgiving is at the Dewberry's house; they are a nice family, so it'll be good. Plus, the turkey bowl will be that morning! I can't wait, I haven't played football in FOREVER!
That's about it for now.
While it's probably not as cold as Nebraska or Utah here, it is a lot colder than last year (which is weird to think about... last year at this time I was on my mission...). We have some very pretty fall colors, but nothing beats our red and orange mountains in Utah at this time. Biking has been fun lol; I was in a car all last winter, so we'll see what happens if it snows or whatever. Members have been good with giving us rides when we need them, I just don't like asking people to do things for us but we kinda have to so I'm always in a state of conflict when we need to call someone for something lol.
Go Huskers! Go BYU! I heard the cougs lost this weekend... bummer.
I hear from Dad about the investigators you are fellowshipping ... going slow is frustrating for me, but some people need time, and some need a push. Sometimes both. Go by the spirit, and work together with the elders to see when they need to be reminded that their excuses are lame... push too soon and they'll disappear, push too late and they will lose the desire, if there is any. You and I both know that other peoples agency, especially when pertaining to salvation, is the most frustrating thing on the planet! I don't know how God puts up with it; I mean they know it's true, and you know that they know it's true, and they still don't want to do anything about it. I've had my fair share out here that just don't get it, and it makes me sad... but of course I shouldn't complain about having free choice; it's better than the alternative. Just keep praying and being their friend, because investigating the church puts them on the devil's radar; never give up on them, because Satan won't either. Tell them they are missed at church, and that they are needed.
I wish I could be there to here mom and dad talk; I only remember that happening once or twice in my lifetime where I heard y'all give talks. We talked about conversion this last Sunday; there was an awesome quote by Mother Teresa the speaker shared about her seeing lack of success in her ministry in India: "God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful." That quote meant a lot to me, because I haven't felt like I have seen too much success out here; I learned it is not the baptisms that measure success, it is my own personal dedication to what I have been asked to do.
Anyway, good luck with your talks, I know that you'll do great!
Thanks for the news, I love to hear about all the things that are going on in y'alls lives. You guys are the best family I know (and I've met quite a few now), and I miss ya plenty, but I'm having too much fun to stop!
I don't mean to be greedy and ask for things, but I am in need of some new sturdy black shoes; I have gone through 3 pairs lol. Some new short-sleeve shirts and G's would be cool too...
I'm super grateful that Mom let me use her quad out here; it means a lot to me, and I treasure it. A new mini-quad that I can mark up and make missionary tab bookmarks in would be nice, but not necessary.
Also, if maybe I could borrow someone's watch, that would be stellar; mine broke in Dawsonville.
Ties and CD's are always acceptable, especially this Oct. general conference on CD. A small 2013 Temple calendar would be fun...
Candy, money, and baked goods are always a staple lol! I also would like this years BYU T-shirt if that's ok... all my T-shirts are worn or too small, so any kind of T-shirt would be good lol.
Last thing is I had gotten a call from the mission vehicle coordinator who said that President Wolfert wanted to know if I can be a driver soon... I'm not sure what that means, but if I was to get one present this year, could it please be having the fine at the Utah DMV paid off and a copy of my birth certificate sent to me so I can get a Georgia licence?
Thanks again for being an awesome family, and I look forward to chatting it up with all y'all together at the same time lol! Take luck!
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
 
P.S. Also something I would like to know about peoples like Devin and Shelby and Ethan and Myles and people in our last ward's mission plans...
Matching Taylor Swift blankets ... OK.

