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
October 19, 2015

Hey family!!!

Well, things are still good here in Mercedes and Hermana Marsh still just awes me every day. She is training me!  

This week has been a grand adventure!! We are still working on FINDING, FINDING, FINDING!!! And God is truly showing us little miracles. 

Hermana Marsh shared something awesome about Henry B. Eyring`s dad with me. When he was in his eighties, he was called to assign someone to pick weeds in a church onion patch. But instead of assigning someone, President Eyring`s dad decided he would just do it on his own! So he weeded all day long, and it was hard because his body was so frail! But he just weeded and weeded and weeded because he wanted to give his all to serve the Lord! At the end of the day, someone let President Eyring`s dad know he had weeded in an area where they had sprayed with weed killer. The weeds he picked were going to die in a few days anyway, so he basically picked weeds for nothing!

President Eyring then asked his dad if he felt angry for giving away so much of his energy to a lost cause. And I LOVE what his dad said. He said, ¨Henry, I was not there for the weeds.¨

At times, it kind of seems like Hermana Marsh and I are picking weeds. There are times when our citas fall through and we end up walking along the dark streets of Mercedes, looking for God`s chosen children! And Hermana Marsh always reminds me during those times we are not here for the weeds, we are here for the LORD!

And it is so amazing because as we`ve shown the Lord that we have faith, He shows his HAND in all things! Just when we feel like we can`t walk any longer or just as we feel like it`s too dark outside to continue on, the Lord puts little miracles in our path. Just this past week, we had the opportunity to teach the restoration in five minutes to so many of God`s children! And our ward is progressing! The leaders just seem so excited to participate in the work! They really want to participate in la casa abierta that we´re going to have in November!

I love Mercedes and I love my companion!!!  Thanks so much for all you do for me, and have the best week ever!!!

Hermana Dixon
October 12, 2015

Hello family!!! 
What a wonderful week it has been!  And boy oh boy, am I learning a ton from Hermana Marsh or what?  I feel so lucky to have her as my companion.  This week during our studies, she shared an awesome talk with me, "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox (  She also lent me the talk so I could study it, and it has changed my life.  I love it so much and would love to share some parts with you today.

"Jesus doesn´t make up the difference, Jesus makes all the difference.  Grace is not about filling gaps.  It is about filling us."

"Christ´s arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child.  Mom pays the piano teacher.  How many know what I am talking about?  Because Mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something.  What is it?  Practice!  Does the child´s practice pay the piano teacher?  No.  Does the child´s practice repay Mom for paying the piano teacher?  No.  Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for Mom´s incredible gift.  It is how he takes advantage of the amazing opportunity Mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level.  Mom´s joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used--seeing her child improve.  And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice."

"In all of these cases there should never be just two options: perfection or giving up.  When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting?  No.  Growth and development take time.  Learning takes time.  When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives.  When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ's Atonement are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weaknesses.  When we understand grace, we can, as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants, ‘continue in patience until we are perfected.’”

Amazing, no???  I especially love the analogy of piano lessons.  Thanks so much for always paying for piano lessons mom!  I have absolutely loved the chance I´ve had to learn about grace during my mission, because I have had the opportunity to PRACTICE a lot.  I´m definitely not Carnegie Hall status, but I´m just grateful for the chance God has given me to change little by little and see changes in the lives of many of His children in Uruguay.

Hermana Marsh and I practiced a lot this week in Mercedes, and we sure hit some good notes!  Here are the miracles we saw this week:

On Wednesday, we had a four-zone conference in Paysandu!!!  It was so fun.  I got to see Hermana Marsh give her oro testimony (oros are the new missionaries in our mission), and I got to give my fiel testimony.  We learned so much about CONVERSION.  I invite you to continue reading and studying the scriptures every day because there is no way we can be converted without God´s word!

On Thursday morning, we searched our ward list to look for less-active members (we´ve been doing that a lot lately).  We were in the limits of our area and didn´t really know where we were exactly.  So we knocked on someone´s door.  A lady named Ana Laura answered the door.  She didn´t have much time, so she quickly helped us and started closing the door a bit.  But we told her that she looked really cute (because she did) and that the message we´re sharing is that God is her Father and that He loves her!  She said we could pass by on Saturday to visit her.

On Saturday afternoon, Hermana Marsh and I visited Ana Laura again and she is AWESOME!!!  She´s a lawyer and works a lot with renting out houses.  We shared the restoration with her and she was very open to learning more about God.  We were so grateful because we felt the Spirit so much with her!  We will be visiting her again this upcoming Saturday!

Then on Sunday, we had correlation with our ward mission leader.  We mentioned we were working with a lady who lived near him, and he said he knows Ana Laura!  She´s working with them on renting a house (or something along those lines), and he mentioned when he was talking with her in the past, she said she´s a little lonely.  He was so happy Ana Laura is listening, and he and his wife are so excited to help her out!

On Saturday morning, we were looking at the list once again!  And we were searching for an address but couldn´t find it.  So we asked a lady named Maria Elena for help.  She was so nice!!!  And as we ended our conversation with her, she let us know she got baptized twenty years ago.  Recently, she started working a little less so she can have more time with her family.  We testified if she returns, she will see so many blessings in the lives of her children, and she said we could come back this week.  We are so excited to see Maria Elena again!

