Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A year and a half later...

July 15th, 2014 I get off the airplane in the Utah airport. In 24 hours I will be in the MTC.

July 16th, 2014 As I enter the MTC a nametag is placed on my chest. I will wear that same name tag for the next year and a half.

August 26th, 2014 Leaving the MTC. Wondering where the time went. Wondering if I'll actually be able to speak the language I've been learning for the last 6 weeks.

August 27th, 2014 We touch down in Argentina at about 9 in the morning. It's windy and cold. I try my first Argentine food. I get a new companion. I start my first day in the mission field. 

August 28th, 2014 until December 14th, 2015 EVERYTHING changes. I change. People I meet change. The members. The less actives. The recent converts. The investigators. The cycle repeats. The power of the atonement, found from many days on my knees, heals old and new wounds, helps me press on. Powerful prayers. Powerful fasts. Many, Many trials. 11 companions. 4 areas. A convert here a convert there, a convert everywhere. The biggest convert? ME. 

In 4 days I will be with my family in an American airport where the whole world speaks English and finding a public bathroom isn't impossible. 

I don't even know what to write. FIRST and foremost: a HUGE thank you to all who have supported me in such a huge endeavor. To all my family members, whose prayers and words of encouragement have meant more to me than I can express. To all my friends who haven't forgotten me, even though I've been far! To everyone, those I know and those I do not, that have taken the time to read these crazy weekly posts! To my parents, who are the ones who really inspired me to get out here. To my brother Reed, who is going to be one heck of a missionary. To my brother Hyrum, who will have to get on his knees to give me a hug;). To my sister Emilie, who told me to enjoy my "first" mission and to not get sick on the plane;) And to Lucia, The Spaniard addition to the Dickson family;) 

And yes Emilie, to Charly the family dog too;)
A family in our area lives here

The sky today (Monday Dec 14th)


Thanks to all of you! 
More than even that, I can't begin to voice the gratitude I feel towards my Savior Jesus Christ. He saved me So many times. Was far too patient with me than He should have been. Who carried so many sorrows, wiped away many tears, and taught me that the mission is NOT a sacrifice. I did not give anything or do anything great in going on a mission. I was blessed that He trusted me enough to call me, even with all of my many imperfections and faults. The mission is a great PRIVILEGE. It is the greatest blessing I have ever received. 

The best part? The mission Never ends. Not really. Because Hermana Dickson wasn't just a phase. It was the beginning of a lifelong legacy. 

Para todos aca en Argentina, sepan no mas que les amo con Todo mi ser. No puedo expresar mi amor y gratitud hacia a cada uno de ustedes. Estoy dejando una familia muy grande a regresar a casa. SE que estamos en la verdad, y que nos vamos a ver pronto;)

Hermana Dickson, over and out;)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 13 in Palermo: Only 11 days left!

Doesn't that title blow everyone's mind? I remember when that would have said, 11 months to go, or 11 transfers to go, or 11 companions to go. But here we are! Closing in on the end of a WONDERFUL mission in the BEST mission worldwide. What a huge blessing to be able to serve in Argentina, to develop friendships that I will cherish forever, and to learn so much about my Savior. At the end of the week on Sunday we had the chance to go with Luis, our investigator, to see the Christmas Devotional again, this time in Caballito! How crazy to be in my old area! As we were watching the presentation I was touched by the spirit once more. One of the images shown on the screen was of Christ with a little kid. I couldn't help but think of the little kid as each one of us when compared to the Savior. We don't really have any idea what we're doing, but regardless He allows us the chance to try and fail, and try once more, so that we too can progress. It was quite the change of perspective.

 At the farewell

Much of my mission family (current & former companions)

 Many of my beloved Argentinians, some of my pictures were blurry so please email me if you took photos too!

