Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Less than a month left!!!! Nope... not excited at all ;)‏

What a wonderful, busy week it's been!!  I love Sister Suminguit!!!  We are having such a fun time together as companions this time :)  She's helped bring some closure for my first few transfers in Pateros and we've been able to laugh over a lot of old memories and good times :)  The work is going so well!!  Jhon-mela was baptized and confirmed last weekend!  We are so proud of her!  It was great... for the brother who baptized her, it was his first time baptizing anyone and I guess he was worrying about doing it too quickly so he very, very slowly lowered her in the water... as in, slow-motion :)  We were all silent for a few moments and then everyone burst into laughter.  Definitely memorable. :)

We have so many progressing investigators who are doing so well.  I've seen miracles happen in this area just since Sister Suminguit got here.  It's been so fun teaching with a Filipina companion again... and this time actually understanding what she's saying.  :)  Our investigator, Mary Ann, talked to her husband about the baptismal date and he said he thought it was great. :)  She's really looking forward to it now and continues to progress rapidly.  Daniella and Ella Mae should have been baptized this week.... unfortunately, Daniella is ready but doesn't have parental permission yet, and Ella Mae has permission, but isn't quite yet ready.  So.... we extended their bap date for another month.  We're sure Ella Mae will be ready by then and we're praying that Daniella's mom will change her mind.  Daniella's dad is the member and he's supportive, but he's abroad and as such, not able to sign her bap record.... and obviously, we don't want to baptize her if her mom's not going to be pleased with it so yeah.... just waiting on that.  One of the recent converts in this area finally returned to earth.  He just disappeared for like two months and yeah... is obviously less active now.  Had a great lesson with him and sounds like he's made some mistakes and realized he misses his life before, when he was living the gospel.  We're really looking forward to helping him live the gospel again.  Man... many other wonderful things happening with the work.... just feeling blessed to have lots of work to do to keep my mind somewhat busy instead of thinking of coming home all the time.... :)  
We got to go to the temple today, which of course was wonderful.  Three of the branch missionaries from Morong were there.  It was so great to see them again and to talk to them a little bit, especially since one of them will be entering the MTC this week so... that's the last time I'm ever going to see her :(  We went on exchanges with our kabahays last week and had a party.  Sister Faasavalu just asked me trunky questions the whole time, silly goose.  But, we had a really wonderful lesson in the morning and committed two of their investigators to a bap date.  Love working with the Sisters!  They're so great!!  Last Friday we went and got our fingerprinting/x-rays done.  So weird.... not going to lie, I'm loving the fact that Sister Strebel, Sister Sanders, and I are all going home together.  Had a party talking with them.... haha... they both crack me up.  
Love being a missionary!!!!!  We're still going strong and I'm determined to leave with no regrets.  Hope you all have a wonderful week!!  Ingat kayo lagi!!
Love, Sister Dickison

Monday, October 13, 2014


This last week was so great and so busy!  Sister Alailima just barely left for Mindoro this morning.  Yesterday she was picked up by the Johnsons who took her to the Sisters house in Cubao where she slept for a few hours before getting on her early flight this morning.... so weird... that was the last time I'm going to see her until next year, when she comes back to Utah to go to school :(  I was so blessed to be her companion twice.  Learned so much from her and we had some great times :)  Sister Suminguit is currently not here yet, but she should be getting dropped off in a few hours.  Can't wait!!  I've just been chilling, working with my kabahays since yesterday. 

Great news... we should be having a baptism this week!!  Sister Jhon-mela had a great interview on Saturday and is so ready to get baptized!!  At the beginning of last transfer, we started teaching her grandmother who had been inactive for a long time, come to find out Jhon-mela, who's 10, lives with her and hadn't been baptized yet.  We invited them to church and honestly were totally shocked when they came the very next day.... and they've been coming every week since, including attending all four sessions of general conference over the last two days!!  They're so great!!  So happy for Jhon-mela!  Her mother who's inactive is going to come to the baptism... :)

Last Friday I went to Mission Leadership Council companion-less... It was really weird.  Sister Alailima couldn't come, cause she's not an STL anymore, so I got stuck riding in a taxi with my Zone Leaders and their kabahay, who's companion was still on Mindoro.  It was so weird.... probably preparing me for being without a girl companion 24/7.... I don't like it.  However, MLC was so wonderful!!  Pretty much the strongest I've felt the Spirit my whole mission.  My testimony of the power of councils has just grown so much with this calling.  It's so great sitting there with everyone and discussing the needs of the mission and ideas for helping things to get even better.  I love it!!  The Assistants presented the most amazing workshop for zone training which I can't wait to participate in again tomorrow at zone training.  It's going to be awesome! 

