Thursday, December 11, 2014

Little Update!

With Hermana Ventura

December 8, 2014

Hey fam!

It’s great to hear from you!  This week, I’m just going to give you a little update about my life because I realized there are so many details you guys haven’t heard about yet!

·         My new companion is Hermana Ventura and she is awesome!  She served with Hermana McMurray in Fray Bentos before I arrived.  It’s so fun because we know a lot of the same sweet people in Fray Bentos!  And she will be ending this change so we’re really trying to make the best of every single moment.

·         I haven’t gotten us too lost yet!  I was honestly so scared to lead us around Juan Lacaze, but I’ve been receiving lots of divine help.  And with our little map, we are doing just fine!

·         We’re really starting to get some sun here and I am loving it!  My hair is changing colors because of the sun--I have a few streaks that are super blonde.

·         Alba is doing really great!  She didn’t come to church yesterday, but she’s still loving the Book of Mormon.  She has a goal to be baptized December 27, so we’re really excited!  And she is just the sweetest.

·         I kind of have a calling in this branch!  We are teaching Primary!  I taught a couple of classes with Hermana Paredes and it was super fun so I am excited to continue teaching this change.  Mom, if you have any tips, I would love to hear them.

·         Christmas is really around the corner!  We’ve been seeing lots of trees in shop windows and all the people in our branch are starting to invite us to join in on their Christmas festivities.  It’s so weird that it’s not freezing outside...I am going to enjoy this hot Christmas!

·         We’ve been eating lots of ice cream lately but we have to be time someone gave Hermana Paredes and me ice cream.  I tried one bite and it tasted a little funky...we looked at the ingredients and it had alcohol...YIKES.

·         All the people here call me niña because I guess I have a young-looking face!

·         I am obsessed with April 2013 General Conference.  I found a May 2013 Liahona with all the conference talks my first week in the field, and this little Liahona has stuck with me all this time.  It doesn’t have a cover anymore and is super ratty, but I love it!  My three favorite talks, which have helped me TONS in the mission, are: “Lord, I Believe” by Jeffrey R. Holland (, “The Savior Wants to Forgive” by Craig A. Cardon (, and “Your Wonderful Journey Home” by Dieter F. Uchtdorf (

·         My ballet flats are becoming missionary shoes.  I guess they’re starting to look pretty ratty because a lady in my branch asked if she could buy me new shoes.  I told her I’ve got lots of other shoes I can use, but it’ll be sad to say good bye to my flats:-(

·         Our branch is really working on being more unified, and our branch president held a special "start our fast" at his house.  Oh my goodness it was delicious, and I am excited to start seeing some little changes in our branch!

·         I’m still eating lots of bananas.

·         I saw Hermana McMurray!!!  She ended this week and her parents asked the mission office for our address.  They came to find Hermana Ventura and me!  It was honestly the best surprise ever!  You guys should try to get together with the McMurrays sometime because they are awesome.

·         I am loving life as a missionary here in Juan Lacaze, Uruguay!!! 

Thank you for all you do for me, and know I love you lots!


Hermana Dixon

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Farewell Hermana Paredes!
December 2, 2014

Hey fam!!! 

I don’t have much time, but THANK YOU!  Thank you for writing me such sweet things and for sending me pics.  I am so lucky to have you guys as my family!

It’s been a bittersweet week in Juan Lacaze. We received our changes on Saturday, and sweet Hermana Paredes will be heading off to Flores (a part of Montevideo) and I will be staying here in Juan Lacaze.  Hermana Ventura (also from Peru) will be coming!  I have honestly learned so much with Hermana Paredes...I was praying for a companion to help me teach PEOPLE, not LESSONS, and Hermana Paredes was my answer.  I will miss her like crazy, but we’re both relatively new so we can see each other at mission conferences and such!  And oh my goodness...I really do not know the streets well in Juan Lacaze, so let’s just say I’ll be using a map lots!

I would like to tell you about a few experiences this week.  On Friday, all the missionaries in Colonia gathered together and saw an extremely special video, “EL ES LA DADIVA” (you can find the Spanish version of this video at and the English version at!  I absolutely LOVED this video and it reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas and WHY I am a missionary.  After we got back from Colonia, a sweet lady in our branch, Hermana Teresa (we actually live in a mini house in her house), made us a Thanksgiving lunch!  Her daughter lives in Boston and called her to remind her that it was Thanksgiving for Elder Ballif and me.  She couldn’t find a turkey so we had CHICKEN!  Just like our fam does it!  It was honestly the sweetest gesture and a Thanksgiving I will never forget.  Afterwards, Hermana Paredes and I put on a little actividad de rama!  It was DIA DE GRACIAS themed.  We taped paper on everyone’s back and people wrote things they were GRATEFUL for about every person.  Afterwards, we had a little lesson, played a game with colored candies (for each color, people had to say different things they were grateful for), and had treats.  It was super simple, but Hermana Paredes and I just couldn’t help but smile afterwards!!!

Okay I have to head out, but I love you so much! 

Hermana Dixon

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Give, Said the Little Stream"

November 24, 2014

Hola fam! 

I don’t have very much time to write you all because it’s been a busy P-Day in Colonia and the cyber was full until now!  Oh my goodness Colonia (about an hour from Juan Lacaze) is breathtaking.  Look up some pics of Colonia and you will not be disappointed...maybe I’m biased, but I think Uruguay is the most beautiful country ever!

