Monday, September 21, 2015

Well, this is it - the last E-mail..........

September 21, 2015

Well, this is it. The last email that I will be sending to you as a full time missionary. This week has been really good, we've been working like crazy, and really, just having a lot of fun finding, and teaching. We had kind of a letdown, because the girl who was going to get baptized wasn't able to get baptized, but we're going to see if she can this week. But, other than that, we've been having a great time, working a lot with the members and stuff. We have an eating visit for every single day this week. It's pretty neat. It’s been pretty neat to see how the members love and appreciate the missionaries.

So, yesterday in church, the topic was the Atonement, and it was an amazing sacrament meeting. I really gained a deeper appreciation for the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for us. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the plan He put in place. We also studied a bit about the fall, and it confused me a bit. I have so much to learn. Why did God give two commandments that were contrary to each other?  It doesn't make sense to me. But, as it said in the scriptures, God is wiser than us, and so it's His plan, and I just have to go along with it.

Well....that's really it I guess. I hope you all have a good week!

Love, Elder Dixon

Monday, September 14, 2015

It was a cold baptism :)


This week was really good, mainly because we had a baptism! It was incredible! The girls name is Andrea, and she actually contacted us in the street, saying she wanted to be a part of the church, and that she already believed in the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith and everything , so that was kinda a shock, but then she explained that her family in Murcia are members, and shed taken the lessons for a bit while she was there. So, we set a date with her, got her to church a few times, and she ended up announcing her baptism to everybody in the ward. She even got up on fast Sunday to bear her testimony, and she was so ready to be baptized, she didn't let anything get in her way, not even the fact that none of her family could make it. ( a neat little miracle side not is that her aunt and uncle from Murcia came up to support her as a surprise). Well, the funny part of the whole thing was that since satan couldn't stop her from coming to the church at the time to get baptized, he tried instead to make it so we couldn't fill the font. There's a door you have to open to turn on the water, and the night before we realized that our key couldn't open it. So then we asked bishop, and that's when he let us know that his key didn't work either. So, we went to the church at 10, to try and find a key that worked...but since we couldn't find one, bishop literally ended up just breaking the door down, popping off the hinges, and prying it open with a fork and spoon, all only about a hour before the baptism. But wait, it gets better. We then turn on the water, or at leashed tried to, but the water heaters wouldn't work, so bishop pulled those apart too, and in the process, one of them blew up in his face. It was kinda funny because he came stumbling out of the room followed by a big flame, and then he just looked at us and gave us a bow and a huge smile, and turned around and whent back to work. Fortunately he wasn't hurt at all, but the heater probably won't ever work again. So it was a cold baptism. But, with all of that, it was still absolute amazing. So many people showed up, and we had such a good sprint the whole time. It was incredible! Then, yesterday after church, we asked her how she felt, and she just couldn't say or do anything but smile. That's really what I like about being a missionary. The smiles I get to see when people come closer to God and Jesus Christ. It's been such a great week. I hope you all have a good one too.


Love,

Elder Dixon

Monday, September 7, 2015

Her mom won't let her be baptized........


September 7, 2015

This week was a really great week, and we received a lot of blessings, but I want to share with you just one. We've been working with a girl for a long time, and she's completely read the Book of Mormon, has a testimony of everything, and really wants to be baptized. The only problem is that she's only 15 and her mom won't let her be baptized until she sees some sort of change to tell her that her daughter is "ready". The confusing bit is that her mom loves us, and actually gets mad at us if we don't go over to their house for a few days The whole family is amazing, and so this past week while we were on intercambios we went over. We had a great visit, where we talked about and showed the video from president Uchtdorf about living below our privileges. So of course the subject of baptism came up, and we were talking again about how the mom just doesn't think her daughter is ready, and my zone leader just kinda stopped, and said, "to tell you the truth, I think your daughter is ready". Then she asked who he was to say that, and he replied that he was the one who actually would have the final word. She was so surprised, because I don't think she realized that an 18 year old kid could be the one to say if somebody was prepared or not. So then he asked her if she would let him conduct a baptismal interview for her daughter, and then if he found her ready, if she would let her be baptized. The mom just looked at me and just said, "I wish I could see the look on Elder Stations face when I say yes."  Well, I’m pretty sure the look on my face, and on her daughters was enough. It was a huge miracle, and I know that the Lord really does inspire us in this work, and does inspire our leaders as well. The mission truly is incredible. On top of that experience, we had a great zone conference, and just had a blast all around.

I hope you all have a good week as well!

Love,

Elder Dixon

Monday, August 31, 2015

The castle was built more or less around 1500 b.c

August 31, 2015 

This week was great. We did so much! And yet, when I think about all we did, it seems like it was all done so long ago! So much happened and we saw so many miracles, more than normal, and yet when I stop and really think about it all, it's only been a week! I really don't understand how time works. I've been studying time for about two years now, and still feel so lost! It's strange, too, because this week I hit my two year mark, on September 4th. It was so long ago! This week was full of birthdays, and we've been using them as a great finding tool because all the members want to meet in the church with us for their "party" (if you call it that) and so they bring friends, and then they end up coming to the next couple of activities, then church, and we end up teaching them. It's been a blast!
 
Well, to end I really want to share a little about a fireside we had. In this ward there are a lot of JAS, and for the past couple of weeks they've been trying to come closer together as a group. So they planned this fireside with that exact idea in mind, and we watched a movie all about standing strong and working together with God on our side. It was truly incredible. And yes, we did have permission from president. 
 
In the movie, called Facing the Giants they talk a lot about Nehemiah, and how they had to build the walls of Jerusalem, and so each person took charge of building the wall in front of his house. Well, that's what we have to do as well, and trust in the other people’s wall to protect us, just as ours will protect them. It's the same in the church. We need to build our testimonies, and together we can build each other up and protect one another, whether it be in our quorum, class, ward, mission, or anything else.
 