Four elders after a rousing game of rain-tag.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I'm Elder Dickson, and I approve this message

!Hola familia! ?Que hora es? Estoy bien, gracias.
Seriously, how the heck are y'all doing? Is it snowing in Nebraskaaa yet? How is school/ work/ play/ life? How is everyone else who reads this e-mail?
My week has been pretty good; we actually got some lessons in, and got a hold of people on the phone we have been trying since we got here, so things are moving in the right direction.
Tuesday was a bit crazy; we were told we had to be in by 6p.m. just in case something happened during or after the elections. Kinda sketchy, but we made it okay; just played RISK and read scriptures the whole night, then found out from a member texting us who had won. A bummer I guess, but on Wed. our Mission President made us feel better about it by explaining that all things are in the Lord's will, and that the campaign brought a lot of awareness and curiosity about the church. There were some rough patches, but I'm confident that most of the feedback from this whole "Mormon President" thing was positive; myths were dispelled, people were asking questions, and Billy Graham took us off his cult list, so that's something lol. I feel like a lot more people understand that we are Christian (those that followed the race, anyway), and if that's all that came from this campaign, Mitt did his job. Despite any ill feelings we have, we need to shake it off and remember that we support our leaders in this country. Anyway, enough of me being all political and philosophical, no need to continue torturing y'all with my babbling lol; it's just my views on a lot of things have changed, as well as my priorities. A few years ago, I would be the last person you would catch talking about politics or whatever. Every time I read out of the war chapters in the Book of Mormon, all I see are politics and the world today. The theme of the Book of Mormon is that when a nation is divided against itself, they will destroy each other. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land. If ye keep not my commandments, ye have no promise. That is in the Book of Mormon about 20 times or so. Coincidence? I think not! That promise is still in effect on this continent...
Anyway, I'm doing it again.
Wednesday was zone conference, and we had Elder Giddons of the Seventy spoke to us about justification and purification, pretty much calling us to repentance in a super spiritual way. It was pretty cool, I love zone conference; it gets so so pumped up for the month. It's like a missionary pep rally, except less screaming and more testifying. I also met another Elder I went to school with (what's with Timpanogos and cranking out the GANM elders?); Elder Thorne. That brings it up to 4, being Elder Youd, Elder McAllister, Elder Jones, and him. Sister Coleman was our neighbor, but she went to MT. View. It's just kinda crazy to see people from my premortal existence (before my mission I mean lol).
Thursday we did work! We biked all over our map and contacted a ton of people, including less-actives and former gators. Trying to fill our teaching pool has been a slow process, but were working on it! We saw Keithe that morning too. He told us he was praying to see what was it he was supposed to get out of meeting the elders and coming to church... then told us his answer was that when he was coaching soccer, he didn't play one of the members daughters (like 10 years ago) because he wanted to win, and has felt bad about that ever since. He feels like the reason he was brought here was to apologize for something that the girl doesn't even remember. It was sort of anti-climatic when he started talking about praying for answers lol, but it brought him to church, so I'll take it for now lol!
A kid named Jordan Mack (younger brother of Jenn Mack, the member's soccer playing daughter just mentioned), is leaving tomorrow for a mission in the Philippines; he gave a super spiritual talk this Sunday; I wish him luck, he's a good kid.
Spanish elders had a baptism last Saturday for a 10 year old girl whose siblings are members, but the parents are not (yet!). It was pretty cool to see Elder Grant get his first baptism (she asked him to baptize her) in the mish.
I don't have time today to write all I want, but I feel like it is time to talk about what I should do for school and such; also, when I get the chance, I do have a small Christmas list of some necessities, like shoes and shirts and stuff.
I love y'all and miss y'all and will see your bright happy faces in a little more than a month on the computer screen. Take Luck!

Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Halloween from the mission field!

