Monday, July 22, 2013

HE'S COMING HOME! (ie, the last letter)

Hey, guys!
So I am very excited, and nervous, and happy, and sad, not to mention
bored, comatose, serendipitous, melancholy, ecstatic, and avuncular...
let's just say I don't know what to feel; of course I am excited to
see everyone and will be very happy to get to know my family again,
but how can I leave this? I have been extremely happy helping others
come to Christ through service and teaching and example and testimony;
I hope it's not presumptuous to say this, but I think I understand, in
the very smallest sense, how Heavenly Father feels about His children;
he loves them and desires their salvation, no matter what kind of
person they are. I'm not saying I have perfect charity (I don't anyone
here on earth does, though some come close), but I can honestly say
that I truly love the people here in Georgia, even the ones who
weren't so nice to me... at the same time, though, while I know God is
perfect and is in control of every emotion and passion He has, I also
understand how frustrating it is to work with and work for people who
don't want the help or don't keep commitments or want to change; I
mean, there are plenty of people who I KNOW they felt the spirit, and
they got a witness of the truth, and they walk away from that... I
have never cared so much for people who weren't family... On the other
hand as well, the most precious moments of my life up till this point
have been the baptisms of those I have gotten to know and care very
deeply about; I love teaching and testifying and working for the Lord,
and I can still do that as a member, but it's not the same...
Anyway, my week:
My last full week as an elder was not super eventful; our phone broke
again, so we went most of this week without one, which was incredibly
Tuesday we had district meeting, then tried to see a bunch of people
on our list from the bishop without success... did see our local
conspiracy theorist, so now we are all caught up on what's going on in
the world lol...
Wednesday we had lunch with Sister Gomez (who is awesome) at a Chinese
restaurant. That's right, I said Chinese. I can tolerate it now
(barely!). Did a bunch of walking that day... my legs will be sore for
the rest of my life with all the walking and biking I have been doing
lol; it's torn all my church clothes to pieces...
Thursday we went to the Trainer meeting (Elder Bowers is training a
new missionary, and as his companion, I have to follow him) in
Lilburn, which was fun; saw some cool guys I haven't seen in a while,
and probably won't see till they finish their missions lol!
I also got the chance to conduct my first baptismal interview as a
District Leader that day... I was pretty nervous, but it was fine. The
sister missionaries in our ward were teaching a really cool lady named
Rebecca, who is uber-prepared! She passed the interview with flying
colors and she got baptized this Sunday; it was a pretty awesome
service, with an awesome musical number by our own Elder Bowers, who
is an amazing singer!
Friday we weekly planned, then we did service for Sister Seghi, one of
my favorite people here; we painted her house some more, then she took
us to our dinner appointment, Sister Sutherlin, my other favorite
member in Paper Mill! We ate Mexican food twice that day lol; both
Sister Seghi and Sister Sutherlin took us to Mexican restaurants for
lunch and dinner... I wasn't complaining lol (I am so excited for Los
Saturday we got to help at the ward's pancake breakfast for the
Pioneer Day activity; I decided I really like this ward, they are all
super nice and do a good job taking care of us; wish I could have
spent more time here... oh well.
After the breakfast we helped Rebecca (the lady who got baptized) into
her new house; it was crazy! We probably had ten of us there helping,
but she had so much stuff it took us like 4 hours to get it all lol!
We were all super exhausted...
Finally that night we got in with our french gators from the Congo,
and taught the first lesson again; it went better this time cause his
wife was there, and she speaks better English than he does, so she helped
translate. They couldn't make it to church, but they want to come next
week; hope they do, though I won't be here to see it...
Sunday was pretty good; my last Sunday as a missionary... Rebecca was
baptized, we had a marvelous dinner with our wonderful bishop, and got
soaked in the rain! A pretty good day (the rain ruined my favorite tie
though lol oh well).
Today we may go bowling, but I don't know for certain; what I do know
is that I don't really believe I am going home; I feel like I will
still be here in a week, I can't make my brain believe that I will be
home with you guys so soon...
Well, to wrap up this last letter, here is a song by The Nashville
Tribute band (a bunch of return missionaries who make church CDs),
from their The Work: A Tribute to Missionaries Album, which I think
sums up how I am feeling perfectly. It's called, "The Hardest Thing I
Have Ever Loved to Do."
"The hardest thing I have ever loved to do, was letting go of
everything I ever knew. Nineteen years left in my room, As I buttoned
up the jacket on my suit.
"The hardest word I have ever loved to say, Was goodbye to my mom and
walk away. Choking on my tie and on my tears. As I walked away down
the halls and into those years.
"The sweetest song I've ever loved to sing, Filled the MTC on angel's
wings. The chorus filled my soul five thousand strong, And I wished it
would just go on and on.
"The firmest hand I've ever loved to shake, Was my trainers with that
big grin on his face. He grabbed my bag and put his arm around me, and
whispered 'I'm gonna work those MR Mac's right off your feet.'
"The hardest words I have ever anguished for, Came just before some
lady slammed the door. My trainer left me hanging dry, As a minute of
painful silence rolled right by.
"But the hardest tears I have ever loved to cry, Fell as I opened up my
mouth and testified. Between the tiny walls of a strangers living
room, The spirit told their hearts my words were true.
"The hardest thing I've ever come to see, Is a man down on his knee's
in agony. A drop of blood falls down on olive leaves, And for a moment
he suffers there for me.
"The hardest thing I've ever loved to do, Was getting on this plane and
coming home to you. In a million ways completely torn apart, As a land
far away still owns my heart.
"In the most sincere prayer I've ever prayed, I thank my God for each
and every day, for the blessing of the man I've come to be, As I walk
up and kiss my mama's cheek."
That last part will be fulfilled in a few days. I know beyond a
shadow of a doubt this church is true, and no one can tell me
otherwise, because I have received a witness from the Holy Spirit that
this is the truth, and we invite all men everywhere to repent and come
unto Christ. I love you all so much. See you soon.
Elder Casey Guy Dickson... one last time, signing off.

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Casey Guy Dickson

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