General Conference was great!  I played "Where's Uncle Dave" by myself as we watched the MoTab sing :)  Loved all of the talks and especially appreciated the talks about sustaining our leaders, it was very fitting for me having just attended MLC. :) 

We have so many great investigators in these area, many whose bap dates are coming up soon.  I haven't been able to work in my area since Thursday so... I'm really excited for my companion to get here and us to go to work.  The break from traveling for exchanges has been nice but I'm excited to get to work with all of the sisters again. 

As for how I'm feeling.... I feel weird to be quite honest.  The fact that I"m leaving just becomes more real to me every day, and it doesn't help that everyone's reminding me about it 24/7.  :)  I'm excited, but for some reason scared at the same time.... I just can't imagine going back to "normal" life again.  I had another one of those moments, those priceless ones.  Sister Alailima and I were teaching a lesson to a new investigator named Mary Ann.  She lives on the mountain, in the middle of nowhere, in a hut that's the same size as my closet... which isn't that big.  She has two little kids, a two year old and a one year old.  Her husband works all week long and usually just comes home one day a week to sleep for a little while before he heads back out to work.  They have very little of the things of the world, and yet she is at peace.  I just thought about us coming from Utah and Hawaii to teach this wonderful daughter of God, who lives in basically a box in the mountains in the Philippines about the Restoration of the gospel and God's plan for us.... man... it was one of those surreal moments that I'll cherish forever. 

I love you all and encourage you all to apply what you learned from general conference into your lives!  I know this gospel is true and a gift too wonderful to not being sharing it with those around us.  Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Dickison

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Final Countdown

As my kabahays have been singing regularly for the last week or so, "The time is far spent, there is little remaining...". :)  Can't believe it's already here!!  Tomorrow is the first day of my last transfer.... crazy or what!?  Sister Alailima will be transferring to the island of Mindoro on Friday where she will be "white-washing" with her new companion, Sister Panice.  I will be finishing my mission here in Cogeo with my new companion, and newly called STL, Sister Suminguit!!  Wohoo!!  So excited to be with her again!  She was my kabahay my first few transfers here in the field and we're already good friends :)  Really looking forward to finishing my mission strong.... we have so many wonderful people we're teaching - less-actives becoming active again and investigators well on their way to fulfilling their bap date goals... so exciting!!  I'm truly being blessed in all ways for this last transfer.  Can't wait to get to go on exchanges again with the sisters!  I learned so much from each and every one of them this last transfer.  This calling has been such a blessing!

So... in fun news.... I got my hair cut this morning.... really short :)  Guess I just decided to start the changes coming early.... fortunately I think cutting my hair was easier than ending my mission.... man.... it's going to be another adventure. 

 We were up on the Taguisan mountain almost every day this last week that we weren't on exchanges.  You would think that climbing steep stairs and mountains every day would eventually stop making you feel sore but no.... I'm still sore, every day.  :)  I slipped twice this last week climbing up and down the mountain.... got pretty muddy and have several lovely scratches on one arm from the thorny plant that attacked me during my slipping.... dang it.  That's what I get for being cocky and proud of myself for only slipping twice this transfer. :P
I'm so looking forward to watching general conference this weekend!  It's going to be a VERY busy week.... we have MLC on Friday followed by the conferences... should be exciting.  Sister Suminguit is coming off of Mindoro so she actually won't get here until Friday I think.  At the same time, Sister Alailima won't leave until Friday, so we get to be comps for a few extra days :)  
Feel so blessed with everything.  Life is just great!!  I love you all and hope things go well for you this week!!
Love, Sister Dickison