Monday, November 10, 2014

I'm Coming Home :)‏

Dear Family and Friends,
The time has flown by.  Here I am, facing my last week in the Philippines as a missionary... so weird.  Last week was busy and we got a surprise phone call from the office last Tuesday informing us that we needed to come in the next morning to go to immigration again for fingerprinting.  Surprise!  So, we had to change are plans for going on exchanges last Wednesday and moved those exchanges to this week.  It was fun to see all the exiting missionaries again, especially my buddies Sisters Sanders, Strebel, and Rupp, and it was fun to see how everyone is handling leaving in different ways.  :) 
I thoroughly enjoyed MLC last Friday except for the part where I bore my testimony, haha!  I guess I just got too nervous about not wanting to cry in front of everyone and so my testimony turned into just a bunch of random ramblings about my decision to serve a mission and other stuff.  Oh well.... I get to share my actual testimony in Zone Conference this week to make up for it.  
Just want to mention how incredibly blessed I've been to serve as an STL for these last two transfers.  I've loved attending MLC and being part of the council.  My faith and trust in my leaders has grown so much from the experience and I love all of the new and exciting plans for our mission.  Especially, I'm grateful to have served the sisters and to go on exchanges with them.  Almost every time I've gone on exchanges, I can really see why we needed to go on exchanges that particular day with those particular sisters.  They've strengthened my testimony and I hope I've been strengthening theirs.
As for us here in Cogeo, we have zone conference on Wednesday followed by two days of exchanges.  Thus we won't have much time to work in our area.  Not exactly the way I had planned to finish my mission, but I'm grateful for this calling I've had to serve as an STL and serve the sisters even if it means our time in our own area is limited.  Sister Suminguit and I found two wonderful new investigators over the last two weeks.  One of them, Bernadette was a referral from a family member.  She's so great!  We had a wonderful lesson with her yesterday, taught her all about the Restoration and inviting her to be baptized on December 25th to which she said yes.  She also committed to come to church next week.  The other investigator is Twinkle, who is the "Nanny" for a very active member and has already come to church for the last 5 weeks or so.  We had a great lesson with her about the Restoration yesterday and invited her to pray about Joseph Smith and to begin reading the Book of Mormon.  One of our progressing investigators, Mary Ann, came to church yesterday with the person who referred her.  Hurray!!  It was so wonderful for her to come and we're looking forward to her baptism on December 6th.  Well... I guess we're excited for her to be baptized, but obviously I won't be there which is weird... man... this whole going home thing is so weird.  In about half an hour we will be leaving this internet shop to go visit my old areas and say good-bye to people for the last time.  I'm so excited to see them all again... I just hope I don't cry, haha!
Love you all and God bless you!
Love, Sister Dickison   

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mission Tour with Elder Oaks :)‏

It's pretty obvious that my Father in Heaven knows me very well for many reasons.  One of those being that obviously, I'm really excited to be going home in just about two weeks (ahhh!!!) and so, instead of allowing me to work in my area and get even more attached to the people, or have time to get punted a lot and be tempted to not work as hard, I was only able to work in my area for about two days total last week, and the same thing will be happening this week and the next week.  It's been weird, not having like any time to work in our own area and rarely getting to visit our investigators, but I'm trying to keep positive about it.  This is how last week's schedule went.... Mon.: P-day, Tues.: District Meeting in the morning/half day of working, Wed.: Exchanges, Thurs.: Exchanges, Fri.: Weekly Planning/Mission Tour.:, Sat.: Service Project in the Morning, got punted for an hour, Ward FHE for a couple of hours, got punted for the rest of the night (they celebrate Halloween here on Nov. 1st and everyone goes to the cemetery), Sun.: Finally, appts. in the morning, church, area broadcast.  And... that's basically the exact same schedule for this week except instead of Mission Tour we have MLC on Friday and instead of service we have a temple trip with our investigators on Saturday.... : / It's really fun and I'm enjoying all of the activities, I'm just trying to be okay with not ending my mission how I thought I would.... oh well. :) 
I had a great time going on exchanges last week with the sisters in Sumulong.  I was able to visit and teach a few more people in my last area including Tatay N. which was great.  Mostly, I just love going on exchanges.
I love helping the sisters and I guess this calling has made me more excited to continue on my career path of counseling something or rather.... I don't know.  On Friday we had the wonderful opportunity to meet and listen to Elder Dallin H. Oaks (probably spelled his name wrong), who came to the Pines and we had a special mission tour with him, his wife, and Elder Bowen from the Seventy.  We all got to shake hands with Elder Oaks, which was awesome, and then they all spoke.  As soon as Elder Oaks stood up I swear there was this visible light just radiating from him.  He spoke so powerfully and the Spirit just was bursting through the room.  We were able to listen to him speak again last night as we watched the area broadcast at our stake center.  I absolute love Sister Oaks!!  She is so adorable and it was fun to "get to know" an apostle's wife a little bit better. 

Saturday us sisters from Cogeo Ward and the elders from Bagong Nayon Ward went up to Taguisan, the big mountain in our area and we helped a family, the Pendon's, do some serious yard work/house building.  Later that day, we went back up to Taguisan, found and taught a new investigator named Bernadette who's golden, and then had FHE with the ward in the house of another family, the Somes.  Which.... Surprise!  Us sisters were in charge of.... and didn't know until our WML, who was conducting, announced that Sister Suminguit would be giving the lesson and I was in charge of games.... :) 
I can't believe it's ending so quickly... It just plain feels weird.  I get to bear my testimony at both MLC later this week and at Zone Conference next week since I'm leaving.... man.... I just don't want to cry. :) 
Love you all and hope everything's going well!!  Until next week!
Love, Sister Dickison