|Casey talking to Dad on Skype for Mother's Day.|
|Charles Nana, Elder I and Elder Dickson at the baptism.|
|Charles Nana and Elder Dickson in all white.|
|Elder Dickson wearing the shirt his brother and sister got him for his birthday.|
Thanks for the glorious phone call yesterday! It was so good to see everyone, even though I'll be seeing all of you soon lol...
I told all the best stuff on Skype, but I thought I'd let everyone else know that we had a baptism! Yay! Charles Nana from Cameroon, Africa passed his interview on Thursday, got baptized on Saturday, and got confirmed Sunday! It was pretty cool; I got to baptize him, and Elder Kallon came back from Covington Ward to give Charles the Holy Ghost. Not too many people were at the baptism (we had more missionaries than members...) but it was still a sweet experience; it was my first time getting wet on my mish, so I was pretty excited! Charles is a man of great faith and few words; he was ready to get baptized the day he found us. He was so happy when we first got out of the water and were changing in the bathroom; he was smiling a mile a minute, and it was infectious. I'm so happy for him, and so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven that orchestrated everything so we could meet him when he was most prepared and we were most worthy and when the timing and spirit was most right. I'm grateful for Christ's atoning sacrifice so Charles could repent and baptized for remission of sins; me as well. I love the truths of this church, and how they are so simple and so true.
Anyway, this week:
Monday morning, as well as every evening this week, we saw Charles to prep him for the big day, and finished up the lessons; we were fortunate enough to get some members to come with us... Later that night, we went out with the ward mission leader to see some people...
Tuesday was my birthday! Yay me! Thanks for the money and candy and cards and such; I bought myself a tie with it lol it's my birthday gift to me! I'm so happy... (10 points for the one who gets that reference...). We had a stellar Zone Training, and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me! I'm famous! Then we went to Mellow Mushroom, one of my favorite pizza places! Next, I went on exchange with Elder Adams (I stayed in Conyers); we taught Ruby Kay, Tasha's grandmother, then had dinner with Henry and Ashley, our investigators. There are times when they seem ready, and others when we aren't so sure of their intentions... they missed church this past Sunday, no one knows why... that night we went to watch a baptism in Covington, an 88-year-old man who can't hear anything and can barely stand; what a boss! Just goes to show you, that you're never too old to change... Charles came and watched the baptism with us, but missed the actual baptism part... again lol...
Wednesday we exchanged back, and biked a lot before heading to Burlington Coat Factory to help Charles pick out a suit; it's pretty nice, I gotta say lol... it's strange how back home, I had no idea what looked good, especially as far as suits and ties; in the mission field, ties are the only thing we can change up, and it's like a currency for us lol. It's how we get our kicks; I've a part of some pretty mission famous tie trades lol...
That night as well we had dinner with the Christensen's, a very funny older couple, and saw Charles with Sister Nolden, and taught baptism, and reviewed the baptismal interview questions with him...
Thursday us and the Spanish elders, Elder Gentry and Elder Mayo, got in a bash with some born-again christian guy telling us we aren't saved by works (which is true) and all we have to do is confess we accept Jesus as our Savior and we'll be saved (which isn't completely true; see Matt. 7:21-27.) He knew his scriptures (though he did not understand them...) and was very good as telling us what we believe, even if it wasn't true, and then proceeded to tell us how we were wrong, not letting us talk and ignoring our questions, and interrupting us when we testify. No point in wasting our time if he doesn't want to listen; there are a lot of people to teach and not a lot of time to teach them in.
On the other hand, the lesson we had with Charles and the Bishop just before his interview was great! It's so interesting to come straight from a bash, where the person didn't want to listen or needed proof, to a lesson where the person hangs on to every word and takes everything on faith. Makes you appreciate those who have been prepared by the Lord to listen and learn. After Charles passed the interview, we went with the Spanish elders to Chick-fil-a to celebrate!
Friday we weekly planned all day; Elder Moore was sick, so we didn't bike much... Some members in Covington invited us to dinner to celebrate Elder Moore's birthday (his was May 5th); it was fantastic! We had steak and potatoes and snicker doodles and mint ice cream; glorious! Then we saw Charles again with Bro. Z, who is the family history guy, so Charles can get his names prepared to go do baptisms for the dead!
Saturday we had service at the church; they are building a pavilion (finally) and we helped put up the fence posts around the field. I worked the auger (a big hole-drilling tool; it was intense!) with my companion, as well as digging with a regular shovel; we got pretty dirty lol. Then we went straight from that to help Sister Hanes move with the Spanish elders; we were pretty tired at the end of it all lol! lastly, we had Charles baptism that night; not as many as I would have liked were there, but it was still nice; I've never seen a happier man than Charles on that day! After it was all said and done, we went home and baked a DiGiorno pizza in celebration! It was a pretty good day!
Sunday Charles got confirmed and participated in Elder's Quorum, which was cool to see. After church we went to Sister Nolden's for dinner, as well as my comp Elder Moore getting the chance to Skype his family. It was pretty good; his family lives in Collin's stake! He gets back on Thursday, I heard; how crazy! Say hi to him for me!
Monday we went to a Catholic Monastery, which was kinda cool; it's certainly different than all the other churches you see around here. They actually have monks living there! And a lot of them have taken a vow of silence! I don't have any pictures because my camera was acting up again, so I'll borrow some from the other elders and send them next week. Finally we went to the Bishop's house and I got to Skype mi familia, which was glorious! Thanks for being the best family anyone could ask for; I love you all and will see y'all soon! Take Luck!
Elder Casey Guy Dickson