Saturday, December 5, 2015

November 3, 2015

Hello my sweet family!!!

So something really weird just happened...I tried to log on to my missionary portal to write President, but it wouldn´t let me in.  So I think it´s really starting to hit me that these really are the last few days of my mission.  There are tears in my eyes.

Remember when I was starting my mission, I LOVED the talk “Your Wonderful Journey Home?”  Well guess what?  I still love it.  One part of it really touched my heart this week: 

You are not alone on this  journey.  Your Heavenly  Father knows  you. 
Even when no one else hears you, He  hears  you.  When  you  rejoice  in  righteousness,  He  rejoices  with  you. When  you  are  beset  with  trial, 
He  grieves  with  you.
Heavenly  Father’s  interest  in  you  does  not  depend  on  how  rich  or 
beautiful  or  healthy  or  smart  you  are.  He sees  you  not  as  the  world 
sees  you;  He  sees  who  you really  are.  He  looks  on  your  heart.  And 
He  loves  you because  you  are  His  child.
Dear (brothers and  sisters) ,  seek  Him  earnestly,  and  you  will  find  Him.
 promise  you,  you  are  not  alone.
Now,  take   moment  right  now  and  look  at  the  people  around  you. 
Some  may  be  your  leaders,  friends,  or  family  members.  Others  you 
may  have  never  met before.  Nevertheless,  everyone  you  see  around 
you—in  this  meeting  or  at  any  other  place,  today  or  at  any  other  time—was  valiant  in  the  premortal  world.  That unassuming  and  ordinary-looking  person  sitting  next  to you  may  have  been  one  of  the  great 
figures  you  loved  and  admired  in  the  sphere  of  spirits.  You  may  have
been  such   role  model  yourself!
Of  one  thing  you  can  be  certain:  every  person  you  see—no  matter  the  race,  religion,  political  beliefs,  body  type,or  appearance is  family.  The  young  woman (or man)  you  look at  has  the  same  Heavenly  Father  as  you,  and she (or he)  left  His  loving  presence  just  as  you  did,  eager  to  come  to  this 
earth  and  live  so  she  could  one  day  return  to  Him.
However,  she  might  feel  alone,  just  as  you  sometimes  do.  She  may 
even occasionally forget the purpose  of her  journey.  Please  remind  her  through  your  
words  and  your  actions  that she  is  not  alone.  We  are 
here  to  help  each  other.
Life  can  be  difficult,  and  it  can  harden  hearts  to  the  point  where 
certain  people  seem  unreachable.  Some may  be  filled  with  anger. 
Others may mock and ridicule those who  believe  in   loving  God.  But  consider  this: 
though  they  do  not remember,  they  too  at  one  time 
yearned  to  return  to  their  Father  in  Heaven.
What a wonderful journey this week has been, and what a wonderful journey these eighteen months have been!  As I think about my mission, the biggest journey I´ve experienced thus far, one word comes to my mind.  And this word is GRACIAS.

Throughout all of my prayers this week, I've just told my Heavenly Father, "Gracias, gracias, gracias."  I thank Him for all the hard parts of this journey.  They´ve taught me I am truly nothing without God.  I thank Him for the mistakes I´ve made on this journey.  My mission has been a time of goofing and growing!  I thank Him for each one of my sweet companions who have accompanied me on my journey.  They have been the perfect traveling mates for me, and each one has touched my heart.  And each one has been so so so patient and forgiving with me!  I thank Him for my journey destinations...Fray Bentos, Juan Lacaze, Artigas, and Mercedes.  What special places He has given me the opportunity to serve in.  And more importantly, what SPECIAL PEOPLE He has given me the opportunity to serve among.  I thank Him for His sweet Uruguayan children.  THEY HAVE MADE THIS JOURNEY SO WORTH IT!!!  They have been so good to me.  Each one of them has taught me something.  They have given me so much of their time, food, and talents even when they have had so little.  I thank Him for all those rainy, scorching hot, or super humid days in my journey when I´ve had the chance to walk down the Uruguayan streets and preach the gospel.  But more than anything, I thank Him for the atonement of His son, Jesus Christ!  
He´s been there literally every step of this journey.