Well, that´s about it for now!  God is so good and I know He loves His children so much!  He especially loves Ana Laura and Maria Elena.  I love Mercedes (I think if I had to choose a place to live in Uruguay, I´d choose Mercedes), and I love the gospel.  I know that because of Christ´s atonement, all we have to do is KEEP PRACTICING.  And as we do our best to become a little bit better every day, He will guide our hands to play some good notes!


Hermana Dixon

p.s. Oh and today we went to a zoo and walked about fifty minutes along Uruguayan fields.  I´ll send some pics.  Uruguay is beautiful!
October 5, 2015

Hello my sweet fam!!! much happened this week, so I´m just going to cover it all chronologically!!!

On Monday I had my last day with Selene!!!  We had plans to go to the waterfront here in Mercedes and eat ice cream outside!  It ended up raining really hard, but we went nonetheless.  Eating ice cream in rain is so fun, and I don´t exactly know why, but there weren´t a ton of people walking around the waterfront!

On Tuesday I headed out of Mercedes at 3:40 a.m. or so to have a meeting in Montevideo!  I loved learning from President Smith and other missionaries!  We talked a lot about the plan of salvation and the importance of opening our mouths always!  And I LOVED seeing so many sweet missionaries (friends from past zones, housemates, and Hermana Schaeffer, my CCM companion).

On Tuesday night I needed to wait for Hermana Marsh, so I went out contacting in Montevideo with Hermana Tafur (she also needed to stay in Montevideo a bit longer for an appointment).  Wow...the people in Montevideo are so different!  We sure got rejected often and heard a lot about evolution, but we met some awesome people who said the missionaries in Montevideo could come back to visit them!  And Hermana Tafur is just so fun!

Later on Tuesday night I arrived at the mission home with Hermana Tafur and Hermana Davidson.  President Smith prepared a little dinner for us (he is the nicest) and it was fun asking him questions about his mission.  We slept like babies in the mission home (the beds there are super comfortable).

Wednesday morning Hermana Tafur and Hermana Davidson had to leave for their appointment, so I hung around at the mission home.  President Smith had to take Starla and Jerry to school and Hermana Smith was sick in bed, so I just kind of hung out and studied a lot!  President Smith has a couple books full of pictures of his mission.  It was so fun to see all of his adventures, and he also served in ARTIGAS!!!  

Wednesday midday I headed out to the airport with the assistants and we picked up Hermana Marsh!!!  Wow it was so fun to see her again.  We hugged and she immediately let me know she brought suitcases full of Costco goodies.  Yippee!!!

Wednesday afternoon we quickly bought a McDonalds lunch from the terminal and then headed back to Mercedes!!!

The rest of the week, I worked like crazy with Hermana Marsh!!!  She is so dedicated, fun, obedient, and loving.  I´m so excited for this transfer with her!!!

Saturday and Sunday general conference changed my life!!!  We worked with the hermanas in Dolores on Saturday, but watched conference here yesterday!

Well, that´s it for now!  We´ll be heading to the waterfront today to eat ice cream again, and let’s hope the weather will be nice!!!

Love you,

Hermana Dixon

Thursday, October 29, 2015

In the bishop's office
September 28, 2015

Well I have to say, this has been one of the most exciting and interesting weeks of my mission!!!  On Wednesday, we had changes!  I thought Hermana Marsh would be coming, but it turns out she´ll be coming THIS Wednesday.  So I had the chance to serve with two sweet Uruguayan corto plazos (AKA mini missionaries)!  My first corto plazo, Valentina, was with me Wednesday night until Saturday morning.  She´s from Montevideo and is sixteen years old!  And now I´m with Selene, a twenty year old from Dolores!  Selene will be with me until tomorrow.  And then tomorrow, I´ll be heading to Montevideo for a meeting.  After the meeting, I´ll hang out with the Smith family and sleep in their home.  And then on Wednesday morning, we´ll drive out to the airport together to pick up Hermana Marsh!  And then Hermana Marsh and I will head back to Mercedes together.  Phew!

Should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience--I am excited!  I don´t have much time, but here are a few miracles from this week:

I saw lots of little miracles with Hermana Valentina Mariño. For example, we visited a jovencita together named Cerrana. Cerrana had a lot of questions about our lifestyle as members of the church. She wanted to know if we can still go to dances or go out with our friends even though we´re members of the Church. And it was so awesome because Hermana Mariño (who is basically the same age as Cerrana) was able to bear her testimony that as members, we can still have fun!!! And she testified that the gospel helps us live standards to protect us and that there are so many ways to have fun within these standards. Now, Hermana Mariño (who lives in Montevideo) and Cerrana are facebook friends, and Hermana Mariño let me know she´s always chatting with Cerrana and wants to do all she can to help her out! How cool!

And I am just loving my time with Hermana Selene Pereyra! My first week in the mission, I had the chance to serve in Dolores a bit with Hermana Ferrera. And we had a Noche de Hogar with Selene and her family so now, a year or so later, it´s been so fun to catch up with her! Yesterday was a day FULL of miracles. Wow! We loved our time in the chapel...our bishop is really doing his best to raise the level of spirituality in our ward when it comes to the Sabbath. And these past couple of weeks, I have really felt a different spirit in sacrament meeting! After church, as we were heading out of the chapel, a lady entered into the chapel gates and began talking to us outside. She found us first!!! She explained she´s a member of the Church but has been inactive for quite some time. The night before, she found a letter from a missionary and the missionary wrote that he really hoped she would always remain active. And this letter just touched her heart and she decided right then and there she wanted to return!!! She lives outside of our ward, but is ready to receive the elders serving in el Barrio Lavellejah. We had the chance to walk to her house with her, and as we were walking back to our house, we stopped and talked to a lady named Maria José. She was with her little son, and we had the chance to teach the restoration in five minutes! And she is also ready to receive the elders!

