Monday, February 27, 2012

"No, Jack, don't chew on the table!"

Elder Dickson and Elder Youd ... um, wow.
That quote in the title is from the Hoffman's little boy; as we were leaving one night, we heard the dad say, "No, Jack, don't chew on the table!" LOL! That little kid is so funny, we try to make him smile and laugh, and he just stares at us. 
What is up, everybody! (the way Baby Brent says it)
Thanks for the e-mail! It's been good P-day so far; though I hate shopping I needed to. With the three of us, we go through toilet paper pretty fast lol (that's probably too much information, isn't it?)!
Washed the car (it needed it), and am planning to go play some ball in a second; I really need to sit down and write some letters; I still need to send some thank you letters to all those who gave me Christmas cards! I'm terrible at returning mail; I just don't have any drive to write letters save for the days I get one, then it goes away after a few minutes! The only way to get mail is to write mail, though; I like e-mails better as far as sending stuff goes, but it is always nice to get a letter.
Anyway, I'm babbling.
I'm doing wonderful! Why wouldn't I; the church is true, so of course things are great and couldn't get better!
 It has been a long but good week!
I can hardly believe I have been out almost 8 months either; it's inconceivable! More than a fourth of my mission is over; where the heck did the time go!!!???!!!???!?!?!?!!??!!? It feels like I've been out 8 days, let alone 8 months. At the same time, though, I feel like I've been doing this my whole life. Two years isn't nearly long enough, that's for dang certain.
We got a new investigator this past week who has a baptismal date! Yay! She was found by the elders in Woodstock, but since she is a young single adult, she falls under our jurisdiction (yes, I spell-checked, don't judge me). She is pretty funny and has made friends with most of the YSA branch already, so I think good things are a-comin'! Unfortunately, prior obligations kept her from church this week, so we'll get her next time!
We met her on Monday, then taught her on Tuesday and Friday as well! She is eager to learn and enjoys all we tell her; my only qualm is that I'm not sure if she understands that if this is the true gospel, it is the only true church and everything that is not true is false; most people we run into have the mindset that as long as someone is worshipping Jesus Christ, it doesn't matter what faith they are. If, let's say a family was attending a baptist church in one state, then moved to another, and the closest church is a Methodist church, they'll just go to that one for convenience. Not everyone is like that, and I'm not here to condone any one's beliefs or any church specifically; I'm just saying we view these kinds of things differently.
Anyway, babbling again.
Tuesday we had Zone Conference, and Elder Gaberet of the Seventy and his wife came and spoke to us. It was pretty cool, even though his Spanish accent was pretty thick, the spirit speaks all languages. I learned a lot from the both of them.
Oh, I also found out that the Rudisills (in Dahlonega) and DeAnna (in Dawsonville) got baptized. Yay!! Even though I wasn't there, I am so happy for them!
 We also had dinner at the Babcocks that night; she cooked some dang good rolls and chicken with garlic and brown sugar; sounds weird, but it was excellent!
Wednesday, Elder Bowers had a doctor's appointment in Macan, s we had a temporary exchange with Elder Thompson, who is a cool kid. The greenie he is training, Elder McCallister, went to my high school! I didn't really know him, but he was famous for balancing things like ladders and lawn movers on his chin; no joke!! Check out some of the YouTube videos and see for yourself (keywords Timpanogos talent show or Morgan McCallister or chin-balancing)! When Elder Bowers got back, we taught Sarah, a really cool recent convert Elder Bowers baptized a few months back (before I got here). She is absolutely hysterical! And she is rock solid in her dedication and testimony in the church; she makes me want to be a better member when I get home.
We also saw the Smalls this week 9the family we baptized a few weeks back); they are officially moved in, and are now officially out of our area; they go to the Allatoona ward now. That Wednesday night a sister in the ward gave up a lot of her furniture to give to them, and we moved it all in; they only had a mattress before. We also moved in some furniture from some other members that Thursday morning; I'm so thankful for the ward's Christ-like attribute of charity, it really helped them out!
We went beast mode on KSU the other day; we talked to almost 50 different people, and got plenty of return appointments; it was awesome! Our Zone Leaders (one of which is my trainer, Elder Nielsen) challenged us to talk to at least 70 people this week, and by Sunday, we talked to 80! We rock! They also asked us to extend baptismal dates at every opportunity we get; as a result, we got 3! There needs to be more teaching and careful analysis before these are legitimate, so we'll see. Still, it was cool; when we opened our mouths, the spirit testified of the Gospel of Christ which we spoke; it's a very powerful and humbling and kinda intense feeling.
We also had an awesome Cafe Rio style type dinner at the Dunbabbinses on Wednesday, one of my favorite families here; they are a young couple who kid and joke with and understand us; their best friends, the Hoffman's, who are also a young couple in the ward, are frequently over there when we are. They also pointed out a family moving in their neighborhood, and we all jumped to the help! They tried to pay us, but, of course, we politely refused, and they were amazed! It is interesting how people marvel at kindness, like it is a thing of the past.
We saw Sister Fletcher, the funniest old lady in the world, on Saturday. She has so much civil war history; her whole family for generations have been in the military. She used to work at a History Museum (which I still want to see) here in Kennesaw. She is also super sassy, and is hysterical! 
We also found another new investigator who had her husband recently pass away, and she said we could come back. i got a good feeling about her. 
Sunday, unfortunately, we didn't have anyone of our investigators make it to church; we're trying! We have lost contact with a few of them, so we pray and hope to find them. 
That's about all that happened this week.  
Hooray for the Lady T-wolves! Congratulations, Mom and Shelby! I knew they could do it! I'm glad you are doing so well!
Hi, Mom, Dad, Devin, Shelby, Aunt Nina, Aunt Darcell and co., Grandpa and Grannie Sheila, and all others who actually read this!
I'm surprised I haven't had more allergy attacks out here; I always do when the seasons change. I heard that it gets even worse in the spring; everything turns yellow, there is so much pollen!
Take luck, and feed the missionaries!
Love, your grown-up son/best older brother you can imagine/ favorite relative of some sort,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
P.S. Thanks for the picture of snow, Dad; I had almost forgotten what it looked like lol! It's still warm enough to wear short-sleeve shirts; it's nuts! I am trying to send more pictures, but this library computer won't let me. We'll see where else I can try. Take luck!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Casey meets some nuns ... and other inspiring stories

