Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas week! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas day and truly feel the true Spirit of Christmas and the love of our Savior Jesus Christ. I’m so thankful this year to be celebrating the birth of our Savior in the midst of His service. The best gift I can give Him right now is to be doing exactly what I’m doing, and I couldn’t be more humbled or grateful to be one of His missionaries. I’ve come to understand more than ever the true meaning of Christmas and the love the Savior has for me and all of us.

This week flew by so fast! Tuesday we had an awesome district meeting about teach when you find, find when you teach. Our district leader was really inspired because we were really needing to hear this for our area. We got some awesome ideas of how we can be better at OYMing and inviting everyone to hear the message of the Restored Gospel. I also had an awesome personal study on becoming a fisher of men and the first great commandment of loving God, and how when we love God we will keep all His commandments, which includes that of our baptismal covenant of serving Him always. When we truly love Him, it’s so easy to just forget yourself and serve others. I’ll be honest, I’m still working on completely forgetting myself but I know that in the strength of the Lord, I’ll get there. :) Later that day we had an awesome lesson with Erika and EJ about temples. I showed them the pictures of the temple I brought from home and they got so excited that they’d get to go there someday. Their Grandma, who is so strong in the Gospel and is basically the one raising them, hasn’t received the opportunity yet to go to the temple to receive her endowment. She gets emotional about it, and my heart just goes out to her because of her strong and sincere desire to attend the temple. Her circumstances just don’t allow it. I know that Heavenly Father will bless her for the desires of her heart, however, and she’ll be able to receive those special blessings someday. Glance also had her baptismal interview—Elder Cruz said she was one of the best prepared children he’s interviewed—I believe it is because she is so smart as so ready to be baptized! She’s 11 years old and reminds me a lot of Rissy. :) It’s a real tender mercy to have my family with me through the investigators and those I come in contact with—just Filipino style. :)

Wednesday we saw this little boy carrying this HUGE 50 kilo bag of rice. We helped him carry it home, and even with three of us it was soo heavy. I don’t know how he was doing it on his own! The people here are so hard working, even the kids. They truly all work together as a whole family with responsibilities to have their basic needs met. The Filipino people are such amazing examples to me. It was pretty awesome, because half way to the boy’s house, a young man saw us struggling and came and picked up the whole bag and put it on his head and walked the rest of the way with one hand holding it. People here are so nice!

Thursday was awesome because as we were teaching Lourna and Nestor Garceniego (an RC family), they were getting so excited about sharing the Gospel with others. That’s one of my favorite things as a missionary—to see a recent convert get fired up about the Gospel and wanting to share it with EVERYONE. They have no fear because they feel how crucial this Gospel is and just can’t stand the thought of people not having the truth! There’s a lot I’ve learned from these recent converts…

Friday we worked with Sister Pailano for a bit. She’s the Relief Society President and so very sweet. She used to work at the hospital and then went almost blind. She was so depressed that she almost killed herself. Then the missionaries came and saved her. Now she does all she can to save others by helping the missionaries. She’s was baptized in 1984 at age 27 and is still single. She is so strong and amazing! She told us her favorite song is “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go.” We’re going to spend part of Christmas day with her, which I’m excited for.

(*Mom's note--We have the words, "I'll Go Where He Wants Me To Go" in vinyl lettering on our missionary wall--which also includes a picture of the Savior, a map of the Philippines, and a photo of Jessica. It is truly a tender mercy for me that Jessica will be spending some of Christmas Day with a sister who appreciates and has a tender place in her heart for that hymn as well--Jessica might not be home for Christmas, but, she will be... at home.*)

Saturday I got to know Sister Fanene a bit better. We have grown up with complete opposite lifestyles, yet we are so similar in many ways. I’ve learned so much from her about working hard, having charity, truly feeling for the Spirit, being positive, having faith, and just being strong! I just love her.

Sunday we were asked to give talks in Sacrament about Christmas so I talked about our stocking tradition we do on Christmas Eve back home and giving gifts to Christ for the year. We also had some tender mercies of members working with us throughout the day, which was awesome!

Sorry for kind of a shorter email this week. Just know that I love you all so much and wish you the very best Christmas! Xoxo

Sister Dixon

Jessica's District

Rice Fields

"Cock houses--they raise cocks for their 'cock fighting.' "

"Sister Alarcon (Recent convert) cutting sugarcane for us to eat. My first time trying it! 
It's pretty much like eating wet sugar." 

"Sister Pialano..our Relief Society President. She's so amazing. We love her like a grandmother and are so grateful we get to spend Christmas with her! :)"

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