Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

It's Super Elder!
 Hey, Dickson clan!
Happy Memorial day! Holidays don't mean much to missionaries; just days we can't really proselyte because everyone is too busy or gone or with family and usually don't want to be bothered. Anyway, we have a BBQ later today at the Carter's (the family I skyped from); they do a lot for us, and I'm grateful.
What I did this week: 
We've had a lot of opportunites to do service; my favorite! I have always liked helping others, and service is something I feel like I can do right; I can also see the fruits of my labor more immediately than other things. We helped the YSA branch move into their new building on Thursday; it's more spacious, but has less rooms. Still, it's nice. Smells like new building!
Sister Gruener was shooting at some more squirrels in her backyard (with her pellet gun, don't worry; she's a sureshot!) when we walked to her back deck to see her. Funny lady! She takes pest control into her own hands! She also had this tennis racket looking thing that zaps bugs; it was sweet! We gotta get one!
Taught our top investigator a few more times this week; he still wants to get baptized as soon as possible, but we have to teach the lessons, and we want to make sure he has a real testimony that it is true by the Holy Ghost. He comes to all the activites, and was at church this Sunday; he's kinda shy and quiet, but really smart, and enjoys the good young pwople at the branch. Represent!
One of Jerry's friends, who has been taking the lessons and coming to church, we found out lives in Cartersville (which is the other mission). We hooked her up with the missionaries with the authority to teach her, and she liked them, so all is well; she wasn't too happy at first about going somewhere else with someone else. She can't remember our names, so Elder Youd is E1, I'm E2, and the other guys were E3 and E4. (Elder-one Kenobi, E2-D2, E-3PO... can't think of a good one for E4 lol). She's funny; hope she gets along with the other elders.
We are still teaching Sister Brock's nephew; a few more complications have arose, so we may not be baptizing him as soon as we thought. We'll continue to teach him and help him prepare for when he can. 
I don't know what it is about this week, but we seemed to be running into more anti people and bashes; they don't phase me anymore, but it's kind of weird how it fluctuates. Being on a mission has helped me firmly root my testimony so nothing can shake it. Church is true, book is blue, and God is a Mormon!
The past couple of weeks have been kinda slow; we need to find more investigators, we keep baptizing the ones we have lol!
How are the Jensen's doing then? I get a letter from Collin every couple of months lol; his letters seem to take a while to get to me. I always send a reply; I hope he has been getting them.
So Jake's back, huh? Did he say what his plans are now? I remember him being super emotional; I guess people really do change on their missions lol.
Love, Elder Casey Guy Dickson

Monday, May 21, 2012

You meet the most interesting people on a mission

Casey's Mick Jagger impression (I guess).
Hey y'all!
Thanks so much for the package; it's just what I needed! Shirts, money, and I loved the missionary action figures lol! I love the ties; green is my favorite color (who told you...) and the other ties are pretty rockin'! I sent some more mail out; keep an eye out Mom and Aunt Nina!
How's real life? It's pretty good out here in the land of slightly insane people! Since missionaries will talk to absolutely anyone and everyone, we meet some of the people others avoid. We get a lot of people giving us funny looks, or panicking and running away, or else yelling at us or hiding in their homes. I find it pretty funny, actually. 
There was this Indian woman one time, who was so totally off her rocker I was surprised that she was allowed to walk around by herself (hope that's not mean to say). She was talking about teleportation and spirit worlds (close, but no cigar) and traveling through different dimensions in her youth. Bless her heart (a southern expression lol). Another guy came out at us without his shirt (he needed one) and in a sombrero, asking for a liver donation. Then there was this other guy trying to explain to us how God created Himself as he was rolling through the universe, creating everything else behind Him. Oh, also, did you know Christ didn't really die; turns out he was just mostly dead (ha!). The angels who came to the tomb resuscitated him with the Spirit. Who knew? Oh, and the climax; the guy who tried to convince me he was Michael the Archangel... I have certainly met some interesting people out here lol. Then there have been some people try to condemn us or challenge our doctrine. We win, of course, but some of the time it puts me down... just the fact that people are so far gone that the Spirit just bounces off of them. While it makes me sad, it also reaffirms the fact that Satan wouldn't try so hard if this church wasn't true. I love the gospel; it has all the important answers, with the rest of them to be answered in time. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I wish people actually read it before they challenged it. I love my Father, and my Savior.
Anyway, a busy but kind of uneventful week:
Had zone conference this week; it's always good to see some missionaries you haven't seen in a while, and it was nice to finally get my package lol! Also good to hear from our beloved President Wolfert and his wife.
We taught Sister Brock's nephew a few more times this week; we're almost done, but we might have to push back his date; he's an awesome kid, just gets in some trouble sometimes. We got some more 'gators for the branch; trying to fit them all in these next few weeks. They are busy with summer school or work, so it's tricky to get a hold of them.
Worked on the roof of a members house, fixing their tiles and cleaning there gutter; pretty fun.
Played some baseball and Frisbee this week; the branch is always having games and stuff like that; we bring investigators, and it's awesome!
Another 'gator who is Jerry's friend; we found out that we are going to have to give her up to Cartersville (she lives out of our boundaries). It's always frustrating, especially since our building is 20 minutes closer than the one she has to go to now; but we don't have the authority or permission to teach and baptize her; and authority is kind of important in this church.
And that's about it. 
What's going on with y'all, Shelby/Mom/Devin/Grandpa and Grannie Sheila/Aunt Nina/Aunt Darcell/Uncle Darren? 
I can't wait to party it up in Nebraskaaaaa with y'all! Hope all is well, and that Christ is a part of your day. Peace!
Elder Casey Guy Dickson

