July 9

hey mom and dad,

well its flipping cold down here. the past few days have been a killer. i have come from 35 degrees and humid every day to 11 degrees cold rain and dry. so im serving in an area called oaklands park. so that puts me in a new ward (marion ward). a zone leaders life is crazy. we attend 3 district meetings and we have to run errannds for companionships. plus trade offs and flat rock ups. so its pretty crazy. we have spent a total of like 4 hours in our area this week. it should be a little better now that we are over week one.  its nice to be back in marion. i get to see a lot of missionaries that i knew before. its pretty much like being a really big district leader except my companion is there to help. so elder heindel is from idaho. this is his last transfer and he has been in oaklands park since christmas (a long time). ill probably need to buy that coat. we are in carge of the biggest zone in the mission and im the designated driver so that means i do a lot of driving
Krista – What are s a flat rock up?
Tommy – yeah im comfportable with driving just took a little while to adjust and a flat rock up is when we crash another missionaries companionship study to check on them. we have keys to every flat in the zone so we will show up and make sure they are doing tjhe right things like not coming back to the flat early and stuff
Brent – ‎Hey, freezing at 11 C. You are a true Australian. Sounds like lots of different duties. Change is a good thing.
Krista –

That must be a little strange…
 Did you have that happen to you before you were a zone leader? How is the new ward? Do you have other missionaries in it?
Brent – ‎You sound like the enforcer! Just make sure to do it with love and a smile. Mission letters have changed from back in the day. Instant communication from Calgary, adelaide, and Washington DC – It is still really hot here at 7PM. I think I will take Jake to the lake at 8PM. I don’t think he can break the sabbath. I will read the ensign on shore :).
Tommy – that happened to me but i had never done it. the ward is awesome. the bishop ois really on board for missionary work and we have a gung ho ward mission leader who is smashing it! and yes we are in a flat with 4 missionaries. we have the glenelg elders with us (elder riding and elder mikami (cousin!!!)). and we also have the marion sisters in the ward sister buyanbadrakh and sister afualo
Krista – I remember seeing that picture of Elder Mikami. Who is Elder Riding? How long has he been out? Do you enjoy being in a flat with more missionaries? Well I guess the one thing that will be definite is that you will get a new companion in 6 weeks.
Brent – ‎Guess you won’t get lonely. Good to hear you have Bishop and mission Leader support. So are you going to brave the Cole and do something fun today? – ‎So the TV keeps getting interrupted for a Tornado warning just North of Calgary. Super hot day with a Tornado possibility. Not sure you get those down under.
Tommy – he was in firle with me. he has been out 4 months  – i love 4 elders, never a dull moment – not even close
Krista – What is your area like? Is it similar to the area you served with Elder Punou?
Brent – ‎Of course when I go swimming not so worried about crocs
Tommy – no its closer to evandale. a lot more units and like closer to the city. the photos we are sending is a member named rob deromano or “captain”. he has some handicaps but always has us over every wednesdya and we make him pancakes and french toast every saturday. – he loves the us navy – yeah i guess so, oh wait we dont swim  – i gotta go i love you have a great day
Brent – You are awesome. Have a great week
Krista – I love that. It is so nice when members support missionaries and missionaries return the favour. The US navy huh… well I am in the middle of Everything US military in DC right now. Wow that last picture of you and Elder Heindel was wacky….you look like you could be twins!!!!! I have been meaning to ask you . Would you be interested in having contacts? – Love you have a great week. Rock Oakdale!!!!!!!!
Tommy – jokes im back apparently we have longer email time as a zone leader because we have to update so much stuff – Oaklands park (we call it OKP) not oakdale – no not at all
Brent – So any big plans for today?
Tommy – we are going to costco!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brent – ‎Is it the same company as here? Do they have sweet hotdogs and lots of socks to buy?
Tommy – yeah its the exact same – tell drew to open to zachariah 5:1 (first documented food fight) – or psalms 137:9
Brent – ‎I’m getting him right now for his thoughts. – ‎He likes the idea of throwing stuff. It spiritually moved him. ‎Drew fun fact. At EFY he ate a lot of melons. ‎Not sure the significance of that.
Tommy – i think the second one is how we all feel when we are annoyed – if he reads verse two he will find out how big the bun is – why melons?
Brent – Drew says that is a huge bun. Drew is quite insightful.
Tommy – oh and big news gary e stevenson is coming to adelaide in a month
Brent – They taste good. As you can see he is a big talker. He has now left to watch Simpsons. He was able to give five minutes of his time for you. Touching. ‎Very cool. Is that the first General Authority visit for you. They have very cool and direct messages for missionaries.
Tommy – wow touching
Drew – He is a bit of a Simpsons junkie. He has 22 plus seasons to choose from.
Tommy – well we have had general 70’s in the past but now we have an apostle – i gotta go now. i love you
Brent – Proselyte like a boss! 🙂

