Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My Last Letter Home!!

I can't believe this is my last letter home! I will be seeing you at the airport in just a few days. So crazy! It almost doesn't seem real that I am coming home. I am so excited to see those that are coming to the airport. It is going to be a great time seeing everybody. Especially my 6' 3" brother!! When I left he was shorter than I. I think seeing Cameron will be the biggest amazement when I see everybody. I think the hardest thing will be leaving the greatest mission in the world and being released. I am not looking for those times. I have loved being on a mission. It has been the best thing that I have ever done!! Last Thursday I had the chance to meet up with Joseph, my recent convert. We went to Red Lobster and had a great time talking one with another. He is doing great in his ward. He just got a job and is looking to move out of his current residence. I am so excited that he is doing so well. He even gave me a parting gift. It is a book by Arnold Schwarzenegger called the encyclopedia to body building. Joseph loves body building and healthy eating. On Thursday an office couple took me out to Longhorn steak house as a departing dinner. I will miss all the people that I have met here in Kansas. See you Thursday!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Conferences & Three Weeks Left and I'm Home

Hola mi familia!!! I hope things are going great for you at home. Sorry I have not written a letter home for some time now. Things are always so busy here in the office I lose track of my mind…. I mean time. It is so great to be lost in the work!! So for the last two weeks we have had zone conference’s all across the mission. Those two weeks went by so quickly! We inspected 81 out of the 83 vehicles that the mission has. So it has been really busy and time consuming. Plus, I got the chance to do my last vehicle training to the whole mission. It is so awesome to see how much the Lord has helped me to grow. The old Taylor would not get up in front of tons of people and speak. But the still evolving “new Taylor” got up in front of 80+ people and gave a lecture! So awesome!!! (Bishop – Stake President don’t get any ideas now……) Cough…. So I might be going to BYU I this winter semester!!!! I just received my letter of acceptance to BYU I!!!!!!! Wahoo!!!!! So since BYU I is a three track school I have to now wait and see what semester I get accepted to. I have applied to the winter semester but as it states on the website it is subject to change. To find out more click http://www.byui.edu/admissions/three-track-system (Elder Dickson received the Winter/Spring track)

General Conference was so good. I love getting the chance to listen to modern day Prophet and Apostles!!! Ever since coming on the mission and learning so much about the Gospel has helped my testimony grow so much of General Conference. We had the opportunity to watch General Conference at our Branch Presidents house and then for Priesthood we went to the church!! Such a great time!

So I have been trying to avoid this subject like the plague. But I am supposed to tell everybody that I will be coming home on October 29th. My plane lands at 4:25 PM. That is done and said. Don’t get offended at what I say. If you do…. It is going to be harder coming home than it was leaving!! The Lord is already preparing me to come home and it sucks! I was driving home last night from Junction City and with all the lights it looked like northern SLC. Then further down the road it looked like the highway entering Price canyon! Ugh I wasn’t even thinking about home!! Kansas Wichita Mission is the best mission in the whole world!!!!! Hands down!!!!!!!!!!

So this Thursday I am going up to Lawrence to pick up my replacement! Ugh…. Things are getting real!!! So I will have 2 weeks to get him trained on how to be the Vehicle Coordinator and an office assistant. So much to teach!!!

Los amo a todos!!

Elder Potter, his first Companion at the MTC

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Some Down Time We Are Not Use To

Hey everybody,

It has been a very different past week!! We had a missionary that had 2 hernia surgeries stay with us for over a week. So my companion and I switched on and off from sitting at the apartment all day. He is finally doing better and is out in his new area. It was a huge change for my companion and I. We are both use to the hustle of each day, schedule slammed with things to do. Last month we put on 5,000+ miles on our Nissan, the assistants new 2015 Silverado and their old Silverado. And we only blew up one tire of the trailer going 75 mph. Oh, and I slit the tire open Sunday night on our Nissan. It is just proof that Satan is out after us trying to stop his work. 

If I have not mentioned in past letters, we have installed over 80 whiteboards in all the missionaries’ apartments. The whiteboards are there to help the missionaries look at the board each day to help them see what is needed to be done instead of having it in their head what they need to do. My awesome Mission President calls them the “Full Purpose Whiteboard.” Lately we have been focusing on Full Purpose Missionaries. Which means we teach while we find as we teach. It helps our finding efforts double. 

