Monday, December 27, 2010

Hola Familia y Amigos! Como estas? I hope you are all doing well and enjoyed your Christmas. Christmas in the field is definitely not as good as spending it with family but it wasn't too bad. We had 2 dinner appointments and went to a families house and hung out with them for a couple hours. It was nice.. we spent it with 2 of my favorite families so far (both American families who speak Spanish). For those who haven't heard yet, I am in the Orem North Area. We are covering 7 stakes with 3 Spanish wards. It is a small area. Roy is in my area.. he lives about 3 minutes away up by one of the English ward buildings that we have correlation in. Every time we drive by his house... I say yep, that's his house. Maybe if I am here in April I can see family :)

Tuesday I left "spirit prison" (MTC). That night it had snowed over a foot and the roads were a mess. Our AP"s were late picking us up and then we got stuck on a hill going to President Pitt's home. It was an adventure all day. After we met President and Sister Pitts we had breakfast and some meetings then meet our trainers and went into our area and right to work. My companion, Hermana Tetelpa is from Veracruz Mexico and lives in Salt Lake now. She speaks her own dialect of Spanish so it's not really like what I learned in the MTC... it's fun sometimes. She is not a compassionate person so it is kind of hard at times but we get along. I have had a lot of rough days this last week between Christmas and not having a clue of what is going on. But I got a blessing yesterday from a stake President. He could tell I was having a hard week. It was so nice to receive a blessing of comfort, peace, and help.

Anyway this week we have taught some investigators and got some new ones.
- Jorge: 7 y.o. and turned 8 today. He is getting baptized on Sunday (domingo). His sister is a member but no one else in his family so we are teaching him. He is hilarious! I am pretty sure he has ADHD. He is so hard to teach sometimes.. he uses his age as an excuse. He is super smart though. But he is excited to be baptized. We teach him in English.
-Monica: she is in her 40's with 2 kids. After being taught for a couple months so told us the other day that she wants to be baptized. She is scheduled for baptism in February (that's when she wants it done).
-Yesenia: 21 y.o. who is getting baptized Wednesday. She is very excited. She is so ready! We teach her in English. She is not in our area but wants sisters to teach her. We are the closest so we can.
-Orbelin: new investigator! We found him on Wednesday and he wants to be baptized. His daughters are members. He came to church with us yesterday and loved it. We are teaching him again tonight. We are hoping he can get baptized Jan 8. We shall see.
-There are few others that we are teaching, well reading the Book of Mormon (el Libro de Mormon) with and are not progressing and there are some others that I have not met yet for various reasons- usually because they aren't home or cancel.

Some of the families I have met and love are the Adamson's. They just had a daughter return from her mission from Independence Missouri. Sister Adamson's parents served a mission in Nauvoo.. they couldn't remember Dave and Vivian but are pretty sure that they have met them. I love this family. Mom and Dad- don't be surprised if you get stuff from her. She is so sweet. Another family I have met and really enjoy are the Baxter's. He is from Seattle area and she is from Honduras I believe. We spent Christmas with both of these families. One of the bishops of one of our wards just had a son return from his mission from Sacramento. I was talking to him on Christmas Eve and he served 9 months in Stockton. He loves it. Ryan- he told me you looked familiar but couldn't remember if he had met you or not. He was spanish speaking on his mission. His last name is Chacon.

How are you all doing? I hope you are all doing well and that you had a wonderful Christmas.Christmas in the field is so different. It is definitely not commercialized. It was weird and kind of nice. I don't think a whole not is new here besides what I have told you. I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you all and am so grateful for you! I am especially grateful that we can be an eternal family. I love the gospel and the chance that I have to invite others to come unto Christ. I am so grateful for our Savior and the Atonement.

Merry late Christmas and Happy New Year!



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hola Familia!

Well it's halfway through week 9 anyway. I hope you are all doing well. This last week has been good. Thursday I got my travel plans. I am leaving Tuesday Dec 21 at 6:30 in the morning to get picked up by someone in the mission home along with 10 other missionaries. I think it is funny we are leaving that early in the morning. I am so excited though. I am kinda nervous for the language aspect and that I won't have a trainer who speaks any English at all. Hopefully my fears will not be reality.

