Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Transfer and a new calling...

Ay naku.... I'm really going to miss it here.  Yes folks, it's that time once again.  Last Sunday, all of Morong District did a Member Missionary Fireside in which President Revillo spoke as well as his 1st counselor, President Jose, and our District President, President Valdriz.  The fireside was great!!  The missionaries put on different workshops to train the members about member missionary work.  After the fireside, President Revillo said he needed to speak with me (would've been more scary, but he said that to like half of the missionaries in our zone).  So I had a feeling what was coming and yup, I've been called to be a Sister Training Leader for my last two transfers.  I have mixed feeling about this new calling... I'm really excited, but of course, a little nervous... mostly to be doing workshops for conferences.  However, my new companion is not so new to me.... I'm companions with Sister Alailima again!!!!!!!  (She was my MTC companion.)  I'm so excited!!!  It's like a perfect ending.... I get to be with her at the very beginning and at the end :)  Not too worried, because I already know how amazing she is so she'll train me well :)

I'm really having a rough time leaving Morong.... I've just gotten attached to everything here... the area, our investigators, the members, our washing machine & microwave :), and of course... my companion.  Good news though!!  Sister Sanders is going to be Sister Fewster's new companion!! Yay!!!!  She and Sister Fewster will be great together and there's no one I'd rather come and be able to continue to teach these people than her.... She's going to love it here.  Last time I talked to her, she mentioned that while she's loved being an STL.... she's really missed getting to teach all the time in her own area.... Now she'll find herself crazy busy with teaching :)  So happy for her!!

I love Morong so much... my time here has been like a misisonary's dream... I've been so blessed!  Saying good bye has never been so hard before, but I just keep on reassuring myself that it's all okay because I'll get to come back to visit again before I leave :)  I'm really excited about getting to serve the sisters more in our mission!!  And I know that this calling's going to help me to be a little less trunky as I finish off these last three months :) 

Something I've been studied a lot lately during my personal study has been "redemption".... love that word. :)  I've realized repentance is something so basic that I really feel like I don't understand at all. So I've been investigating.  Without a doubt, my favorite person in the Book of Mormon is Alma the Younger... he's amazing.  I love the story of his change and especially his choice of words as he describes being freed from eternal torment... what a hero.  I love that a focus of the gospel is change :)  

Can't speak English anymore, I really can't.  :) How did that happen?

I keep entertaining new goals in my head... among which is to continue to be a missionary after I"m released from being a full-time missionary :)  I love this work so much and I'm so grateful that a theme my whole mission has been focus on "member missionary work".  Hope to be able to fufill those goals after my mission.
Well.... I'm sure I'll have lot's of fun stuff to tell all of you next week!!  Ingat lagi!!
Love, Sister Dickison   

Monday, August 18, 2014

Road Trip with the Johnsons

The adventure never ends here in the Mission Field.  :)  If it's not me having to go to the hospital, it's my companion... Here's the story.  So, all last week, two of Sister Fewster's mosquito bites (her legs and most of her body are just covered with them) started to really hurt and look like giant zits and before we knew it they started "erupting".  It was gross, but really I felt bad for her because she was in so much pain she would just start crying.... I told her multiple times every day to text Sister Revillo about it, but she's more stubborn than I am and was determined that if she just waited long enough, they would be gone the next day : /  I should have just texted her myself.... but it's bawal... So last Tuesday the Johnson's (one of the couple missionaries) attended our District Meeting and so I made Sister Fewster show Sister Johnson the bites.... apparently Sister Johnson is more persuasive than I am because she told my comp to text Sister Revillo and she finally did.... hallelujah!!  We spent the rest of the day traveling from the dermatologist, to one hospital in Antipolo (about 30 minutes away from Morong) and then we ended up in St. Lukes in Manila (Oh how I love St. Lukes!!)  I felt so useful knowing where everything was and how to do the insurance stuff/get the stuff at their pharmacy (I tried to focus on how it's been a blessing to have all of this knowledge about that place instead of how pathetic it is that the hospital has become like my "second home" here in the mission... much like feeling like I go to Wal-Mart every day back at home....:))  So, the doctor's said that Sister Fewster was allergic to mosquitoes (I knew it!) and that when she would scratch her legs, whatever was on her fingers would get into the wound... and as a result she ended up having two absesses full of infection.  Delicious.  So one of the wounds was bad enough that they thought for sure she needed surgery, but the doctor at the Missionary Recovery Center wanted to check it out first before we jumped into surgery, so went traveled over to the MRC and he decided they could easily take care of it there and no surgery was required.  Sure enough, my companion's absess-whatever-thingy's know look great and she's doing just peachy.  It does mean that I was without her for a few days, which was hard, but our kabahay, Sister Taufa became my temporary companion and everything worked out just fine.  If there's one thing I've learned from all of these trips to St. Lukes its this... take care of your body!!  Don't procrastinate getting help when you need it!!  It's always worse in the long run if you aren't proactive about your health.  The end. :)