So it’s been a great week in Juan Lacaze!  I am so grateful for my sweet comp; we had a lot of wonderful experiences this week!  On Monday, we had a Noche de Hogar in the area of the elders and we missed our bus.  So we ended up walking half an hour to the Noche de Hogar with a member named Hermano Poses.  It stunk that we missed our bus, but we got to talk with Hermano Poses the whole way and he is just awesome!  On Tuesday, we had a meeting with our whole zone in Colonia.  We were without our cell phone and got confused, so we accidentally got on the wrong bus.  We ended up getting off the bus, waiting for an hour or so ALONE in a random little parking lot, and getting on another bus, but we made it safely to Colonia!  A miracle!  On Wednesday, we had a sweet member named Loana accompany us for the whole day.  She is fifteen and it was so fun to hear her testimony and see her grow even after just going out with us one day.  The rest of the week was kind of a blur, but church was awesome yesterday.  Our sweet Alba has been coming to church and it’s so fun to see her get along great with the members in our branch.  I am grateful for the unity we feel through the gospel!  And a lot of less active members are beginning to return, and it just makes Hermana Paredes and me so excited to see them happy and well in the chapel.  Life is good!

This week, I read a bit about the two thousand stripling warriors and just loved it!  I would like to share a verse with you all (Alma 56:17):

And now they were determined to conquer in this place or die; therefore you may well suppose that this little force which I brought with me, yea, those sons of mine, gave them great hopes and much joy.

I love three phrases in this verse..."little force,” “great hopes,” and “much joy!"  Hermana Paredes and I are a little force.  Sometimes we work and work and work, and I just wonder if we’re even making a difference.  But you know what, even though we’re small, and every other missionary companionship in the world is small, we can make a DIFFERENCE!  Here’s a little list I’ve made of ways we can make a difference (even if it’s just a difference within ourselves).

·         We can pray every day for those who need help.
·         We can read our scriptures and LIVE what we learn.
·         We can smile at random people in the street.
·         We can ask people questions about their lives.
·         We can be patient with those around us.
·         We can bake a sweet treat for someone who needs a pick-me-up.
·         We can laugh when life gets stressful.
·         We can forgive and forget (including ourselves...sometimes the hardest people to forgive).
·         We can tell people THANK YOU!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the song “Give, Said the Little Stream” (  We are all small, but wherever we go, we can make the grass a little greener.  And by doing our little part, our little force can spread great esperanze and much joy.  I LOVE YOU all, and have the best Thanksgiving ever.  I am so grateful you are my fam, and I am grateful I get to be a missionary in cute little Uruguay!

Hermana Dixon

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 17, 2014

Okay so this week has been a good one here in Juan Lacaze!  We had so many adventures...a mission-wide conference in Montevideo, a fun outing for Via Lapanche (I’m not sure if I spelled this right, but it’s the area of the elders), and an AWESOME Sunday in our sweet little branch!  But before I get started, I’d love to share what I learned this past week.  As I was reading in the October Liahona, I found a little story about a missionary who visited the Jadeite Cabbage one P-Day.  Apparently there’s a famous cabbage in Taipei that is carved out of jadeite!  Usually jadeite sculptures are only valuable if they are carved out of jadeite that is one pure color...but this Jadeite Cabbage was special.  It was carved out of a piece of cracked jade that had BOTH green and white parts.  Most sculptors probably passed this piece of jade by because it had flaws.  BUT one sculptor saw what the jade could BECOME and used the jade’s flaws to carve cabbage.  The cracks and different colors made the cabbage more life-like, making the sculpture more valuable than if it had been carved with a perfect piece of jade.  What a cool metaphor for life, no?  We have a sculptor above who realizes we are not perfect.  He could easily toss us aside because we have flaws and weaknesses, but He actually uses our imperfections to make us into the people He wants us to become!  At the end of the Jadeite Cabbage article, the author (Ellen C. Jensen) referenced Ether 12:27, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness....[M]y grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

I love this scripture and it has taken on a whole new meaning as a missionary.  I make so many mistakes every day and living halfway around the world and not having all the same resources I had in my old life has really exposed my weaknesses.  I am a missionary who at times is not as patient as I should be.  I am a missionary who at times hasn’t treated my companions as kindly as I should’ve.  I am a missionary who gets easily stressed.  I am a missionary who is slow of speech.  I am a missionary who is teaching other people although I’m not even close to knowing everything about the gospel.  I am a missionary who gets tired and who dreams about dulce de leche sometimes during weekly planning sessions.  But you know what?  Little by little, I can feel the Lord using these weaknesses of mine and shaping me into the missionary He wants me to become.  Never before have I been so grateful for the atonement, because through this sacrifice, the Lord can truly understand our weaknesses and see them as something that can HELP us.

As I think about this little cabbage, I also think about sweet little Juan Lacaze.  As an area, it has its weaknesses.  Our branch is small and the members live far away from each other.  At times, there is some branch drama.  But you know what?  Even though this area has its problems, little by little, La Rama Juan Lacaze is progressing!  It was so fun for me to see little miracles this week.  Miracles like hearing how Hugo and Marisol (a fun couple in our branch) sang hymns together and read all of 3 Nefi together for FUN one night!  Like hearing awesome talks from Presidente y Hermana Smith, the other mission president in Uruguay and his wife, and Elder y Hermana Christensen (I think Elder Christensen is a seventy) in our mission-wide conference and feeling so pumped to be a missionary in URUGUAY!  Like seeing our branch president drive all around Juan Lacaze Sunday morning to pick up people who aren’t able to walk to church.  Like looking around and seeing a chapel full of happy Uruguayans!  This little place is gradually being sculpted as well!