And then in the afternoon, we visited an amazing lady named Vanessa! Our bishop´s wife, Hermana Susana, is good friends with Hermana Vanessa and let us know she was passing through a really hard time and wanted to receive the missionaries. We visited Hermana Vanessa with Hermana Susana yesterday, and Hermana Pereyra and I both felt the Spirit so strongly. Hermana Susana and Hermana Pereyra were both able to testify of the changes they´ve seen in their lives through the gospel, and at the end of the charla, Hermana Vanessa mentioned she felt so much peace and happiness in her heart! And what happened next is amazing! We started talking a bit about general conference, and our bishop´s wife had the idea to help Hermana Vanessa find the women´s meeting in her computer. We were able to show her how to use, and as we left, it was so fun to see Hermana Vanessa happily watching the conference. Our bishop and his wife are working so hard to share the gospel, I love it! 

I am loving Mercedes.  The people in Uruguay are the best!!!  My mini missionaries are awesome.  The gospel is so true and can give us peace in such a hard world.  Life is good--have the best week ever my fam!

Hermana Dixon
With Hermana Teresa
September 22, 2015

Hello my sweet family!!! 

It´s been another great week in Mercedes!  Hermana Cabrera will be leaving tomorrow for Rivera...I am going to miss her so much.  Hermana Cabrera is so happy and full of life!  We only had three weeks together, but we ended up becoming really good friends.  I don´t think I´ve ever laughed so much with a companion, and she taught me popcorn with lemon juice and hot sauce is the most delicious thing in the world!

And my next companion will be Hermana Marsh!!!  Remember how I mentioned Hermana Cabrera´s companion had to go home a bit for an operation???  Well that companion will be coming back and it is Hermana Marsh!!!  And Hermana Marsh is from my same BYU freshman ward.  I will be finishing up her training here in Mercedes and I am so excited!  This is what I wrote to president because I was just so pumped!!!

"Let me just tell you a little bit about Hermana Marsh...we were in the same ward at BYU but our ward was huge and sadly, I didn´t get to know her super well. But I do remember right before I left for my mission (March 29, 2014), all the girls in our ward watched the first women´s session of general conference together. My mom happened to be visiting me in Utah, so she watched the session with me. After, all the girls in our ward met up in the activity room of our dorms to eat cheesecake. I remember my mom and I sat by Hermana Marsh, and my mom immediately started talking with her. I remember listening to my mom and Hermana Marsh talk and joining in now and then. And I remember thinking, ‘How sad the school year is ending and I am just starting to get to know this girl.’ 

So yeah, one year later or so, I received an email from Hermana Marsh telling me she was coming to the same mission and I was so excited!!! And I was just so happy I would be able to get to know my cheesecake friend a bit more. But I honestly had no idea she would end up being one of my companions. I feel so blessed for this opportunity and I know the Lord is so involved in our lives."

Such a small small world, no???  Also, Hermana Cabrera and I have had lots of cool experiences this week.  Here´s one: 

And last night, Hermana Cabrera and I had an awesome experience. Basically all of our charlas fell through and we began looking in our lists to see who we could visit. We had to take a moment to sit down in the plaza and look at our map to situate where all the houses were. A couple minutes later, we saw a couple walk out of the terminal and sit down together. We looked at each other and asked, "Should we talk to them?" We were a little afraid because they were talking together and we didn´t want to interrupt their conversation. But then we thought about all the blessings our parents and grandparents have seen in their marriages through the gospel, and we realized we should talk to them!!! 

As we began talking with them, they explained they had just dropped their son off so he could continue his studies in Montevideo. We could see their family was super important to them, so we began talking about our families and all the blessings we´ve seen in our homes through the gospel. It turns out they received missionaries about twenty years ago, and last night, they let us know they are willing to receive missionaries again. We are excited to see what happens!

Also, we loved loved loved seeing Lucia and Sofia get baptized Saturday!  They were both so happy...Lucia said her favorite part was getting baptized, and Sofia said hers was receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost!

And...yesterday something so so sweet happened.  An eighty-year-old lady in our ward, Hermana Teresa, made us a delicious lunch and the most delicious cake (it had dulce de leche, of course).  After the lunch, she said, "I´ve got a couple of little boxes for you."  We opened up the boxes and she had bought us tree of life necklaces.  It was the sweetest gesture and Hermana Cabrera and I felt so grateful.

Well, life is so good and I love you all so much.  Keep being the best fam ever!!!
With Sofia and Lucia
September 15, 2015

Hello my sweet family!!! 

It sounds like you are all doing so great!  I´m so happy to hear life is going well for all of you!

