Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Alma 22:18 "(S)he was struck as if (s)he were dead"

Hey guys! Where to even begin? This week has consisted of receiving and overcoming a great trial. Everything was peaceful on Monday. We visited and taught as usual. On Tuesday morning when I got up I felt a little ill, but wasn't too worried about it. My companion and I got ourselves ready and headed over to our District Meeting. It was a very spiritual experience. We learned about the importance of the Holy Ghost and the Book of Mormon. To finish up the meeting we did practices. I always get a little nervous beforehand, but things always work out as the spirit takes over. After a successful meeting my companion and I took the train to eat lunch with a sister in the ward. As we were heading over I started to feel a little worse. While eating lunch I didn't think I was going to make it. On the train ride back I told my companion that we needed to stop by the house, as I felt awful. Usually when ill I sleep for a couple hours and then I'm fine. I figured this would be the same. However, when I woke up a couple hours later I knew that was Not the case.

With the mission president


I woke up with a pounding headache and couldn't trust myself to get out of bed. I had a barking cough and I felt like tossing cookies. I couldn't even get out of bed to go downstairs and let in the mission nurse and her companion, who were bringing me medication. I couldn't sleep the entire night, and the next morning felt a little bit better, although still miserable. I managed to get myself over to the church to receive a blessing from the zone leaders. After picking up our lunch from the Chavez family we went straight back to the house, where I ate and got back into bed, hoping that I'd be able to sleep. Nope...

The next morning we headed over to the hospital to figure out What I had. At this point it had to be more than your common flu. We took the train to Olivos and then walked 20 blocks to get to the hospital... I think I almost didn't make it. Once there I was told that I had faringitis. I obviously didn't have any idea what that meant.... I looked over at Hermana Bekaouche, who said under her breath that this was the worst thing I could have. She has such a way of making me feel better.... We then went to lunch, as it was on the way home and my companion needed to eat, even if I had no desires to do so. From there we went to see Lilian and Zulma. While my companion was teaching them I was dying on the couch. Using my jacket as a blanket, I took the chance to rest and yet enjoy human company after being inside for so long. When my companion was done sharing Zulma called a taxi to take us home. I was sent straight back to the bed. Lilian had gone with my comp to buy my antibiotics (what an angel). 
Jorge Luis saving the day:

Then my companion started feeling sick. Not with faringitis, or larangytis, but with her gastritus. She was stuck in bed all day as well. I read for a long time in the Book of Mormon, catching myself up until I was at Moroni 10, the last chapter in the Book of Mormon. The chapter that we would be reading as a mission the next day. I didn't know if we were going to make it. After reading I watched a church movie, one that had always "put me to sleep" before. No luck. As it got later and later and my companion didn't improve I started to feel incredibly alone. I didn't know what to do. I wasn't well enough to take care of myself, let alone my companion. 
the cure all: lemons and honey

In this moment I couldn't keep the tears from coming. I felt sick, tired, and alone. Abandoned. As I cried I prayed. I prayed with all my might. I pleaded with the Lord. I thought of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I don't know how much time I spent crying, but I do know that I was never alone. The Savior was right there beside me, wiping away every tear. Taking hold of every burden I just couldn't bear to hold any more. 

The moment that seemed like an eternity passed. My companion improved and was able to help me calm down, eat something, and get back in bed. How I hated the thought of getting back in that cursed bed. But in I went, and this time I slept for the first time in 2 days. It was such a heavenly experience. The calm after the storm. 

The next morning the medicine had finally taken effect. We were able to go to the mission activity and finish the Book of Mormon. What a beautiful moment! The spirit was incredibly strong, and even though I felt very weak physically I felt such peace and such strength spiritually, the opposite of what I had felt the day before. I was blessed to see Hermana Yancey and Hermana Riquelme, my hijas, and get a picture with the three of them. The Dickson family together at last;) We went home directly after, as I still wasn't doing well. This time, however, I was able to sleep! What sweet relief! 
Mis hijas :)


Saturday, after resting for most of the morning we went out to see the Galarza family. They were passing through a tough moment, as Franz had just gotten the car taken away.... However, while visiting with the family we were able to talk with Ruth, one of their neighbors. We had been talking to her about the Book of Mormon and had brought her a copy. I wasn't feeling too well and didn't really have a voice, but found myself jumping into the conversation when Ruth started bringing up the Bible and my comp looked at me with panic in her eyes. It felt so good to teach again after almost a week stuck in the house! I think we can easily say it was one of the highlights of the week.
La Familia Galarza


On Sunday I finally started feeling a little better and we were able to stay for all three hours of church.

Yesterday we were able to go out for almost the entire day! What a huge blessing, something I definitely took for granted before. 