Sorry not much to say with such a different week behind us. Oh I will be in a trio next Monday with my new companion. My companion Elder Hisler is going home on September 5th. So it will be interesting to have a new companion. I had the chance to meet him yesterday for a brief second. 

It is so crazy to be at the tail end of my mission!! On p-days I have been signing up for school! I was signing up for school at UVU where I have been attending and it just did not feel right. So long story short I have been signing up for school at BYU Idaho. So we will see what happens there. 

Love you all and thank you for the birthday wishes and presents.  
Love you all!
Elder Taylor Dickson

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mission Life

Hello everybody!! Hope that you are all doing well! This past week has been crazy with traveling. Well this whole month has been crazy with traveling. My companion and I have been installing large 4x8 whiteboard in every missionary’s apartment. Which we have about 80 apartments. So we are now half way finished with installing. We just have the west of Kansas to do then we will have most of the apartments finished. But that will require a lot of driving so I am hoping to put that off for a little while. Last week we stopped in Wellington which is one of my old areas where I have served. I had the chance to go and see one of my friends there. His name is Billy. I really wish that I had the time to go see the Stark family while I was there. But there was no time to do that. We had to be home in time for curfew. We finally received the assistant’s new truck last week. It is a 2015 Chevy Silverado. It is pretty nice. The church use to put on a few extra options but they are stock base vehicles. Which is good so the church saves money. Our Branch Presidents son had his mission farewell yesterday. He is going to Brazil Compinas. The same place that Gary went to. So one of their family friends is from the Mormon Tabernacle choir. So we got to sit and chat with him a little at dinner. Our Branch President is hosting a special FHE tonight and “George” will be the guest speaker. He is one of the only African American singers in the Tabernacle choir. So I am excited for tonight! I hope that all of you have a great week! 
Love Elder Dickson

Elder Hisler & Elder Dickson

Visiting his friend Billy

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Testimony of the Lord Directing The Work

Hello Bear Lake, I mean family.
I saw too many wake boarding boats today and reminded me that Bear Lake season is coming up!! Hope the family has a great time!! I need pictures!!

Any ways I hope things are great back home! I know things here are going great! Last week we finished up our last zone conference. Wahoo! Speaking in front of 30+ missionaries for 20 min is so much fun! It is only fun when the spirit runs the show. So to explain I had 20 min to teach missionaries what they are doing good with the cars and what needs to be improved on. So after the talk I gave out 3 different levels of free bonus miles. We give out bonus miles for the missionaries that have the cleanest cars. So I get up there and start reading off my notes for the cars that won and nobody was excited. I was wondering what was going on. So I moved on and nobody was clapping. I was on the wrong notes. I was speaking from a previous conferences notes. Everybody laughed so it made for a great time. 

So working in the office you don't get to see the fruit of your labor as much as you would see out in the streets, until today. So a while back I had a set of missionaries ask me for any teaching materials in the language for Uganda. So we only had 4 book of Mormons and a couple bundles of teaching materials. So they took all the material we had. So a few weeks later another set of missionaries called and said we need some materials in Ugandans language. We were out. So I made a note to purchase more material. So as I went back into the material room the spirit said to call the first set of missionaries and get the material back. So I called them and they did not need the books and teaching materials anymore. Something happened with their investigators. So I collected all the material and the second set of missionaries picked up the materials. I never heard what happened. So tonight we had a mission presidents devotional. What it is, the mission president will get up and speak and then their will be some recent converts assigned. Well this child got up and shared his testimony. He said that he just moved from Uruguay with his family. They met with the missionaries and started reading the Book of Mormon, the 3 family members were baptized. As I listened to each of their testimonies the spirit told me "because of you they were able to get the Book of Mormon in their native language." My eyes quickly teared up. It is such a blessing to hear the miracles that happen in the field because of us in the office. 

