Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So this one time at St. Luke's Hospital...‏

Hello everyone!
That's it.  I've just decided my mission is never going to stop being so exciting and I might as well just get used to it.  :)  So yeah... spent sometime at the hospital last week because I had a bad kidney infection (upper UTI).  That was not fun.  The hospital was nice, don't get me wrong... it had air-con, they fed me, I had my first hot shower in months (I promise you it wasn't my first shower in months...), the view from the window in my room was beautiful of the city, but wow... being in the "normal" world is really boring if you are a missionary... no t.v., no internet, nothing really to do but sleep, especially since I hadn't brought my scriptures or study materials with me since that was kind of the last thing on my mind when we were on our way to the E.R.  I'm on antibiotics now so I'm not planning on going back to the hospital any time soon.  Sister Jones and I were very happy to get back to work on Sunday.  I'm so, so grateful for my companion!  She is so patient and handled everything so well while I was sick.  We had a pretty good time there together at the hospital just talking and doing a little bit of language study (thankfully she had brought some of her study materials) and I think she sang almost every song in the hymnbook... yeah... we had a lot of time to kill. :)  
We've had an awesome week already!  We found and taught a total of 7 new investigators in the last two days.  The work in our area really is just booming, it's incredible!  By the end of the week with all of the appointments we have scheduled, we should have around 20 or so new investigators... yeah, it's awesome.  :)  
We were able to attend the temple again this morning.  I love going to the temple!!  Seriously!  It's the best place to be.  :)  I also ate at Starbuck's for the first time ever.... took me going to the Philippine's before I finally gave in and tried it.  It was great.  Actually... I've eaten a lot of things that I never, ever would have before... especially when it comes to seafood.  Most of it hasn't been too bad too... it's just that darn coconut that I absolutely can't like and unfortunately... it's in everything here!  Oh well...  I still haven't tried balut yet, but I'm sure I will within the next 13 months.  :)  
The language is really coming along soooo much faster now.  I've made a goal to read the whole Book of Mormon sa Tagalog.  I've heard that, more than anything else, helps the language to come.  
Sister Jones and I had an awesome lesson with Sister Puri on Monday.  We had finished teaching her all of the principles about the Restoration but she just didn't seem to be getting it.  We spent the whole lesson reviewing with her and really focusing on the Holy Ghost and Baptism.  Something we hear a lot from the people we teach here is that our church is basically the same as any other church.  When Sister Puri brought this up, we explained to her again how it's different, how ours is the only true church here on the earth because it is the only church that has a living prophet who receives revelation and has the authority of the priesthood.  We invited  her to be baptized.  She thought about it for a good long while and then said (actually, she kind of asked) "yes?" but told us she had already been baptized before in some other religion.  We had to explain to her that that baptism wasn't really "valid" because it wasn't done with the proper authority.  Wow.  A few months ago, I never would have had the courage to tell someone that.  It was tough... but the Holy Ghost was testifying something strong.  She told us she knows that what we are teaching her is true... Hopefully she prays about it to find out for herself.  That's really what she needs to do at this point.  
 Well... that's all for now.  Hope everyone has a great week and doesn't have to spend any time in the hospital!  Love you all!
Love, Sister Dickison

Monday, November 18, 2013

Give it up for Miss Adele and Miss Avril Lavigne!!

Wow!!  We have had such an awesome week! 

We've had to drop several people who either weren't interested, weren't progressing, or hid inside of their houses as soon as they saw us (that was pretty funny) but we are finding a lot of new potential investigators so the work is really going well.

Last Tuesday we headed out to try to visit a few people and then to do a lot of finding.  Our first appointment fell through, so we went to try to contact the second person.  On our way there, we passed by the house of someone we met over a month ago and briefly spoke to.  We've been trying to contact him for the last month but haven't been able to make contact with him until last Tuesday.  We ended up teaching him, James, as well as his friend, Romel, a whole lesson.  It was awesome!  Both seem really interested and James especially kept bringing stuff up that he already believes in that is part of the gospel. We haven't been able to teach them since then yet, but hopefully we'll be able to teach them again this week.  :)

After teaching them, we went to find some more people.  We were just walking and talking about something really random, when the lady who had been walking in front of us for awhile suddenly turned around and gave us the biggest smile.  "Are you Mormons?" she asked.  We both smiled and replied that we were.  She was all, "That's nice," and then turned around to walk away.  Obviously, we couldn't let her go so we started talking to her some more and discovered that she was taught by Elders over 30 years ago.  She invited us over to her house which is insanely nice by the way... it has air-con!!  We talked to her, Sister Puri, for quite awhile as well as her daughter Wendy, who is married and has two adorable little boys.  Wendy is a golden investigator!  She had so many really good, deep questions for us and is super interested in our church.  We can't wait to teach her again!  We had another really good lesson with Sister Puri last Friday and will be teaching her again this week as well.  :)  That whole day was just a testament to the two of us that if we go out and place our faith in God, He will help us find those people He has prepared for us to teach.  