 It was incredible to see as well how afterward, the JAS have been notably closer together. It was incredible. Also, the bishop here is amazing too, he really has a talent for teaching and making his teachings fun. I really hope I can learn to teach like he does. That's one thing I have realized on the mission, is that I love teaching. 
 
So ya, that was the week. Here's a picture from where we went today...which actually happens to be outside of our mission boundaries....oops:) but we had permission from president for this too;) This castle was built more or less around 1500 b.c....before the Book of Mormon even!! It was a ton of fun. Well, I hope you all have a great week!!

Love , Elder Dixon
 
 

Monday, August 24, 2015

We only got a little lost :)


August 24, 2015

Well, this past week was a fun one! We've started teaching piano classes...so that's interesting, and the district meeting we had was a ton of fun too, because we as a district didn't have the money to be able to make it to Valencia, so we had to stretch a bit....but it's ok, we got the reimbursement so this week shouldn’t be that hard:) other than the fact that the Valencia people are coming here this week, so ha! We also got to go to a couple different pueblos this week, and eat paella, and explore a bit more of our area. We only got a little lost:) so ya. Those are really the big hints that happened this week.  Other than that it was a lot of hard work and miracles! I guess the thing I really realized though is how important the members are. We had so many lessons this week with members, and the members here are just bringing their friends and everybody they know to church to listen to us. It truly is amazing. For example, today for preparation day we went for a hike, and one of the YSA brought a friend, and so all of a sudden we have another person who we can teach and actually wants to learn. That's the difference. We are really good at stopping people in the street and asking if they want a message, but the hard part is for them to actually say yes. But when a member brings a friend, we just skip that whole step, and get straight to the point. It's really nice. And makes the work a lot easier, really.

I love the members here in Ganda, even after only having been here 4 weeks. Really, the smaller wards here in Spain are really great, because you get to know everybody so much better! It's a lot of fun.

Well, that really was my week...not very eventful, but very spiritual!
I hope you all have a good week too!

Love, Elder Dixon

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

She accepted the invitation to be baptized!

August 18, 2015

Well, this week has left me a bit dumbfounded, because I have learned so much and had so many amazing experiences, seen so many miracles, laughed a ton, made new friends, and overall just been in shock at the amount of love the Lord has for us, and that we can feel from Him. It truly has been a great week.
 
We had another great week of teaching and finding and teaching some more, with a bunch of walking thrown in there and a little pizza in between (we found a pizzeria that is amazing, so we've been a few times). Add on to that a crazy intercambio with Elder Brog, plus a companion that makes everything super funny, and the week was incredible.
 
So, the biggest lesson I learned this week was that we need to always be doing the "good, better, best" check on ourselves, and if we're only doing the "better" option, we need to change it for the "best". That happened to us a couple times, and one time, we saw a huge miracle from it. We were going to go to the church to make phone calls about a half hour before our next visit, but after opening the gate to the church we felt that we needed to go pass by a less active member, and as we were walking we didn't even get a full 3 streets away when a lady had stopped us in the street and told us that she wanted to learn more about the church but just had never had the guts to come and talk to us, but that she had studied a lot and decided that the Mormon church was the right one for her. So we asked if she had some time, and we went back to the church and had a great lesson, in which she accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 5th of September. It truly is incredible how the Lord prepares both his children, and his missionaries as well.
 
So to end here's a funny little story. As we were sitting in the church the bishop got up to start the meeting. Then a biker couple comes in with all their leather on but after they took off the jacket he had on a white shirt and tie and she had a dress on. I got really confused.   I thought to myself, "Self, that's not normal you need to talk to them after the meeting is done." So after the meeting was over my companion and I got up and started talking to them. They are here on vacation for a week, from Madrid, and so we got talking and found out that he served his mission in Honduras, and knew an elder Stratton who looked like my companion....turns out it was my comps cousin...crazy!
 
But wait, it gets better. He then turns to me, and starts asking where I'm from, and when I said Bountiful he mentions he had family there, so I ask their names, and what do you know, his uncles name is Eduardo MeoƱo....and his cousin Erick right now is finishing his mission in Honduras..,,,what? Yup....small world, especially when you consider I live about 5 doors down from Erick, and we grew up together. Weird stuff!
 
So there you go!
 
I hope you all have a good week and see miracles! Also, a little shout out to all my good friends going home this week, cuz there are a lot of you! I'll catch up some day!
 
Love, Elder Dixon

Monday, August 10, 2015

it's just really obvious that the Lord is hastening His work.

August 10, 2015

So, last week, since I didn't get to write, I got to fill you in briefly on what happened. As a mission we have weekly standards that we are supposed to aim for, such as a baptism a week, 12 lessons with members present, stuff like that, and what happened was that the standard of finding people went up from finding 6 new people to teach a week to finding 8, so, as a zone here in Valencia, we found an average of 10 per companionship, which was mission history. We've never found so many people who have said they want to hear our message, given us their address or phone number, and made a return appointment. It's absolutely incredible, and because of it, the amount of lessons we thought this week went up, the amount of people who have said they want to get baptized has gone up, the number of non members in church was incredible, and overall it's just really obvious that the Lord is hastening His work.

As for this week, it was a miracle filled week! There weren't any really big ones, but we were really blessed with just little tiny ones all over the place. For example, we've just been finding a lot of news, but the majority all come from the members. We go with them a lot, and then if our visits fall through, we just have the members lead us to our next visit, which usually ends up being their friend’s house, or a contact that's absolutely incredible. It's been a ton of fun, and we've been working a ton with the ward! The members here are incredible. The work is just exploding, and everybody is really just getting involved in the work of salvation.
 