Well, this week has sure been a fun one, filled with so many adventures!  Here´s a little lowdown:

  • So on Tuesday, our Relief Society President, Hermana Miranda, had her birthday!  Hermana Cabrera and I quickly passed by her house to drop off an alfajor (you so need to try alfajores...but mom, they have chocolate, sorry) and guess what???  There were some members from Fray Bentos in her house!!!  I got to see and hug and laugh and cry tears of joy with Hermana Sandra (our Fray Bentos neighbor who helped us out when we didn´t have water in our house) and Hermana Zulma (my first bishop´s wife).  They are twins and I honestly thought I´d never see them again!  The mission is so incredible and it was so great because now I can understand them more!!!
  • On Thursday, Hermana Cabrera and I had divisions in Paysandu with Hermana Church (from Idaho) and Hermana Tafur (from Peru).  In what wards did Chris serve???  Hermana Tafur thinks she knows Chris!  It was such a special day.  I got to work with Hermana Church...we have two areas and two companions in common, and she is so great.  We had an awesome lesson with a guy named Daniel.  His girlfriend is a member and he had gone to church the past Sunday.  We shared the restoration with him and at the end of the lesson...he bore his testimony!  It was the first time I heard an investigator bear testimony about the restoration.  It was incredible!!!
  • On Friday, we had an awesome Noche de Hogar with Hermana Noelia...her son is the only member of the Church in their family!  We invited Hermana Noelia to an activity, but she couldn´t come.  So we invited her to have a Noche de Hogar with us.  We invited a couple of hermanas from our ward so it was a girls’ night!  We talked about how we are all daughters of God and how we have so much value!  It was so fun and we felt the Spirit a lot.  We´re excited to see Hermana Noelia again!
  • Yesterday, we had interviews with President.  They went so well and I got to see my sweet ex-companion, Hermana Ramirez!!!  She´s also serving in the Mercedes zone.  The mission is awesome.
  • This Saturday, two sweet girls, Lucia and Sofia, will be getting baptized.  My companion is so great at teaching little kids, so I love teaching Lucia and Sofia with her!  Lucia is eleven and Sofia is eight, and they are very very cute!

LIFE IS GOOD AND I LOVE THE MISSION!  Have the best week ever my fam--you are all so great!

Hermana Dixon
September 7, 2015

Hello my sweet fam!!! 

Well it´s crazy to think another week has come and gone.  I am doing well here in Mercedes, and I am loving my time with Hermana Cabrera.  She is great!

Like dad said, Mercedes is a little river town and it is SO beautiful.  Oh my goodness I love the houses, cobblestone streets, trees, and riverside views here.  Like I´ve said before, I may be biased, but I honestly think Uruguay is the most beautiful country in the world.

The situation here in Mercedes is so fun.  Right now, we don´t have a ton of people to visit.  So Hermana Cabrera and I are enjoying talking to literally EVERYONE in the streets.  We talk to people who have cute dogs.  We talk to people who are waiting for their buses.  We talk to grocery store clerks.  We talk to people who have cute shoes or cute clothes.  We talk to people who have cute babies.  We talk to people who have beautiful houses.  And it is so fun.  You know why???  Because every single one of these people is a child of God!!!

A little while back, President Smith invited us to learn how to teach the restoration in less than five minutes.  Hermana Cabrera and I have really been loving the opportunity to teach the restoration to as many people as possible.  It is so awesome letting people know they have a Heavenly Father who loves them and knows them perfectly.  No matter what hair color they have, no matter what clothes they wear, no matter if they have made a million mistakes or have a lot of defects, no matter if they have a family or are living alone, God knows their names and LOVES them.

I would just love to share the restoration with you today.  I know our Heavenly Father loves Jim, Debi, Nick, Chris, Linds, and Will so much.  I know He knows your names and everything that makes you, YOU.  I know because He loves you so much, He has sent you guides.  Our Father in Heaven knows that this life is a little tricky and that sometimes we feel sad and need a bit of help.  So he has sent you prophets--men like Noah, Abraham, or Moses.  These guides communicate with God and then talk to you as humans so you can know what God wants for your lives.  But the most important guide God gave you is His son, Jesus Christ.  I know Jesus Christ also was a prophet, but so much more.  He died for you.  He suffered for your sins.  He performed miracles and healed many children of God.  He continues healing us today.  And He established His church, The Church of Jesus Christ, with the authority of God, to guide you as humans in a world that is sometimes so confusing.

Unfortunately, many people did not want to listen to Jesus Christ, and eventually, they crucified him.  When Jesus Christ died, so did His church.  And the sad thing is, many people wanted to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings, but didn´t exactly know HOW.  I know our Heavenly Father loves you and doesn´t want you to feel confused as to HOW you can follow Jesus Christ.  I know Heavenly Father chose a young boy, Joseph Smith, to restore The Church of Jesus Christ again.  This young boy said a prayer to know HOW he could follow Jesus Christ.  And when he prayed, he had such a special experience.  In his own words, he said:

"Vi una columna de luz, mas brillante que el sol, directamente arriba de mi cabeza.  Y esta luz gradualmente descendío hasta descansar sobre mi.  Al reposar sobre mi la luz, vi en el aíre arriba de mi a dos personajes, cuyo fulgor y gloria no admiten descripcion.  Uno de ellos me hablo, llamandome por mi nombre y dijó señalando al otro, este es mi hijo amado, eschucalo."

I know Joseph Smith saw your Heavenly Father and your brother Jesus Christ.  I know they explained HOW Joseph Smith could follow them, and I know with time, Joseph Smith was called as a prophet to restore The Church of Jesus Christ again!  

I know with all my heart God answers your prayers.  I know He wants to guide you in every aspect of your lives.  And I know all we need to do to receive His help is talk with him through prayer!

Well, I love you all so much, and I invite you all to practice the restoration as well.  I know it is something that can bless your lives and the lives of EVERYONE you know.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

With Hermana Cabrera in Mercedes

August 31, 2015

Okay so I vaguely remember in my mission blessing it said I would serve in places I´d be surprised at!  I´m not going to lie, during my whole mission, I have never really felt too surprised about my areas--until now!