June 18

hey mom and dad,

so you met sister townsend? she told me right before she left that she was sister woodruffs neice. we have had a great week here. its been all over the place. first of all we went on trade offs with elder arnaud and elder mattie. i went to palmerston with elder arnaud and we were able to see their struggling recent convert. us and a member gave him a blessing and it was super spiritual. also this week we have seen lots of cool animals near our flat. so benny can look at the photos that i will add. one of the best things about darwin is the people. they are so nice always kind and wanting to talk. one of the people i will never forget is brother maloney. he is a solid member who loves elder ivory and i. he always has us for dinner and is always looking to help us out.
love ya
elder dickson
Drew – You’re a noob you are a ret -drew
Krista – Hooray! I totally cried when Sister Townsend came and gave me a hug. She said great things about the Mission and the Parkers and said how much faith the parkers had in you. It totally surprised me because I was in the middle of Nursery Chaos  and I had forgotten about the Woodruff’s niece. I was so happy to see her. It was kind of like seeing you. I’m glad you are getting meals. How old is Brother Maloney? Does he have a family?
Tommy – the daughter is 6 – he is in his 40’s and has one daughter. he is recently returning from less activity and his wife is a recent convert.
Taylor – ‎”Email him something cool or something” your dad telling me to tell you. Anyway hey it is taysteed. How are you doing? I may or may not have torn my acl so that is fun. So what is going on for you right now?
Krista – That is cool. It sounds like it was a great week in Darwin. Where is Palmerston?
Here is Joseph to say a few words:“ Piitsburgh won the Stanley Cup and Warriors won the NBA final. I won my tournament. How is it in Darwin?”

Brent – ‎So for Father’s day we had a rootbeer bar. Lots of brands and taste cups. I liked the grizzly brand out of Canmore. Mom likes Crim City rootbeer. We think it is because there is a cartoon picture of a guy with tattoos on the front.

Krista – I was proud of my 8 different kinds of rootbeer… not even Barqs or Mug! I had to go to like 4 different stores to find it all.! Some of it was really gross.

Tommy – hey taysteed, so guess what up here in darwin nobody cares about trump (yes that is possible) but the trade off is that everybody here is a bogan (aussie word for hillbilly) – hey well taysteed how was grad?

Krista – I am asking … how do you define an Australian Hillbilly?

Tommy – they drink a ton of beer and all think that they live in the outback even though they live in the city. literally the australian version of a redneck

Krista – This is fro Grandpa Steed… Do  you spend any time climbing termite mounds? Grandpa is now giving me info on termite mounds!

Tommy – there arent termite mounds in darwin only in the bush

Taylor –  was good. We went as a group of people in my grade.  I went with Sophie Carter as my date, and it was good.  The day after a lot of the people came down to waterton and were able to hang out for a couple of days, the guys stayed in the big cabin and the girls stayed out at the Remington cabin.