Elder Chugg and Elder Dickson painted up for Halloween.
Hi, how are ya?!
I've pretty good here, just getting off being sick; this weekend I was getting a little tipsy on NyQuil lol that stuff is the best I feel fantastic today!
I have really liked the new area as far as members and member involvement in missionary work; it's a change lol. The work has yet to pick up, but it always takes a transfer for everything to start clicking. Most of the people here we talk to are referrals for Spanish (because they are the only ones here without cars, so they walk to and from work, lol), Asians that take cards and smile but don't know what is going on, or people who are too rich for the gospel; they have everything they need, what do they need God for, right? Haven't gotten into any conversations where I have dusted my feet off here, but I came pretty close to in Kennesaw lol; that area has a melting pot of religions, and they were really really open or not at all.
We have a few though that are nice and we have plans to see; there is a less-active family who has a 9 year old daughter who wants to get baptized, which is cool, and a girl we met in the park. We have some referrals we still haven't caught home, and plenty of formers and potentials, so we are plenty busy!
Sunday our referral from Web Bridge came to church, which was awesome; he already knew a ton of the members from coaching soccer for his and their girls when they were like 10. He seemed to have changed after coming to church, in a good way; he was investigating because he wanted to know more about Mormons since we might have a Mormon president in a few days (cross your fingers and say good prayers!). I don't know what he was expecting, but he really enjoyed it, especially High Priests, when a member shared a really spiritual story about when he accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun, the blessing he got, and the faith he knew he would lives through it since God told him before that he and his wife to serve a mission. Then he shared his experience
of giving a Article of Faith presentation to a Presbyterian church (3 weeks after his accident) which was pretty cool. It was also fast Sunday, which is always scary to bring gators to (just in case some member decides to preach false doctrine or flip out on everyone... it's happened before...), but this one was pretty good. Keithe (the gator) was quite impressed with the youth and how strong and knowledgeable they were in the gospel (the youth here is solid!). Keithe is one of those guys that likes all religions, and that if you believe in Christ, it doesn't matter what religion you are. Most people here are like that (or else totally the other way like Strict Southern Baptist or Jehovah's Witnesses), so it's a little frustrating to teach concepts like the priesthood authority or apostasy very clearly and simply and they don't get it; not angry at them, of course, but of the doctrines of men that teach the easiest and quickest way out or in is the best way, and if every church is true, there is a lot less pressure and contention, but also a lot less truth or structure. The scripture that comes to mind is Matt 7:21-22; just saying it is not enough, it's doing the will of the Father, and the will of the Father is to have faith and repent, be baptized by proper authority, to receive the Holy Ghost by the same authority, and endure to the end (keep the commandments); makes sense to me.
Anyway, I digress; I brought up that point in the first place to describe Keithe's attitude towards organized religion and our church in general, and how he was more subdued and a little in awe from the experience he had; I know he felt the spirit! We have an appointment with him on Thurs., and he is planning on bringing his daughters to church this next week so they can catch up with their soccer friends. Nice!
 So Halloween was kinda interesting; we are supposed to be in by 6 p.m., so we worked till 5 (met Keithe that morning, actually), then went to dinner; we got there early, so we knocked a few doors. I thought it was pretty funny; two elders knocking doors on Halloween handling out fliers for the Nativity activity in December, lol! We actually didn't think about the fact we were knocking doors on Halloween till we had been at it for a few minutes, lol! Then we met the Spanish elders at our apartment for Risk and Uno and Phase Ten and Monopoly, lol; it got pretty intense! Elder are usually pretty competitive in anything, but these guys were nuts!
Went and got my tire rim fixed with the money y'all sent me (Thanks!!!!!); I had been borrowing another elders bike for the past week. John's Creek has plenty of sidewalks, but the places that it doesn't is scary, since there is so much traffic here. I think my life flashed before my eyes at least twice this week, lol!
Thursday was when we met Jessica while we were contacting in the park; found out just barely that see is just BARELY out of our boundaries (gosh darn it!!); she actually lives in the AP's area. Turns out they had a referral for us, so we traded gators; we have yet to meet the lady they met, she hasn't called us back yet...
Friday we had an appointment with a less-active member and his son; they both want to come back to church, but they are embarrassed because they don't remember anything about the doctrine; they asked us to teach them, which we gladly accepted. They are good guys, and have been coming to church consistently, so keep your fingers crossed! The father has to get past smoking, which is always fun lol; if there is one thing standing most in the way of people getting baptized, it's an addiction. They just can't quite let them go, even when they know the church is true; it's sad to watch, but I have met a few who have overcome it, one of them being Grandpa Dick, lol (even though I didn't know him before then, lol)!
Saturday was a super busy day; the elder's quorum had a service project at the local high school to pull up some trees and replace some of the wood around the boxes of trees they had. It was good hard work, and I enjoyed it a lot; I can be pretty lazy, but there is something about doing service with cool people for a good cause that just fires me up! Hammer down!
There was also the Fall Festival that day; since Halloween fell in the middle of the week, and last Saturday was the BYU game, they moved the Halloween party to this last Saturday and dubbed it the "Fall Festival". It was pretty sweet; it was at a members house (which was ginormous! I couldn't imagine having to clean that thing!) with chili and bouncy houses and games for the kids, and a pretty good warm-up for Turkey bowl game with the youth; it was a blast! There were also a lot of non-members there (who we talked to, of course), so it was a good use of our time. The Spanish elders even found a family that had been taught a year ago that sorta disappeared and has since resurfaced there, so I'm glad we all went!
That's about all for my week. Elder Rogers and I are doing pretty well together; we have had some in depth talks about how we can get better and work smarter; we are both kinda lazy, so our resolution is to make sure we have something we can do every hour of the day.
Go Nebraskaaaa!!!
Go Dickson clan! Way to be attending activities, getting into family prayer and study, and doing missionary work!
So Wreck-It-Ralph was good? I haven't heard much about that movie; was Brave good? I keep hearing mixed reviews; same with the new Spiderman.
Adults dressing up for Halloween is a little weird, but I love dressing up still; if you haven't noticed, I still got a lot of kid in me! I have taken a lot of pictures of me in hats or masks, I noticed; makes me feel a bit narcissistic when I see all the pics I have of just me making faces lol.
Thanks for all the e-mails, packages, prayers, and money over the past 15 months; I can't really describe how I appreciate it. I wish I would have tried harder to earn more money for my mission than I had...
You're the best family anyone can ask for! Take Luck!
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
 