So... funny story... on Friday Sister Jones and I were taking a short break (we're getting so tan from all of the sunlight we've been getting because we walk everywhere now) and eating some bananas in a small store on the side of the rode.  So we're talking to the owner and her co-worker and doing some "how to begin teaching" with them when all of the sudden I look over on the other side of the road and there is this obviously gay guy looking over at the two of us.  He gets the biggest grin on his face, holds up something in his hand, pops his foot and yells, "Promo!"  We both start giggling and then he comes over to us and begins to try to sell us laundry detergent.  :)  About five others join him, all "baklas," and they're trying so hard to speak in English, and doing really well I might add, and it was just super funny and you would've had to be there to understand.  They're in the middle of their spiel when they stop, and one of them looks at Sis. Jones and says, "You know... you look just like Miss Adele!"  We both start laughing and all of the other guys there are nodding there heads and then all of the sudden, this guy starts singing "Someone Like You" at the top of his lungs.  We were both dying of laughter and then awhile later they inform me that I look like Avril Lavigne... You can imagine my face at this point.  The whole experience was ridiculously funny and yeah... we totally bought the laundry detergent.  It was worth it for the entertainment.  :)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!  Until next P-day!
Love, Sister Dickison

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Blessings that come from Enduring :)‏

Hello everyone!
First off, just wanted to let everyone know that despite of the huge Typhoon or here it's called a "Bagyo"  that hit the Philippines I am alive and well and nothing major happened here in the Pasig City area.  There was rain, but no more than usual, and wind, but it was nothing compared to Cedar City wind.  :)  However, I've heard that the destruction that occurred because of the typhoon was really, really bad and it's been a time of mourning for everyone here in the Pines.  I'm so grateful that we were safe in spite of the typhoon.
Secondly... I feel so incredibly blessed right now and so excited about this new transfer.  My new companion, Sister Jones, is amazing!  We get along so, so well and she is such a blessing in my life and already in the lives of those we've been teaching.  We had better numbers this week than any other week since I've come here, even though my previous companion and I had no appointments on Monday or Tuesday, and we were only able to have one appointment on Friday because of the Typhoon (our Mission President told us to all return to our apartments and be safe:)) and while we're both exhausted and a little sunburnt from all of the walking we've been doing, seeing eight of the less-active members we visited and three of our investigators attend church was worth it. :)  Most of the less-actives have really struggled with attending church for months.  Sister Jones and I really felt impressed to talk about temples and family history work in our visits with them this last week.  The Spirit could be felt so strongly in these visits and I was touched to see how our message touched the people we taught.  Quite a few of them cried... the first time that has happened in awhile.  :)  We taught them about how our ultimate goal should be to be able to live with our family forever, both our earthly family, and our heavenly family, and how we can only do that through the blessings of the temple.
I'm both speaking and understanding the language at a much faster pace than I was and yeah... everything's just wonderful.  :)  
I learned a lot during my first two transfers in the field, and while I have absolutely no desire to go back and relive them, they taught me a lot about having faith and trusting God with everything you've got.  I'm so excited for another week of awesome missionary work! :)  
Love you all lots!  Thank you for all of your love and support!  I feel so blessed to have so many people who are supporting me while I'm out here :)  You truly are all a blessing in my life. 
Have a fantastic week! 
Love, Sister Dickison

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Letter from mission APs

To the  families of our missionaries here in the Philippines Quezon City Mission: 

            Thank you for all of your prayers in regards to the Typhoon Yolanda. Thanks be to the Lord that our area was not majorly affected by the storm. The heaviest part of the storm hit the more southern part of the Philippines. We have only experienced light rain and winds.  All of our missionaries have been accounted for and are safe and sound and will be able to continue in the Work of Salvation without delay. Thank you for your loving support and letters to your missionaries and we ask that you continue to support them and inspire them to be the best missionaries they can be.

The Assistants of the Philippines Quezon City Mission
Elder Froude & Elder Pedrola


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Same area, new companion!

Hello everyone!  It's transfer week here and I am staying in this same area but will have a new companion in less than a day.  Her name is Sister Jones and even though I have never met her I've already been told that she is from Mesa, Arizona, super, super nice, super talented at both singing and playing the piano, can speak the language really well, and that I will love her.  Yeah... I'm pretty excited to meet her tomorrow.  :)
Phew... so this last week was pretty darn good.  The only bummer was with our investigators that we were planning to take with us to church.  We showed up at their house around 2:00 to pick them up like we had planned, but the grandmother told us their daughter had a headache so they couldn't go.... For the second week in a row.  So... time for the big lesson Sister Dickison learned this week... more about patience.  :)  I've always struggled with patience... I just want to be able to do everything fast; if there is a problem or mistake, to fix it asap and move on.  If I'm not learning as fast as I should, quickly fix whatever is wrong so that I can learn quicker.  Yeah... that doesn't really work.  Change takes time... learning and growing are life-long processes.  The important thing is that you are actively trying to learn and to grow and to change instead of just staying at a standstill.  The Filipino culture is sssoooooo much slower-paced than the culture I'm used to, and that's been really difficult to try to adjust to.  Trying to find the balance is the most difficult thing - not moving too fast or too slow. 
I guess in the end the most important thing is to continue to try to "do your best and than hang the rest," a common phrase at the Dickison house while I was growing up.  :)  
Okay... that's all for this week.  Thanks for everything guys!  I love you all tons!
Love, Sister Dickison