|Elder Iron Man!|
Hey, Howdy, Hey! Happy Father's day!
So we had an explosive first week here in Marietta (the ward and area is Paper Mill, but the town is Marietta...). A decent-sized tornado came through and tore up a lot of the area we were in. We have spent the past few days cutting down trees and chopping up logs and sweeping up debris; it has been a very unique opportunity to serve those around us. It wasn't a major disaster, but it did ruin a lot of people's trees and knocked down a lot of power lines; it was kinda exciting...
I guess I'll explain the whole week before I get to Thursday...
Monday we were at Waffle House when we got the call about transfers... so spent the day in Covington at a member's house for P-day to have a last hurrah! Then I packed Monday night and Tuesday night (I have way too much stuff; I gotta get rid of more than half of it before I fly home...). Tuesday we had Zone Meeting, which is always fun; I made sure I got a pic with all my homies here in the mish! Word! After lunch I went to go say goodbye to a few families: the Pynes, the Noldens, Sister Wallace, etc.
Wednesday we got up early and borrowed the zone leader's car so we could get to Lilburn; after dropping me off with Elder Bowers, and picking up Elder Meyers for Elder Moore, we drove to Lilburn to pick up a "visa waiter" named Elder Christensen. His call is to Australia, but he has to wait for his visa, so he is here with us; so technically Elder Bowers and I are co-training him... I finally have a son! The Dicksonian legacy will live on... in Australia lol! He's kinda quiet, but they all are until they get their bearings; he is a bit disappointed about not being in his mission, but he'll do good here, for however long that is. Means we are in a trio... again! Last time I was in a trio I was with Elder Bowers and Elder Youd (have any y'all seen him in Utah? He's been back since April...); I've never done a trio on a bike, so this should be interesting lol...
We have sisters in our distict, the first time in my mission: Sister Blaylock (the trainer), Sister Carrigan, and Sister Parker (both trainees) and we share the ward with them. They are pretty funny and really nice; some of them are the younger sisters (20 or just turned 21), so they are more bright and sunny than some of the older sisters... especially those who have been out of their missions a while lol...
When we got back to Paper Mill, we went shopping, then walked quite a ways to dinner with the Evans; after dinner we went to go teach our top investigators, Becky and Larry: their sons are members, and they have been investigating for a while... They have been reading, but they haven't come to church yet; apparently they don't hold up well if they feel like they are being pressured into doing something...
Thursday we biked A TON and tried to see some former gators who weren't home; what was cool was that we met some other people in those neighborhoods who invited us back! President Wolfert, when I first got here, told eveyone that after a failed appointment, talk to the next person you see; they are usually the reason you where sent there. That happened with Kent and a few other people who were taught and baptized in my past areas, so I'm excited!
After visiting a few less-actives, we went to dinner with the Hiltons, a fairly young family with three kids (two boys and a girl, like us!); they were very funny, and we had a good time! Brother Hilton was taking us home in his truck when the storm hit; it started to downpour, the wind got really intense, and it even started to hail! All are signs of a tornado (especially if the sky turns green, which it did); the traffic lights went out, trees were blown over, the power lines were dangling into the road, etc. It was really crazy, like an action movie; Brother Hilton said to us, "Sorry guys; I gotta get back to my family." He flipped the car around and drove like a pro around fallen trees and swerving around cars whose drivers were in panic; there was a huge tree that blocked the entrance to his neighborhood, so we drove up on the guy's lawn to get around it; it was nuts! I'll send photos when I get them. It was weird how calm we all were; we were worried about Brother Hilton's family, not to mention everyone around us, but we didn't think much about ourselves at that point. We got to his house and hunkered down in his basement with his family to ride the storm out. After about 40 minutes it let up.
We went out to inspect the damage; Bother Hilton's house was fine, but his neighbors all had trees down in their yards. We spent an hour cutting trees and hauling the debris with the other men in the neighborhood who had risen to the call, then we went up to the top of the neighborhood to direct traffic around the downed power lines. It was interesting to see different people's reaction to a crisis; some praised God that nothing worse had happened, and it was a miracle; others cursed God and asked why he let this disaster happened. I'm on the praising God side; it was truly amazing how little damage the tornado truly caused; I think only two died in the county, and most of the homes with downed trees were spared horrific damage; thanks be to God for this opportunity to come closer to Him and to help others.
Because the power was out, and there was a lot of debris in the road still, we got permission to spend the night at the Hiltons; they took really good care of us, may God bless them for it.
Friday morning Brother Hilton took us back to our apartment. After showering (we had to sleep in our sweaty dirty white shirts lol...) and Elder Bower's doctor appointment, we got to work biking around to help those affected by the tornado; we must have done a total of 8 or so service projects Friday and Saturday, for members and non-members! What a wonderful and unique opportunity!
Saturday we get service for some recent move-ins in the ward, then we helped their neighbor; there may be a chance of getting in and talking to them, but for now we just wanted to help. Then we helped a sweet part-member lady of the ward, Sister Segey; she fed us a wonderful meal after we worked, and we had a tender discussion about not being weary in well-doing...
Sunday was nice; met a lot of nice people and had some good meetings (we were pretty exhausted from the work we did all week lol...). We weekly planned after church, then had dinner with and had a team-up with Brother Bergaust; a wise kinda cranky old man who knows everything about everything! We talked to a lady and volunteered to paint her house, so looks like we got more service to do!
That's my week; a lot of crazy running around and a lot of manual labor; not that I mind, but I'm a little tense still lol, and pretty tired. It was so cool to get to see who people's hearts softened when we offered to help instead of preaching to them. It's not like we are doing service just so they'll listen to us (even though that would be nice...); even if we never saw them again or got the chance to teach them, I think we did good just by caring. I love this church, and the one who leads this church, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I love the warm feeling we get when we help others, and I am trying to love all those around me. God Bless America! Let freedom ring! Take luck!
Elder Casey Guy Dickson
|Elder Kallon and Elder Dickson.|
|Elder Moore and Elder Dickson.|
|Elder Dickson says good-bye to the Noldens.|
|Elder Dickson and Sister Wallace.|
|Elder Dickson says good-bye to the Pynes.|