I'm crazy face-painted guy ... now give me some candy!
The next Spiderman sequel, straight outa Georgia!
P.S. The last pic is Elder Chugg (Spanish Elder) and I after getting our faces painted at the Fall Festival!

Monday, October 29, 2012

His secret identity is Elder Dickson

"Who are you?"
"I'm Batman!"

Hey, Family!
First off, thanks for the super awesome Halloween package! It was so great, and right on time, lol! Now I got candy and money (the things of greatest worth). Tanks a bundle! You guys rock!
My week:
Wednesday we picked up a new investigator named Keith who the Web Bridge Elders met; he's a nice guy, and is big into God, but not so much organized religion; he wasn't able to make it to church this week, but he promised for next week, and we are meeting him again this coming Wed., so cross your fingers!
Sunday was pretty good; there was a primary program, and we had a lot of less-actives come out of the woodwork to Gospel Principles, which is always welcome, lol! We usually go into Priests Quorum instead of Elders, so we can get to know the youth and help them with mission prep (since they have a lot less time to prepare lol. Speaking of which, how is Devo's and Shelbster's prep going?) The Priests Quorum rocks here; they organized there own Preach My Gospel study class, taught by themselves. We went and gave a small presentation; the kids here are so fun and cool and I hope we can persuade some of the not-so-sure ones to go on missions.
We did a ton of biking this week, bounty-hunting and trying to find people; not much yet, but a lot more than Jackson, that's for sure! More to report as things progress; Mandi's boyfriend has been sick so nothing has happened with that for now.
The past few months has absolutely flown by; I feel like Independence Day was just a week ago (except it wasn't)! After I got over the hump (one year in the mission field) the time has been slipping through my fingers; AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh well.
Holidays for me are conflicting; I love the spirit of Christ and the fun and the goodies, but no one wants to be bothered during the holidays, so the work is super slow. Still, I am way looking forward to the best part of the holidays, which is calling y'all on Skype! I hope I am here in John's Creek still when it happens, the is a very high percentage of people here who probably have Skype than in say Jackson lol.
Funny thing about the BYU game... going back to when Elder Rogers (my companion, who is a big BYU fan) first got to the mission he talked to President Wolfert about the BYU-Tech game. President Wolfert talked to BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe and was going to get tickets for us all to go and was getting things set up... and the Brethren told him that we couldn't go, because it is out of our mission boundaries. The temple is out of our boundaries too, the chances of getting to go the the game when we can't even go to the temple were very slim... the missionaries you saw at the game were GAM elders (Georgia Atlanta Missionaries, not Atlanta North)... they got to go. Not that I'm bitter about that or anything...
I was so happy to hear about the Cougars, though; sounds the they smashed GT; apparently BYU's defense is unbeatable and the Cougs have a new young running back that just ran all over Tech. What was his name again? It's been weird not knowing BYU's roster by heart anymore lol; maybe Deverino can fill me in... ol buddy ol pal!
Go Nebraskaaaaa!!a!
I'm so happy to hear about y'all going to the temple and helping the missionaries and getting involved in the new ward; none of this stuff (especially missionary opportunities) happened much in good ol' Utah; I loved our old ward back home, but it sounds like this has been good for y'all and I'm excited to hear more about yawls adventures! How is school, kiddos? How's sports? How's life in Nebraskaaaa?
I have only made cookies once since being out here; it's just not the same. And it's a bit outside the missionary budget to buy separate ingredients that are used only for cookies pretty much lol. Though since I gots the green now I might just make some during the Christmas Holidays!
I forget a lot about the last Harry Potter movie, since I only saw it once; still glad I could see it, though. The first movie we are watching is Avengers, then Batman, then Hobbit if it's out on DVD then, THEN we can get into Harry Potter, lol!
That's been my struggle my whole mission; some days, I am so absorbed in what I am doing or who I am teaching that I forget I haven't been a missionary all my life! Other days (more recently, unfortunately, I have been thinking of home... I have more dreams about being home than I ever have before (which is funny, since I'm not going home... not really... lol ;)); and since both Elder Rogers and I enjoy superheroes and Star Wars, we both have been chatting it up about movies and video games we have missed and will watch/play when we get back. I have been easily distracted lately, and it's been bugging me, but I know that this work is far more important than anything that man has made back home, and that I can most certainly wait another 9 months (as of this past Saturday). I can't possibly conceive any video games or movies that can compete with the experiences I have had! The church is true, the book is blue, and God is a Mormon!
I miss y'all so much, and I look forward to seeing everyone all together this time! It makes me so happy to hear y'all having fun together and living life and representing the Dickson clan in Nebraskaaa!
Thanks for being the best family ever! Take luck!
 