Hey, Dad!
Thanks for the story, that's really cool. I'm glad you are feeling
better too; being sick is never fun. I've been fortunate to have not
gotten too sick to go out and work yet; the winter is rather mild;
haven't had any flurries since November! It still gets cold, but it
hasn't been too bad yet.
Anyway, I'll put the majority of my week in the family letter, but
I'll tell you about this one lady we found:
We were going through the area book during weekly planning (a.k.a.
weekly torture session lol; it's boring but important) and found a few
names we felt prompted to visit in cause they were interested again or
yet or still. We called her a few weeks ago and visited her house, but
no one answered. The second time we decided to try the house again a
man answered, saying the woman we were looking for was unavailable.
On Thursday night we got a call from here, thanking us for calling and
asked if we could come see her again. Friday we met in her home and
talked; she has met with missionaries before, and really likes the
values of our religion, which she has not seen in other Christian
faiths lately. Unfortunately, her husband is verbally abusive, and an
alcoholic; she has just barely convinced him to get a divorce. She
says she needs the week to get all this mess taken care of, but would
absolutely love to learn more! She already had a Book of Mormon from
the last missionaries, so we gave her some pamphlets and FFIC (Finding
Faith in Christ) and the Restoration DVDs. We also gave her a blessing
of comfort, which brought tears to her eyes. We should've invited her
to church, but we had already been there for almost two hours (she is
a talker); we figured we'd give her time to get her affairs in order.
On Saturday, while we were at an All-you-can-eat buffet called Stevie
B's (which is a LOT better than CeeCee's) from her, thanking us for
the blessing and the DVD's; she watched them both and loved them! She
asked if she could get more info on our churches history. We invited
her to check out, and we also promised we'd bring some more
material next time we could meet.
She is a sweet woman in a bad situation, and I know she felt the
spirit multiple times with us; I have hope this will all turn out
well; she might move, and we might have to turn her over to the other
Anyway, that's my highlight of this week, aside from meeting nuns on
the street the other day. Not kidding! Real live nuns, in the gowns
and everything! They were really nice.
More to come, but thanks for your amazing example; you and the rest of
the Dickson clan are always in my prayers! Good luck with life!
Love, Your grown up son,
Elder Casey Guy Dickson

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentines Day from Georgia!


