Guess what? Transfer calls were today, and I'm staying! Yay! This will be my longest area and companionship; my longest previously has been 3 months! I was surprised; I was pretty sure either I would go or else Elder Bowers, but it looks like we are all staying! Perfect! There is a lot of work we got to finish up here.
It was a bit of a slower week; we were able to teach Keya a few more lessons this week; she is getting baptized the 28th, and I'm sooooooooooooooooooooo excited, especially since I can be here to see it! She is so solid; I'll send pics when it finally happens!
We also got to teach a super spiritual first lesson to a lady we found and did yard work for last week; her aunt also sat in as we talked. They both said they felt the Spirit of Peace as we shared the First Vision, and definitely want us to come back! They have been sick the past few days, but we'll get 'em! She told us she doesn't even have to read the Book of Mormon; the Spirit already told her it was true! Wow! We'll see where that goes!
We've also been able to teach Sister Brock's nephew a few more times; did she get a hold of you, Mom? She was in Utah in April and tried to get a hold of y'all, but she couldn't catch ya before she had to leave. She was there again this past weekend; I gave her Dad's number, so he could get a hold of you; did ya? Sister Brock is way cool, she is the RSP (Relief Society President) and is a killer member missionary!
Anyway, that family we baptized in February (when I first got to Kennesaw), the Smalls, are now going to church regularly in their new ward; yay! It's hard to switch wards, especially for recent converts. I'm glad they finally feel comfortable there!
Thursday we played Ultimate Frisbee with the Branch; it was a ton of fun, and even better, Keya was there! We all had a blast and I even scored a few; thank you, thank you. I'm so glad Keya is comfortable around the members; that was a big step! I'M SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED FOR HER BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We also ate at Sister Gruener's before Frisbee; she is the one who sent the picture of us doing yard work at her house. She feed us BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, homemade mashed potatoes, and peach cobbler; oh gosh, it was so good! She came to church again, yay! I just hope she keeps going even after her favorite missionaries leave.
Saturday we helped out at the food pantry again; it's always a blast to work with Shiloh United Methodist; they are very Christ-like, and fun to be around; I hope our presence as a church and influence as missionaries can help them accept the gospel when they are prepared to hear it.
Anyway, there was also a festival downtown; it was pretty cool, not as many cool rides as Summerfest, but three times the amount of booths; there were some pretty cool glass or wood or steel carvings and creations, and also a lot of cool civil war stuff. The last picture is of the balloon and flag I got there; only in the South!
Sunday was just okay; most of our investigators could not be there, but some less-actives came, which is almost as good. They are all great people; they just need some help or comfort. The guys we are working with at the Branch are pretty cool; one is former military who is trying to turn his life around, and another is recovering from substance abuse. It has been fun teaching them and watching good things happen to them; God certainly loves us all, and blesses us in our need and our righteousness. There were a lot of wedding announcements at the Branch; I guess that us what the Branch is for, but it's a little sad to see the numbers dwindle; it just means we gotta go baptize some more people!
That's about all I got; our other investigator, the one that was supposed to get baptized a little while ago is struggling; we're trying to help him through his troubles, but he seems to be letting them get to him. We are still planning to baptize him in May; we just got to be supportive, and help him overcome his addictions.
In response to your e-mail:
Hey, Shelby! Legend of Korra came out? Sweet! Is it as good as the original? What is that TinTin movie about? Sorry you got sick from Easter candy, I did too lol. Most of what y'all sent me is already gone! Glad you got to hang out with the Other Dicksons! I miss them all as well; I'm glad I finally got Uncle Darren's e-mail so I can send stuff to him too! I can't really wrap my mind around Brittney being 13, or Lauren being 10! Where did the time go?! And you are turning 16! What the cheese puffs, Shelby?! I told you not to grow up till I got back! Well, if you are going to go ahead and grow up anyway, what do you want for your birthday from Georgia? Let me know so I can send it fairly soon. I hope you do well on your quiz! Thanks for the e-mail; keep helping Mom all you can, and keep destroying at Volleyball! Si se puede! (Yes you can in espanol) Love you bunches!
Hey Mom! First off, I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy y'all went to the temple to do baptisms; I almost teared up when I read that. There is nothing more important for us than the temple, and I wish I had taken the opportunity to go a lot more before I came out. Keep up the good work! I'm also glad you got to see those videos; Alex Boye is my new favorite singer! All those videos can be found on Mormon.org ... speaking of which, have y'all made your profiles yet? And it's true; you never know who will be receptive to the gospel or not, that's why we got to talk to everyone! Also, did Sister Brock get a hold of you? I haven't seen her yet to ask if she met y'all. Thanks for all your support; you're right, the Dicksons do rock! I can't wait to talk to y'all Mother's day; once I know when and where, I'll send an e-mail so we can Skype. I'm SOOOOOOOO excited!!!!! I miss y'all tons, but I'm having too much fun to stop! Love you bunches!
Hey Dev! It's cool that you are doing home teaching; what families are ya seeing? You are doing more good than you probably think for them; it's nice to have people come visit, especially when things get rough; you get to be there for them if and when it happens. Keep ballin'! Good job on baptisms for the dead! Keep up the good work, bud! Since people are always saying we look alike, I think I can agree on you P.S. lol! Stay cool! You are the priesthood holder of the home; the family is your responsibility till y'all move in again with Dad! Love you!
To everyone else reading this, thanks for all the support and prayers, they can certainly be felt all the way over here in Georgia! Remember to always be prepared for when the Lord needs you to bless someone else; read your scriptures, pray, and go to church; that may not seem like much, and I know you have heard it all your lives, but these three things will strengthen your spiritual muscles, and will cure any ill that happens to us. Like it says in the familiar song, "Hark! the sound of battle sounding loudly and clear; Come join the ranks! Come join the ranks! We are waiting now for soldiers; who'll volunteer? Rally round the standard of the cross. Hark! 'tis our Captain calls you today; Lose not a moment, make no delay! Fight for the Savior; come, come away! We're joyfully, joyfully marching to our home."
Like Elder Holland constantly reminds us, we are at war with the father of lies, and we must be ready to stand in holy places, and to dare to stand for the cause of truth. This church is true; how could it not be? The Book of Mormon is the Word of God, and we need it if we are to prevail! Thomas S. Monson is the prophet; and he relays orders from the Lord to us, so we can know the duties and responsibilities given to us. Jesus is our Captain and King, and he will win. In Christ's name, Amen.
Thanks again to y'all for everything! I can't wait to talk to y'all Mother's day! Take luck!
Elder Casey Guy Dickson