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
Just acting like a kid.
Sad wolf-missionary.



 

Monday, October 22, 2012

God bless America and the missionaries!


If I were president, every day would be P-Day!
Hey, Dicksons!
Greetings from Georgia, home of peaches that aren't even that good and people who smoke A LOT!

So this week I gave a training in District Meeting about Hope, and gave a talk on Sunday at church about feasting on the word of Christ at General Conference. Just my luck that both happen in the same week, lol! I was the last speaker; however I was left with 10 minutes to speak, so it wasn't too bad lol. I got a lot of compliments afterward, so I guess I did okay. Even as a missionary, I still don't like speaking to large groups of people about a subject I don't really know that much about. Oh well.
Tuesday we had dinner with Mandi, a recent convert, and taught her boyfriend the first lesson; he is open, but more lessons will tell where his interest level is. Mandi is pretty funny, but she needs to come to church more if she wants us to teach her boyfriend; the best teaching tool will be her example. Seeing them again tonite...
A member named Susan takes us out to eat twice a week; she is actually in PeachTree Ward, but she lives close and knows Elder Rogers from when he served there. She is super funny, and bought Elder Rogers RISK so we can play it on P-days. I never played it much, but now I love it!
We have done a ton of biking this week, looking for all the formers and potentials and such; success will come.
We have a lot of people to talk to, just need to sift through and see which ones really want this. Most of them are never home... 
Went to Stevie B's on Saturday... I have missed it A LOT since I have left Kennesaw...
Sunday was good; it's weird to have it so late in the day; with that and dinner are days pretty much planned!
Today we are playing basketball; YES! I have missed that too! Let the games begin!
Glad things are moving forward for Mom getting better work, I pray about that every day and night...
Darn it, BYU! Why do you toy with my emotions like this? I heard all about it from a member...
Go Nebraskaaa!
I think it is so cool that y'all are fellowshipping and are working with the missionaries; stuff like that never happened in Utah, so this is super exciting for me to hear, and probably exciting for the fam; it'll be good for all of us! Good call on promising blessings, Dadio! Elder Dick Reloaded! He lives again! Please keep me updated on what happens with them...
Anyway, my new companion is Elder Rogers, who is pretty cool: he loves BYU as much as we do, and actually wants to get into broadcast journalism at BYU! He wants to get a Communications degree, just like Dad! Do you have any advice for him? John's Creek is a ritzy area that is very diverse, as far as whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc. I like it; the members are very nice, and we have been fed every day this past few weeks! Met a few members that lived in Utah county temporarily, and knew some kids I knew from school and youth stuff. I have enjoyed it a lot! The work is a little slow, but we have some good potentials, and some 9 and 10 year olds that need help setting up baptisms, so we got some work to do!
Thanks for all you do, and know that y'all are always in my prayers. Take Luck!
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
Elder Dickson's new companion, Elder Rodgers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Welcome to Johns Creek, Georgia!