How are ya? Thanks for sending me a ton of candy for Valentine's Day
(which is all gone now, by the way); it was awesome! I had forgotten
about Valentine's day , to tell you the truth. Holidays don't mean as
much as they did back home; out here all that means is people are
The new area is doing swell so far; the investigators who missed their
confirmation date last week got it yesterday; I got 11 grey hairs from
stressing over getting all this done. It's all on the ward now; at
least, up until the Smalls move to Alatoona (dang it!). They were
trying to find a house in the boundaries, but this was the best deal
they could find, and they have to move out of that house by next week.
I am a little worried about Recent Converts moving away from the ward
they were fellowshipped in, but the church is true no matter where you
go. Oh well.
Anyway, it was a pretty awesome week; we saw both of our top
investigators! last Monday we saw the 14-year old and taught a first.
It was great; he is a smart kid who wants to do right. He wants to get
baptized, but his parents are a little wary; while his Aunt (who a
member) is his legal guardian and is very good influence on him, his
parents, while supportive, think that their son is just going through
a phase, and don't seem okay with him joining. We're trying to work
with them and teach them so they know what their son is getting into,
so we'll see. We also saw the guy we met who has a Book of Mormon
already and lived in Provo briefly on Saturday with the YSA Elders
Quorum President. Another spiritual lesson, where he expressed a
strong desire and commitment to wanting to change his life and join
our church! Yay! He missed church this Sunday because of work (sad
face) but we're working on that.
We did a temporary exchange thing on Thurs. to Fri.; Elder Hokafonu
from the Spanish branch stayed with us while his companion was at a
leadership meeting. He's a way funny kid from California (his parents
are from Tonga) who is been 2 months out. Our apartment was crowded
with four people, but it was a ton of fun! Reminds me of those crazy
sleepovers I used to have.
On Sunday I went to the branch with the Ward Mission Leader as my
companion while the other 2 went to the ward to confirm the Smalls.
Both wards are very awesome; I've never known a ward to be so
missionary-minded as these guys are. We taught Sarah that evening; she
is a recent convert of a few months, and is the funniest person I have
ever met; she is so scatter-brained! Yet she is so obedient; she has
done everything asked of her by the missionaries and the ward without
murmur. I wish we could find more investigators and members like her.
We got in an interesting argument with some Jehovah's Witnesses on
the phone the other day (don't ask me how lol). They were both a
little tipsy, and they used that almost worn out technique of not
letting us talk lol. We bore testimony and said goodbye, which they
took as an insult. I was this close to saying "the wicked take the
truth to be hard" to her lol. It was a little frustrating, but wasn't
anything compared to the awesome spiritual experiences we have had
this week.
Today I finally got to eat at the Famous Steak N' Shake, known for
it's steak burgers and milkshakes lol. It was pretty tasty! Not as good
as Coneys, though.
Nothing else to report; I'm pretty excited for the work in this area;
we have a few possible baptisms in the future! Can't wait!
My companions have been great, too; Elder Youd is a way funny kid, as
well as Elder Bowers. It's been a good balance of having fun and
getting work done. Teaching has been interesting; we are constantly
interrupting the other. It's not as bad as I thought it'd be.
It did feel good to finally get someone in the water (even though I
didn't find them or hardly teach them, nor did I baptize them). To see
them become and stay so happy is the best thing I've ever seen. How
great was my joy!
 I actually forgot the Superbowl was this past week; totally spaced
it! We were wondering why no one was out and about that day lol. I
don't care for either team, but I'm glad that the Pats lost lol.
I'm a lot more confident and talkative than I used to be; it took
awhile, but I've learned not to be embarrassed about talking to people
I don't know. This work is too important to let my weaknesses get in
my way. I'm grateful for the Gospel in my life, and the fact that the
Lord will make our weak things become strong. Jesus is the Christ, and
the church is so true. The Book of Mormon holds the answers to life's
questions, and completes the fullness of the Gospel in this, our last
dispensation, where we have a modern day prophet to lead and guide us
to victory. In the name of our Master, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Thanks for all you've done for me; you are the best family I could
have asked for!
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
P.S. How's life, Missy? How's school? Tell me more, tell me more!
P.S.S. S'up, Stinky? What's the buzz, dummy, what's a happenin' (give
yourself 5 points if you can guess who sings that song lol)?
P.S.S.S. Thanks for everything, Mom! You rock!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Welcome to Kennesaw, Georgia, home of the Owls!