Monday, May 14, 2012

A surprise baptism for the Timpanogos Twins!

("Timpanogos Twins" refers Elder Dickson and Elder Youd, both Timpanogos grads and currently companions in the mission field-dd) 
Hey guys, it's your favorite missionary again! Happy Mother's Day, Mom; you're the best Mom ever! It was a blast talking to y'all last night; it wouldn't matter if we talked about the weather, it was just nice to see y'all. Dev and Missy look so much older; I told y'all that yous not s'ppose to grow no more!
Anyway, I pretty much told y'all everything that has happened recently; so let's review:
We got a surprise baptism this week! Jerry told us Thursday that he wanted to be baptized this weekend instead of next! It was a bit of a scramble to get everything put together, but it worked out beautifully. I gave a talk on baptism, and he was confirmed Sunday, so all is well. What was cool is that some his friends came to the baptism and to church; it looks like we may be teaching them soon! The work is never done, and I love it!
The Spanish elders had a baptism Tuesday (a family of three) and the Zone Leaders had a surprise baptism of their own; a guy serving in the Middle East flew over here to get baptized; it was pretty awesome! It was a good week for baptisms in our zone; there were 6 more on Saturday besides our own; go Marietta East!
It's been interesting learning how to teach in a duo again; there are still plenty of awkward pauses were we expect Elder Bowers to comment lol. I like Elder Youd, but things seem less fun and interesting without our quirky redhead. Oh well; he's biking his face off in the Conyers humidity; I can sympathize lol.
We finally got a hold of a kid who was told us over and over that he is interested, but was super busy with school, and it had been months since we taught him. We taught him Thursday afternoon; we taught the good ol' Plan of Salvation, and he loved everything about it! He is a super smart kid, and all his "theories" more or less match up with doctrine! He wants to get baptized as soon as possible; we just got to teach him the rest of the lessons first! He also came to Ultimate Frisbee, and went on the camp out the Branch was going on; sweet! I think he'll be a good Mormon lol!
We also taught Sister Brock's nephew a few times; he's a good kid, just has some trouble with his temper. We set a date for the first weekend in June, so keep your fingers crossed!
Saturday after the baptism, we had a companion exchange; I went with Elder Hernandez's greenie Elder Popp on bikes (since I don't have a license anymore... grrr) in our area. It wasn't too bad; felt like the good ol' days in Conyers, but with less hills and heat. Still pretty "Thor," though lol. Spent most of the day helping the Methodist church that has the food pantry we volunteer at gather donate food and putting it in their storage. They got a pretty cool set up, but our Bishop Storehouse takes the cake lol!
And that's about it.
Once again, it was way awesome to see you guys Sunday night; it'll keep me going for the next 7 months lol. I really don't get homesick; I'm way too busy lol! Happy Mother's Day again, Mom! I'll let you know when I get the package; most likely tomorrow, after Zone Conference. 
Hi Aunt Nina! I'm sending a letter later today; I promise you that the last letter I got from you, I returned; maybe they are holding those at the office as well. 
Keep being awesome, Devin and Shelby! You guys are growing up too fast; STOP IT! We'll have a crazy movie night when I get back, lol; you can even make your famous spaghetti, Devo! 
Hi, Grandpa and Grannie Sheila! Your mail is probably at the office also lol. 
HI, Aunt Darcell, Uncle Charles, and Rebecca! 
Hi, Idaho Dicksons! 
Thanks to all of you for the candy, money, and prayers over the past 10 months; they all go a long way! I'm also especially thankful for your examples and testimonies; all who read this letter have had some influence on my life and the decisions I make; I wouldn't be the man I am without all of you! Because of the way I was raised, I never doubted that I had and have a loving Heavenly Father! I never doubted my Savior, or the things I was taught. True, I didn't quite know what it meant to believe until I was out here, but the things I learned in my youth are the things that keep my faith firmly rooted. This church is so true; how could it not be? How could something so good and so Christ-centered possibly be false?
Sorry this letter is kind of short, but I talked to you guys yesterday about all of this lol!
Take care, y'all! See ya at Christmas (you'll probably be in Nebraskaaaa by then lol)!
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
P.S. The other missionary in white is our fearless District Leader, Elder Hernandez; Jerry had asked him to baptize him.

Happy Mother's Day!

