|Elder Dickson and Elder Kallon, two serious missionaries.|
Wasn't General Conference awesome?! Perry and Holland threw down! And I always love Pres. Monson's and Utchdorf's talks; conference, in general, was great! (Get it? Conference, in general? I crack myself up, if not anyone else lol...). We watched it at the church; we aren't allowed to watch it at member's houses... Unfortunately, no one came; we'll get 'em next time!
This was my last General Conference in the mission... now that it's over, it's kind of a sad thought. I have never appreciated Conference more in my life then on my mission; it's like the super bowl out here for missionaries! It gets me pumped for the work, and I always find not only answers to my own questions, but for our investigators as well! Most of us don't realize how incredibly unique and special Conference is; how many other people on the earth have been able to witness so many prophets speaking to them as regularly as us? There may be over 14 million members, but that's less than 1 percent of the population at this moment, not to mention all the other people in the ages of the world who had no prophets on the earth at all, or else didn't know there was one. It is a rare and valuable opportunity for us to be witnesses AND participates of the dispensation of the fullness of times. I always looked at people going about there everyday business around Conference time, and think: "These guys have no idea what they are missing? Do they know what day it is? God could have a very special message for them and they don't even know it!"
Tuesday we had a long district meeting, and I gave a training on the Vision of the South, by President Kimball: "Make no small plans: They have no magic to stir man's souls." "This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together.""There are great hosts of marvelous Baptists, and members of the Church of Christ, Methodists and Catholics who are honorable people, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and love him. As they see the church veering off to the right or to the left of those basic teachings, they will begin to search for the truth. And as pivotal teachers come into the church and have influence, we will see the time when we will baptize hundreds and thousands, tens of thousands. In your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be Temples plural in the South States. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people.""These missionaries love the South. We are making great strides and expect to continue."
I love this! It's a prophesy, one that is being fulfilled as we speak, about the destiny of missionary work in the South. Most people here have resigned to the fact that baptisms just don't happen here, and it's true that we don't baptize as much as some other missions, but I was asked to train the elders about forgetting the past and looking to the future, and that it has been promised us of the Lord by his prophet that baptisms will and are happening. We just need to believe it.
Anyway, we also had interviews that day with the mission president; he's a really good guy. He asked me about how I think I have improved since I have been on my mission, and what I wanted to work on before I left. I feel a lot more confident about everything in general, but especially about teaching. Still struggle to initiate first contact with someone on the street, but when I do it, everything else comes easy now. I talk way too much in lessons, which bugs my companions sometimes lol. I told him I want to keep focused and keep my fire going about the work so I could finish strong.
After the meeting we had a companionship exchange; I went with our District Leader, Elder Bridge, to Covington, while Elder Free came here with Elder Kallon. It was pretty fun; we taught a pretty cool gator named Paige who is pretty elect, and it always feels good to teach a lesson and feel that the spirit is working through you, and the gator feels it too. Elder Bridge and I talked all night pretty much about everything you can think of, then on Wednesday we went and helped out at a food bank this baptist church had going on. Service is my favorite way to preach the gospel; it shows an example without appearing overbearing or arrogant because we are smiling and helping rather than teaching and testifying (which are great as well, but the wicked take the truth to be hard; that which they call anger was truth...). Then we switched back around lunch and went back to work. That night we saw an old gator of mine, Keisha! She and her kids we taught for awhile when I was here last, but they were dropped after I left. It was always hard to teach them; it felt like we were dragging them to everything, and we had to work hard to get them to talk to us. We went with Sister Nolden, who is a ward missionary, and our mission mom pretty much; Sister Nolden rocks! It was a good meeting; we really just visited and got to know them again and told them about conference; they said they would watch it on t.v. We'll have to check up on them this week to see if they did...
Thursday it rained all day, so we spent a lot of the day doing indoor activities, like weekly planning or making phone calls...
Friday we biked around all across our map to make up for yesterday, and saw a few people and invited them to conference. Talked to some 50 year old guy who does nothing but play D&D (Dungeons and Dragons); again, not judging, but I don't think that pays really well...
Saturday was conference, and we spent the day at the church, and between sessions we went wherever the zone leaders wanted to go because they got the car lol. Same with Sunday; after the last session, we had someone turn up who was looking for a good church (they missed it by that much...). We'll go over this week and teach them.
I found out that Elder Youd has to go home early because his knee is really giving him problems again; this time, he'll be back for good. He would have gone home in May otherwise... anyway, I called him last night and talked to him; he was one of my favorite companions, and he still lives in Orem, so if you guys see him at a stake conference or something, say hi for me!
That's about it this week. We don't have a washer, so we went over to Sister Nolden's to do that real quick, that's why I'm e-mailing so late.
In response to your e-mail:
I should have asked P. Dub (that's what we call President Wolfert... behind his back, of course...) in our interview about where I would be flying home to; I'll have to call him this week. I want to fly back to Utah as well...
I love you so much, thanks so much for being an awesome family, Take Luck!
Elder Casey Guy Dickson