"Jesus loves everyone, even the Jews!"
Hey guys!
First off, that quote that is my title came from a member's four-year-old little girl who told us this when we were sharing a spiritual thought after a dinner appointment. I thought it was hysterical! We showed her a picture of Jesus (which she recognized) and asked her if Jesus loves us and how we can show our love back to him. We couldn't help laughing, tried as we might; makes we wonder what they are teaching in Primary nowadays lol.
So, it has certainly been a fascinating week in the land of anti-material and missionary members lol. Let me take a second to explain; I was transferred to Kennesaw (not quite city, but not quite country), where I and Elder Youd and Elder Bowers cover the Kennesaw ward and the Big Shantee YSA Branch on the Kennesaw State University (the Owls) campus. I got here Wednesday, and things have already been hectic; we had a wedding/ baptism for a family this Saturday, which almost didn't happen (things can never go as planned; something has to go wrong). They have 7 crazy wild children (one of which is 9, so she was baptized too) with another one on the way (I pray for the parents), and a couple of ... interesting relatives who showed up at the wedding and baptism; let's just say some of them were a little out of it. I'm very happy, though; this family is way cool and have such a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith; they pray in thanks for those things specifically every prayer they have given. The problem was they didn't tell us he had to work the Sunday they were supposed to get confirmed. Whoops. If we had known that, we would have postponed it till next week (which is what we almost had to do, things were so stressful). Seems like we need to talk more about keeping the sabbath day holy; a new concept for some people. They were apologetic and felt bad for not making it to church; the wife committed them to make it to church every Sunday for the rest of their lives! Let's keep our fingers crossed; Satan will definitely take advantage of this interesting situation; they are not members, but they have been baptized by proper authority. This is prime time for the evil one to tempt and seduce and cause this great choice they made to be farce. We must always be on guard; he tries his hardest on those doing the right.
First thing we did when I got here was we went out to a Mexican restaurant to eat, courtesy of a member (Feed the Missionaries!). Sister Brock is the Relief Society President, and is a Super Member! She brought her nephew (who she has custody of), and he expressed an interest in getting baptized into this church. Yay! He and Sister Brock were at the food distribution center (hosted by a Baptist and Methodist Church. Thanks, guys!) when we went Saturday to volunteer. He was at church Sunday, and loved it! We are teaching him for the first time today; I hope all goes well.
Anyway, the members here are so missionary-minded; this fast Sunday, almost everyone who stood up to bear their testimony talked about a time that week or month they had given out a Book of Mormon. Wow! They have been taking good care of us so far, and always have referrals and stories of missionary opportunities; both of the wards! The YSA ward members are so gung-ho (most of them are RMs) and we have several LIMPs (Lessons to an Investigator with a Member Present, which is where baptisms come from, boys and girls) set up for this week. I'm way excited about the ward going on in this area.
We had been praying for finding opportunities; that has been what we have been struggling on since I got here. Now I know that with faith, diligence, and heed, the Lord will bless us with success after we have done all we can and continue pressing forward.
We found a guy in his garage; he invited us in, and we had one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. It was an awesome first lesson; he already had a Book of Mormon he got from a friend, already believes in it, and already wants to be baptized. Yay! To think we never would have found this obviously prepared person if we didn't decide to walk down that street, or if we decided not to talk to him. I'm excited for what comes next.
We did have some street contacts who were well versed in anti-literature, but with the Spirit and truth on our side, we confounded them without having to bash or argue; the Book of Mormon and the Restored Gospel explain themselves. We testify of the truth, offer to let them find out for themselves, then depart in peace (there is no point arguing with those who just want to bring you down.)
I can remember every single good time I've had here in detail, while the occasional bad ones fade away rather quickly. Every time someone challenges my faith, it becomes strengthened (for would the evil one and his followers try so hard to bring us down if we weren't?). Every time someone tells me I don't believe in the real Christ, and that I should just go home, I gain and regain a testimony in our Loving Heavenly Father, His Beloved Son, who is Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Savior in the New, and is the God of Heaven and Earth, and He created all the things that in them are. I reevaluate my commitment and dedication to spreading the gospel, which somehow becomes stronger every day, even when I thought I couldn't give any more. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, guys. How could something so plain and simple and obvious and logical and spiritual not be true? In his holy name, even Jesus Christ, Amen. 
P.S. So... how are y'all doing? Haven't heard much in a while; how's life, what's a happenin'?
P.S.S.  I'll send more pictures when I can find a computer who will let them; this library computer restricts it.

Casey Guy Dickson

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