Another neat miracle was that we met a less active member while we were at the church building and when I asked her how long she had been in the church, she responded by saying that she had been inactive, but that she was there in the church to reactivate herself. So that kinda blew us away, and then she proceeded to invite us to eat. Good thing she lives in our area! The Lord really is hastening his work!
 
Other than that, this week I also had the marvelous opportunity to conduct two baptismal interviews, and it was amazing. Nicolas and Philip are their names, and they are both so so prepared, and they are really ready to make this covenant with the Lord. From what I hear as well, the baptism went great, and they invited a lot of their friends, so that was good. The hermanas from Valencia have done their job well, and really helped them along the way.
 
So, the last thing I want to share from this week comes from the talk bishop gave yesterday in Church. He talked about the importance of not criticizing people, because we never know what the reason is for why they are doing whatever we are criticizing. He gave the example of when he was a child, and in the town where he lived was a man named Paco. He was mentally and physically handicapped, but would walk through the town and try to talk to the people, but as people usually are, they either avoided him, or made fun of him. The bishop told about how he remembers being afraid of him. He was horribly scarred from fire, and since he didn't function very well, he was rejected quite often. When the bishop was about 15, he found out that Paco had passed away, because one night it was cold and he crawled under a truck to be warm.  Well, the truck driver didn't know, and so he drove away, and that is when the story of Paco was made know to the people. He used to be a firefighter, big and strong, super smart, and a great man. But because he saved a family from a house fire, he was left disfigured and mentally handicapped, and in the end rejected and teased, and never recognized for the hero he truly was. Sometimes, in our lives, we don't realize the good in somebody, we can only see the horrible scarring on the outside, and don't take the time to figure out the why behind it.  This story really touched me, and made me want to be better. I don't have much time left to be a missionary, but with the time I do, I want to do my best to look on the inside just as Christ would.
 
So, that was my week. It was a lot of fun, and really humbling, and really made me want to be, and realize that I can be, a better person. I hope that you all can do the same, and have an amazing week.
 
Love, Elder Dixon

Monday, July 27, 2015

I was only in that area with that companion for 3 weeks!

July 27, 2015

Ok, so this week was the craziest of my mission life...probably of my whole life to be honest. It all started on Monday, when after playing sports with the zone, elder Oliver realized he couldn't tap his right foot like normal....in fact, he couldn't move his ankle at all...so when he walked his foot just kinda flopped around all funny.... It didn't hurt him, but you know, it warranted a trip to the hospital.  So, since they had a real important visit we did splits and I went to
the hospital with him. We waited there for a about an hour and a half, and then in walked the nurse and she literally just touched his foot and said it was just a stressed tendon and he shouldn't walk for a couple of days...so we figured we'd probably have to do splits again during the week....but we couldn't have imagined we would do them as
much as we did. The problem was that I was supposed to do companionship exchanges with my leaders on Tuesday, after I finished teaching district meeting. But the other elders wouldn't be able to come to district meeting at all.
 
Well....literally as we were about to leave to go to the church for the meeting, we got a phone call, from the mission president. So, I answered it, and after talking to me for a second, he asked to speak to my companion.  So, they start speaking, and my companion gets a really shocked look on his face....says "yes president" and then hands the phone to me.....uh oh. So he explained my companion needs to be emergency transferred to the mission office because the senior couple is going home...and that they are just gonna close down our area and let Elder Brog and Oliver take care of it...and that I needed to go Gandia, which is still my district.
Needless to say, I didn't do the exchanges with the zone leaders...that'll happen this next week:)So that's where I'm at right now, in Gandia with Elder Stratton as my companion. So the whole week was us teaching the other elders about our area, because we didn't leave until Sunday night. It's been pretty interesting, just doing splits the whole time. I've been with my companion for maybe 5 visits.  Crazy stuff! I was only in that area with that companion for 3 weeks!  That's so short! But, the Lord knows what he's doing. I sure I'll figure out why in a few days. Just trust In Him and everything goes a lot better:)

Well, I hope you all have a good week too! Go have an adventure!

Love,

Elder Dixon

Monday, July 20, 2015

Even the Africans say it’s too hot for them!

July 20, 2015

This week was good, but rather plain. We did have a lot of people stop us, instead of us stopping them, so that was fun, and we found a lot of people to teach too. Also, the other elders had a baptism, so that was neat, and we were able to get a lot of stuff done. Lots of visits fell through too, so we were in the streets a lot, and had a lot of fun conversations, like with a Russian couple who want to know more, but we don’t know how to teach them. We have a visit with them next week...good thing we have a copy of the Book of Mormon in Russian!!! 
 
I also got to go to Gandia this week (a little town to the south of Valencia) and work there with Elder Carter (he was with me in Pamplona) so that was a blast, even though it was way hot. The weather here is so hot and humid. Even the Africans say it’s too hot for them! (We teach a lot of people from Nigeria and Ghana...I’m learning their tribal languages. Crazy stuff) 
 
Well...other than that, all is well, and I’m out of time!!
 
Love,
 
Elder Dixon

Monday, July 13, 2015

I was in a slump...

July 13, 2015

Well....this week as an adventure!  It's been really crazy, and I'm still not unpacked all the way just because we haven't really even had time to breath between all the visits and stuff we have to do. I’m still super lost, and don't know my area very well, but it's a lot of fun. We've met a ton of people this week and have had a lot of lessons, the members here are great too, because they help us out a ton too. I'm really glad to be here in Valencia.  To tell the truth, I was mad last week that I was transferred. Especially since the ayudantes told me I would stay in Pamplona for the rest of my mission, so when I got the call I was shocked.