This week is transfer week! Some of the craziest times in the office. We are having 25 missionaries come in tomorrow afternoon. So today we went and picked up 2 Ford Transit 15 passenger vans! We rent these Ford Transit vans each transfer, so we named them the space shuttles! From today until Thursday will be crazy running around Wichita and doing trainings for the new missionaries. Ever since the time Elder Holland came to visit, each week we have had a big event going on each of those weeks. So insane! I love to be so busy lost in the Lords work. One of my best friends that I have served around in the office is leaving this transfer. I am so sad about that but so excited for him to get back out in the field as a district leader and a trainer. Elder Myers has served here as an assistant to the president for 4 transfers now. I have been so lucky to be able to serve around him. He has taught me so much in such little time. The Lords loving hands. 

A couple weeks ago Elder Hisler and I were asked to take a handful of missionaries out west to Dodge City. (Dodge city is a 2 and a half hour drive.) Elder Hisler and I planned on staying the night in Dodge City to do some work the next day. As the day approached to take the missionaries home, that morning I woke up and had the day planned in my head to come back that night. That was not the plan at all. We were to stay the night in Dodge. So I went on with the day and things were not going smooth at all. First the wiper blades did not work on the vehicle we were driving out to Dodge, second the tri ball hitch was not a 2" ball, it was smaller so the trailer coupler did not have a good grasp (the trailer was moving around too much). So I just felt that something was wrong. I looked back to see what I was doing was wrong. I realized the spirit told me that morning that we were not to stay the night. So I cancelled the staying the night and we were to just drive home. Ever since that choice to come back everything went smoothly. The spirit told me in a new way how to guide me. I learned that moment that the Lord will teach us in new ways. To continue on, the next day we heard there was severe weather in the area we were to stay in. There was large damaging hail and tornado alarms going off. So I knew the Lord was protecting us from the storm. I know that the Lord knows I am terribly afraid of natural disasters. Mainly tornadoes! Whenever I leave an area there is a tornado that comes through or near. No worries there have never been missionaries injured by Mother Nature. 

I love the Lord with all my heart. I know that he is aware of our every intention and shortcoming. I love you all!! Enjoy the pictures!
Elder Dickson

A storm ahead.

The Space Shuttles

Windmill Blades

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Keeper of the Plains

Sweet, Sister Calder, the Mission Office Secretary texted me this wonderful picture of our Missionary, Elder Taylor Dickson today. They are in Wichita at the Keeper of the Plains. Its a Native American Landmark.

I looked it up here to find out more:

They are on their way to spend the day at the Oklahoma City Temple.  She says he is a tremendous help to her. Sounds like my Son. Love it!!

Keeper of the Plains, Wichita Kansas
A Native American Landmark
On the phone dealing with car business!

Busy, Busy at Mission HQ

Hey everyone,

Things are going pretty good here at Mission HQ. We are starting to roll out the iPad's for the missionaries. This past week we had Elder Clark come and speak to our mission. He spoke to us for 5+ hours. He is such a fireball. He was walking around the room talking with us. Missionaries and iPads. Sounds like a crazy idea huh. But when we really looked at the broad scope of why the brethren are allowing this it really made sense. So instead of us missionaries being isolated, you will get, Sent from my iPad. These next few weeks are going to be crazy!! Tuesday I been given the privilege to attend the O.K.C temple so we will be doing that. Wednesday is Missionary Leadership Council. That is most of the day and after that I get to drive out west to take the missionaries back to their apartments. My companion and I will be staying the night in Garden City. We have a project to deliver 5 foot by 12 foot white boards to all the leadership in the mission. These whiteboards are a huge tool to keep track of missionary related statistics. We have already seen success with them in our pilot zone. So Thursday we will be on the road for many hours covering the western part of the mission. Next week we will be traveling Central and Eastern parts of Kansas doing Zone Conferences, inspecting 60 cars then back on the road installing white boards to the surrounding areas.

Oh, something really cool. My companions family are converts of 18 years. There is a lady in Garden City that served a mission in Maine (Elder Hisler's home town). So some missionaries said his name to the lady (inspired question) and she said that she baptized a family in Maine by that name. So long story short we will be visiting the lady that taught Elder Hisler's family on Saturday. So cool!!

Love, Elder Dickson

Got to love Dillons prices.
Freeze'm up. Spade-L-Ranch seasoning, MMM!!