Casey's new mission area, about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Hey, Dicksons!
I loved the pictures that were sent they made me laugh! Turns out things like sidewalks and multi-lane streets only exist in the West... that's what happens when God plans things, lol.
The new area has been good to me so far; we are almost white-washing it, since an elder had gone home early, his companion was put in a trio with a different area for awhile, so there isn't too much to start with here at the moment. However, I have high hopes; there is great potential in this area, and the members are awesome, so I think it won't be long until the work gets rolling! John's Creek is a lot more city than Jackson; most of the people who live here are fairly wealthy; the members have taken us out to eat every night, and the ward mission leader surprised me some new shirts when I had ripped the pocket in one accidentally. How cool is that? There is a lot of diversity here; not only plenty of white and black people, but lots of Hispanics and Asians as well; there is a large population of Koreans in our branch, so they have there on Sunday school class. Church here starts at 1:30... holy cow! That takes up most of the day lol! All the members have been pretty friendly, and very willing to assist us when we need it; we will certainly keep that in mind lol.
On bike again, lol; Jackson wasn't too bad as far as distance or hills go, so I'm actually getting a workout up here in John's Creek lol! We have had some interesting adventures already biking and contacting, lol; John's Creek is a lot better about sidewalks than most of the areas I have served in, but of course not in it's fullness, lol. Have been ran off the road a few times; traffic is a lot busier here. We meet a lot of Hispanics walking, so the Spanish elders get lots of referrals from us, lol! Still learning my way around; you know how I am with directions, lol! I'm surprised I have done this well!
My companion is Elder Rogers from Heber City, Utah; we have gotten along swimmingly so far! It has actually been the smoothest transition I have had in a companionship; he's pretty chill, and loves BYU as much as we do! In fact, he would like to be a sports broadcaster, for BYU in particular; he did a lot of radio/t.v. stuff in high school, and knows his sports extremely well (to rival I would say even Devin, and that is saying something!). He also enjoys things I enjoy: missionary work (of course), Star Wars, Superheroes, reading, movies, video games, sleeping, teaching, gospel doctrine (and not-doctrine lol) eating, football, basketball, etc. We of course don't let these things distract us, but we have had some pretty in depth conversations about all those subjects, lol!
We found out Monday were I was going, and spent the whole day in Conyers having a last hurrah; then on Tuesday we had a zone training (which is like a zone district meeting) in Conyers again! Then I went to spend the night with Elder Everett at their apartment while Elder Boman and Elder Indriamiarina started their companionship that night! Didn't have too much time to day goodbyes (most of the people I wanted pics with I had got last transfer lol), so I called a few people, and did see the Sherwoods and the Hawkins and Sister Cox. I'll miss them, but I have been having a blast here! There are a lot of cool Elders in this zone! Elder Andreason (my MTC comp), Elder Chugg and his greenie, Elder Everett and his greenie, Elder Peterson, Elder Jarman, and myself and Elder Rogers, of course. It's gonna be big!
So Wednesday I got here and got acquainted with Elder Roge Poge (a name he has been known by since he was born in Stockbridge), bought food, ate dinner with some members, and biked around to get a feel for the area. Thursday, went to lunch with some of the other elders in our district (good to see Elder Everett again... it had been almost a day since I saw him last, lol), then went to work! Spent most of the weekend working on the map and getting he area book organized to go "bounty-hunting" for formers and less-actives and potentials. Sunday was good; talked to a recent convert whose boyfriend is interested in taking the discussions, and talked to some families with 9-year-olds then need help with baptism, so we're all for that! Had a Korean Social at the Bro. Lakip (the ward mission leader) that night which was fun; they have a lot of fun youth, and I have enjoyed fellowshipping with the members; I'm way excited for the big plans we have, we're gonna do work!
So how are y'all doing? How is school/work/play? Let me know!
Bummer about BYU; I actually heard about it from a member on Sunday who keeps Elder Rogers informed; disappointed, but I still love 'em!
Thanks all so far; been having a blast, and hoping with a perfect brightness of hope and steadfastness in Christ that we will find success when we concerate our efforts to finding the elect. Love ya! Take luck!
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
P.S. I'll get some pics of Elder Rogers and I, just haven't thought about it lol!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Casey loved conference ... and is getting transferred!!!