But, once again the Lord has taught me to trust in Him. I don't know if you have ever seen the Mormon message "the will of God". If you haven't, it's worth watching. Well, in it, it compares God to a gardener, and us to a plant that was severely pruned. Sometimes we may ask, why? But the Lord is the gardener, and He knows what He wants us to be. Only, sometimes he doesn't tell us why until a lot later. For me though,  the "why" was made evident immediately. I have found during the last week here that I was in a slump, not really progressing. I was working a lot, yes, and the area and investigators were progressing, but I wasn't. However, within 6 days of working with elder Pemberton, I have already been taught and uplifted to a whole new level. For only having two transfers, he is one of the most mature, and amazing missionaries I have ever met, and is an incredible leader for me, even as a junior companion. It truly is incredible, and I feel like this transfer is going to be amazing for both of us. His Spanish is impressive, and his desire to be better and improve is inspiring. He really makes me want to be better too. I'm having a lot of fun here in Valencia and the work is amazing!!

I hope you all have a good week too!
Love,
Elder Dixon

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Revelation changes stuff up….

July 7, 2015

So...to start off, I have good news!! Last week, I was talking with my leaders about the upcoming San Fermin festival, and trying to figure out if it would be best for us to leave or not, and the assistants told me that I should plan on just staying in Pamplona until the end of my mission!! Whoooo!!! Super exciting! Well...here's the thing....revelation changes stuff up…. and I'm on a train right now going to my new area in Valencia. What? I was really shocked.....but, I guess the Lord has other plans for me! So here’s a rundown of my last week in Pamplona. 
 
First off, we've been having so many visits, I and my companion were barely together this week. We did splits all the time! It made it real confusing, but it was a ton of fun! On top of that too, we had a trip to Bilbao to meet the new mission president, so that was a lot of fun. I won't get to know him all that well, but it's really exciting too. It was a great trip, and on the way back I did a companionship interchange with the zone leaders for a day too. I laughed and learned a lot. 
 
Then, the crazy stuff all started happening as soon as I found out I was leaving. I've been in a different house every possible hour of the past two days saying goodbye to everybody, and they all kept stuffing me full of food! Apparently since I didn't gain weight during the six months I've been here, they wanted to make me gain it all in two days……ugggg.....and they've told me Valencia gives more food than anywhere! Haha, and the other elders wonder how I have so much money at the end of the month:) 
 
Well....I really don't know what else to write....I loved my time in Pamplona, and the truth is I didn't want to leave, but I figure that since I'm going to try and work there I'll see them all soon enough. I'm kinda bummed I missed the San Fermins though...so I'll have to go back another year.
 
So that was the week! Or at least the important parts. I hope you all have a good week too!!
 
Love, Elder Dixon

Monday, June 29, 2015

I Saw France!!

June 29, 2015

This week was way good, way crazy, and miracle filled. We traveled a lot this week, and so we had a lot of time spent either in bus or in car, but somehow we still had a 30 lesson week, which is the most I've ever had in my entire mission. We've been doing splits a ton, and the ward members are really helping us out a ton.

Probably the biggest miracle was that on Saturday we went to go visit a less active member from Germany, who lives by himself in a small town in the middle of the Pyrenees Mountains, only 2 miles from the French border, which consists of three houses. (I saw France!!) It was a really neat visit, because he showed us all his land and animals and cars and the huge house he lives in, and we really just got to become friends with him. We had planned to teach family history, but in the end we shared a Mormon message and just talked about it for a long time before we had to go. Even though it didn't seem like we did much, from the feeling that was there, that visit was absolutely necessary, and the hour and a half drive was well worth it. 
Other travels were to Vitoria for a ward conference, and in Vitoria we went to go explore a cave that it turns out you can't go into.  Other than that we were all over in Pamplona. Crazy stuff....and next week we go to Bilbao to meet the new mission president. President Pace will be leaving on Tuesday, and President Dayton should be here Tuesday night. Or...you know....tomorrow. WIERD!!!!!!

Well, other than that, there was also a ward activity on Friday, and when we went to it we found that there were at least 10 investigators from our area there, and just as many for the other elders, with a bunch more that we had no idea who they were. The work really is moving forward here in Pamplona. 
So that's basically my week!
Love you all,
Elder Dixon

Monday, June 22, 2015

The work is good, my stomach is full, and I love being a missionary!

June 22, 2015

So, to start off the weekly report this time, I want to share a story. I wasn't having all that great of a day, we hadn't had very many lessons, in fact most of them had fired on us. I was just kind of floating, drifting really, and didn't know what to do. We were contacting like crazy, but literally nobody was taking the time to listen to us, or do anything other than say no. Well, as we were about to head off to another visit, I made one last contact, to a lady sitting on the bench, and she as well said no, but somehow we stayed there talking to her. We explained who we were, and we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, and we had a really nice lesson. She didn't set up a return visit, she wouldn't even give us her number, but it was a really peaceful visit, and as we left I just couldn't stop thinking about how wonderful it was to be a missionary, and that our purpose isn't to find new people, or teach member present lessons, but to simply invite others to come unto Christ. After that visit, I really felt free, and happy to be a missionary of the Lord.
 
Apart from that, this week was great. We had a crazy family home evening with a bunch of Dominicans, and a way neat ward barbecue on Saturday where everybody brought a friend. Also, one of the sisters in the ward got her mission call, and two other kids just submitted their papers, so we're working a lot with future missionaries now too. It's a ton of fun. The work is good, my stomach is full, and I love being a missionary!
 
Love you all,
 
Elder Dixon

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ricky turned 20!

June 15, 2015

Well, this week was a bit different than most.....first, it started off with a trip to Bilbao for an amazing Zone Conference....the last one I get to have with President and Sister Pace. They will be going home at the end of this month, which is really a bummer. Well, after we got back, we didn't have very much planned for the week. So, each night we planned as much as we could and then just left the rest in the Lord’s hands, and he FILLED our days so much. We had 27 lessons, and that was even with a full day in Bilbao. Oh, and to top it off, it was raining all week. But, it was incredible how we would get home, go over what we did during the day and realize how the Lord had blessed us. It was a testimony to me that when we plan the best we can, the Lord gives us the rest and makes it all work out. 
 