Stash of iPads!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Visit From Elder Holland & A Round of Golf

Hola mi familia and friends!!! Hope things are going great at home!! So much is going on at home!!! I can’t believe what is changing at home! My brother is engaged, the other brother is driving (probably my car also :=) ), my dad is growing strong and is a movie star, my mom is working like crazy and growing the Relief Society program! Can’t believe it!!

Things are going pretty good here! We are starting to work less in the office now. We are starting to get caught up on all the projects we have been given. So that is awesome! Last week was crazy in so many ways!!!!!!!! We had Elder Holland, Elder Christensen, and Elder Deshler come to our mission and speak to us on Saturday. Before I get into the good stuff…. I was in charge of getting the charter buses reserved to pick up ¾ of the missionaries. That was a nightmare!! Talk about fighting Satan to get 140 missionaries to listen to an Apostle!! As always if we put our trust in the Lord all things will work out. After all, I did sign myself up to work for the Lord full time!

So on Saturday morning we all arrived at the church building and took a mission picture. We then went into the chapel and awaited for Elder Holland. He arrived and we all stood and sung the Hymn “We are all enlisted.” Talk about a powerhouse!!!!!!!! Just imagine: 230 missionaries in a chapel, doors all shut, on the stand is Elder Holland, Elder Christensen, and Elder Deshler. All missionaries are singing with the spirit flowing out of our mouths. I thought to myself that we sounded so incredible!! As I looked around the spirit was filling me. My eyes started to water up and then the thought came to my mind: “I use to be in the depths of misery, now I have been saved and I am now standing in a chapel filled with missionaries and an Apostle.” I will never forget that moment!! After the singing Elder Christensen and Elder Deshler spoke. Honestly, I don’t remember what they said in their talks. I fell asleep!! After having the buses arrive at the church ON TIME my stress melted away! So the next thing I remember hearing was “Amen” then the spirit woke me up!  Elder Holland, he wanted to shake our hands. So we were only allowed to say our name and where we were from. So row by row we lined up to meet him. I started to get a bit nervous! As I was up in the line I was checking my tie, checking my suit coat, making sure enough white was showing out of my cuffs. I was a bit nervous! So after he got up and said that we had a great group of missionaries!! He interviewed each of us this way!! After a bit of speaking he started getting heated!! He would go up to a few missionaries and would tap them on the cheek. And one sister, he grabbed her and shook her. It was funny!! I learned a lot from him!! Yes, I am purposely leaving a cliff hanger….

P-day!!!! After being in the office for 3 transfers I finally took a p-day!! I called up a few missionaries and went golfing!! Man it was so great to chill back and play a round of some good ole’ fashion Happy Gilmore golf!! “Why won’t you go home!?!?” We had such a great time playing golf. I received some natural Vitamin D! And I don’t want to know what I shot!! Ugh… Love you all!!!

Kansas Wichita Mission
May 2nd, 2015
I am on the back row on the left side.

Getting a P-Day and some Vitamin D

The mama goose kept poking the young ones to hurry up!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Working Hard & Elder Holland

Hey everybody!

Crazy days here at the office! Last week we did a 2 day trip through central Kansas. We just received a 2015 Chevy Equinox that was to be delivered out to Garden City. After we were done with Garden City we took Garden Cities Jeep Compass and delivered it to Topeka. They were so excited to get a new car. So the vehicle we took from Topeka replaced a vehicle that had high miles in Junction City. As we arrived to Junction City the Elders called and said that they just hit a stop sign. UGH!!! So they slid into the stop sign and took a chunk out of the front bumper. It was to be delivered to its finally resting grounds in Arkansas but now it sits in our parking lot awaiting for an estimate. One of my jobs is to oversee incidents. In the past 3 weeks I have had 4 cars in the shop and 3 awaiting estimates and approval for body damage. I love what I am doing here in the office!!