So I am serving in Mercedes now!  Mercedes was my first zone in the mission.  It´s a city about thirty minutes away from Fray Bentos!  There´s an hermana here, Hermana Cabrera, and she started her mission here and has been in Mercedes for about eight months.  She was with a corto plazo (AKA mini missionary) because her companion had to go home for a bit for an operation.  I will be serving with sweet Hermana Cabrera during the rest of this change so I can get to know the area and so she can have a new experience in another area this upcoming change.  So crazy!

So this week was one filled with lots of adventures!  I left Artigas on Friday at about noon.  And oh my goodness, my last little bit in Artigas with Hermana Salvatierra was so great.  I am so grateful for ARTIGAS!!!  We sure saw lots of miracles.  I took a lot of time writing my "happy birthday Uruguay" list this past week, so I didn´t get to tell you all about Sunday, August 23!  On Sunday, we had a stake conference in Artigas.  And it was so incredible because there were some talks in Spanish, and some in Portuguese.  

And, the conference was so exciting because Hermano Lulo (Jessica´s uncle) came to the conference!  He loved the conference and it was so great because when we introduced him to Bishop Duarte, it turns out they had been friends for years and years (Hermano Lulo was a soccer coach and Bishop Duarte´s dad coached with Hermano Lulo or something like that).  God´s work is so personal!  It was so special teaching Hermano Lulo and Hermana Jessica this past week, and Hermano Lulo decided to get baptized September 19!  And Hermana Jessica is going to pray about her baptism.  I remember Linds often repeating the lyrics to "I Stand All Amazed" in her missionary emails.  I often want to sing these lyrics out loud as well.  Missionary work is so incredible and I stand all amazed God gave me the opportunity to get to know Hermano Lulo and Hermana Jessica.  They told Hermana Salvatierra and me that this gospel gives them so much peace and that we started teaching them right when they had a lot of questions about God and religion in general!  God takes good care of His children ALWAYS.

This past week was also super awesome because Hermana Salvatierra and I had the opportunity to invite lots of people to our MISSIONARY TEAM!  We shared Alma 8 with the Berneda Family and Hermano Sanchez and it´s so incredible because when Alma started working with Amulek, the work in Ammonihah went so much better.  It´s the same when the members are willing to help all the missionaries!!!  The Berneda Family and Hermano Sanchez both accepted to be part of the team.  I really miss the Berneda Family already, they were such a special family for me!

And let me be honest, all of the families and people in Artigas Barrio 6 are so special.  I feel so grateful I had the opportunity to work in Artigas.  What I absolutely loved about Artigas Barrio 6 is the LOVE everyone showed toward us as missionaries and toward their brothers and sisters in Uruguay.  The members were so willing to accompany us to visit investigators and testify of God´s LOVE.  They were so willing to cook delicious lunches for us and they always cooked with so much LOVE.  They were so willing to visit or call a less-active member, and at times, even went out of their way to pick them up for church.  What LOVE!  I will never ever forget Artigas Barrio 6 and its LOVE.

So yeah, on Friday, I headed off to Mercedes and gave Hermana Salvatierra one last hug.  She honestly changed my mission in so many ways and I am so grateful for her.  What I love about Hermana Salvatierra is her work ethic...she works so so hard!  I also admire how much she cares about every investigator or member in her area...she inspired me to study, pray, and LIVE for the people in our area.  After hugging sweet Hermana Salvatierra, I hopped on the bus.

Man oh man I loved my bus ride!  I traveled eight hours from Artigas to Montevideo, and then about four hours from Montevideo to Mercedes.  During my first bus ride, I had the opportunity to talk to two incredible women, Carmen and Adelicia.  Carmen´s son is a member (he got baptized when he was eleven and is now forty, more or less) and she lives pretty close to a chapel.  The missionaries visited her many years ago, but she never received a Book of Mormon!  I loved being able to read the Introduction of the Book of Mormon with her and give her a copy!  She was so excited to learn more about God´s word.

Carmen then left and Adelicia came aboard.  It turns out Adelicia´s son is listening to the missionaries in Montevideo!  She didn´t have too much interest, but was so AWESOME!  She was my tour guide.  Every time we drove by a new city, she would tell me the city´s name and give me a short history.  And she also let me know how far away we were from Montevideo.  What a grand blessing were these two women!          

And then, during my bus ride from Montevideo to Mercedes, I sat by Vicky, a twenty-five-year-old woman who is studying in Montevideo but is from Mercedes!  She was so great as well.  She had a lot of questions about what we do exactly as missionaries, and we just talked and talked!  She was so fun and generous...she gave me her phone number and let me know if we ever need lunch or if we want a tour of Mercedes, we can call her up.  I love love love the people in Uruguay!

Okay so Mercedes is great!  During the first bit of my mission, we actually went to Mercedes a lot to practice for the charla fogonera, so it´s a little trip down memory lane.  I recognize some of the members here and I can already tell they are so great.  I love being in the chapel here and remembering that the last time I was in Mercedes, I was a little freaked out (horror stage still) and couldn´t really communicate with the people.  Life is so funny!

And Hermana Cabrera is from Mexico, is super fun, and is a great teacher.  I am happy!

Well fam, that´s it for now!  I love you all so much, and have the best week ever!

Hermana Dixon
August 24, 2015

Hello fam! 

