Hey, Family! I certainly had a very eventful week; let me tell ya about it lol!
So Monday was pretty cool; we played soccer all day at this member in a different ward's house! It was a lot of fun; turns out my comp. Elder Schmidt can play him some futbol! There were a lot of missionaries there, so of course the game got pretty competitive lol! Later that night, we taught our top gator: a darling 9 year old girl who has been ready forever to get baptized; the family has just been dragging their feet some, but since the girl's primary teacher is leaving for a senior couple mission, they have decided to take some steps toward us. So she has a baptism for the 9th of February; it's a week before her teacher leaves, so we have been teaching like crazy! She is the smartest and tallest 9 year old I've seen; her less-active mother has been participating quite a lot as well; hopefully we can get them all to church a few times before the big day lol... Missionaries have been trying for a year to get this to happen, and we are blessed enough to be here when it is finally happening!
So Wednesday was the big day... a day that will live in infamy; a wonderful story of fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, true... conversion :) and miracles!
So we were outside walking around, doin' our thing, when we got a phone call from the Mission Office. Figuring they were calling about Elder Schmidt's package, we answered, unsuspecting of what was to come. The office lady greeted us kindly, and asked us if we were going to turn in our keys today. Confused, we asked why; she said, "Aren't you guys moving today?" After a stunned silence, we responded that this was news to us. She was also puzzled; she said she would call some people to find out more info, then call us back. I didn't believe it at first; I thought maybe in was a mistake, that someone else was moving. We swiftly returned to our appt. to await further instructions.
After 10 agonizing minutes, she called us again. Horror filled our souls as we heard her tell us that we had to be moved out that evening, or the church would be fined. She was incredibly sorry that no one told us; everyone assumed that we knew. Fortunately, our new apartment was in the same apartment complex ... on the second floor. With few resources and even less time, we got to work; I have never worked so hard in my life! We got a member with a truck to help us with furniture (since it was in the middle of the day, everyone was gone or at work...)but for the most part, it was just Schmidty and I; we walked most everything over to the new appt, which took us from 10 am that morning to midnight that evening. We were cut some slack by the appt staff and they said that if we got out by 9 am tomorrow, they wouldn't charge. After getting a few hours sleep, we got up again at 5 am to finish; we barely got done in time! There was so much stuff in that appt; it seemed like every time we would go back, there would be more junk! Completely exhausted, we collapsed at 930 in our new pad, and slept for probably 5 hours...
So that's the tale; it was quite the experience. I freely admit, I murmured quite a bit; it was long, hard, back-breaking labor! However, throughout this trial, I noticed the tender mercies of the Lord; for instance, getting the phone call in the first place was a blessing; I can't imagine what would have happened if we weren't notified when we were. We also did get some help from Sister Draney and her husband's truck; the weather was the warmest it has been all week, and we also got to contact a few of our new neighbors who are interested in learning more. If someone get baptized because of this move, it would have all been worth it!
Some of the couches and desks couldn't fit in our new appt, so we left them by the dumpster. We got a call from the apartment office that we couldn't put furniture out, so we had to collect it or we would get a $200 fine. When we went back to get it, they were both gone; someone had taken it back to their place or something; it was a miracle! I really feel like I have come closer to God; I saw so many blessings, so many things the Lord did to make our burdens bearable (Mosiah 24: 10-16). I don't know who was supposed to tell us about the move, and frankly, I don't care; it's strange, but I have no anger or frustration or bad feelings about all this; just an increased love for God and a better awareness of His role in our lives. It may seem like a little thing, but it's the little things woven together that makes a mighty testimony.
So on Thursday afternoon, we got a call from the mission president's wife, Sister Wolfert; she was in the zone, and had some of Elder Schmidt's headache medicine; she also heard about "the Move", so she asked if she could take us out to lunch; we agreed and we all went to Chili's. It was pretty cool to have a non-formal exchange with Sister Wolfert; she is a sweet, spiritual lady who does so much behind the scenes in our mission... and she's from Orem! Represent!
This was not the end of our eventful week lol; Saturday morning we got a call, asking if we could substitute for the speakers this Sunday (they had gotten super sick)... Of course we said yes, and spent most of that day writing our talks lol. So Sunday Morning rolls around; we had early morning meetings with the church leaders, which is always informational. Then we commenced with sacrament meeting; a young man spoke first, then I talked about patience in afflictions, and told the ward about "the Move"; not to complain about it, or brag about our accomplishment, but to share what I had learned about the Love of God, and waiting for His time and His way. Then after a lovely quartet, Elder Schmidt gave a super powerful talk on the Atonement (with no notes...); it was awesome! This kid is one of the most spiritual kids I have met! He's bold as well, which is good, cause I could be more bold sometimes; we are a good combo! Anyway, I have never had so many people compliment me so sincerely about the talks we gave (Schmidty's was better...). It was very cool.
So that night, we met with the Kellys again (with the 9 year old preparing for baptism); had a sweet, simple lesson about Joseph Smith, and watched the restoration video. I love teaching kids, especially sweet, happy kids like this little girl. The mom had some good questions, and we got most of the program for the baptism organized. It was a good day...
So that was our week; the numbers we record of our mission efforts didn't show it, but we got so much work done, and I learned so much more about charity and patience; I also learned more about my companion; I freakin' love this kid! I'm excited to keep working with him. Today we are playing tennis ball tag again (which is actually a lot more fun than it sounds...), but I don't know what else; I don't think I could handle anything else more strenuous; I am soooooooooooooooooo exhausted lol! But I'm sooooooooooooooooo happy at the same time; it's complicated, but it's pretty awesome if you think about it. (Devo should get that quote).
I heard about the Falcons... I was hoping they would win, too, but now we can cheer for Pitta! Yay! So I don't know too much about either team as of recent; how are the Ravens and Niners? The other day, we watched the Restoration DVD with an investigator, and I couldn't figure out how to make the t.v. and DVD player work lol I am so embarrassed! I've lost my touch; I can barely use the knock-off touch screen phones we have lol!
I hope all is well in Zion and that Aunt Nina will heal quickly. I love y'all and miss y'all. Remember, God is good. His love transcends every other love, and He is always looking out for us; I love Him so very much, and I'm doing everything I can to make sure my offering is acceptable to Him. I love my Savior, I know this church is true, i know the Book of Mormon is true; how could it not be? I love you all so much and will see you soon!
Elder Casey Guy Dickson