Well that is kind good and bad, in that you can’t have any type of mutual hating session with the people, but on the good side you don’t ever need to worry about people giving you baggage about Trumps new policies or what he tweeted about.  Are you spending time to keep up with the us’s politics or is this more of a general hatred you have with you? Like what if I was to say that Trump was impeached, would you even know or not?
Brent – ‎Jake is lounging on the swing in the back yard and talking about who just went pee and peeing in the toilet. Some things don’t change.
Tommy – no we would have no clue unless people tell us. thats sweet! and guess what? everybody in darwin has flipping gates and a big dog so we cant knock on their door
Krista – Is it a single mom with kids? Have you started to teach them? What are their names?
Brent – So any fun stories with contacting. ‎Any fun stuff happen on PDay?
Krista / Bronwyn – Here is Bronwyn… Hot? Warm? Or Cold?    Yes that is really all Bronwyn wants to know. Well you know your cousin…. just a “little different!”
Tommy – yeah a single mom with kids and their names are linda, hartley and i dont remember the rest but we are seeing them tonight – it is 30 degrees or hotter every day – not really except for aboriginals telling us that we are brainwashing them by talking to them
Brent – ‎I didn’t know you had such amazing mind powers. What are your top tips for brainwashing 🙂
Krista – It sounds like Darwin is busy with new potentials! Palmerston? Where is it?
Tommy – its 30 minutes from darwin. its like okotoks to calgary
Krista – Ok… that makes sense. Where is Elder Arnaud from/ How long has he been out?
Tommy – he is from tahiti and has been out for almost a year and a half – taylor. the gates are like 6 feet high and man some people have the angriest dogs. its probably just cuz im white :p just kidding
Krista – Are all of the missionaries in Darwin on bikes?
Tommy – you wanna know something funny actually? australia doesnt have rabies – no food and no we are the only area exclusively on bikes. everyone else has both
Brent – We can send Jake down. He can bring it with him. (rabies)
Krista – As you can imagine… Grandpa Steed was most interested in the fact that Australia doesn’t have rabies. Thanks for the fun fact! – You just are never going to get off that bike..! So much fun in 30 degrees!
Tommy – haha yeah they dont have rabies (at least that is what they claim) but the have a bat virus that a member said is basically the same thing – seriously its lie president knew how much i hated biking before the mission
Krista – Isabelle says it’s 66 days until you have been out a year… She knows that because it is her birthday. Father’s Day is fun but I think I am all partied out. Aunt Christina  made great cake and I ate just a little too much!
Brent – ‎So Drew is working hard at playhouse making dreams come true for the little ones. I would have hated that job. I think I would rather mow lawns.
Tommy – my patience would probably run short too
Krista – Grandpa thinks that makes sense. Grandpa thinks deer tastes like Kangaroo. I’m not sure what I think> What are the plans for the rest of Pday?
Tommy – well we are just gonna go to the mall
That is all for this week.  A little disjointed because cousins were sending in emails too.

Tuesday June 13

hey mom and dad this has been a good week. we have had zone conference with the parkers this week and it was great being able to see other missionaries other than the darwin zone. we have had a tough week investigator wise. our investigator eric has dropped off the face of the earth. hes hasnt replied to our texts for the past while so hopefully he will get back to us. this week the katherine elders also came up and stayed with us. so got to spend a lot of time with them. we also found a new investigator antoine (from france). he is pretty keen so we’ll see how it goes. other than that a pretty normal week. we also took president to a mall we have been trying to get into and he is super excited for it.

Krista – That is cool about the zone conference. Do you get along with the Katherine elders? They stayed in your flat? What do you mean about taking president to a mall? Does that mean you proselyte in the mall?