Tomorrow is Uruguay´s birthday again!!!  Last year for August 25, I wrote 25 things I had learned in my mission thus far.  Here’s what I’ve learned this year:

1) That although Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America, it´s the biggest in HEART.

2) That Uruguayan skies are the best.  Whether I’m looking up in the wee hours of the morning, in the afternoon sunset, or in the nighttime stars, these Uruguayan skies never cease to take my breath away.

3) That the gathering of Israel is awesome.  That like it says in D&C 35:14, we are the ARMS OF THE LORD.  That He needs our help as members and missionaries to gather the house of Israel and that we can feel incredible joy as we´re doing it!

4) That Christmas and New Year´s Eve are so much better when there are fireworks, really hot temperatures, and barbeque!

5) How to avoid stepping in dog poop (kind of...)

6) That it is so much better to live in the present (cut wood) instead of live in the past (cut sawdust).

7) That Fray Bentos, Juan Lacaze, and Artigas are the perfect areas for me.

8) That it is so cool to shake an apostle´s hand!  That Elder Dallin H. Oaks is an apostle of the Lord and that the Lord truly uses the prophet and his twelve apostles to guide our lives!

9) That when it rains, it POURS.  And that doing proselyting in knee-high water is such an interesting experience.

10) That a missionary plaque can really become a part of you.  I feel lost without it and so distressed when I can´t find it.  Sometimes when I see pictures of myself before the mission, I find myself thinking, "Where in the world is my missionary plaque?"

11) That general conference is the most magical time of the year and that although the leaders of the church convey God´s word to all of His children, they speak directly to ME and help ME with what I need in my life.

12) That when I feel like I can´t stand any longer, I need to go down on my knees.

13) That the members in Uruguay are pioneers.  That they are fighters (so many of them do not have support of family members, for example, but still continue fighting for the truth).  That they are filled with love for their brothers and sisters.  That they are so patient and kind and generous.

14) That hearing my Latin companions pray in English is such an incredible experience.  That God listens to prayers in every language and answers prayers in every language.

15) That as missionaries, we truly have angels all around us.  Whether it be our companions, a friendly person in the street who smiles at us, a person halfway around the world who is praying for us, a person who writes a heartfelt letter or email to cheer us up, or a mission president and his wife who give us words of encouragement or treats (Hermana Smith makes the best treats), there´s always someone who´s got our back.

16) That the Book of Mormon is so incredible.  That every time a person needs help, they can pray with faith, open up their scriptures, and find exactly what they need.  I have seen this so many times in my mission!

17) That the best way to answer the phone is by saying "HOY ES EL DIA" (AKA “Today is the day,” our mission motto).

18) That although Spanish is hard at times, it is the most beautiful language ever (and I still struggle with el and la, but whatevs)!!!

19) That we should always keep our sights on the temple, and that we should help every other person/family do the same as well.  That one person´s life can change the lives of generations!

20) That repentance is such a beautiful thing.  That every second, minute, hour, day, can truly be a fresh start.

21) That God´s love is so perfect for His imperfect children.

22) That arroz con leche is a gift from the heavens.

23) Alfajores as well.

24) That Hermana McMurray (who taught me the importance of hard work and obedience), Hermana Gordillo (who was a grand example of being sweet and demonstrating charity), Hermana Paredes (who helped me learn how to teach PEOPLE and enjoy the mission), Hermana Ventura (who taught me the importance of doing what Jesus Christ would do in my place), Hermana Obando (who changed my mission through her organizational skills, diligence, and testimony), Hermana Jenkins (who strengthened my love for the Book of Mormon and helped me see all those around me as children of God), Hermana Ramirez (my grand example of patience, serving, and thinking of others before herself), and Hermana Salvatierra (who is such a hard worker, who has a great love for the people in our area, and who tries to be a bit better every day, inspiring me to be better) have been the perfect companions for me!!!

25) That the atonement of Jesus Christ is so real.  Christ knows what it´s like to feel weak. Christ knows what it´s like to be rejected.  Christ knows what it´s like to feel regret.  He knows what it´s like to lose a loved one, to feel lonely, to feel without hope.  And He also knows what it feels like to overcome these problems,  With Him, and only with Him, we can always keep going! 

Love you all!  Happy Birthday Uruguay!

Hermana Dixon
Hermanas Salvatierra, Idalina, and Dixon

August 17, 2015

Hello my sweet family!!! 

Sorry I´ve been such an awful letter-writer these days!  I´m really going to try and improve because I want to give you all the inside scoop about how things are going here in Artigas!

One thing I´ve seen during my mission is every single person in the world has problems.  Some problems are big, some are little, but everyone´s got them.  And one thing I love about the mission is when people are feeling weighted down by their problems, I have the opportunity to share God´s word with them to brighten up their day a bit!  This week, I shared some scriptures in Alma 8 to lift up some people in our area.

I remember reading in Alma 8 one day when I was starting my mission.  As a new missionary, I felt so discouraged.  I felt so full of problems and had no idea what to do or where to turn for help.  And I´m not going to lie, even though I´m a not-quite-so-new missionary these days (although I honestly still feel like a newbie), there are still some days when I need to read in Alma 8 for help!  

Okay so in Alma 8, Alma is also a missionary, just like me and eighty-thousand plus other young adults!  In this chapter, Alma is serving in a little place called Ammonihah, and let’s just say, I´m pretty sure it was the hardest area ever!  Alma preached the gospel with all of his heart, but the people did not want to listen and were very wicked.  So then Alma decided to travel.  I´m going to put a little excerpt of Alma 8 here.