More than anything this week I was touched by a story my zone leader shared. He had served in Congreso before, my old zone, and although I hadn't met him had heard about just how great of a missionary he'd been and how much success he'd had. While in the Zone meeting on Saturday he shared that even though he'd been very successful in the area, that he'd never been satisfied with what he had or with what he was accomplishing and always wanted more. Because of such he was never truly happy. He shared that he didn't really realize that he wasn't happy until he was leaving the area. Shortly upon leaving the area and entering the Boca as one of the new zone leaders he got chicken pox and was out for a good 2 or 3 weeks. He said that through it all he had learned an valuable lesson: "Tengo que disfrutar lo que ya tengo". aka "I have to enjoy what I already have." This really struck me, because with my ear surgery and recovery I haven't been able to do nearly as much as I'd like to. At times I get frustrated, and it really touched me when this elder shared his experience. 
Hard to say good-bye to all my beloved people!

I've learned during the last couple weeks of my mission that it really doesn't have anything to do with us or the great things We accomplish. We don't do anything in the mission. The most I've done is allow the spirit to work through me. Every baptism is His baptism. Every reactivated member is His. I've received far more than I've given when it comes to the last year and a half. The Lord has been extremely patient with me, and has given me every trial I needed to grow and to extend my potential as a missionary and as a daughter of God. To all those who sometimes feel a little frustrated with the lot or little they're accomplishing, keep in mind what I learned this week from my wise zone leader.

Gift from my dear "hija" from Peru: Hermana B

Gift from Emanuel

"I've GOT to enjoy what I've ALREADY got"
Hermana Dickson

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Personal Revelation: Week 12 in Palermo

Hey guys! This week was so full of the spirit that I don't even know where to start! I don't have a ton of time, so this will be a pretty short update, but bear with me. I've only got 2 more Pdays after this so I have to make each one count!

Today we went to San Fernando for the transfers, even though my companion and I are staying together in Palermo, so that I could get some more people to sign my Argentine flag and drop off some stuff. We then went to have lunch with Fanny and Fanny from San Fernando! They're actually in Pacheco now. It was so wonderful to see them! We had a delicious lunch and we were then introduced to the Elder who had baptized Fanny:) We didn't get back into our area until 5, so we only have an hour to read everything and respond today!

That being said, this week on Wednesday a miracle occurred. My companion and I had an appointment with Karina, an old investigator that I had met with Hermana Muro. She had been very close to getting baptized, but then a couple things had come up and we'd lost contact. On Wednesday I actually wasn't feeling too well, as I still have headaches and a little ear pain from my surgery (it'll probably be like that until the little cut in my ear scars up. Hearing great though!) Anyhow, I didn't think we were going to end up making it to the appointment, but felt VERY strongly that we needed to go. We didn't have a member to accompany us, and I also felt that that would be very important. We called several, but no one was going to be available! I then felt like we needed to call Kathy Campos and ask her. We called several times and she didn't answer. I, however, wasn't willing to shrug away the feeling I had, so we called once more, and this time she answered and said that we could come over and teach Karina in her house:) Whoo!

We headed over, walking instead of taking the subway (blessing!). We got there just on time. I was so excited to see Karina again as I had really enjoyed getting to know her when we had met the first time.  When Karina showed up she said she had some announcements to make. Many things had changed in her life since we last met.  Not only that, but her mom, who is very Catholic, supported her decision to join the church. I was dumbfounded!! My comp looked at me and was thinking, "Wow, this lady is golden!"  However, before I could even open my mouth I heard her asking us when she could get baptized. We told her that Sunday, to which she enthusiastically agreed! We set the date and she accepted!! She had her interview with the district leader the next day. Everything was going good until Elder Kelly told us that Karina had mixed up her work schedule and had to work every Sunday, which will keep her from getting baptized right now.

HOWEVER; I know that the Lord was in this, that He is getting her ready, and that every trial my companion and I have had this last month has led up to a miracle like this. Karina is a Wonderful person, and I am so excited for the great things that will happen in her future!  We fasted for her this Sunday and both feel very strongly that God is preparing her for her baptism. Please keep her in your prayers! I also had my farewell in San Fernando and got to see SO many people that I just LOVE! Thanks to all of you! You're truly my family and I will Never forget you.

At the farewell in San Fernando ( Les amo Rosana y Mario: mi familia)

It was an amazing week, and also jammed with personal revelation, both for me and for my companion. I love her to death and am so glad to be staying with her until the end of my mission! 16 days or so left, VAMOS!!!
Hermana Dickson