I am grateful for the chance I have to be a missionary and for the chance I have to work on my weaknesses every day.  I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is here so that we can BECOME the jadeite sculptures the Lord wants us to be.  I love you all, and thank you for telling me about your lives.  I am grateful for you guys every day!

Hermana Dixon

Monday, November 17, 2014


November 10, 2014

Hola sweet familia!!!

This week, I’ve been loving a certain scripture, 1 Nephi 8:12.  This scripture talks about Lehi when he had the dream about the tree of life and all the emotions he felt!  It says,

“And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.”

One of the biggest things I’ve been learning on the mission is that this world is a hard world to live in.  There are so many deaths, so many sicknesses, so many problems within families, so many hurt feelings, so many struggles with finances, so many crazy weather patterns, so many people who feel misunderstood and alone, etc.  But you know what else I’ve been learning here?  Amidst this crazy world, it is possible to feel "exceedingly great joy."  Like all other weeks in the mission, this past week was filled with hard things (we moved houses, we missed our bus twice on Tuesday, and sometimes we felt like it was beyond our control to help all the people here in Juan Lacaze), but I’ve begun to realize we have these hard things in life so we know what it feels like to have JOY (GOZO in Spanish)!  Man oh man there were so many little moments of joy this past week!  Here are a few:

·         We have a sweet investigator named Alba and she loves reading the Book of Mormon!  She is reading in Alma right now!  But anyway, lessons are so fun with her because she loves giving us besos.  She gives us besos when we arrive, besos after we sing the hymn, besos after the opening prayer, besos throughout the lesson, besos after the closing prayer, and besos when we leave.  I am so grateful for her and the love she shows to Hermana Paredes and me.  Moments with Alba sure are moments of joy!

·         On Tuesday night, Hermana Paredes and I had a Noche de Hogar with Familia Acoste!  It was Haz Lo Justo (Choose the Right) themed.  Hermana Paredes brought little HLJ rings for everyone, and we made a little HLJ poster for the family to sign.  The next day, we saw Santi (one of their sons) in the street, and he proudly showed us his HLJ ring!  

·         One of our old neighbors is eighteen years old and loves baking alfajores.  This past week, we brought ingredients to make alfajores and she taught us how to make them!  Afterwards, we had a lesson about Alma 37:6.  Just like all the little ingredients in alfajores can make something delicious, little habits in our life can bring to pass grand miracles!

·         On Saturday, Hermana Paredes and I had lunch with Familia Villagran (Uncle Tom’s friends).  They showed us a picture of Uncle Tom and Hermano Villagran together and told us about so many of their adventures (this awesome family has lived in Uruguay, the United States, Peru, and New Zealand).  Hermana Villagran also talked about how much her mother-in-law loves Uncle Tom because she was touched by his violin playing.  It was so fun to hear Uncle Tom reached Uruguayans through music on his mission!  Ahhh it is still so crazy for me that Uncle Tom and I now have mutual friends here in Uruguay!!!

·         I’m not sure if you know this, but Hermana Paredes loves to crochet as well!  Yesterday, we started talking to a lady named Mabel who was crocheting outside of her house.  She was so fun to talk to and showed us a lot of the stuff she was making.  It was so great having three crocheters together.  Crocheters unite!!!

I know even though life is so crazy and many times we experience things beyond our control, our Heavenly Father also gives us moments of exceedingly great joy.  I am so grateful that every day, I have the chance to teach people about the gospel of Jesus Christ, something sweet and of great joy!!!

LOVE YOU ALL, and have a joy-filled week!

Hermana Dixon

Friday, November 14, 2014

Juan Lacaze missionaries at the branch activity (see below)

November 3, 2014

Hola sweet familia!!!

Where do I even begin???  This week was absolutely crazy...a week I will remember for sure!  I don’t have much time so I am going to use bullet points.  Hope that’s okay!

·         On Tuesday, I had my first meeting with my zone!  It is so crazy to be in a different zone, but I really like Colonia!  The chapel where we had our meeting was so cool--two floors!  And on Tuesday, I also received your package, mom!  Muchas gracias!  I am loving the Wintogreen Lifesavers, and my companion is loving the necklace (she was having a rough day so I gave it to her)!

·         Oh my goodness WEDNESDAY!  Tuesday night, it just started raining like crazy, and on Wednesday morning, we woke up and it was still raining so hard.  The streets ended up flooding in Juan Lacaze.  Hermana Paredes and I went out and were walking around in KNEE deep water.  So crazy.  We didn’t have very many lessons this day, but we visited lots of houses to see if people needed anything because a lot of flooding happened.  Please pray for the people here in Juan Lacaze!  I have some pics I’ll send next week.  Oh and guess what, a sweet Hermana named Slyvia accompanied us four hours in this rain!  What a champ!

·         Hermana Paredes is a rock star!  We are having lots of fun together.  She is sure helping me with my Spanish, and I think I am getting pretty close to fluent because I told her the black bean soup story and the crack the egg story in Spanish!  We use dictionaries and hand signals a lot, but it is fun!  And she is a great teacher!  She is helping me with my teaching skills, so I am grateful!

·         On Friday, we had an awesome branch activity!  We learned about decisions, and Hermana Paredes and I prepared four bon bons...two had green olives inside, and two had chocolate inside.  Four volunteers ate the bonbons, and the elders talked about how sinning is like eating chocolate with green olives inside!  Afterwards, we played games and ate cookies and candy!