Tommy – we have a mall in our area that everybody goes to in all of darwin and we are trying to get a pop up stand and missionaries in it. and yeah i love the katherie elders

Krista – That’s cool . Will the mall allow a pop up stand? They have them in Adelaide right ? Did you end up getting your package from the Parkers? I was wondering if it got to Adelaide in time

Tommy – we didnt get the package so im guessing it hasnt got here yet

Brent = Sounds like a little bit of opposition. Makes for some opportunities. The mall idea sounds cool. So what we’re you up to yesterday for the Queens birthday?

Krista – Oh well… it was for Canada Day so maybe there will be a chance that it will get to Adelaide and get mailed up to you. What did you learn at zone conference !

Tommy – we had our zone conference all day and its weird australians take it so seriously. and guess what northern territory day is on july 1st so we most likely will be in the flat early that day

Krista – What happens on Northern Territory day? It will be cool to see how differently they celebrate. Are you allowed to be part of the festivities

Brent – Take a moment to sing O Canada on July 1

Tommy – its the only time and place in australia where they can light fireworks so people spend thousands of dollars buying them. and a lot of people will be drunk apparently last year somebody almost hit a missionary with a roman candle.

Brent – Don’t be a target. Hopefully you see some cool fireworks.

Krista – Wow…. I suppose they really have to worry about fire from sparks… so much for having a holiday as a missionary! How long did Parkers stay? What did they teach?

Tommy – they stayed for the weekend and they taught about working with members

Krista – Did they bring the assistants with them? Did you do anything special as a zone? I am sitting right now watching Benny Marcus and Lance practicing rugby – Was it your idea about the mall stand? That is really smart

Tommy – yes they brought the assistants with them. and no nothing special. yeah elder ivory and i thought abut getting missionaries in the mall

Krista – Smart Smart!!!! It sounds like you and Elder Ivory are a good team. What is coming up for Pday today?

Brent – You must be smarter than the average bear / elder. How much time do you spend at the University?

Tommy – twice a week

Krista – Are there any cool outdoor things you can do or is it too hot?

Tommy – there is but its pretty far away so we have to coordinate with the farrers to drive us

Krista – So what epic training did awesome district leader Elder Dickson work on this week – Oh that must take a little planning. Any more spot inspections? I tell you this neither Drew or Ben would pass right now!

Tommy – i didnt have to give one due to zone conference – no none yet – we played basketball with some kids who are coming to sport night now

Krista – So what is the plan for next weeks training? Any more frog encounters or dinner appointments

Brent – Tell me about sport night. We used to do Saturday morning sports an D invite local youth. Some baptisms came out of it.

Tommy – we do it tuesday night and have heaps of non members come. – not sure yet for the training still gotta pray about it –

Krista – Sounds like you have lots of good ideas. I guess all of that South Calgary basketball is paying off! Is it always basketball?

Tommy – always basketball

Brent – I think the Sports is a good idea. Let’s you meet kids in a more natural setting. Never know where it can lead. Just don’t foul too many kids 🙂 – Only 2 days of classes left. I think I will make it. Did Link Crew training after school today. Drew was keeping the tradition of loud and proud up.

Tommy – thats sweet it feels so weird to not be at school anymore

Krista – I’ll be glad to hear it. I’m glad you are doing great work on your mission. School will come again soon enough

Brent – I think it is okay to miss final exams. Plenty of time for that later.

Tommy – haha it will – yeah im ok with that

Krista – Yep…. dad and I are definitely ready to be missing school for a bit! I’m sure Benny and Drew are feeling the same. Need a new cooking idea…. what is your latest favorite?

Tommy – we have been doing chicken alfredo

Brent – I’m getting a bit Rugby addicted. Recording games on TV and watching.

Tommy – they had an nrl game up here on tuesday. it was the queensland cowboys vs the parramatta eels

Krista- Hmmm sounds like a good idea I don’t make pasta very much. I’m sure with all of your biking you must be able to eat pretty much anything. And I’m sure you’re in great shape – What great names! Not sure. You would have a team over here named the eels

Brent – Go Eels? Not sure I am a rugby league fan. Drew and I weren’t impressed. Maybe we are snobs and should give it another try.