Casey got to talk to Mom and the rest of the family on Mother's Day using Skype. Not sure if he will be writing a letter this week, so here's a couple of photos to tide you over!

Elder Dickson at a Civil War museum. I think he's trying to re-enact the feelings of Southern soldiers or something.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy 20th Birthday to Casey!!!!

Casey before junior prom in 2009. Now, he's 20!
Hello, Dickson clan!
I'm 20 today; can barely believe it! I can't really wrap my mind around being 20; I just got comfortable being 19! By the time I get used to being 20... I'll be 21! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Where did the time go? I've almost been out 10 months...
Anyway, holidays on a mission aren't too exciting; all it means is that no one wants to be bothered, and we don't stop working! Fortunately, today is a P-day; get to relax a little bit.
Anyway, what I did this week...
Tuesday we played Ultimate Frisbee with the young men and some of our investigators; it was good to our 'gators to be friends with people in the ward; it's kinda the whole idea lol! We taught about Helaman's Stripling Warriors, and about how they survived because the obeyed every word of command with exactness (Alma 57: 21, 26, 27). Also taught Sister Brock's nephew 3 times this week! Hope he doesn't get sick of us lol! We also had District meeting in Sandy Plains because we had interviews with the Mission President, which is always fun; he is incredibly caring!
Taught Jerry Thursday about fortifying ourselves (Alma war chapters), and he came to church; he is doing well, and I think we can baptize him soon! He is fasting about his date this last Sunday, so he'll tell us this Wed. when he wants it. 
Had a super spiritual lesson on Friday; we went to go see that family of 5 we haven't seen in awhile; she has been super busy, and has heard "stuff" about us. We chatted, cleared some things up, and invited her to come take a tour of our building real quick; she followed us there, and when we got into the chapel, she broke into sobs, saying' "I'm home..." We thought that would for sure help her come to church, but we didn't see her. Have to go see what's up.
Haven't done too much today; got a call on Saturday that Elder Bowers is getting ET'd (emergency transferred) to Conyers (the exact same place I started my mission!). Not sure why yet; we don't really get those kind of details; they just need a missionary down there pronto! That's the whole reason for trio companionships, so that there is a spare if a missionary goes home or something. Elder Youd is staying, but I'm going too miss Elder Bowers; so will everyone else in the ward and branch; he has been here for just over 6 months. We spent most of the weekend taking him to members homes to say goodbye. We said goodbye to his converts (Sarah, the Smalls, and Keya). At Sister Gruener's, we walked into her backyard (where they usually are) and saw them capping squirrels with thier pellet gun. Only in the South. She was super sad to see Elder Bowers leave. Oh well. It had to happen sometime.
To make Elder B happy we went to the Civil War Museum he wanted to go to; it was kinda funny actually! Rebel pride is still alive, and it shows lol! Anyway, we spent most of the day helping Elder Bowers pack; he did make me some coffee cake, so that was pretty cool! Aunt Darcell sent me a CD, and I haven't gotten a hold of Mom's yet. Did you get your birthday gift yet, Missy?  I sent it last Monday, so it should have gotten there by now. I dislike snail mail strongly; the problem with the postal service is that it is run by humans lol!
Anyway, we just got done eating at BBQ Street, which is a pretty good restaurant, especially since missionaries get half off because some members own it. Sweet! Then we helped Elder B finish packing, and now I'm sitting in a library sending this e-mail! Soon we'll leave to go drop him off in Lilburn. Kinda sad, but good. He needs to experience new areas and members; he'll do great, he's a fantastic missionary and friend. 
Anyway, what have y'all done this week? Did you see Avengers, Shelby? Was it good? How about the Last Airbender? Actually, the other day, we were on KSU campus, waiting at the LDSSA (the LDS club for KSU) for a potential investigator to show up; turns out they got lost, so we are going to meet up another day, However, while we were waiting, the MSA (the Muslims club next to us, who are all super nice people) students were watching The Legend of Korra on their laptop! I could hear everything as I sat in the cube; couldn't see it, thankfully, but it still made me kinda trunky. We left soon after that; couldn't take it lol. I know that my mission is more important, and it will be there when I get back, but I still wanna see it lol. Next time, baby!
Are y'all heading to Nebraska this summer? I'm sure it has been tricky; it'll be a big change. But I know that you all will be blessed immensely; new place and people and area; it'll be very good to help Devin and Shelby prep for missions! I know it is easy for me to say, since it doesn't really effect me, but I know that Nebraska is were the next chapter of the Utah Dicksons will begin. God will support us in our decisions if they are consecrated before Him and we have studied and pondered and prayed about it, which I have done. I know you weren't to keen on the idea, Devo, but please continue to pray and ponder and read the scriptures; that's how you unlock the key to revelation. God will help. He loves us, and wants to help, but we gotta ask. Running out of time, see ya! Thanks for being awesome! I pray for y'all all the time! Take Luck!
Elder Casey Guy Dickson

Casey Guy Dickson

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