·         On Saturday, we saw two miracles!  Saturday was also super rainy and windy, so there weren’t a lot of people in the streets and not a lot of people wanted to open their doors (I don’t blame them, when it’s cold outside, it’s nice to be in bed)!  We just had no idea who to visit Saturday morning, but we said a prayer in the street.  Literally four minutes later, we stopped and talked with a sweet lady named Irma!  She said she feels something is missing in her life, and both Hermana Paredes and I were like woah, God truly answers prayers!  I also had some Oreos in my backpack so we gave her some and said that like Oreos, the gospel is sweet and we want to share it with her!  We are excited to visit her this week!  Miracle number two:  Saturday night, we arrived at our house at 8:48.  It was still cold and windy, but we decided we could stick it out for twelve minutes.  We visited some of our neighbors and said a prayer with them and sang a hymn.  It was something really small, but we are going back to visit this Tuesday.  I am grateful God blesses us for our obedience.

Okay that is about it!  I love you guys so so much, and read 1 Nephi 7:17.  I found this scripture during my studies this week, and I love that with the Lord, we have the strength to break our bands, whether it be addictions, STRESS (this is what I’m working on in the mission), problems within families, or cualquier cosa!


Hermana Dixon

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Juan Lacaze!!!

With Hermanas Villagran

October 27, 2014

Hola familia!!! 

First things first, sorry for totally spelling Juan Lacaze wrong last week.  After five days here, I can now say I officially know how to spell Juan Lacaze!  

Okay there is just so much I have to tell you guys about Juan is so different here than Fray Bentos, but I love it!  Not a ton of people live here and it’s super country, but it’s AWESOME!  And man oh man have I seen some tender mercies this week or what.  My last night in Fray Bentos was amazing.  Hermano Maneyro and Familia Flores threw a little goodbye party for me and another elder who was leaving (Elder Gutierrez de Mexico)!  We had lasagna, took some pictures, and Familia Flores gave me the sweetest gift and note.  So many people in Fray Bentos gave me notes and things and I am just so grateful I have a little something to remember them by!!  Okay and then Wednesday, I left for JUAN LACAZE!  The bus ride was great and then I finally got to see my new comp, Hermana Paredes!

I forgot to tell you guys all the little connections I have with first change, I lived in a house with Hermana Christensen.  After my first change, Hermana Christensen left to train (she trained Hermana Paredes) and open an area in Colonia (Juan Lacaze).  I remember being so excited for her, and little did I know, I’d be serving with her companion and in her area just twelve weeks later.  When I went to sign my papers in Montevideo two weeks ago, Hermana Christensen and Hermana Paredes were also there!  Hermana Christensen and Hermana Gordillo (my companion at the time) both had to use the bathroom, so Hermana Paredes and I just sat and talked for a bit.  I remember thinking to myself, "you know what, I think she’s going to be my companion one day," but I had no idea how soon it would actually be!  But anyway, Hermana Paredes is awesome.  She’s from Trujillo, Peru and is super tranquila.  As you know, I have the tendency to get a little stressed at times, so she is just perfect for me because she’s all about staying calm and just enjoying the mission.  And guess what???  She taught little kids before her mission, so she is an awesome teacher.  She is going to help me with my teaching skills a lot so I am pumped!  

Both of us are relatively new in the mission and we’re covering two areas (there were two other Hermanas here before but they left to open an area in Argentina...we have bits of Argentina and Brazil in our mission now), so every day is an adventure.  We just walk around with our little map in hand and it’s great!
The people here in Juan Lacaze are very sweet.  We have some awesome investigators named Oscar, Alba, and Brenda (we met her my first day here), and we’re just working on finding all the investigators in the other sisters´area.  

OKAY AND GUESS WHAT?  The world is just so small.  First off, I share a branch with Elder Ballif.  He and his companion, Elder Ramirez, are awesome so it’ll be fun serving with them.  Second off, as you guys know, I met some people Uncle Tom knows!  I walked into sacrament and this sixteen-year-old girl came up to me and looked at my plaque.  Afterwards, she was like, "No way, do you know a Tom Dixon who served his mission in Uruguay and who plays violin?"  And I was like, "YEAH!  He’s my uncle!"  She gathered up her whole family and we all just started hugging and crying.  This family is Familia Villagran and I guess they lived with Uncle Tom and his fam for a year in the states.  I am so excited to get to know them more, and it was honestly a huge miracle for me.  God is very aware of his children!  

Well, that’s all for now!  I’m doing well here in Juan Lacaze, and I feel so lucky to be sharing such a sweet message with all the sweet people here in Uruguay.  I hope you all have a swell week!

Hermana Dixon

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Farewell Fray Bentos!