Tommy – its an easier game but they aussies love it   i gotta go i love you bye!

Krista – Love you… don’t get discouraged. You have great ideas and the Lord will bless you. We have faith in you

Mom

Brent – You Are my favorite missionary in the whole world!

 

 

 

April 30

Hey Mom and Dad so this week has been pretty good. We were able to get a new investigator named Gideon this week. Gideon is from Kenya and he has had a rough life. He told us stories of watching people starve to death so needless to say he has a tough time believing in God. This week we were also able to go on trade offs with the zone leaders. Elder Leutele (from new zealand) and I got to stay in evandale and smash it here. Other than that it has been really normal. Our converts are doing great and paul is slowly progressing.

  1. read d&c 50 or d&c 112 is what I do to lift myself when I’m feeling down.
  2. adobo is my favorite new food I’ve tried.
    10. Investigators would say this about me i talk really fast and tell stories

Brent – Hey buddy, I’m cheating in the Moroni’s quest fireside and am emailing you. How cool to meet someone like Gideon. I loved teaching Africans in Sweden. Amazing people. The convert  baptism went great. We were in the RS room at Parkland. It was packed. All the YM were standing. At least 10 non members from Centennial came. A good day

Krista – Oh… that is no surprise that you talk really fast and it makes sense that you  are a storyteller coming from your family. I am glad to hear about the two sections of D&C . I will make that my scripture study for this week. So Paul and Gideon and remind me again the name of your Chinese investigator… and what is adobo?

Tommy – his name is martin and adobo is a filipino food that elder miague taught me how to cook. super simple but really good. and yeah the africans are always really receptive – that is sweet i dont even remember convert baptisms in sundance

Brent – Neither do we! It is pretty great.

Krista – Ok… so just saying Philipino food is not that descriptive… any more info? Tell me what you did on splits and a little about your Zone leaders

Tommy – its like meat and filipino soy sauce (very different)  on rice – same as usual finding

Ben – Ben- hey Tommy on our program it says your returning auust 2017

Tommy – one more year

Krista – Hmmm… I will have to look it up and try to find how to make it. Sounds interesting. Where do you go to find in your area? – I think Benny meant 2018 the part he likes is that there is no G in August  …Auust. We look for it every week…  it’s kind of a tradition now

Ben- doh somehow I forgot the year

Tommy – we do a lot of door knocking in a place called campbelltown – haha all good benny

Krista – What is your favorite way to contact people? What are you the best at and what are you trying to improve at?

Tommy – i am not the best at going slow with my contacts, the easiest way to talk to people is on the street because they cant run away

Ben- hey did mom tell you I’m playing Rugby now it is really fun I bit too hard on my mouth guard now it gets stuck in

Tommy – good you want it to get stuck because then it wont fall out – what position are you playing?

Krista – Oh that cracks me up… what a surprise that you are not into details and going slow… sound familiar Benny??? I also laughed at “they can’t  run away”… they also probably can’t send their dogs after you 🙂

Ben- no like have to pop it out from the back. Don’t know my position yey

Krista – Tell me about some of the personalities of the missionaries you work with senior or junior… Who is the most serious? Who likes a good joke?  Who is a good cook? Who is a fierce teacher?

Tommy – exactly – everyone in the district are jokers. i have to be the serious one which is no fun

Ben – in my first practice I scored a try

Tommy – elder garbutt and miague are good cooks – thats sweet!

Krista – That is a hard thing when you have to be a leader… you told me about the adobo… what does Elder Garbutt like to cook? What has become your go to meal for you to cook?

Tommy – i cook a lot of mexican and assorted

Krista – What is coming up for you for PDay… any new training on the horizon?

Ben- thanks, on Friday I went to comiccon. Me and my friend played classic brawl

Tommy – classic brawl how was it?