Also in the middle of all that was my birthday. It was really great, because the YSA threw together a surprise birthday party for me, which was really neat. Lots of food, a huge cake I got my face smashed into, and all that kind of fun stuff. There'll be pictures at the end:) 
 
Well, that really was the week... The Lord blessed us with a lot of visits, but not too many stories to tell. Next week we'll have a ward bbq though, so I'll have some more next time :) 
 
Love you all,
 
Elder Dixon
 
 Ricky turned 20!!
 

Monday, June 8, 2015

It's so Hot Here

June 8, 2015

Well, a lot happened this week, and we had a bunch of great miracles. 
 
It was kind of a hard week in that we didn't get to as many visits as we would have liked, and not as many members helped us this week either, but it's mostly due to the fact that everybody has been studying for the tests this upcoming week. Actually though that's where one of the biggest miracles comes from. We are working a lot
with the return missionary and his family, and this past week we went to help his little sister study English and math. Well, afterwards, as usual we shared a message, and this time it was about the gospel of Christ, and so of course baptism came up. It was pretty neat because she wants to get baptized, but she want to really be ready for it
before she commits. So we showed her the back of a baptismal calendar, and went over all the things we need to teach her and the interview questions. Then, she turned over the calendar and asked what is was for, and as we explained that she could use it to help her prepare for a specific date to get baptized, she set her own baptismal date, for the 20th of June. It was incredible, and we promised that as she read and prayed every day, she could be ready by that date. She really wants to improve, and be baptized, but she wants to feel ready first too.

Other than that, we've been finding a ton of people to work with, and we've been having a lot of fun. Something that happened to us twice was that the buses have overheated and we've had to walk to our visits. It's so hot here!  Yesterday in ward council, we were the only ones in suits. So we've been laughing and sweating a lot.

So yup...there's really only one other neat thing that happened this week, we got our iPads, so that's pretty exciting. They are really helpful, especially in studies. That's really all we get to use them for as of now anyway.

Well I hope you all had a great week, and that you can have another great one this week too:)

Love, Elder Dixon

Monday, June 1, 2015

That’s hastening the work!!

June 1, 2015
What a powerful week! We saw so many blessings and felt the Spirit so strong! This week on Thursday and Friday we did a mission fast, to "apresuar la obra"....in English it’s like.....making the work go faster...I don’t remember the real phrase. But it works! The miracle this week happened because a missionary returned this week, from the Malaga mission. He is a convert of 3 years, and he and his mother are the only members in their family. He’s got 5 little sisters, and a ton of cousins, and so the first thing he did when he got his phone was call us and set up a visit to be able to meet all of his family. We go over to visit his mom often, but his sisters always hide in the room, so in the four months I’ve been here, I’d only ever met two of them. Well, yesterday we had an amazing visit where we met his dad, and all his sisters, and they all said that when they feel prepared, they will be baptized. So now we have the task of preparing his family so he can baptize them. Then, on top of that, he made a deal with us, that if we help him learn English for one hour a week, he will give us a reference once a week. It’s a pretty good deal in my opinion. That’s hastening the work!! (I remembered the phrase in English:)
Anyway, I hope you all have a good week, and see miracles. Just look for them...they are there! Mormon 9:10-20 tells us about it:)
Love,
Elder Dixon

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I love being a missionary

May 26, 2015

This week was another great week. We had a lot of fun, found a ton of people, had a ton of people come to church, and taught a bunch of lessons. It was a really great week. One neat miracle happened at church. As we were at the door welcoming people, a part member family came in with a bunch of their friends, and we got a visit set up to go visit them tomorrow. It was so simple! We’ve been talking a lot about how this coming month is the month of invitation, and we’re already seeing the members inviting in advance! This family isn’t the first to bring people to church. Yesterday for example, we found out that one of the young women has been bringing a friend to church every Sunday for almost 4 months, and we didn’t even know she wasn’t a member! I at least thought she was a less active the other elders were working with, but nope! The ward members are really great here. We also had a really great ward council meeting where we talked all about what we can do to help the members and non-members make the Sabbath day more meaningful, and I’ve never been in a better ward council meeting. I’ve just been astounded this past week at the effort the members are making. I don’t know if they have been doing this all along, or if I am just noticing it now, but either way it’s incredible! Now really is the time to work together with the members, and the Lord really is hastening his work! I love being a missionary.
Also, good news, transfers came and went and nobody here in Pamplona is leaving! However, this will be the last transfer for President Pace, and then I’ll be getting a new mission president. Weird!
Anyway, I hope you all have a good week too:)
Love,
Elder Dixon

Monday, May 18, 2015

Baptism!!