This last week has been good. I am still getting over being sick but am feeling a lot better than I was. I got a blessing from a member of the branch presidency Sunday and by Monday night I was feeling a lot better. Let's see what happened this week...

-Both Jose and Daniel committed to baptism! YAY! I am so excited for it. Not like it is a real situation but we still got them to commit. It is our teachers playing as investigators.

-Sunday night Fireside was the BYU Men's Chorus. They sang to us for an hour about the Savior and other Christmas songs. It was fun. This next Sunday we are having another musical fireside. I love music. It invites the spirit, at least for me, easier.

-Tuesday night Devotional was with Elder Pieper of the first quorum of the 70. He spoke on the gift of agency and related it to those we will be teaching as well as the Savior. It was so good. It made me think about things that I hadn't thought of before.

-Since this week is my last week in the MTC we are having our teaching week. Hermana Smith and I made a goal to teach at least 30 lessons. So far so good, we actually have 34 scheduled with extra time for more appointments. The other day we were teaching two elder's in our district, Elder Williams and Elder Boehmer (B-Mer) and Elder Williams told me my spanish is improving a lot. Yay! It was good to hear it from someone other than my teachers and companion. Even though I trust them they are around me all the time when I speak Spanish.

-TRC this last week went well. We taught a RM sister who now has a family of her own. She was pretending to be an investigator who had lost her brother to cancer and starting drinking nightly to drown away her sorrow. It was a good practice situation on teaching the Word of Wisdom (palabra de Sabiduria) along with the Plan of Salvation.

-We have a third companion, kinda. A sister in our zone was supposed to go to Peru MTC with her companions but got delayed for medical reasons so she is our companion in the morning, at night, and on P-Day. I love her to death. She is such a sweet girl. I am hoping that everything gets cleared for her to leave before we leave on Tuesday so she isn't the only sister left in the zone.

-I met the new elders in our zone, well the ones that came in last week and one is from West Jordan. His name is Elder Wilburn. He went to W.J.H.S. and knows Amber and Nick. It was fun to make the connection.

-I can't think of anything else that happened teaching wise. The other day Hermana Smith and I were leaving our bedroom heading to class when all of the sudden she stops. Screams and throws her wallet down the stairs. I looked over at her after jumping and she was pointing to her head. I look really close and a tiny spider was right beside her head. She made me check her hair to see if more were in her hair. I laughed when she retold the story she said the spide was huge... it was tiny. I laughed really hard when it happened.

I can't think of anything else but this last week has been good. I am not sure when my P-Day will be but I am hoping before Christmas so I can have clean clothes. Come next week if you send stuff, send it to the mission home address. If you send it to the MTC it will still get to me but will be easier to send it to the mission home. I am so excited to be leaving the MTC. I am starting to get really sick of it. It has been good for the last 9 weeks, but I don't think I could handle anymore. I love you all and hope you are all doing well and are staying safe and warm. All of our snow has been gone and we just got snow last night. I think I will be having a white Christmas after all. I wish that I could talk to all of you on Christmas and wish you all a Merry Christmas but I know that is not possible. I am sending you my love and hugs. I hope that we can all remember our Savior and be grateful for the things we have. You are all amazing and such an example and strength in my life.

Kelcie (Hermana Dickson)

(it's wierd to not put Hermana Dickson, didn't think I would get used to it so fast).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hola mi familia y amigos!

Week 7 has come and gone! Time is cruising on by. Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes, cards, and gifts. My birthday was good. Uncle Phil brought me a cake a few days before and then on my birthday I got sick :( Not because of the cake. I went to the health clinic and found out I am getting a sinus infection so i got to leave the MTC to go get medicine. It was fun to be in my mission for a half hour :) I still don't have travel plans but should be getting them very soon. I found out today that an Elder who is in my district for the last 3 weeks is being temporarily reassigned to my mission for about a month. We are all excited about that. He is such a good elder. Let's see... this week:

-Sunday was mission conference. The main focus was on the birth and life of Our Savior as well as be an extraordinary missionary your whole life.
-We taught one of our progressive investigators and we had 2 elders from our district come in to be the members (bishop and member). I was having a hard time saying what I wanted to in Spanish. So one of the elders, Elder Jacobson, said a silent prayer for me and immediately the words came to me. I didn't know this happened until later when Hermana Smith was telling. It was amazing to see the spirit work with me and to learn the power of prayer.
-This week a lot of talk was said about humility.. i will take that as a hint to become humble. All that was said was amazing and I am grateful for the guidance of the spirit.
-1st Presidency Christmas Devotional = AMAZING! If you haven't watched it or read it do! It has been the best Christmas devotional I have heard in years. I watched it in Spanish and understood about half.. oh man am i going to have a great time in the field. Give me until about March or April and I will be fluent, I hope.
-Spanish is getting a lot better. I don't feel like I am digressing like some in my district. I am so grateful for the gift of tongues! There is no way I would be learning Spanish this fast! The hardest part is the grammar! I think once I fully understand it, espanol will be easier. I am trying out different things to try to pick it up faster, we don't have enough time in the day with everything they want us to do in the MTC. i know it will come as long as i am diligent and trying my best.
- i have a referral for the field- a guy who is working on construction here isn't a member but wants to know more :)
- Devotional this week was from Elder Zwick of the first quorum of the 70. He and his wife talked. She talked out faith and trust in Jesus Christ and shared some interesting experiences about when they were mission presidents, I won't share those with you now.. ask me when i get home. Elder Zwick shared a story about his son who is mentally retarded. They were on their way to St. George for a meeting and took their son with them. His son got quiet and a few minutes later asked: "mom, dad... do you know jesus?" He said it made him think back to his testimony and how he came to know Jesus and how he could answer his son, yes, I know Jesus. When he was telling this story it made me think back to my own life and how well I know Jesus. I am so grateful for Him and for everything He has done for me. Some things that Elder Zwick said that went along with this question were:
- come to know Him as you center your life on Him
- come to know Him in your own way
- In order to help others come unto Christ you personally need to know Him.... (read Mark 10:27)
- Jesus Christ will be your companion when you come to trust Him and know Him.

I just love this talk and the things I am learning here. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ that I have and that I am continually able to learn and grow. I am grateful for the Atonement. I am grateful for the scriptures and that through them we receive answers for our own lives and learn about the Savior. I am so grateful to be on a mission and to help others come unto Christ. I am so grateful for each of you and that as we continue to strive to live the gospel that we can be an eternal family. Each of you mean the world to me and I am so glad that we are in the same family. I know that as we come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ, that our testimonies will be strengthened and we will be happier. I love the gospel and the blessings that I have received from it. I love each of you! Thank you for all of your love and support. I hope that we can all continue to come to know our Savior and appreciate the things we have in life and not become of the world. This week didn't seem like much happened but a lot did, it was all on the same topics and it's hard to put it into words.

Te amo!

Love, Hermana Kelcie Dickson

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh my! I have made it through 6 weeks (one transfer). I can't believe I have been gone for 6 weeks! It definitely doesn't feel like it. Let's see my week: Thanksgiving in the MTC was different but good. It doesn't even compare to being at home with family but it is still good. To start the day off we had a Thanksgiving Devotional with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. It was really cool. His entire family came. His grandkids sang to us and he wanted us to feel like we were his family. It was so nice. His wife spoke and he spoke as well. Some of the things I remember from the devotional was:
- "Most of what we are grateful for has come from another person." I couldn't help but think of our Savior and his selfless service to each of us. I also couldn't help but think of all of you and those in Provo that i will be serving.
- "The Godhead knows each of us by name, show gratitude to the Lord" I love this. I have gained a testimony of this. I know that They each know us by name and know our needs. I can see it in the lives of those I teach while being testified of the truth of the gospel and what they need to hear. It is amazing to me that they know every single one of us and that we need to show gratitude towards them more often.
- The Atonement is for all
- Cherish your mission and your life.

