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!
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!

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Casey Guy Dickson

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