Sunday, June 15, 2014

Outside the CCM

June 5, 2014

Hola familia! 

First off, I will finish up with my miracles!

6) “A POOR WAYFARING MAN OF GRIEF”--Each day, we have an hour to learn Spanish on the computer.  The other week, I discovered my computer has church music!  The first song I listened to was “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” by Jon Schmidt, and it totally reminded me of mom and Linds.  I am so grateful our home has always been full of music!

5) PROSELYTING (FIRST WEEK)--As you know, I´m a person who loves to plan for the future, so being able to proselyte has been a huge MIRACLE.  Our first week of proselyting was amazing.  We went to this beautiful area (it´s about forty minutes away from the CCM and honestly has some Highwoods status houses) and talked to the COOLEST guy ever.  His name is Eric, and we caught him as he was heading to his Catholic church for an activity of some sorts.  He was carrying this huge drum thing, so we asked him if he needed any help in broken Spanish.  I´m pretty sure it didn´t make sense, but it was good because he realized we were English speakers!  Eric is studying linguistics at a nearby university, so he knows English AND Italian in addition to Spanish.  He started talking to us in English, and it was so cool how open he was.  Even though he´s Catholic, he is open to learning about the church and kept saying, "I have nothing to lose by learning more!"  So we got his contact information for the missionaries who are actually serving in Buenos Aires and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon.  We told him he should read and then pray to know if it is true, and as we left, he said, "I really hope it is true!"  Hermana Simmons and I just had the biggest smiles for the rest of the day because we were so happy! 

4) PROSELYTING (SECOND WEEK)--My second week was a little more . . . rough.  We talked to SO many people, but they were more interested in talking to North Americans than learning about the Church.  Oh yeah, and understanding and communicating with people in Spanish is so hard.  I have this problem where I nod my head and say "si!" even if I don´t understand, and it´s gotten me into a couple of interesting situations.  The word for "better" and "woman" sound REALLY similar in Spanish.  This one guy we talked to apparently kept on talking about how he really needed a woman in his life, but I thought he was talking about becoming better or something.  So I just kept nodding my head and saying "si!"  Anyways, after we talked to him, my companions (we had an extra hermana come along for the day) gave me the lowdown, and I was just a bit embarrassed.  Thank goodness life is all about making mistakes and learning!  But even though my second week was harder, I´m glad it was.  The CCM is a little haven, but I now know what kind of work it´s going to take to be a successful missionary in the field.  So I am just trying to mentally prepare myself a bit every day!

3) TECHNOLOGY--Man oh man!  I just love how I get to see cute pictures of you guys and hear about your lives each and every week.  I love technology and it is a miracle!

2) EL LIBRO DE MORMON--Like Sister Grover mentioned, one of the biggest blessings of being a missionary is being able to study!  President Willis gave a really cool fireside about the Book of Mormon the other Sunday, and talked about how most members of the Church take it for granted.  And unfortunately, my entire life, I think I´ve been one of those people.  Luckily, it was the kick in the pants I needed, so I´ve been trying to focus on the Book of Mormon a little more.  It is an amazing book, and I just barely read the part about Nephi talking about why he was unsure why he needed to make extra plates.  I just think it´s amazing God knew some pages were going to get lost so he created a back-up plan!  So I guess what I´m trying to say is the Book of Mormon is definitely a miracle!

1) JESUS CHRIST--When I write emails and look back on my week, I mostly remember the good things, so that is a huge blessing!  But in all honesty, there definitely have been some hard times.  Learning Spanish is tiring.  Eating lots of meat is way outside of my comfort zone.  Missing you guys is inevitable.  Making good friends but then watching them leave (the North Americans we were with for four weeks just barely left on Tuesday) is really difficult.  And realizing God trusts you to teach ACTUAL people about the gospel in a different language is super intimidating.  I can´t just get by nodding my head and saying "si!" my whole mission.  Luckily, there are pictures of Jesus Christ all around the CCM.  It reminds me Jesus Christ knows exactly what I´m going through and will help me survive and eventually THRIVE out here!  Another cool thing is Jesus Christ doesn´t just support me, but every other single missionary and every other single PERSON.  The ATONEMENT is truly incredible.

Okay, now that I´m done with my seventeen miracles, I´ll tell you a bit more about my week!  I´m still loving it here, but at the same time, I´m starting to itch to go to Uruguay.  I can´t believe I´ve been here for a month already!  I´m already 1/18 of the way through my mission, and honestly, it´s gone by WAY too fast!  But anyway, this week has been super interesting.  Lots of missionaries left on Tuesday and more didn´t come until today, so there were only twelve missionaries in the ENTIRE CCM!  Crazy, no?  We had the whole place to ourselves so that was nice, but I am glad more missionaries are here! 