Krista – What about the senior missionaries? Who is like a mom or dad? Who is a great teacher? Who is a details person?

Tommy – i have been training a lot for meetings speaking of, dad do you have any good leadership trainings that can be applied to the gospel?

Ben- really fun you can be mew two in it witch is awsome

Tommy – and sister smith is like leder miague and i’s mom

Brent – I will have to send you something next week.

Tommy – ok sweet im running out of ideas for trainings

Krista – What!!! I don’t understand, I think you were typing too fast.. explain about Sister Smith and Elder Miague

Tommy – sister smith is like a mom to elder miague and i. she makes sure we are fed

Ben- one thing I got was a pin with cat Head in a cupcake cup with a unicorn horn

Brent – Taylor says hi. The boys and I gotta go. Have a great week.

Krista – What about using the story of Jake in Cameron Lake… He kept swimming deeper and deeper, having a great time and he had no idea that there was a big drop off and that the water was so cold he could be in danger. Finally a man in a kayak pushed him to the shore… could use the analogy of sometimes we don’t know the dangers of what we are doing or what is around the corner… have to listen to people on shore(spirit) and get help from the Lord and others to avoid danger… reminds me of President Packer’s crocodile story.

I have always been interested in animals and birds and when I was a little boy and the other children wanted to play cowboy, I wanted to go on safari to Africa and would pretend I was hunting the wild animals.

When I learned to read, I found books about birds and animals and came to know much about them. By the time I was in my teens I could identify most of the African animals. I could tell a klipspringer from an impala, or a gemsbok from wildebeest.

I always wanted to go to Africa and see the animals, and finally that opportunity came. Sister Packer and I were assigned to tour the South Africa Mission with President and Sister Howard Badger. We had a very strenuous schedule and had dedicated eight chapels in seven days, scattered across that broad continent.

President Badger was vague about the schedule for September 10th. (That happens to be my birthday.) We were in Rhodesia, planning, I thought, to return to Johannesburg, South Africa. But he had other plans, and we landed at Victoria Falls.

“There is a game reserve some distance from here,” he explained, “and I have rented a car, and tomorrow, your birthday, we are going to spend seeing the African animals.”

Now I might explain that the game reserves in Africa are unusual. The people are put in cages, and the animals are left to run free. That is, there are compounds where the park visitors check in at night and are locked behind high fences until after daylight they are allowed to drive about, but no one is allowed out of his car.

We arrived in the park in the late afternoon. By some mistake, there were not enough cabins for all the visitors, and they were all taken when we arrived. The head ranger indicated that they had a cabin in an isolated area about eight miles from the compound and we could spend the night there.

Because of a delay in getting our evening meal, it was long after dark when we left the compound. We found the turnoff and had gone up the narrow road just a short distance when the engine stalled. We found a flashlight and I stepped out to check under the hood, thinking that there must be a loose connection or something. As the light flashed on the dusty road, the first thing I saw was lion tracks!

Back in the car, we determined to content ourselves with spending the night there! Fortunately, however, an hour or two later we were rescued by the driver of a gas truck who had left the compound late because of a problem. We awakened the head ranger and in due time we were settled in our cabin. In the morning they brought us back to the compound.

We had no automobile, and without telephones there was no way to get a replacement until late in the day. We faced the disappointment of sitting around the compound all day. Our one day in the park was ruined and, for me, the dream of a lifetime was gone.

I talked with a young ranger, and he was surprised that I knew many of the African birds. Then he volunteered to rescue us.

“We are building a new lookout over a water hole about twenty miles from the compound,” he said. “It is not quite finished, but it is safe. I will take you out there with a lunch, and when your car comes late this afternoon we will bring it out to you. You may see as many animals, or even more, than if you were driving around.”

On the way to the lookout he volunteered to show us some lions. He turned off through the brush and before long located a group of seventeen lions all sprawled out asleep and drove right up among them.

