Monday, January 13, 2014

5 Months in the Field :)

Wow... it's P-day again already.  So Sister Doucette and I have had a pretty awesome time during the last few days.  All of last week we had to do a lot of finding, but our efforts paid off and so did the fasting and prayers.  We found a ton of people who are interested in being taught and have return appointments with them this week.  We actually had four different, random people come up to us during the last two days and ask us if we can teach them...  Hallelujah!  We've also been trying to help establish visiting and home teaching in our ward.  I never realized how important visiting and home teaching was before my mission.  Everyone needs visiting/home teaching; active members as well as less-active members.  Our ward here in Pateros would probably have a lot less less-actives if they were being visiting every month by other members.  Since the focus of our mission is to find and baptize, we're really trying to help the ward visit less-actives and recent converts so that we can spend the majority of our time with investigators.  This was the first week that we had an even number of less-active/recent convert lessons and lessons with investigators.  It's a huge improvement, but we're working on having more lessons with investigators period.  
Something I may have mentioned before that Sister Doucette and I are trying to focus on is having hope.  We're both pretty realistic (ha! that's a nice word for pessimistic...) and so hope is an area we both recognized we needed to grow in.  It's been cool over the last transfer to watch as Heavenly Father has given us experiences to help us grow in this area.  I never realized how crucial it can be to have hope.  There is a scripture in Ether chapter 12, verse 32 I think, that talks about having hope and how it is crucial in order for us to return to live with our Father in Heaven again in the mansions prepared for us above.  That's pretty serious stuff when you think about it.  
Sister Doucette and I have also been reflecting on how very different serving a mission is than we thought it would be.  There is a lot more that goes on in our missions than just knocking on doors and learning to speak a different language.  Over the last five months I've learned how to go apartment hunting in the Philippines, recover from floods and break-ins, and all about U.T.I.s.  I've also tried to help establish home/visiting teaching and help the church here in the Philippines become more established and run smoother.  I've found myself talking to the richest of the rich people here about our church, in English, with my whole ward watching my companion and I (that was terrifying) as well as made almost daily visits to a couple who didn't have enough money/food to feed themselves let alone their three-month old son.  I never expected to do half of these things let alone all the other stuff I didn't mention that has happened as well.  I feel so incredibly blessed that Heavenly Father has given me this opportunity.  I didn't really have a desire to go on a mission for any other reason than it sounded kind of fun and I knew it was God's plan for me.  I'm so grateful that this was part of His plan for me and I can't wait to see what else the mission has in store for me (haha... I'm knocking on wood right now...).  
Oh yeah!  If you are willing, please include my Grandpa Luke in your prayers.  He had a stroke last week and is doing much better, but still needs the prayers.  Thank you for your love and support always.  God bless!
Love, Sister Dickison

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