He has been with me since day one and will be with me until the very end.  He has helped me continue on when I felt like I couldn´t.  His infinite sacrifice has truly made it possible for me to have forgiveness for my sins.  This journey has really helped me realize He is my best friend.

And what a joy it has been to let other people know the atonement exists!!!  What a joy it is to let them know in this journey we are never, ever alone!  

I would like to repeat a quote from above to give you a little glimpse into how this week has been!

Of  one  thing  you  can  be  certain:  every  person  you  see—no  matter  the  race,  religion,  political  beliefs,  body  type, or  appearance is  family.  The  young  woman (or man)  you  look at  has  the  same  Heavenly  Father  as  you,  and she (or he)  left  His  loving  presence  just  as  you  did,  eager  to  come  to  this 
earth  and  live  so  that  she  could  one  day  return  to  Him.

This past week, along with sweet Hermana Marsh, we have really felt in our hearts that every Uruguayan here in Mercedes is FAMILY!  Here are some miracles we saw among our Mercedes family!
  • SOFIA!!!  Okay so Sofia is just awesome.  She´s a recent convert (she got baptized in April), and she is preparing to serve a mission (she turned nineteen on Sunday).  Sofia is always willing to help in the work of the Lord!  On Friday, she took us to her friend´s house so we could leave a Book of Mormon with her (and Sofia wrote her testimony down)!  Also, Sofia chose to spend her birthday accompanying us!  What???  Sofia also let us know she would like if it we could start working with her less-active mother, Ínes.  Yesterday, we had a Family Home Afternoon with Sofia and Ínes.  We loved reading the Book of Mormon together, and Ínes bought us soda and cookies, how sweet.  We love our sisters, Sofia and Ínes!

  • ANA LAURA!!!  Hermana Marsh and I found Ana Laura one day when we were looking in the ward list.  She helped us find an address and as she was shutting the door, we said she looked cute!  We then told her God loved her!!!  She didn´t have time for a message then, but said we could return!

Hermana Marsh and I have been returning and it is so awesome to feel God´s love for Ana Laura.  On Friday, we talked about the Book of Mormon and she asked us how she can be ready for the second coming of the Lord.  We then talked about how we should try to be like Jesus Christ a little bit more every day and how we can make a promise with Him through baptism.  We talked about baptism for quite a bit, and she accepted a baptismal date for December 19th!

We then came back last night.  She welcomed us into her home and guess what???  She had made us a cake because she knew it would be my last lesson with her.  What a sweetheart.  We ate chocolate cake and drank orange juice together and learned more about Ana Laura´s life.  We then sang, said a prayer, and dived into learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  She soaked it all in...she really has desires to be a better person.  She still feels good about getting baptized, and then she asked if she could offer the prayer!  Her prayer was so sweet, she blessed Hermana Marsh and me and she specifically blessed me that I can travel safely and find a good career and have a happy life.  We love our sister Ana Laura!
  • HERMANA MARSH!!!  And boy oh boy do I love my sister, Hermana Marsh.  She has literally been the best end of my mission I could ever ask for.  She is so Christ like.  She loves the people in Uruguay with all her heart.  She is obedient because she loves God.  She is my forever friend!

Well, I would just love to end with my testimony.  I know we are all truly family.  I know God loves us with a perfect love.  I know He loves His children in Colorado and He loves His children in Uruguay.  I know that because God loves His imperfect children with a perfect love, He sent His son Jesus Christ to atone for our sins.  I know Christ LIVES, and that through him, scars do not exist.  His sacrifice can literally fix everything.  I know God and Christ want to guide us always.  And so they prepared Joseph Smith to be a prophet to restore The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I know Joseph Smith saw God and Christ...they knew his name and I know they know our names!!!  I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, that if we are always obedient and if we do our very best to become like Jesus Christ, our families can be together forever, we can be happy amidst trials, and we can live with our Heavenly Father again after this long journey.  I know that one day we can make it back to our Heavenly Home.