We stopped at a water hole to watch the animals come to drink. It was very dry that season and there was not much water, really just muddy spots. When the elephants stepped into the soft mud the water would seep into the depression and the animals would drink from the elephant tracks.

The antelope, particularly, were very nervous. They would approach the mud hole, only to turn and run away in great fright. I could see there were no lions about and asked the guide why they didn’t drink. His answer, and this is the lesson, was “Crocodiles.”

I knew he must be joking and asked him seriously, “What is the problem?” The answer again: “Crocodiles.”

“Nonsense,” I said. “There are no crocodiles out there. Anyone can see that.”

I thought he was having some fun at the expense of his foreign game expert, and finally I asked him to tell us the truth. Now I remind you that I was not uninformed. I had read many books. Besides, anyone would know that you can’t hide a crocodile in an elephant track.

He could tell I did not believe him and determined, I suppose, to teach me a lesson. We drove to another location where the car was on an embankment above the muddy hole where we could look down. “There,” he said. “See for yourself.”

I couldn’t see anything except the mud, a little water, and the nervous animals in the distance. Then all at once I saw it!—a large crocodile, settled in the mud, waiting for some unsuspecting animal to get thirsty enough to come for a drink.

Suddenly I became a believer! When he could see I was willing to listen, he continued with the lesson. “There are crocodiles all over the park,” he said, “not just in the rivers. We don’t have any water without a crocodile somewhere near it, and you’d better count on it.”

The guide was kinder to me than I deserved. My “know-it-all” challenge to his first statement, “crocodiles,” might have brought an invitation, “Well, go out and see for yourself!”

I could see for myself that there were no crocodiles. I was so sure of myself I think I might have walked out just to see what was there. Such an arrogant approach could have been fatal! But he was patient enough to teach me.

My young friends, I hope you’ll be wiser in talking to your guides than I was on that occasion. That smart-aleck idea that I knew everything really wasn’t worthy of me, nor is it worthy of you. I’m not very proud of it, and I think I’d be ashamed to tell you about it except that telling you may help you.

Those ahead of you in life have probed about the water holes a bit and raise a voice of warning about crocodiles. Not just the big, gray lizards that can bite you to pieces, but spiritual crocodiles, infinitely more dangerous, and more deceptive and less visible, even, than those well-camouflaged reptiles of Africa.

These spiritual crocodiles can kill or mutilate your souls. They can destroy your peace of mind and the peace of mind of those who love you. Those are the ones to be warned against, and there is hardly a watering place in all of mortality now that is not infested with them.

On another trip to Africa I discussed this experience with a game ranger in another park. He assured me that you can indeed hide a crocodile in an elephant track—one big enough to bite a man in two.

He then showed me a place where a tragedy had occurred. A young man from England was working in the hotel for the season. In spite of constant and repeated warnings, he went through the compound fence to check something across a shallow splash of water that didn’t cover his tennis shoes.

“He wasn’t two steps in,” the ranger said, “before a crocodile had him, and we could do nothing to save him.”

It seems almost to be against our natures, particularly when we are young, to accept much guidance from others. But, young people, there are times when, regardless of how much we think we know or how much we think we want to do something, that our very existence depends on paying attention to the guides.

Now, it is a gruesome thing to think about that young man who was eaten by the crocodile. But that is not, by any means, the worst thing that could happen. There are moral and spiritual things far worse even than the thought of being chewed to pieces by a monstrous lizard.

Fortunately there are guides enough in life to prevent these things from happening if we are willing to take counsel now and again.

Some of us are appointed now, as you will be soon, to be guides and rangers. Now we don’t use those titles very much. We go under the titles of parents—father and mother—bishop, leader, adviser. Our assignment is to see that you get through mortality without being injured by these spiritual crocodiles.

I’m glad Sister Smith is so awesome. Their flat is close to where you live right?

