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 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