"A Cute Heart in Fray Bentos"

October 21, 2014

Man oh man am I feeling sentimental!  Here I am, sitting in this little internet café in Fray Bentos, just trying to soak in every moment because tomorrow, I will be heading off to JUAN LA CASE!  I cannot believe I’m finishing up in my first area.  I remember when I first arrived in Fray Bentos, I experienced some hard-core culture shock.  I questioned if I’d ever grow to love this crazy place with people who spoke this crazy language I didn’t understand.  Now, four and a half months later, I can honestly say I LOVE FRAY BENTOS!!!  And even more, I LOVE THE PEOPLE IN FRAY BENTOS!!!  The night after I received my mission call, I remember lying in my bed and wondering why in the world I’d be going to Uruguay.  I realized it was probably because of the people there, so I began trying to imagine what their faces, personalities, actions, names, etc. would be like.  I had the opportunity to bear my testimony in my sweet ward, Las Canteras, and as I did so and looked out into the congregation, I realized now I actually know the faces, personalities, actions, and names of so many incredible people.  And it just breaks my heart to think I may not be able to see some of these people ever again in this life.  But you know what???  As missionaries, every day we preach about how families can be together the love we feel within our families is something that lasts even after this life.  I also have a firm testimony friends can be together forever...that the love I feel for all these special people in Uruguay is something that doesn’t need to end.  Before I head out, I am going to share sixteen of my favorite things about Fray Bentos because I lived in this sweet little place sixteen weeks!

1) I love how friendly people in the streets are!  We say "hola" and they just smile and wave and lots of times, talk to us!

2) I love all the memories I have here with Hermana McMurray and Hermana Gordillo (I am going to miss this sweet girl)!!

3) I love how there are fresh fruit stands and little food shops EVERYWHERE!!!

4) I love the beautiful plazas here.  Someday I hope to be able to show you guys these beautiful places with flowers, statues, and gazebos because it is breathtaking!

5) I love seeing cute little kids riding on motorcycles with their parents (not a lot of people have cars, so motos are everywhere).

6) I absolutely love the generosity of the people.  Never in my life have I received so much food, little notes, clothes, etc.

7) I love how tranquilo it is here.  There are trees and flowers everywhere, and it just gives me feelings of peace.

8) Okay I am running out of time, so I guess I will just write eight.  But eight is half of sixteen, so perfect, right???  My favorite thing about Fray Bentos is that here, I’ve realized people from VERY different backgrounds can be tied together through one person.  And this person is our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for my ward, and sometimes I wonder why they’ve done so much for me, a random girl from a country halfway around the world.  But do you know why they’ve done it?  Because they love their Savior.

This has been a fun week full of teaching new investigators (we’ve been teaching an amazing Evangelical lady named Daniella and her daughter), last minute bonding with Hermana Gordillo, lots of goodbyes, and soaking up Fray Bentos.  And next week will be awesome too!!!  I am so excited to meet everyone in Juan La Case with Hermana Paredes (she is from Peru and has one change less than I do)!  I love you all, and continue working hard.  I am so grateful for you guys, and I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true!

Hasta proximo semanas (and I promise to send lots of pictures),

Hermana Dixon 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Small and Simple Things

With Soledad and Maria (Walter and Silvana's daughters)
October 13, 2014

Hola familia!!!

So guess where I am right now???  In Montevideo!  I signed my visa papers today and I have the opportunity to spend the rest of my P-Day here.  It’s been so fun to walk around this big city and just look at all the’s kind of like a mini New York!  One thing I’ve loved learning with Hermana Gordillo is we should always keep our eyes peeled for tender mercies.  This week, I would like to write about all the small and simple things that have brought about GREAT happiness in my life.
  • We’ve been running around a plaza near our house and it is so fun!  One morning this little dog ran with us and it was just so cute!
  • I’m not sure if I ever told you guys this...but we live pretty close to a cemetery!  There’s a worker we always see as we’re walking by named Ilda.  We had the chance to teach her a lesson, and afterwards, she took us on a tour of the cemetery.  It was so beautiful, and it made me think about Great Grandma and Grandpa Browning a lot.
  • Walter and Silvana’s wedding day was very fun!  We helped them set up for the reception for most of the morning and then got to see them sign all the wedding papers.  We are so happy for them, and it was fun to see a wedding in a different country.
  • There is the cutest lady in our ward named Hermana Mirta.  The past few weeks, I've noticed she always wears this little heart ring.  Yesterday after sacrament, I complimented her on her ring and guess what...she put it on my finger and told me it was mine!  It was honestly so sweet and a gift I will treasure forever.
  • Every time I tell people I’m from Colorado, they always say, "Oh, so you live by the Grand Canyon of Colorado???"  It just cracks me up because the Grand Canyon is in Arizona, right???  
  • Sweet Hermana Gordillo always leaves cute little sticky notes in hiding spots.  I’ll be reading the scriptures and I’ll turn the page and there’s a little note for me!  I've been trying to do the same for her, and this past week, I hid one in the lid of her lotion bottle.
  • Some of our investigators are really beginning to exercise more faith.  Jorge and Magela, whom Hermana McMurray and I met the day we went to the meat packing museum, are beginning to read and pray together as a couple.  They are just so cute and they gave us this apple jam stuff that is super yummy.  ALSO, we’ve been teaching a lady named Virginia.  She’s got four kids and her life is crazy busy.  But it’s awesome because every time we come back, she’s a little more relaxed and her house is a little more tranquil.  Little by little, she’s changing her life and home!
  • My ward is honestly SO NICE!!!  Hermana Gordillo and I left for Montevideo this morning around 2:45.  Last night around 9:20, as we were leaving a meeting with our ward mission leader, the elders asked if we had picked up our tickets.  We hadn’t, so we thought we’d have to walk twenty minutes to the terminal the next morning to pick them up even though there’s a bus stop super close to our house.  Our ward mission leader, another man in our ward, and the elders walked to the terminal for us and dropped the tickets off at our house last night.  If that wasn't enough, a ward member met us outside of our house this morning and waited at the stop with us until our bus came.  I was in awe of how considerate these ward members acted.  I am one lucky missionary to be serving in this ward!
So yeah, it’s been a good week! 