May 18, 2015

Well, this past week Luz Moreno and Juan Agosta got baptized. I’ve kinda told you the story over the course of a few weeks of how we met them, but I figured I should just tell it again.
So, our ward mission leader works as a repair man, and a while ago he was helping a lady fix her water heater, and somehow he started talking to her about the church, and found out she wanted to learn more, and come to stake conference. So, he gave us her number, and we called her up, and had a visit with her, along with a member. In the visit, she explained to us that she had been going to a different church for a while, but never felt like she could open up an really express herself, but with us she could, and so she proceeded to tell us her life story, and how she knew that God was there and watching over her. It was really touching.
She’s been through a lot of hard times, but she knows that God has always helped her out of the situations. She’s had a lot of health problems as well, and for a couple of years she couldn’t walk. But she just kept bearing her testimony about how loving God is, and then we explained that He is our father, and he loves us, and asks us to do certain things in this life. Then, we invited her to be baptized, and with tears pouring down her cheeks, she said she had been waiting for someone to ask her to be baptized, and she accepted a baptismal date for the 28th of March. She also came to stake conference, with her husband, and they promised they would never miss a day of church. However, right after that, her medical problems just went downhill, and so for a long time she was in the hospital and couldn’t meet with us. But, then one Sunday they just showed up to church again, and came for a few weeks, and then last week after church they came up to us and asked what they had to do to be baptized, and when they could be. So, this past week has been a whirlwind of preparing everything, and them, to be baptized. The members here have done an amazing job as well helping out, and for the baptism there were a lot of people there to support, and afterwards they all swapped numbers. Then, yesterday was the confirmation. It was incredible too. Their faces were both just shining. It was kinda funny too, because they didn’t know to go sit back down in the congregation afterward, and so they both just stayed up on the stand for the rest of the meeting, and so all the members got to see them and be able to recognize them, and then it was really hard to get out of the room because everybody just crowded around them. It truly was incredible. Probably the best part though was when they came up after church again, and asked what they have to do to go to the temple. We have another visit set up to talk about that too. When the Lord prepares people.....They are PREPARED!
Thanks for all the prayers and support. I hope you have as good of a week as I did!
Love,
Elder Dixon

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I’ve gotten really good at falling asleep on the bus:)

May 12, 2015

This week was INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! Starting off, we went to Barcelona (a four hour train ride, going at an average 250 km/hour) and got to stay in a four star hotel, then go into my old area a bit and listen to two of the seventy explain some amazing things!! The Lord really is hastening His work. The whole conference was about how we need to give our will, our time, everything we have and are to the Lord, and He will change us. It was incredible. Then, we had another 4 hour train ride back, and we were back to working like crazy!!
 
We found some really great people to start teaching and had a lot of great visits. One of the best was when we were with a member, and he took us to some of his family. His cousin is atheist, but when we gave him the Book of Mormon he said he would try and believe. It was really neat because of his sincerity, and I know that as he reads he will believe. so we’ll see where that goes:)
 
The other neat thing that happened this week was that right after church, a  couple we have been working with for about 3 months came up to us and asked us what they have to do to get baptized, since they have been coming for a while, they felt ready to take the next step. I was blown away, and so tonight we have a visit to see what we can do to help them, which I’m sure will mean planning a baptism for this weekend. yay:) Then, afterward, we got to skype our families, which was fantastic, and right after we had to run and catch a bus to Bilbao for another conference.(this time we got to stay in a five star hotel:) So, this week was a lot of traveling, learning, miracles and just having a blast:) I love the mission, but man, traveling just wears me out! I’ve gotten really good at falling asleep on the bus:)
 
Well, I hope you all have a great week.
 
Thank you for all your prayers on my behalf.
 
Love,
 
Elder Dixon

Monday, May 4, 2015

how to use an iPad......


May 4, 2015

This week was a really great week, and we had a ton of fun finding a ton of people. At zone enfoque we went to, the zone leaders set the goal for our zone to find 60 people a week, and this past week we found 61! It’s absolutely amazing!! For our part, we had a great miracle. It was late at night, and we didn’t have anything to do, so we were contacting, and walking towards our piso. Well, right as we got out of our area, we contacted a lady standing by a bench, and she at first didn’t want anything, but then, I don’t know what happened. We just started talking, and kept on talking, and ended up carrying her bags all the back into our area, teaching a lesson as we walked, and coordinating with her to help her friend move the next day. So, we went to go help move, and found 3 more amazing people to start teaching. They are all Romanians, and are very interested in the English classes we teach, as well as learning more about the gospel. It was a huge blessing, and all happened because we were still contacting late at night, even after we got out of our area.

The next thing that’s amazing is that we have 2 investigators with baptismal dates, a mom and her daughter. They are Dominicans, and really humble, and very kind. They came to church yesterday for the first time, and loved when all the kids got up to sing for mother’s day, and stayed for all three hours. The little girl has made friends in primary, and by the look on the moms face I don’t think she’s ever been greeted by so many people at one place before. It was truly amazing to see the ward just naturally take them in, and involve them in everything. I love this gospel and the way it changes people for the better.
So ya, that was basically my week, if you add on a bunch of other lessons and food:) Today were going to Barcelona for a mission wide conference on how to use iPad, so that’s pretty exciting too:) haha, right before I leave too:) oh well:)
 
I hope you all have a great week!
Love, Elder Dixon

Monday, April 20, 2015

I love the work of a missionary!

April 20, 2015
This week was a lot of fun, and made me learn and stretch and grow a ton. It was a rough week numbers wise, but it was a very good week to learn, and as my companion said, from now on we can only get better. I’m having a blast with Elder Gonzalez. He’s really humble, REALLY tall (6"5), and we’ve been working really hard to get him to know the area. It’s a blast, and we’re already seeing miracles.
One miracle this week came during one of our visits. We’ve been working a lot with a family here, and the dad just never wants to read the Book of Mormon. He always says he’s too busy studying. Well, we were talking about how studying is really good, and we also need to study the words of God, and so we read in 2 Nephi 9 where it says that it is good to be wise, if we do what God asks us first. It was really neat, because as we were talking afterward about the scripture, the dad just kept rereading and analyzing the verse, and at the end of the lesson he told us that he needed to read, because of what that verse told him. It was the first time he’s really shown any interest in the Book of Mormon, or any drive whatsoever to try and read. It’s a really big step. The Book of Mormon really is so important in conversion, whether it be of ourselves, or others.
I love the work of a missionary.
I hope you all have a good week:)
Love, Elder Dixon

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

That was super weird.....

April 14, 2015

This week was absolutely crazy. First off, the most notable thing that happened was I went to the doctor, and they shoved a camera up my nose to see what is wrong with me. That was super weird.....I got to see the inside of my nose, and they described where all the little tubes went to and everything. The final diagnosis is sinusitis, secondary otitis, and a unknown type of infection in my lungs. So, I’m on heavy antibiotics for 2 weeks, and a lot of other funny pills to combat the side effects of the antibiotic. I’m doing better though, so it seems to be working. Not much, but better. I’ve still had to stay in piso a couple of days. On Monday night I had a really high fever, so I’ve been trying to take really good care of myself.