Oh and another random sidenote, both of my companions are really good at doing handstands!  So when we had a bit of downtime the other day, I put on some sweats underneath my skirt and we practiced our handstands in the hall outside our rooms.  I´m still not a prime handstander, but I´m getting better!  

Anyway, I love you all SO MUCH!  Thank you for your prayers, for writing to me, and for supporting me my entire life.  I´ve got a picture of our fam taped in the front of my scriptures, and every time I look at it, I realize how lucky I am to have you guys.  Have a stellar week!


Hermana Dixon  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Diecisiete Milagros

Sisters at the CCM

May 29, 2014

Hola familia!

Okay so on Sunday, we finished watching Seventeen Miracles!  I honestly love that movie, and every time I watch it, I get chills thinking of all the sacrifices the pioneers made to establish The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They are incredible!  Anyway, I´ve been thinking a lot about miracles this week.  I know my experience as a missionary does not even compare to what the pioneers had to go through, but I thought I´d write about seventeen miracles I´ve seen in my life this week.  Some of them are little and some are big, but they´ve all played a part in making me happy!

17) BANANAS AND DULCE DE LECHE--Okay so if I am remembering correctly, I think one of the last conversations I had with dad before I left involved how much I hoped I´d be able to eat bananas in South America.  Well guess what??  There is an endless supply of bananas at the CCM.  They are out in a bin all day long, and I eat about three or four a day.  You´d think I´d get sick of them but I haven´t gotten to that point yet, so yay!  Also, I am extremely grateful South Americans love dulce de leche because it is incredible.  They put it in every single dessert and it is just great!

16) EXTENSION CHORD--As I was rummaging through my new room, I found an extension chord with tons of outlets on it!  And some of the outlets are American!!!  So now I´ve got power!  I still haven´t really used them, but it´s good to know they´re there!

15) RAINY/FOGGY WEATHER--So last semester, I remember walking around campus on a rainy day and just hoping I'd get called to a rainy place on my mission.  It´s been rainy and foggy this week in Argentina, and I´m pretty sure Uruguay has the same weather!  We had a little break from classes one day, so I just stuck my head out the window and took a huge breath of the rainy air.  It felt amazing!  I´m sure I will have different thoughts about rain when I go out into the field, but for now, I love it!

14) MONDONGO SOUP--So on Tuesday, we had this soup with cow intestines in it.  I tried to avoid the cow intestines as much as I could because I´m not super brave when it comes to that kind of stuff.  The broth tasted pretty funky, but I survived, so it was a miracle indeed!

13) MY TEACHERS--I have two teachers who are so different from each other but so awesome in their own ways.  One teacher, De Oliviera is a little more strict, but we learn tons of Español from him.  The other teacher, Fiorimanti, is honestly the happiest/bubbliest person I´ve ever met.  He has taught us a lot about how we should treat our investigators.  I have been learning so much from them!

Okay time is running out, so my descriptions will be shorter, sorry!

12) THE TEMPLE--I know I´ve mentioned this before, but I love living so close to the Buenos Aires Temple!  We went for the third and last time today (they are closing for cleaning and maintenance) and I LOVED it!

11) MY DISTRICT--It's crazy how much time the eight of us spend together, but we get along so well!  No crazy fist fights like Lindsay´s district yet!  Next week, I´m going to write a bit about each person in my district so you get to know them a little better!

10) MARCH 18--So I had to write a talk for Sunday, and while preparing, I read D&C 90.  This section helped me realize I should still go on a mission even though I was feeling scared and discouraged.  I was looking back in my journal and realized I first found this section on March 18.  I read the heading about the section, and the people mentioned in the section were ordained on March 18.  Crazy, huh?  God is aware of His children!

9) MY COMPANIONS--Honestly, I love them a lot! We are all so different but each has something special to contribute!

8) SPANISH--Although Español is muy dificile, I am learning way more than I could on my own.  I know God is helping me lots and I am grateful!

7) DESPERATION--So on Wednesday, Elder Nelson's wife talked about desperation in the devotional.  She said desperation is a good thing because it helps you grow closer to Jesus Christ.  Cool way to look at trials and hard times, eh?

Okay I´m going to have to cut this short, so just know I´ve got more milagros coming your way next week!  Really fast, I want to let you guys know proselyting went GREAT!  We met this awesome guy named Eric and I will tell you more about him.  Also, I just want to leave you with a quick testimony.  I know God and Jesus Christ love us and bless us to do things that are beyond our own capacities.  I know specific people are in our lives for a reason.  I know families can be together forever and that makes me SO HAPPY!  I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!  Know that I think about you often!


Hermana Dixon