 I would also like to talk about one more tender mercy that is also really sad.  On Friday, I did divisions with Hermana Colwell and we stayed in my area.  Our first visit of the day was with this cute older lady in our ward named Hermana Wilma.  Her son, Aldo, happened to be visiting her, so we had the opportunity to teach Hermana Wilma AND him about the Book of Mormon.  Aldo was super receptive and especially loved the line in the “Introduction” that talks about how through the teachings of the Book of Mormon, we can find peace in this life.  Afterwards, Hermana Colwell and I both talked about how happy we were Aldo had been in the lesson as well because his answers to our questions really brought the Spirit.  On Sunday, Hermana Wilma`s grandson bore his testimony and mentioned that one of his uncles had died and that he was able to give his grandma a priesthood blessing of comfort.  It turns out Aldo was the one who passed away (he fell while working on Saturday).  I felt so sad, but I was also grateful for the chance I had to get to know him the day before and be touched by his spirit.  I know the Book of Mormon can help us find peace in this life and peace in the life to come as well.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be here and for all the amazing people I get to interact with on a daily basis.  I know this gospel is a gospel of happiness, and I hope you have a great week!  Also, I can’t believe we’re moving to Utah!!  I’m sad but I know it’ll be a fun adventure for our fam.

Love you all!

Hermana Dixon

Thursday, October 30, 2014

With Sandra and Roberto, the "water" neighbors

October 6, 2014

Hola familia! 

So one thing I’ve learned a ton about on my mission is WATER!  I’ve learned it’s important to stay hydrated and drink often from my special little missionary filtered water bottle.  I’ve learned the rainstorms I experienced in Colorado don’t even compare to the rain here in Uruguay (but man, I think if I experienced that crazy hailstorm I would beg to differ).  I’ve learned having your water cut is NOT FUN.  Let me explain the last point a bit...I guess the elders in charge of finances accidentally paid all of our water bills to a different account.  So we were without water Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Mom...those body cleansing wipes you sent me with sure came in handy those few days!  A sweet lady in our ward named Hermana Sandra, who lives a few houses down from us, let us fill up huge buckets of water with the faucet outside of her house!  We used this precious water to wash our dishes, wash our faces, brush our teeth, and flush our toilets.  Hermana Sandra was just so nice to us and even said it was a miracle she was able to serve us because she had been praying for service opportunities!  And she took a picture of the four Hermanas in our house, printed it out, wrote us cute notes, and gave them to us.  What a gem!  But anyway, we have water in our house now and I am currently staying up to date on my showers so don’t worry!!!  And last, but most importantly, I’ve learned there is such a thing as spiritual water!  I will explain by inserting a bit of my letter to Presidente Smith from this week:

"Hola Presidente! ¿Como ésta? This week has been a very interesting one. On Wednesday afternoon around lunchtime, our water got cut in our house. It was a very stressful situation, but Friday morning, our water returned! Before this experience, I never truly realized how dependent I am on water and how amazing it feels to have water after not showering for a few days! As I think about this past week, I now realize I was also in need of a different kind of water...spiritual water. Don’t get me wrong, I love the mission, but it is by far the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. For some reason or another, I felt really down this past week. I am by no means a perfect missionary. Teaching lessons is still a difficult thing for me, I am not as patient with others as I should be, I get super time stressed, and I easily fall into the trap of focusing on my own afflictions before others´. I know the Lord has blessed me with specific talents and strengths, but for some reason, this past week, I began to focus on what I’m doing wrong and all the mistakes I’ve made throughout the mission. I didn’t really feel like the normal Hermana Dixon! Metaphorically speaking, I was spiritually dry. But you know what? God always sends us little raindrops. Raindrops like sweet Hermana Gordillo who listened to me and gave me counsel even when I was being grumpy. Raindrops like finding the scripture DyC 58:42, "He aquí, quien se ha arrepentido de sus pecados es perdonado; y yo, el Señor, no los recuerdo más," and realizing if the Lord doesn’t remember my sins, then why should I dwell on them? Raindrops like listening to General Conference and remembering how sweet the gospel truly is, how much President Monson and his apostles care about us, and that Jesus Christ knows how it feels to be an imperfect Hermana Dixon. Raindrops like giving besos to all the sweet people in Uruguay. Raindrops like being forced to pray harder than I’ve ever prayed before. Raindrops like remembering my mom’s last words for me before I left were, "You’re going to be great," and that through the atonement, I can work a little bit every day on becoming great. Raindrops like seeing one of our investigators and her daughters in conference!!!!!! Quite frankly, this week kind of stunk. But I am so grateful for all the raindrops I’ve been blessed with and for the opportunity I have to STRETCH. I know the Lord knows me better than I do and knows what kind of experiences I need in this life. And I know the gospel is so so true and that by living it, we are given raindrops in abundance. We’d better get our umbrellas ready!"