One of my largest tasks that I am working on is getting transportation for the mission. On May 2nd Elder Holland is coming to speak with the missionaries and then to the Area Leadership. So I am in charge of getting all 180+ missionaries to Wichita. I had a plan to get 6 vans out all over Kansas. But after 50+ hours day and night of working on travel and sleeping arrangements we felt it was not the right way to go and we decided another way. After meeting with President Bell we went to a members to have dinner. When we were coming home I asked another missionary to drive us home. (My Companion is not driving right now.) I was so tired!! He drove us home and I could barely make it in the door. I crashed hard!! I learned something awesome during this project. I worked day and night working on this project. I was never tired or weary. I know that the Lord was there to give me extra strength to endure.

As many might not know my current calling is to manage 85 vehicles. That includes repairs, incidents, sales, safety, mileage allotment, vehicle transfers, etc. I know that the Lord is in charge of this work. It is difficult at times knowing what the Lord wants done. He does not always tell us what needs to be done. If he were to do that we would not learn and grow. Being in the office is not easy as many might think. We have missionaries’ day in and day out investigate us on what we do. They think we get to play on the internet and just mess around and do whatever we want. It is one of the most underappreciated callings. At times it really gets to me. They don’t understand how much an office Elder does for a mission. During this “mini” trial I have been taught that it does not matter what other missionaries (people) think. It is only what God thinks of you!

I know that if we truly lose ourselves in the Lords work many miracles will come upon us. I have truly lost myself in the Lords work being in the office. My depression has not came up as much as it has in the past. I have had a health issue since I was a kid, I did not know what it was! But now I understand that I have had great amounts of anxiety tearing me down.

Fun things to know about our Mission: Last year Elder Bednar came and spoke to the mission and a Stake. This year Elder Holland is coming to speak to the mission and Area Leadership. Then on Sunday he will be speaking to the same Stake Elder Bednar spoke to last year!

Love Elder Dickson

Eating a 1 lb. Prime Rib on one of the trips with the cars.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Tornado, A Night of Excitement!!

Hey Family and Friends,

We did not get a p-day Monday so President let us have a partial p-day yesterday. It was not a p-day at all. So our fun adventure Wednesday night. We were at a store last night and all of a sudden the tornado sirens went off. They told us to go into lock down or leave. So we started heading towards the shelter and the spirit told me to leave and get to the office to alert the leaders. So as we were driving to the office we turned on the radio and listened to the weather alert. It was in our vicinity, my companion and I were a little startled. It was more of an adrenaline rush more than anything. So we arrived at the office and started checking the weather. It was moving past our area (Derby). So until 11:30 last night we were at the office checking the weather for the A.P.’s, letting them know what areas were needing to take shelter. It was quite a night!

Sorry I have not been writing a blog letter! Ever since this new transfer arrived I have been so busy. This transfer I was appointed the Assistant Vehicle Coordinator. So the Vehicle Coordinator is new to this and I have medium experience. We were both thrown into it at the beginning of the month which is when miles and fuel receipts start coming in from our fleet of 86 vehicles. There are 1,000’s of receipts that have to be signed off and all odometers need to be entered into the computers. It is really fun to be able to be in this position for the mission for the time being.

The down side to being in the office is we don’t get to work in our area as much. We do get to teach a bit and have those awesome miracles but not as much. But here in the office we get to help with so many things that allow missionaries to have those miracles happen for them and their investigators. Being in the office is one of those things in the mission where you don’t get to see the fruit of your labors. But on the other side we will be able to!

Some of my current projects that I have been working on for the mission. On May 27th we will be having iPad orientation. My responsibility for this event is to get 3 charter busses and have them go around Kansas picking up missionaries. It is a big responsibility and task to plan out. After that we will be going to the Temple on June 2nd in Oklahoma City. We will be getting a charter bus for that as well. I don’t know how Salt Lake is going to handle the iPads when they get here, but we know it is going to be a big task handing our 220 iPads out and collecting money for them. Such a crazy event. I am so glad to be able to be a part of that history for the Kansas Wichita Mission!!

Well time is flying by. I have a new companion named Elder Hisler from Maine. I like having the chance to serve with him. He has already worked here in the office previously for 6 months. President felt that he needed to be here in the office at this time. We have had a big turn over on senior staff so we are needed to help them as well. This month I will be out for 15 months. Time is coming up! I can’t wait to get back into school! Hint… follow up Dad!? I hope that you are all doing great and are having great experiences within your lives!!

Elder Dickson