Last Wednesday, we had our Zone Conference.  Sister Sikotilani gave her pa-uwi (missionaries who are returning home) testimony and it was so weird... I was just companions with her when she was at the same point I am at now.... Ahhh!!!!!  It was super fun to see so many people I love at the conference!!  With the exception of Sister Alailima, I was able to see/visit with all of my old companions who are still in the field.  As we were listening to the workshops, it just hit me, again, how much I've loved my mission.  I remember coming here I feeling like such a foreigner (which I am) and now I just feel right at home with everything.  I love President and Sister Revillo!!  I think my favorite thing about them is just that they are so them.... not once have they ever pretended to be anyone different.  They both have unique skills and personalities that our mission really needs and I can feel their love for every one of us.  Oh... as a side note, the Johnsons were able to drive us everywhere that day that we went to all of the hospitals.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them... pretty sure they are some of my most favorite people ever!  And not just because they spoiled us rotten like we were their grandchildren.... :)  They made me laugh so hard my abs were hurting real bad at the end of the day.  
The work continues to blossom here and I'm dreading transfers next week because I'll probably have to leave.  :(  I don't want to!!!  I'm in love with Morong and the people here.... It's just been such a blessing to watch the work grow and thrive here as well as to be a part of it all happening.  We have several investigators who are well on their way to hitting their bap. dates and so many less-actives are coming back into activity.... sighing.... I'm really praying a miracle happens and I stay here.  
Hope you are all doing well and know how much I love you!!  Ingat po kayo lagi!!
Love, Sister Dickison

Monday, August 11, 2014

God Will Open a Way :)‏

So... last Wednesday, Sister Fewster and I were kinda having a rough day for lots of different reasons and at one point I just had to go into this other room in our apartment and pray.  I just felt so down.... and I didn't/still don't know why.  I just prayed long and hard for like 15 minutes that the feeling would go away, because I couldn't get it to go away by itself.... and that's when I spotted this quote from President Hinckley that said, "God will open a way.  When there is no way, He will open a way."  Suddenly I just felt so light and happy.  Honestly, it reminded me of the part in Harry Potter where that "little ball of light" finds it's way into Ron's heart.  :)  So we went out and walked to our first appointment, Sister Fewster wondering what in the world had happened to me because, as she said, "I was practically casting rays of sunlight everywhere." :)  We got punted at our first appointment... and then made the very long walk to another house... where we got punted again, and then a third time after that.... wouldn't have been unusual in my other areas but we seriously just never get punted here.  So, in my mind I was like, I should be disappointed, but the whole sunlight feeling was still there so I just kept walking and we started the long journey back out of that part of our area.  Sister Fewster was still feeling really down and the fact that I was casting beams of sunlight everywhere was just making her feel worse.  Suddenly, she stopped and said she felt like we needed to go up this one hill.  So we started up this very steep road and about halfway up the hill she just broke and started cracking up which made me start to laugh too, just cause it was so steep and in my mind I was like "well... this is my exercise for the next month" and then the tension was gone and we both felt better.  So we made it to the top of the hill and there was like an empty field with just a few houses.  The houses all looked abandoned except for the laundry hanging out to dry.  Sister Fewster walked up to this one house and when the people came to the door she asked them what the name of the place was called.  The answered and then the woman said, "Are you guys Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?"  Sister Fewster and I just looked at each other, shocked, before answering yes.  The women then got the biggest grin on her face and said, "Me too."  Miracle.  Turns out this woman, Ann, hasn't attended church for the last seven years.  She moved not too long ago from a different part of the Philippines so our branch has no record of her.... really, there's like no way we could have found her if it wasn't for the Spirit prompting Sister Fewster to go up this random road that seemingly led to nowhere.  Turns out Ann stopped coming to church because she felt guilty for some sins she committed.  We bore testimony of God's unconditional love for her and for each one of his children and that he wants her to return to Him.  The Spirit was so strong and Ann started crying, saying she's wants to return she just didn't know if she would be allowed to because of her sins.  Man.... it was a great lesson.

The gospel is true guys.  There just simply is no denying it.  Out of everything I've learned on my mission, learning to recognize the promptings coming from the Spirit and then acting on those promptings in faith, has been one of the coolest things to learn.  Each member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints receives the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Sometimes I think we as members forget how crucial and how special this gift is.  I encourage you all to include receiving guidance from the Holy Ghost in your prayers.  As members, God uses us as instruments in His hands to help and serve His other children here on earth.  If we're not living righteously, we become numb and can't feel the Holy Ghost very strongly in our day to day lives.  What a waste of one of God's most precious gifts!!  I'm so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and for the trust that God has in each one of us that even though we're not perfect, He can use us to accomplish so much good.  Truly, "He will open a way."  :)
Love you all!!  Have a wonderful week!!
Love, Sister Dickison