13  Now  when  the  people  had  said  this,  and  withstood  all  his  words,  and  reviled  him,  and  spit  upon  him,  and  caused  that  he  should  be  cast  out  of  their  city,  he 
departed  thence  and  took  his  journey  towards  the  city  which  was  called  Aaron.
14  And  it  came  to  pass  that  while  he  was  journeying thither,  being  weighed  down  with  sorrow,  wading through  much  tribulation  and  anguish  of  soul,  because  of the  wickedness  of  the  people  who  were  in  the  city  of Ammonihah,  it  came  to  pass  while  Alma  was  thus weighed  down  with  sorrow,  behold  an  angel  of  the  Lord appeared  unto  him,  saying:
15  Blessed  art  thou,  Alma;  therefore,  lift  up  thy  head  and rejoice,  for  thou  hast  great  cause  to  rejoice;  for  thou  hast been  faithful  in  keeping  the  commandments  of  God  from the  time  which  thou  receivedst  thy  first  message  from  him. Behold, I  am  he  that  delivered  it  unto  you.

Such a good little excerpt, no?  Here, during his journey, Alma felt weighed down with problems as well.  He had so many tribulations and felt anguish in his soul.

We may not be exactly like Alma.  We aren´t exactly traveling from Ammonihah to Aaron, but we are all participating in a little journey called EARTHLY LIFE.  And sometimes this journey isn´t so easy.  We, like Alma, have moments when we feel weighed down with sorrow, moments when we´re wading through tribulation.  We too have moments when we feel like we can´t continue on for much longer.  But I know with all my heart that right when we feel like we can´t keep going, God sends us angels!

This week, I would love to talk about my angels here in Artigas.
  • For the first time in my mission, I got sick this week.  I came down with a little stomach virus and had to stay in bed on Thursday.  I´m feeling lots better now!  The mission doctor sent me a special diet, and I am so grateful for my companion!  On Thursday, she spent time in the kitchen preparing rice, chicken, and noodles without flavoring for her sick companion.  Hermana Salvatierra is awesome and an angel!
  • On Thursday, Hermana Salvatierra went out to do a couple of visits with Hermana Idalina, and our neighbor, Hermana Susana Mendina came over to take care of me.  As I laid in bed, she told me about her life and read general conference talks to me.  I love Hermana Susana Mendina and she is an angel!  And Hermana Idalina is an angel for going out with my companion!
  • Hermana Salvatierra and I are working with a less-active family.  They have so many desires to come back to church, and little by little, we´re seeing changes within their family.  On Wednesday, Hermana Fernanda, the mom of this family, made us lunch!  She loves different cultures and wanted to cook a lunch from America!  So she asked me what I usually ate for lunch, and I said sandwiches!  Hermana Fernanda made us the most delicious sandwiches and printed out little American flags, taped them to toothpicks, and stuck these toothpicks in the sandwiches.  What an angel, no?
  • Mom, this week I received your package with the fruity mints I love.  YOU are an angel!
  • I am so grateful for the Berneda family.  On Saturday, we had the opportunity to read in Enos with them.  It´s so interesting because Enos´s greatest desire is to guard the scriptures for his posteridad.  After reading this story, we gave them “My Family” books (they´re books to help members or investigators do their family history).  I loved seeing how excited they were and hearing bits and pieces about their parents and grandparents.  The Berneda family also gave us the most delicious lunch the other day and treated us to dessert (dessert in their family is washing the dishes, but don´t worry, we enjoyed dessert very much)!  The Berneda family are my angels.
  • I was supposed to give a sacrament talk yesterday, but right before I was about to go, Hermano Lorenzo let me know our stake president, President Bueno, was going to take up a lot of time to share his message so I didn´t need to talk.  So first of all, President Bueno is an angel for taking up my time.  Woot woot.  But man oh man, I loved President Bueno´s message.  He focused on the sabbath day and mentioned a little part about missionaries.  He mentioned there are eight missionaries from Artigas serving, and the members should try to write them on Sundays.  He served a mission and he said that at times, missionaries feel down or sad because they think baptisms are the only fruit of missionary labor.  He said sometimes they forget developing a stronger testimony, persevering, and loving the people in their areas are great fruits!  President Bueno´s words touched my heart and were a great reminder to always be of good cheer.  He was truly an angel in my life yesterday!  
I love you my fam.  You guys are my greatest angels and our Heavenly Father loves you all so much!

Hermana Dixon
August 11, 2015

Okay I won´t have time to write this week but I´m doing great!!!  We had changes but I´ll still be here in Artigas with Hermana Salvatierra.  Woo hoo!!!
August 3, 2015

Hey sweet fam!

I´m running a little short on time, but I´m here to tell you I am doing great!  It´s been a week filled with miracles.  Here are a few:
  • On Tuesday, we went to visit a less-active hermana, Hermana Angelica!  It was so great to talk to her, and her granddaughter, Debora, happened to be in town.  Debora is twenty-one and is studying in Montevideo, but she had a break from school and spent the week in Artigas!  We had the opportunity to go out with Debora on Wednesday and Thursday night, and she is so awesome.
  • On Friday, I worked in Barrio 1 with Hermana Russell (from California)!  Oh my goodness, Hermana Russell is so humble and I learned so much from her!
  • On Saturday morning, we had the opportunity to do divisions with two college students in our ward, Maria Eugenia (the bishop´s daughter), and Fernanda.  I got to go out with Fernanda, and we visited a sweet hermana, Hermana Mariana!  She has two kiddos, and Fernanda was able to share her testimony about the atonement with Hermana Mariana.  I felt the Spirit so strongly, and Hermana Mariana came to church yesterday.
  • I´m so grateful for the members here and all they do to help us!
  • I love love love 1 Nephi 21: 14-16.  I think it´s one of my all-time favorite scriptures. 
Love you all and have the best week ever.  I promise to write more next week!