Apart from all the medical issues, this week was really great. This Saturday for the Jas activity we do every week, we set up a scavenger hunt, and the Jas invited their friends and everything, so it turned into a tour of the church too. Here we work a lot with the young people. They are really solid, and jump to help us. It was also pretty neat this week, because bishop called us a couple of times, just asking if he could come to visits with us. So we went with him a bunch, and one day he stayed inside with me while Elder Noovao went out with another member to our visits. The ward here is amazing.
Then, the best part was that an investigator we’ve been trying to get ahold of for a while came to church. I don’t know if you remember but about a month ago I told you about a reference from our ward mission leader. Her name is Luz, and when we went to visit her, she was amazing, and accepted a baptismal date. Well, then she came to church that Sunday, and then from there we hadn’t heard anything from her until she came this Sunday. Apparently, that Monday she had some major medical issues, and so had a couple of surgeries and has been recovering, and so hasn’t been able to come to church. But she came this week, and we gave her a blessing, and she’s doing amazing now. It was awesome to see her walk up to the church.
I hope you have a great week too!!
Love,
Elder Dixon

Monday, April 6, 2015

My favorite talk was from Elder Oaks

April 6, 2015
 
This week was pretty good. We’ve been kinda held back by me being sick so much, but we still got out and worked! So that was good. It was tough in the streets with the fiestas because nobody really wanted to listen, but we were always with a member, so that was incredible. I was going over the numbers in my old agendas, and I realized that when I started the mission I had a lot of visits, but without a member. And now, the numbers have been swapped. Lots of visits with members, and hardly any by ourselves. It’s really great.
The best part of the week of course was conference. I loved it! I learned so much! My favorite talk was from Elder Oaks, when he talked about the different kinds of soils, and I tried to think of how I could improve my soil. I’ve started a list of good habits I want to gain, and not so good habits I want to get rid of, and so as I was listening I was really paying attention for that as well. It’s really interesting to see how much of an influence the little things in life have on us and how we act.  One little one president told me in our interview last week (oh ya..We had interviews with president this week:) was that I need to stop popping my knuckles. Weird, but ok, president asked me to so I’m gonna do it!
Anyway, I hope you all have a good week too!
Love,
Elder Dixon

Monday, March 30, 2015

“I want patience and I want it NOW!"



March  30, 2015

This week’s been rough again. I’m still sick. I went to the doctors on Tuesday, and they told me I have a lung infection, and an ear infection as well, so we’ve been taking it easy the past week. I feel bad because my companion really wants to get out and work, and so do I, but me being sick is holding us down. However, one night we did go out and work, and we took a member out with us. It was really neat, because after the visit, we had an hour of contacting, and so he suggested we say a prayer, and then we would be able to find some people. Well, for the rest of the night he was directing us to people to talk too, and we saw miracles!!  He would nudge one of us and say "that one. She will listen" and then they would! It was incredible. I really had my testimony of working with the members strengthened. The neatest thing though, was we stopped a lady and her daughter, and she said she didn’t have time, and so we offered her a card, and then right as she was turning away, the member stopped her and asked if he could just say a little prayer to help her. She agreed, and so he said a little prayer, and then she went on her way. We don’t even know her name, but I do know that she will never forget that experience it was really neat.

Also this week, I went on two intercambios, because Elder Engen had to go to Vitoria for a physiotherapist appointment three times. So one intercambio was to Vitoria with him, and the second one was in my area with Elder Defendis. It’s been quite the medical week! But, I’ve learned a lot about relying on the Lord. He is always there, and he knows what’s best for us, so we just have to learn to be patient. My only problem is, to quote Elder Clark, “I want patience and I want it NOW"! At least I know what to work on:)
Thanks for all your support and prayers. Have a good week!
Elder Dixon

Monday, March 23, 2015

This week’s been a bit rougher then the past few

March 23, 2015
This week’s been a bit rougher then the past few. I’ve been sick since Wednesday, and inside for most of the time, and the weather is rainy, and a bunch of stuff has fallen through, but, through it all, it’s still been a really productive week. We’ve been able to really see the hand of the Lord this week, and the way I’ve been able to see His hand the most has been through my companion.
One of my favorite scriptures is Mosiah 2:17, "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God". Well, as a missionary, Elder Noovao already is in the service of God, but then to top it off he’s taken really good care of me, and even more than that, he’s done a ton of work in our area. On Friday, I took a good five hour nap trying to sleep off a fever, and when I woke up, he showed me the pass by plans he made for every investigator in our area book. Then, the next thing I know is he was studying the language. He didn’t miss a beat in the work, but just kept plowing ahead while I’m trying to get better. It’s been really neat to see. He has such a big heart, and he’s dedicated it to the Lord. It’s all because of him that we still had a lot of lessons.
Other than that, I don’t have much to say about this past week. We have unfortunately lost contact with the reference from our ward mission leader, and so hopefully we will be able to talk to her this week but we’ll have to wait and see. We did however find a bunch of great people to start teaching, and today while we were walking in the old part of town buying stuff, a guy stopped us and asked us if we could teach him and his wife. Apparently the missionaries had been teaching them a while ago, and he wants us to go by again, so that was pretty neat. We´re finding a ton of work to do here, even after all the work we have done already. I love this area, and this work.
Love,
Elder Dixon