For all of you that are serving missions, please be grateful for every day outside, for every chance to share the gospel, for every chance to leave the bed, or the house, and to do what we do best: teach of Christ! I love this gospel. I have been incredibly blessed. Was this week tough? Better believe it. Did I learn a LOT? Without a doubt. 

Now, I'll be staying in San Fernando this new transfer with Hermana Bekaouche, finishing up her training. However, we also have the Hermana Green staying with us now! She's from Park Valley Utah and has 5 months in the mission. This means I'll have spent 6 months of my mission in San Fernando when all is said and done! Crazy! 
 Introducing Hermana Green: 

Love all of you! Take care!
La Hermana Dickson

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hitting a YEAR, going to the temple, and other awesome stuff;)

Hey guys! This week I hit a year in the mission. It's official now, I'm old! I still remember quite clearly when I walked into the MTC and they put a name tag on my chest and handed me a ton of books. Now here I am, training my third "hija", leading my area, and running out of time with 6 months to go! It blows my mind... We're gotten to the point where celebrating another month gone isn't so pleasant and joyous as it was for the first 9 months or so. But that's life for you!

Sooooo, this week consisted of inviting everyone and their dog on Monday, going on divisiones with Hermana Carter on Wednesday and having LCP, or, lecciones con perro (lessons with dog), turning a year old on Thursday, getting up at the crack of dawn to go to the temple (the best moment of the week easily), having a surprise dinner with the Galarza family on Saturday, and seeing miracles at church on Sunday

Monday: Hermana Paz accompanied us:) She's absolutely fantastic and invites literally everyone to hear our message and go to church. I wouldn't put her past her to invite even the dogs, especially given that there are almost more dogs than people here... But anyway, as we were visiting our plans we stopped by a certain house to see if a woman named Nora was home. We had taken the name from a list of old investigators. We rang the doorbell. A woman answered, and I asked her if Nora was around. She responded, confused, that she was Nora. We asked her if she had talked to missionaries before. She told us that she hadn't, which was extremely interesting, given that we had her name. We had the chance to share the Restoration with her and invite her to come to church. I know without a shadow of a doubt that it wasn't coincidence, and that for some reason we had to talk with Nora. It's amazing where the spirit takes you, when you take the time to listen.

Tuesday: Nothing of note occurred, as I can't remember what happened:)

Wednesday: Divisions with Hermana Carter! It was a lot of fun to get to know her better and work with her. We spent the morning looking for less active members and old investigators. No one was home. Instead of getting frustrated that we had literally worked through everything I had planned, I went to one of our lists and picked a name that was close by. Off we went. We rang the doorbell and waited. When no one answered we rang it again. We were about to leave when someone answered the door. It was none other than the brother of the person we were looking for! Gaston turned out to be very receptive and I was able to teach him the Restoration. The spirit was present as we did so. It was so wonderful to finally find someone new to teach after searching for so long! Last that night when we called Jorge Luis to see if he could accompany us the next day he mentioned how we had talked with Gaston. We obviously asked him how He knew that. He later told us that they were good friends and that Jorge Luis had passed by later in the evening and had read with him and that Gaston was really ready to learn more. What a miracle! 

Thursday: One year....
Buenos Aires Temple

Enthusiastic missionaries!

Mallory's artistic photo taking skills ;)


Friday: Temple! Man was I thrilled! The last time I got to go to the temple was 9 months earlier, when I was the "daughter". Now here I was, going to the temple with my own "daughter"! We got up at 4 in the morning to be able to go. I was not fazed. Off we went, in the cold, taking three buses to get there. But get there we did. The peace that radiates from the temple is beyond description. As soon as I entered I was overwhelmed by just how right it felt to be back "home" after 9 months. When I thought of how quickly the 9 months had passed since I'd last been in the temple I almost cried. It has gone by So fast... However, 6 wonderful months left to enjoy:) 

Saturday: We got to visit with Silvia and Franz:) We taught them about the atonement. My companion stressed the importance of forgiveness. We're doing everything we can to help the two of them get married! Still, a wonderful family that I love working with.

Sunday: This is the part where we see who gets themselves to church! Leo was sick, as well as Carmen. As 9 rolled around no one we were waiting for was present. However, as the opening song was ending who walks in but Jorge Luis and Gaston in suit and tie! It blew me away. He stayed for all of the meetings, and when we talked to him later he expressed to us his desire to learn more and that he wanted to be baptized! Miracles do happen! 
My current companion from Peru


I know that God SEES the effort we put in. He'll bless us in His timing. Trust Him enough to Wait if required, and to act when He directs.
Love you all!