I love you all so much, and I am excited to see you.  Thank you for supporting me every step of the way, I could honestly not ask for a better family.  YOU ARE THE BEST, and keep on journeying on!

Hermana Dixon

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 26, 2015

Hello my sweet family! 

Well what a marvelous week it has been!  I´m going to start this week´s letter with just a couple of scriptures!  First of all, we´ll be reading in Moroni 8:17.  It goes like this...

17  And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike  unto  me;  wherefore,  I love little  children  with   perfect  love;  and  they are all  alike  and partakers  of  salvation. 

Here, Jesus Christ is specifically talking about little children.  I LOVE this scripture.  How wonderful is it to know Christ has a perfect love for all the little children in the world (especially Uruguayan children).  And I always thought this scripture was only meant for little children until I came across Doctrine and Covenants 78:17.

17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood howgreat  blessings  the Father  hath  in  his  own  hands  and  prepared  for  you; 

It turns out we are all little children!  So what does that mean???  That Christ loves you with a perfect love, that He is filled with charity for YOU, that you and everyone else in the world are equal before His eyes!  How great it is that we are all little children!

So this week, I would just love to share a couple of cute stories about some kiddos here in Uruguay.

On Tuesday afternoon, for the first time, we visited Maria Elena (the less-active member the Lord helped us find a couple of weeks ago)!!!  Wow it was so fun because her daughter-in-law and her cute son, Facundo (who´s nine or ten) were also there.  We read the story in the Book of Mormon when Nephi gets pumped up to go back to Jerusalem to get the plates.  We focused in on 1 Nephi 3:7 and the importance of OBEDIENCE.  Facundo loved reading in the Book of Mormon, and Hermana Maria Elena was really happy because she said Facundo is really shy in school and never wants to read.  The Book of Mormon brings miracles!!!

On Friday night, Hermana Marsh and I had a cute Noche de Hogar with the Fernandez family!!!  Hermano Fernandez is our ward mission leader and Hermana Fernandez is Primary president!  Our ward has a temple trip coming up in November, and the Fernandez family members are going to get sealed!  So we had a temple-themed Noche de Hogar.  Only one of the Fernandez kiddos was present in the Noche de Hogar...Maximo.  He is six years old and so cute!  We were taking turns reading from a Liahona article about the temple, and Maximo mentioned he wanted to take a turn reading.  His mom looked surprised and said, "Are you sure?  You don´t know how to read yet."  But I guess Maximo knows how to read a little bit because he began to slowly sound out all the words.  And oh my goodness, hearing a six-year-old Uruguayan start to read is so adorable.  He´s really got rolling his "r´s" down (at times when a word had an r, he would roll it for like five seconds or so), and his parents were just so proud of him!

On Saturday night, Hermana Marsh and I visited Sofia and Lucia (they got baptized just a couple of weeks ago).  Lucia answered the door and welcomed us into their home.  Sofia was taking a bath, so we had a little bit of waiting time before we had the lesson.  We told Lucia that while we were waiting, SHE could be the missionary and teach us her favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon.  Her face lit up and she immediately knew what she wanted to share...2 Nephi 31:10!  She then explained the only way we can truly follow Jesus Christ is through the commandments.  What a grand missionary she will be!

10  And he said unto the children of men:  Follow  thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? 

A couple of other little highlights from this week:  Hermana Marsh is a rock star and is basically fluent in Spanish already!  I really love her and am so grateful Heavenly Father put us together at BYU and HERE in Uruguay!  We have some progressing investigators!  Hermana Noelia came to church for the first time yesterday!  And Hermana Gabriela (a contact who we met when we were asking for help to find an address) is praying every day and reading the Book of Mormon.  And our ward is AWESOME.  And woops, I forgot to tell dad, but our ward is the 19 de Abril ward (his birthday)!  Our bishop (Obispo Espindola) is so willing to work and the leaders and members are doing their best to bring others unto Christ.  Life is good, so good!

Love you so so so much!

Hermana Dixon