After the wonderful devotional by Elder Holland we had Thanksgiving "dinner". Dinner consisted of turkey (not the best turkey I have had), mashed potatoes, rolls, and... cookies! No pie! Well some people got pie but I got cookies. When i went through the line there was no pie. I was kinda upset. i really wanted pie, what is thanksgiving dinner without pie. Well, one of the Elder's in my zone found pie and got me and hermana Smith some. it was delicious. I know I complain about the food here but i am just grateful I have edible food and know what it is i am eating.

After "dinner" we started our service project. All of the missionaries were in 2 different rooms cutting out supplies to make school bag kits. Our goal was 20,000 bags. We reached our goal and then some. The end result was 33,400 bags. I am so excited for it, especially being a teacher. It brought so much joy to my heart to know that we are helping 33,400 kids.

Friday Hermana Smith got sick so while she slept I studied like crazy. I studied language for 5 or more hours. It helped a lot knowing what i need to work on more. She felt really bad for having me be bored but I got a lot more done than i would've in class.

Saturday we did our TRC in all spanish. There were no volunteers to come in for us to teach so we taught other missionaries and teachers. Hermana Smith and I taught a teacher. He is known as Zircules because he is big like Hercules. The task and lesson went pretty good. He was very forgiving and helpful while we were teaching. Afterwards we asked him for feedback. It was very helpful. I was just glad it wasn't with a real investigator. As for investigators we taught both Daniel and (y) Jose. For Daniel he told us he was praying to trust us and understand our message. For our lesson with him we talked about the Savior and tied Him back to the Book of Mormon. We ended our lesson by reading The Living Christ with Daniel in espanol. He was very interested and went a lot better than the time before where he was correcting everything we said to proper grammar.... kinda annoying while you were teaching. For Jose I am so confused with him, I have a hard time reading him and figuring out what he needs. Good thing the spirit knows. He accepted to attend a baptismal service and attended church and enjoyed it. Hopefully both will commit to baptism before we leave.

Some other random things that happened this week: Some sister friends of mine taught us the Plan of salvation but related it to missionary work. It was really interesting and it helped me a lot. Sunday it snowed about 6 inches- that must have been the big storm we were supposed to get last week. Monday we finished our week of the Atonement with a testimony meeting. It was really good. The spirit was so strong and it helped our district unite. Tuesday at gym, I was playing volleyball (big shock I know) and went up for a block/attack against an elder and stuffed him. It felt so good and all the other elder's started clapping and hollering. It was pretty funny. I have been reading Jesus the Christ the past couple weeks and have loved it! I am reading about the birth of our Savior and his life growing up. what a perfect time to read about this. I should be getting my travel plans this week. One of my teachers was joking that it was going to say to go out to the street and turn left and then go straight until you get there. I am going to laugh if it is really close.

As for the language. I am feeling a lot better about it. Last night I was having a harder day with it but it all worked out. I am attempting to speak as much of it as i can and know. i am so glad that people are so forgiving. Sunday we had a fireside that helped me with my thoughts/fears of learning Spanish. One thing that stuck out was "fear can't exist if you have faith. You have the gift of the Holy Ghost and the gift of tongues." I keep thinking back to this and how I need to be having more faith in myself and my Savior that I can do this!

Tuesday we had a devotional with Sister Julie B Beck. She talked a lot about missionary work. Some of the things I got out of her talk was:
- Have the trust of your mission president so he doesn't have to worry about you.
- Heavenly Father creates miracles
- when you've done your best, don't be disappointed with yourself, Heavenly Father will be pleased with you
- opposition should drive you to your knees, exercise faith and work hard (I thought of learning spanish at this point)
- The secret is love

I am so grateful for each of you and for your letters. I am so blessed to have you in my family. You all mean the world to me. I am grateful for each of your examples and love of the gospel. I know that we are children of God (hijos de Dios). I know our Father loves us and that He sent his Son to atone for each of us. He knows our pains, our sufferings, and everything. I am so grateful for the Atonement and the opportunity to live and exercise the gospel daily. I love my savior. I love the people in the Provo mission.. even though I don't know many of them yet, I am grateful for them. i am grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary.

I love you all and couldn't ask for a better family. As we approach Christmas I challenge all of us to focus our lives on the savior and not so much of the world. You are all the best!

With lots of love,

Hermana Kelcie Dickon