Monday, March 16, 2015

It was really touching

March 16, 2015
This week was a ton of fun, and we saw miracles. Our ward mission leader works as a repair man, and this past week, he was helping a lady fix her water heater, and somehow he started talking to her about the church, and found out she wanted to learn more, and come to stake conference. So, he gave us her number, and we called her up, and had a visit with her, along with a member. In the visit, she explained to us that she had been going to a different church for a while, but never felt like she could open up an really express herself, but with us she could, and so she proceeded to tell us her life story, and how she knew that God was there and watching over her. It was really touching. She’s been through a lot of hard times, but she knows that God has always helped her out of the situations. She’s had a lot of health problems as well, and for a couple of years she couldn’t walk. But she just kept bearing her testimony about how loving God is, and then we explained that He is our father, and He loves us, and asks us to do certain things in this life. Then, we invited her to be baptized, and with tears pouring down her cheeks, she said she had been waiting for someone to ask her to be baptized, and she accepted a baptismal date for the 28th of March. She also came to stake conference, with her husband, and they promised they would never miss a day of church. Since then, we haven’t had a visit with them, so we don’t really know her husband very well, but they truly are amazing people, and she at least has a very strong desire to be baptized. It’s absolutely incredible. It’s really neat to see what Heavenly Father does to prepare people to accept the gospel, and how He prepares and guides us as missionary’s to help His children.

Other than that, this week was really great because we had the mission tour in Bilbao, and stake conference, and even though we missed a full two days of work, we still met most of our goals, and found a bunch of great people to start teaching as well. There were so many other experiences that we had that were amazing. For example, we were passing by a house to see if an old investigator still lived there, and when we knocked on the door, and explained who we were, the lady who answered asked us very sharply what we were doing looking for her daughter. So, after talking for a minute through the timbre, we asked if we could go up and speak face to face. The look on the lady’s face when she saw two young guys in suits and ties was priceless, and then as we continued talking in her doorway for the next hour, her surprise just grew and grew as we explained what we believe, and why we do what we do, and in the end, she said we could come back on Tuesday when her husband will be home, and she gave us a reference as well. It was incredible.

Another really neat thing was that a menos activo family invited us over to eat Sunday, and when we got there, the mom said she had been cooking for 4 hours for us, because it was the first time in 8 years that missionary’s had set foot in her home. It was a really humbling experience.

Over all, I learned a lot about the correlation between diligence, patience, and blessings this week, because we have been working really hard, and even though some days have been really hard, the Lord just keeps blessing us. I love being a missionary, and especially being here in Pamplona with Elder Noovao. He really is an amazing companion. We have so much fun, and we are really open with each other. I really feel like he is a brother, not just another missionary.
I hope you all have a great week too!!
Love,
Elder Dixon

Monday, March 9, 2015

WE HAD A BAPTISM!!

March 9, 2015

This week was amazing, mainly because WE HAD A BAPTISM!! It was really great. Francisca Ruiz Cordova was baptized on March 7 2015 by Elder Noovao, and I was able to confirm her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on March 8, 2015. It was a very sweet baptismal service. We met Francisca through her daughter, who has been a member for almost three years now. A lot of missionaries have passed by their house, trying to talk to her family, but none of her siblings or parents ever really wanted anything to do with the church. Well, these past 2 months their family has been going through a really hard time, and so Francisca started reading the Book of Mormon, and she came to church with her husband for the first time in the beginning of February. Since then, she has only missed one time, because of work, and she has progressed so much. It’s really easy to see how much her life has changed. She even told us that as soon as she started reading, praying, and coming to church, she has felt more at peace and things have gotten better with her family. As a part of it as well, her oldest daughter, who has always been nice to the missionary’s, but wouldn’t go out of her way for them, has invited us to eat at her house with her family a lot. So we have been working a lot with the whole family. So far, Francisca is the only one who would even accept the invitation to be baptized, but her husband is reading, so we’re working with him as well.
One neat thing that happened was that we had the interview Friday at the church, because we figured it would be quieter than their house. However, we forgot that mutual happens Friday night, and that the young men’s leader has a two year old child that never stops screaming. So, we were praying that the interview would go well, and that they wouldn´t be disturbed by the noise, and afterward, I asked Elder Engen if he could hear everything going on. He said yes, but it seems as though Francisca wasn´t able to. It might just be that she’s a mom and so is really used to crying babies, and it just didn’t bother her, but either way, It was a blessing. I’ve never seen anyone so happy as her daughter when Elder Engen let us know that she could be baptized the next evening. The service was very neat, and very spiritual, and a bunch of ward members were there. I really have loved being able to see her progress, and now be a part of the church. The Garcia-Ruiz family really is like another family to me, and I hope to see all of them become a part of the church and go through the temple. I love fulfilling my missionary purpose.
Thanks for all your prayers and support!
Love,
Elder Dixon

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It rained so much the river went up about 5 meters...

March 3, 2015
This week was a really good week, and we had a ton of fun, first with going to Vitoria for an amazing zone enfoque, and then with a really great intercambio with Elder Engen. Then, after having the transfer jitters all day Saturday, it was really neat to find out that Elder Carter is going to Gandia, and that Elder Engen is training. I’m super excited to be with Elder Noovao again too.
Oh ya, and it rained so much the river went up about 5 meters...flooded big time, so that was cool too. However, the best part of the whole week, was when Francisca, the mother of a member, accepted the invitation to be baptized this coming Saturday. It’s been a really hard time to get her to church, and her daughter has been really patient with her, and very encouraging. It’s been very obvious that the Lord has been helping and preparing her for the past two and a half years since her daughter’s baptism, and we are sure that her baptism will set the example and the rest of her family will soon follow. It’s been really neat to see her progress the past couple of weeks. The only possible hiccup is if she has to work on Saturday, so we’re praying for her to not have to. It’ll be pretty neat though, because the new missionary will get to see how a baptism is done in the Barcelona Spain mission his first week in the field. We are so excited.
So ya, this week was amazing. I hope you all have a great week too.
Love,
Elder Dixon