So yeah, this week was hard but full of so many raindrops!  And, before I forget, let me tell you a bit about the investigator I mentioned in my letter.  Her name is Hermana Silvana and she has four cute kiddos.  She has lived with Hermano Walter for many years and guess what...they are getting married THIS Thursday!  I am so excited to see my first Uruguayan wedding.  Hermana Silvana and Hermano Walter and their family have been investigators for about a year and have been visited by so many missionaries.  It makes me so grateful for all the missionaries who have been here in Fray Bentos before me!  We’ve been working with this sweet family a lot and I am really growing to love them.  On Thursday night, Hermana Gordillo and I stopped by their house and they were busy painting little wooden puzzle thingies (Hermano Walter is a carpenter).  We had the opportunity to paint with Hermana Silvana and just hear about her life.  She’s been through a lot but is so strong.  I am so grateful for this fam!  I love you guys so much, and I can feel your prayers all the time!  OH!  And as for conference...I watched it in English.  There is an Elder in my district from Utah who has only had a month or so in the field who wanted to watch it in English, so Hermana Colwell from Montana (she lives in my house and is just so fun) and I watched it with him so he wasn’t left alone.  A part of me wishes I could have seen it in Spanish, but I was grateful to understand all of it! 


Hermana Dixon

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

Hola familia!

Haha this week was one to remember.  I would like to tell you all about one day in particular, this past Thursday.  Hermana Gordillo is a Sister Training Leader, so she had a meeting in Montevideo.  I stayed behind in our area, and I had this cute girl from our ward, Manuela, be my companion for a day!  I busily planned for our day together and I was just so excited to give her a little taste of missionary life.  But you know how every once in a while, you have those days where just about everything goes wrong???  Yeah, it was one of those days.  Actually, the morning started out pretty well.  Before I picked her up, I planned a lesson and game for a ward activity I thought I was going to be in charge of (the elders in my ward were also in Montevideo).  I also sent TONS of messages to invite everyone!  After I picked Manuela up, we visited a cute older lady in our ward named Maria and a new investigator named Patricia!  Both lessons went really well so I was grateful!  After, we had lunch with a fun family in our ward, Familia Retomar.  We had milonesa (fried meat) and noodles.  After lunch though, things started to go downhill.  During language study, I decided to practice my Spanish while simultaneously making cookies for Manuela.  For some reason, the cookies turned out gross.  Then, together, we walked a long way to another young woman’s house because we were planning on going out with her.  But it turned out she was taking a nap.  So we busily started calling a bunch of members in our ward to find another person to accompany us.  We thought we’d have to teach one of our investigators, Jorge, without a member, but luckily, as we were walking by Jorge’s house, I remembered a man from our ward, Hermano Molina, lived nearby.  We knocked on his door and he accompanied us for the lesson.  Hallelujah!  We had another good lesson, but during the lesson, it started POURING rain!  So Manuela, Hermano Molina, and I all huddled underneath my umbrella and trudged back in calf-deep water to Hermano Molina’s house.  My skirt almost fell off because it was so waterlogged and heavy, so I was just struggling to keep it up.  After we dropped Hermano Molina off, I got a call from our ward mission leader and he informed me our ward activity was cancelled.  So I sent messages to everyone I invited to let them know it was cancelled.  And poor Manuela was just freezing cold.  So we went back to our house and grabbed a jacket for her.  I forgot the cell phone, so then we had to go back to our house again.  At this point, I didn’t have plans for the day because I had been planning on being in our ward activity.  So we tried visiting a bunch of people but either people weren’t home or were busy!  But luckily, we had the opportunity to teach two sweet families.  We headed back to the house a little past nine, and we were both just so freezing and wet.  So I decided I would make Manuela some hot milk!  I prepared it and then handed it off without trying it (bad idea).  She took one sip and then just kept on swirling it around, so I could tell she wasn’t a big fan of it.  And then, sweet Manuela left to head back to her house.  After she left, I tried the milk (it was disgusting, poor thing) and then I just flat out laid down on the kitchen floor because I was so dang exhausted.

So yeah, it definitely wasn’t a day to remember!  But I learned some valuable lessons. 

1)       Manuela is AWESOME!  She is only sixteen but she did not complain once during our crazy day together.  She wants to go on a mission and I just know she’s going to rock it. 

2)       It’s important to laugh when you have crazy days!  Because if you don’t laugh, you just might cry instead.
3)       The Lord, our Gardener, knows what’s best for us.  The day after this crazy day, I had the opportunity to watch a Mormon Message about a man who was pruning a currant bush (  When he cut the currant bush, he imagined it crying and saying, "Why are you cutting me?  I was just beginning to get so big!"  He then chuckled to himself and said, "I am the gardener.  I know if I cut you now, you’ll be able to hold more fruit in the future!"  A couple years later, this same man wanted to be in the military but got rejected.  He was angry with the Lord because he had done all he could but his efforts resulted in nothing.  But he heard the Lord say, "I am the Gardener.  I am cutting you down so you can be stronger for the future."  

Life is so difficult at times, but I am so grateful we have a Gardner above who knows what experiences His children need to have so they can grow and become stronger.  So many people here in Uruguay experience trials and have extremely hard lives.  But it is amazing to see them grow and rely on the Lord.  I am grateful for this gospel and the strength it gives us! 

I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Hermana Dixon


Covered in treats from Hermana Smith

September 23, 2014

Man oh man it’s been a great week here in Fray Bentos!  Hermana Gordillo is kind of like a Guatamalen version of me, so we are getting along really well!  And we’ve had a lot of cool experiences this past week!  Here are two experiences we had during Noche de Hogars (aka Family Home Evenings):

1) Last Monday, we had a Noche de Hogar with our bishop and his wife (Obispo Novelasco y Hermana Zulma...they are awesome).  We talked about the sweetness of the gospel (Lehi’s dream about the tree of life) and brought fruit candies!  Suddenly, the bishop’s son, daughter-in-law, and grandson showed up at their house.  They are not members, so it was a great opportunity to teach them about the gospel!