Hey, guys!
First off, General Conference was awesome! Uctdorf and Holland dominated! I love conference so much! It got me so psyched! We watched it at the church building, and the Sherwoods made chili dogs for Sat., and fried chicken for Sun.! It was awesome... except now I only have one conference left on my mission... Oh well. And the whole 18 year old elders and 19 year old sisters... that's insane! Sounds like Devin and Shelby have less time than they thought to prep for a mish now lol!  
Author came to conference, and liked it pretty well; I don't know how much he was able to take in (it's a lot of info for a newcomer), and the other elders had a gator come named Doc (that's right, Doc... I love it!). What were y'alls favorite talks? Or else, what did you learn?
Second off, I'm getting transferred! To John's Creek, with an Elder Rogers, on a bike. Elder 'I' is staying in Jackson Inner with Elder Boman (from Jackson Outer) and Elder Everett is white-wash training in PeachTree Corners, while Jackson Outer is getting white-washed by sisters... What a big change up! (White-washed means both elders are being transferred out of an area). Elder 'I' served in John's Creek, so he has been telling me all about it; sounds like fun! I will miss some things about Jackson, but to tell you the truth, I'm sorta sick of Jackson and the lack of progress, so hopefully this will be a change for the better. Elder Bowers is heading to Dahlonega, so I'm telling him all about it lol what a cowinkadink.
Dad, visiting your mission area sounds way awesome! It's cool that people remembered you, I don't know if anywhere aside from Kennesaw would remember me, but who knows?
Up in Conyers today, playing ball, and e-mailing, since the libraries are closed for Columbus Day. It's always fun to hang with the guys.
Go Cougars! That's my boys! Elder Dickson, 1; Elder Boman, 0 lol! What's their record?
Too bad about Nebraska... good thing I'm still not really getting into it lol. I still can't really wrap my mind around being from Nebraskaaaa now; I've never been there lol!
This week has been slow... been tracting like crazy and trying to see people who pretty much disappeared on us... not much else to report.
How is everyone? Tell me what's going on in the life and times of the Nebraskaaaaa Dicksons! Love you all! 
 
Church is true, Book is blue, and God is a Mormon! 
Love, 
Elder Casey Guy Dickson

Monday, October 1, 2012

To the best family ever!

