Monday, September 21, 2015

Ode to Juan Lacaze!

April 7, 2015

Hey sweet fam!

Okay, so big news!!!  Tomorrow, I will be heading to Artigas!  It´s an area in the northern part of Uruguay.  Fray Bentos and Juan Lacaze are more in the southern part, so it should be fun to get to know the northern part of Uruguay!  I´ve heard Artigas is super close to Brazil (I think the missionaries can even cross the border to buy food and such), is super hot (it´s a huge blessing I´ll be heading there during fall and winter here), is super economical (I'm excited to buy some more food), and super great!  I am so excited, but it´s always bittersweet to leave a beloved area.

Let me just tell you all a bit about Juan Lacaze.  This place is awesome, and the people here are even awesomer.  I have absolutely loved having the opportunity to serve the sweet members, investigators, and people in Juan Lacaze!

I still remember the first day I got here.  It was all the way back in October, and I felt so unsure as a missionary.  I still wasn´t sure if I´d be able to make it!  When I think back to this time, 1 Nephi 11:17 comes to my mind.  As Nephi explains what he knows about the nature of God, he says, "I know that he loveth his children, nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."  When I arrived in Juan Lacaze, I definitely DID NOT know the meaning of all things.  I still had so much to learn (okay, and for that matter, I still have so much to learn), but I did know one thing…GOD LOVES HIS CHILDREN!

And boy oh boy does God love his children in Juan Lacaze, or what!  

He loves sweet Hermana Teresa who lives next door to us, loves sharing her testimony, and always takes such great care of us. 

He loves awesome Hermana Lebe, who was recently called as Relief Society president and who does so much to help all the women in the branch. 

He loves President and Hermana Ayala.  They live far away from Juan Lacaze, but are always willing to travel here in order to help all the sweet members in the branch. 

He loves Hermana Graciela, a sassy recent convert who has some health problems, but nevertheless always sacrifices her time and money to cook delicious lunches for the missionaries.  

He loves the Bautista family and is so grateful for their examples of strength.  For months and months, Hermana Bautista had problems with her leg and had to stay in her bed.  As a result, Hermano Bautista was in charge of all of the housework and such.  But they never lost faith amidst such trials.  And finally, Hermana Bautista is healing and is able to walk and sit in chairs and such!  God loves this sweet couple!    

He loves Hermano Poses and his willingness to preach the gospel and share his testimony about the Book of Mormon.

He loves the Dotti family and all the daily sacrifices they make to help those around them smile.

He loves Hermana Maria Villegas and her sweet testimony prayers.

He loves Hermana Andrea and her unshakable faith.  She´s a single mom facing a lot of trials, but she knows with God, she can be STRONG!

He loves Eliana, a young woman who teaches the gospel to her little three-year-old nephew, has a great sense of humor, and goes to all means to help us out.

He loves Hermana Monica, who is super compassionate and introduced her neighbor, Hermana Alba to the gospel!

He loves Hermana Alba, a recent convert who always has a smile on her face, is so eager to learn, and is so willing to share what she has with all of God´s children.

The list could just go on and on, but I think you guys get the point.  God loves his children in Juan Lacaze, Uruguay!  And it´s so incredible to think how many parts of the world there are and that in every single part, God loves his children! 

I still am so not the perfect missionary and I´ve made lots of goofs in Juan Lacaze, but this place has also helped me grow.  During my time here, I´ve not only learned how to survive as a missionary, but I´ve learned how to LOVE THE WORK!  This place has changed my heart and it´s sad to leave.  But you know what?  God also loves his children in Artigas and I am so excited to get to know them!

I love you all so much!  Always remember God loves all of His children in Layton, Provo, Highlands Ranch, and Washington, D.C. as well!:)

Hermana Dixon

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