2) On Saturday, we had another Noche de Hogar!  We brought Finding Faith in Christ ( and some brownies.  But once we got to the family’s house, we had to wait a while for the mom to get home.  We realized we didn’t have enough time to show the DVD, so we did a fun object lesson!  The family lent us some mayonnaise...we cut two pieces of brownie.  One piece, we kept normal, and the other piece, we dumped mayonnaise over it.  We then asked everyone in the family which brownie they would want to eat.  Everyone chose the brownie without mayo, of course!  We related it to the Sabbath Day...mayo is super yummy with other foods like hamburgers, sandwiches, and rice (here people eat mayo with rice), but not with brownies.  Similarly, a lot of activities are super great during other days of the week, but they don’t work on Sundays.

Okay and now I’ll just tell you a bit about YESTERDAY!  Yesterday, we had interviews with president and he also taught us a lot about the doctrine of Christ.  Interviews with President Smith were a bit different this time...we talked with him a bit at the beginning like normal, but afterwards, he invited us to teach HIM the doctrine of Christ.  You can bet I was a bit nervous, but Presidente is super nice so it was fine!  While I was teaching him about the doctrine of Christ, I got the feeling I should talk about my apellido (my last name, DIXON)!  I hadn’t really thought about this until my time with Presidente, but as a missionary, I have two very important names on my tag:  my apellido and the name of Jesus Christ.  I talked about how right now, I’m super far from my family, but I’m doing my best to honor my last name by following what my family has taught me my whole life.  I never realized this before, but it’s the same with our Heavenly Father.  Right now, every single person living on the earth is far away from Father in Heaven.  But even though we’re far away, we can to our best to follow His teachings and the teachings of His son, Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to represent two very important names here in Uruguay!  

I love you guys very much, and thank you for all you do for me!  Hasta proximo semana!

Hermana Dixon

Sunday, October 26, 2014


With Hermana Gordillo

September 15, 2014

Hola familia!  

Man oh man life is good here in Fray Bentos!  It’s been a week full of changes, but I’m grateful for all the experiences I’m having here.  First things new companion is AWESOME!  I have no idea how I’ve gotten so lucky with all my companions!  Like I told you guys last week, Hermana Gordillo is from Guatemala and has quite a bit of time here in Uruguay.  But what you guys don’t know is she’s super sweet (she always makes my bed for me when I’m not looking and buys me alfajors), fluent in English (but don’t worry, she’s still helping me out with my Spanish), and a very compassionate missionary.  

And on to other good news...I haven’t gotten us terribly lost yet!  Hermana McMurray was gone quite a bit during my training for divisions and conferences in Montevideo.  At the time, I really hated it because it meant I was in charge of our area a bit, but now I’m so grateful for the chance I had to get to know all the streets well!  

And more good zone had our last Charla Fogonera last night in FRAY BENTOS! Before I go on, I just want to talk a little bit about how cool it’s been to participate in these programs.  When we first started practicing as a zone, we were a group of twenty-two missionaries and most of us had no idea what we were doing.  Most had no musical background whatsoever, but we were ready to praise our Savior through music.  It’s amazing to see how the Lord makes up for our faults when we give it our all. During the majority of the practices, things were definitely a little rough around the edges, but during all of the three Charlas we had here in Mercedes, our songs sounded great and I hope helped people feel a portion of the Savior’s love for them.  All of the Charlas were special in their own way, but man I LOVED the Charla Fogonera last night because it was in the area I've come to love, FRAY BENTOS!  Yesterday was quite poured the entire day.  Not a lot of people were able to come to church because of the rain, so in my heart, I was worried no one would be able to come to our Charla Fogonera either.  But you know what? The Lord blessed us and almost two-hundred people came.  It was so special looking out into the congregation during the songs, videos, and testimonies and seeing individuals and families who have become such a big part of my life.  

There’s Eliana, an eighteen-year-old young woman who has a crazy busy life with her four-year-old daughter, but still manages to come to church every week AND go out with us so she can share her testimony.  There’s Familia Flores (Hermano Flores is our mission leader and Hermana Flores is the Relief Society president), who were reactivated only two years ago but are so willing to sacrifice their time, talents, and food (they always feed us) to help the work of the Lord here in Fray Bentos.  There’s Manuela, a sixteen-year-old girl who always goes out with us, who is planning on serving a mission in just a couple of years.  She got sealed to her family for time and all eternity on Saturday.  There’s Hermana Carolina, a single mom of six who puts her trust in the Lord even when life is difficult. There's Hermana Clotilde, a fun and happy older woman in our ward who never misses a Sunday and always has a smile on her face.  There’s Hermano Maneyro, a man who served his mission in Paraguay around ten years ago but has not lost the spirit of missionary work whatsoever and is willing to help us with WHATEVER we need.  And there’s Hermano Molina, a sweet man who’s beginning to attend again and who always lets us have fruit from his garden whenever we visit.  The list could go on and on.  In Lindsay’s letter, she mentioned how a mission gives us a little glimpse of what God sees in humans.  A mission is SO hard and in all honesty, when I first started out, there were times when I just wanted to give up.  But you know what? These little glimpses are what make all the hard work worth it.  I know without a doubt God and Jesus Christ love every single person in the world, even though we as people are so imperfect.  And I know the relationships we form in this life are more valuable than anything else.  I love you guys so so so much, and thank you for always writing me.

Thank you for being the best!:)

Hermana Dixon

p.s.  It is beautiful here right now!  I am tightless and that doesn’t happen very often!