Hey, Everybody!
Glad Devin got his package, what day did it come? Ahh, Avengers; it's the one movie that's driving me nuts lol but it'll be there when I get home. Of course Devin's favorite restaurant (Denny's) is way out of town lol; can't believe you're 18; how does it feel? It sucks that Papa Murphy's over hired, that's kinda what happened to me with Buy Low; oh well, I'm sure another opportunity will come around.
Go Cougars! Elder Boman in Jackson Outer is a BIG USU fan, so we got a rivalry thing going on here, so BYU better step up and win, or I don't know if I can face him lol.
Yay! I'm so excited y'all got asked to fellowship a family, do work, Dickson clan! The awesomeness of helping people come to Christ is the best thing ever! There is something special about seeing less-actives come back that is different from gators coming to church; it just melts my heart when a less-active we have been working with comes back for good, and the "rescue" of members is as much missionary work as is teaching non-members. Remember, love them, and the rest will follow.
Nothing too new here, except we got transfers next week...
We did some service with a former gators; cleaned out all the tree remains from when we helped him cut them down; he's nice, but still isn't interested. We'll see...
Getting pumped for conference! Trying to get people to come see; problem is, this huge festival Jackson has once a year is on conference Saturday, apparently they would rather go to that than to hear a prophet of God speak; oh well, Author will be there, and that's what matters.
Had an interesting meeting Sunday; we met with Covington ward, where they announced that they were dividing up some of Covington and giving it to the Jackson Branch. We were ecstatic; some from Covington were not, but it's the Lord's will that matters. Had a tasty linger longer afterwards, which is always good lol! I'm not sure how they will divide up the area; maybe into a North and South Jackson, or an East and West, and give us a car! Too bad neither Elder I or I can drive (Elder I has a licence, but Georgia doesn't recognize it, and the packet for a new one I called the DMV about still hasn't come, so idk); that's why I think one of us (most likely me) is getting transferred in a week; but we'll see.
We are in Conyers right now; we got a ride up here so we could hang out with the elders up here and play ball and e-mail and whatnot (and so I could by a bike tire; I have been out of commission for like a week and nowhere in town do they sell bike tires lol); been fun so far.
Anyway, sorry my letters have been progressively shorter; there isn't much happening in Jackson, and all the oddities of mission life seem like nothing to me now; for example, we met a guy who told us he was abducted by aliens and had the scars to prove it, and I didn't bat an eye lol; or the guy back in Conyers who told us he was Michael the Archangel: yawn lol. The things that don't get old are the opportunities to see the gospel change lives, and that is worth all the crazy people and all the rejection in the world. I know my Savior lives, and this is God's work and glory, and it will roll forward like a stone cut without hands to every nation, crushing any feeble offense Satan tries to send up against it. I love this church, and I know it is the truth, the way, and the life Christ wants us to be apart of. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I can never deny that; not now, not after fighting for it for the past year and seeking comfort and truth from it's pages. I know this church has the proper priesthood authority and modern-day prophets, and that what we will here from them in a week is the will of the Lord for us in these last days. I say this in the name of the Master, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Thanks for all the love, support and prayers, and for keeping me updated with the family stuff and football stuff, I love hearing about it! Keep up the good work, and thanks for being the best family ever!
Take Luck!
Love,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson

Monday, September 24, 2012

Conference is coming up!

The Fam!
I have wanted to do those sidewalk photos I sent last time for a while, and I finally found the perfect spot for it, lol!
I still think it's so cool Devin and Shelby are working; how do ya like it? How does it like y'all? Do ya ever work at the same time? I really hope Mom's job sitch will work out; y'all are all in my prayers constantly.
Darn for BYU; sounds like they have had a rough couple of weeks; glad Utah did too, though lol! Go Nebraskaaa!
Pretty sure we are watching conference at the church; hopefully we can get Author and a few other gators there, as well as some less-actives in our area. At every conference I have had so far in the mish, someone has gotten baptized as a result of watching it, and seeing for themselves that these men are prophets, seers, and revelators (A girl named Elizabeth in Conyers that the zls baptized, and both Jerry and Keya in Kennesaw!). I'm sooooooooo excited for conference, it's like the Superbowl for missionaries, lol!
The week hasn't been much different that it has been already; Been trying to find and teach and testify, and I know we'll find them! Author is a great guy, and would be golden if we didn't have to wait so long for him to be able to progress; others have dropped us or disappeared off the face of the earth. We have found a few this week, so we'll see what happens.
Thanks for all the love and support over the past year; I have always appreciated the candy and the notes y'all send to me, I promise to send y'all some soon. Devin's package is being sent today, pray that it gets there before his birthday, lol! Take luck! 
 
Love, Your grown-up son/ bestest friend/big bro,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
 
Elder Everett (our fearless district leader) and I.

Elder Boman (Elder Everett's companion) and I looking tough.

Elder Indriamiarina starring as Morpheus in The Matrix, lol!

Casey Guy Dickson

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