Hermana Dickson

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week 16 in San Fernando: My "refiner's fire" Week

Hey guys! I hope everyone has been enjoying the Book of Mormon;) Let's jump right into the week! This week has been quite challenging, but my companion and I have also been blessed to witness a lot of little miracles. During the week when Matias was accompanying us we passed by the internet cafe where we always write. I had almost forgotten about the woman who had asked us about the church and who we had failed to give an invitation or learn her name or her information. As we were passing by at about 8:40 I caught a glimpse of her closing up shop. I immediately stopped and told my comp we would not be leaving until we know her name, her number, and had given her a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet on the Restoration. We did just that, to which she greeted us warmly. After taking down her name, Marcela, and her number we went home almost floating. What a blessing to finally find her again after a week of searching in vain!


I learned a great lesson through this experience. We had had the chance to give her the invitation and take down her information 2 times and hadn't taken advantage of such two times. God isn't going to provide us with blessings that we don't use. And so for a week we searched in vain, not only for the woman, but for Anyone. No one was home! No one was in the streets. Not even the members seemed to be around! And then, after I had pretty much given up hope that we would find her, or anyone, we were blessed to run into her. God answered our prayers. I only hope that next time I take advantage of the blessings from the start instead of waiting and suffering for not listening.

On the way to La Boca: Crossing 12 lanes of traffic

Later in the week we had the chance to visit with Marcela and get to know her better! We had scheduled to see her at 5 in the church. 5 rolled around and out of sight and she still hadn't come. I wasn't sure if we should wait or if we should leave, but I felt prompted that we needed to stick around. Stick around we did, and at 6 something Marcela came in. However, before she had showed up my companion and I had offered a kneeling prayer, asking Father to help Marcela to make it to the appointment. About 10 minutes later there she was, walking through the door. We had the chance to talk to her and explain a lot about who we are and what we do. She loved that we believed in personal revelation and that a prayer was a personal communication with God. It was wonderful to see how the spirit had touched her and prepared her for this moment.

Big soccer team here in Argentina!

On Saturday we got to see the Galarza family:) Silvia and Franz were there, and we taught them regarding temples and the importance of marriage, as it would later allow Silvia to be baptized and the two of them to be sealed in the temple as a couple for time and all of eternity. The next day the lesson in church was over temples and marriage. Coincidence? I think not!

Let's jump to Sunday morning. My companion and I were really looking forward to church, as we were expecting a lot of people to show up. However, as 9 o clock drew ever nearer I was worried that not even One of them would show up! We entered the sacrament room as the meeting started. About 20 minutes in who shows up but the Entire Galarza family! What a huge blessing!
This week was littered with a lot of trials, but throughout the dark strokes on the canvas were moments like these that I decided to share with all of you this week:)

SO, if you feel as though you're in the middle of a refiner's fire week while the rest of the world seems to be jet skiing around you, don't worry! Look for the miracles, big or small:) And remember, it's only a week, one of many:)

Love you guys! Stay strong!
Hermana Dickson

Week 15 in San Fernando: Return of the Book of Mormon ;)

So, you guys will never guess what happened this week! On the last day of June my companion and I received a call from our zone leaders, telling us that as a mission we would be reading the Book of Mormon in 24 days, meaning that we will be reading the entire book, or all 642 pages in Spanish, covering 26 pages every day! Man, when I heard that I was so incredibly pumped!! I found it very fitting, given that this last week I'd talked so much about the Book of Mormon and its importance in my letter to you guys:) So here we are! Only 6 or so days into the project and already more than 150 pages in! It is such a miraculous experience. Read this book!

As for the rundown of the week, we're going to have to go quick, as as a zone we're going to the Boca today! I'm super pumped, but it will cut down on our time, so, quickly, here was the week!

The Pope and I

La Boca



The biggest moment was finally meeting Silvia and her family. Silvia is a referral of Rita Mansilla, a member. She had been telling me during all of my time here in this area that she had a friend named Silvia that we needed to meet. However, three months and 2 companions had passed by and still nothing. However, this Friday we finally were able to contact her with Rita! We went as a surprise, so that Silvia couldn't tell us she was too busy. She was there! Man, it was an amazing experience to finally meet her! She told us that almost everyone in her family is already an active member, and that for many years she hadn't wanted anything to do with the religion. However, starting last year her and her husband had been searching for the church. The two of them are from Bolivia, and didn't know where the church was here. As we taught her the Restoration of the gospel the spirit was so strong! There were tears in her eyes as we taught her the Plan of Salvation the next day. We also were able to meet her husband, who is actually a member of 12 years but not active. It is so wonderful to get to meet such a wonderful family! My comp and I already feel very at home in their house and with them, and we're working with them to help them set a goal for getting married so Silvia can get baptized. This is an awesome family!

Pizza with the zone!

I love all of you and promise to write more next week, as well as send more photos of the Boca! 
Hermana Dickson