Hermana Dixon

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

July 27, 2015

Hey fam! 

So fun to think you are on your way to Florida!!!  Enjoy your time there!  So it´s been a great week in Artigas, and I found the best talk ever this week.  It´s called “The Love of God” and is given by President Uchtdorf (

As you all know, I´ve kind of been like Ella Enchanted during my mission...I´ve wanted to be obedient, but at times, I think I´ve kind of created "shoulds" and "should nots," and these "shoulds" and "should nots" have gotten in the way of my LOVE at times.  For much of my mission, I´ve prayed to know how to obey with LOVE, how to obey by the Holy Ghost, and I can honestly say this talk has helped me out so much!  I hope you enjoy these excerpts!

“The Savior Himself provided the answer with this profound declaration: ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’  This is the essence of what it means to be a true disciple: those who receive Christ Jesus walk with Him.  

But this may present a problem for some because there are so many ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’ that merely keeping track of them can be a challenge. Sometimes, well-meaning amplifications of divine principles—many coming from uninspired sources—complicate matters further, diluting the purity of divine truth with man-made addenda. One person’s good idea—something that may work for him or her—takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of ‘good ideas.’
This was one of the Savior’s criticisms of the religious ‘experts’ of His day, whom He chastised for attending to the hundreds of minor details of the law while neglecting the weightier matters. 

So how do we stay aligned with these weightier matters? Is there a constant compass that can help us prioritize our lives, thoughts, and actions?

Once again the Savior revealed the way. When asked to name the greatest commandment, He did not hesitate. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,’ He said. ‘This is the first and great commandment.’  Coupled with the second great commandment—to love our neighbor as ourselves—we have a compass that provides direction not only for our lives but also for the Lord’s Church on both sides of the veil.

Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.

When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden.”

So good, right?  How cool is it that if we have LOVE at the center of our lives, everything else (including obedience) falls right into place.  

As I continued reading, I was in awe when I realized how much God truly loves His children.  Read this: 

“Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount—that is the measure of God’s love for you. 

God does not look on the outward appearance.   I believe that He doesn’t care one bit if we live in a castle or a cottage, if we are handsome or homely, if we are famous or forgotten. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely.

He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God’s love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked.

What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.” 

Amazing, no?  How many of you have ever felt flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken?  Or how many of you have been selfish, proud, arrogant, or a little rebellious every now and then?  How cool is it that even though we are so utterly imperfect, God loves us with a perfect love!

President Uchtdorf then invites us to LISTEN TO GOD´S VOICE IN OUR LIVES!

“As you reach out to your Heavenly Father, as you pray to Him in the name of Christ, He will answer you. He speaks to us everywhere.
As you read God’s word recorded in the scriptures, listen for His voice.
During this general conference and later as you study the words spoken here, listen for His voice.
As you visit the temple and attend Church meetings, listen for His voice.
Listen for the voice of the Father in the bounties and beauties of nature, in the gentle whisperings of the Spirit.
In your daily interactions with others, in the words of a hymn, in the laughter of a child, listen for His voice.
If you listen for the voice of the Father, He will lead you on a course that will allow you to experience the pure love of Christ.”
Beautiful, no?  This week I´ve really been trying to listen to God´s voice!  I haven´t been perfect listening to His voice, but I´ve heard Him speak to me every now and then.  Here´s how I heard His voice this week:

  • Hermana Salvatierra´s birthday was awesome!  We had a Noche de Hogar with Hermana Susana Mendina, Hermana Blanquita, Hermana Idalina, and Hermana Ivonne, four awesome Uruguayan women!  We talked about OPENING OUR MOUTHS to share the gospel (Doctrine and Covenants Section 33) and we ended the Noche de Hogar with a testimony meeting.  These four women have such strong testimonies and I heard God´s voice as they spoke!

  • On Friday, I had divisions with Hermana Barrios (she´s from Guatemala and we live together).  She is so awesome and I´ve really been wanting to improve when it comes to teaching clearly.  Hermana Barrios studied about teaching with clarity on Friday morning, and during our companionship study, she shared what she learned with me!  It helped me so much and I heard God´s voice!

  • Also on Friday, we had to walk to Brazil to drop off a DVD with the Hermanas in Quaraí.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bridge that divides Uruguay from Brazil.  As I looked out onto the river, as I felt Uruguayan/Brazilian wind blowing onto my face, as I soaked up all the trees, I heard God´s voice!

  • Hermana Salvatierra is learning English!  Last night, all on her own, she said, "Heavenly Father, I thank thee for my brothers and sisters in Uruguay" in our prayer to end the day.  As I heard her speak these sweet words in English, I heard God´s voice.

  • For the first time, the Berneda Family came to all three hours of church!  As I sat behind Hermana Berneda in Relief Society, I heard God´s voice.

  • Jessica and her Uncle Lulo are both listening!  As they talked about the peace and tranquilidad they feel when they learn about God and the message of the restoration, I heard God´s voice.

I love you all, and have the best week ever!

Hermana Dixon