Tommy – around the corner

Krista – That was lucky! Jake is rocking out to the Lion King. I swear I could sing all of those songs in my sleep!!!!!!! Sang with the priests for the first time last week. They did well. Coy sang with them but also showed them a funny email Sister Woodruff sent to him giving him a lifetime exemption from Ward Choir. I suggested Drew go this week… Let’s just say he was hoping for an exemption too

Tommy – haha that is funny

Krista – Yep…there was all sorts of stuff like” it would be detrimental to the testimonies of his family and the ward”. Not sure it is that bad but the priests enjoyed it. May tomorrow finally feels like we can hope for Spring. Have you found that you have adjusted ti the weather enough now that the 19c fall weather feels cold in Adelaide? Are you glad for no more hot weather? I shouldn’t say that because then maybe you will get transferred to somewhere like Darwin where it is always hot

Tommy – gotta go love ypu

April 10 New Tommy Video

hey mom and dad,

Yes at this point we have seen conference and it was awesome. Us as missionaries were jumping in our seats when Elder Costa started to talk! Nothing too interesting has happened this week other than transfers. But we didn’t move. So all good means I don’t have to pack! Elder Miague and I are getting along really well. And no paul has had a rough week. He had his alarm system go on the fritz when he was supposed to come to general conference so he wasn’t able to attend 😦 I had three favourite talks 1) L. Whitney Clayton on how whatever Christ says, do it 2) Gary B Sabin about how we have to be all in not just lukewarm 3) Deiter F Uchtdorf on fear. other than that its been a pretty normal week. crazy with transfers but normal.

Brent – Hey,hey Sitting and watching Star Wars the original with your Bros. Classic – Maybe you need to go live with Paul and guard his house. He has had it rough.

Krista – We figured you would stay put because you have only been in the area for one transfer. Did anyone else in your district move? Will you have some new missionaries?

Tommy – did you like gary b sabins refrence to star wars? – there are 12 new missionaries and nobody moved in the district but sister jorakhe will be training. and seriously satan is working on him

Brent – Yes it must mean Star Wars is true. I really liked the missionary talk. I was thinking of you.

Krista – I will have to go and check that out… I don’t remember. How do you continue to reference conference talks? Do you all get an Ensign? Are you allowed to print talks out? Does that mean 12 new in the mission? Are any of them in your district.. is Sister Jorakkhe in your dostrict?

Tommy – yes sister jorakkhe is in my district and is gonna train one of the 12 new to the mission. we put them on a usb and listen to them. in a bit we will get the ensign and we can print if we want

Krista – Are there any other new trainers that you know? Do you have any plans for Easter. I didn’t send a particular Easter package because I think it would have melted, but buy yourself some chocolate eggs for me 🙂

Brent – So great you have access to conference. In Sweden we would see one session two months later. We only got an English Ensign if someone mailed it.

Tommy – oh wow we watch all the sessions but they are a week late and no not that I know

Brent – Just watched your video with your companion. Drew says it is Mom funny but I think it rocks.

Krista – Just watched your mission motto video. Cracked me up!!!! Drew just thought it was “mom” funny. That is really cool. Did President Parker write that? It seems like you are enjoying each other as companions

Tommy – yeah president wrote that

Brent – So any special plans for Easter?   I plan on stealing from the boys baskets.

Tommy – not that I know of

Krista -LOVE IT! You are becoming a powerful missionary.  I am excited to go and read your favorite talks this week. That will be my scripture study focus – Yep the young missionary teaching his mom… how do you like that! There should be a package that will get to you before your next transfer. It is pretty silly… maybe that can count as Easter. How are your shoes holding up? ( How’s that for  a mom question!!!)

Brent – So Sis Johnson asked me to be involved in Moroni Quest reenactments but I had to say no because I am in charge of activities. She wanted me to be Laman. Not sure if that is a compliment. They didn’t seem to think of me as Nephi.

Tommy – yeah my shoes are holding up because im applying the advice tanner steed gave me for shoes. to alternate pairs each day -that’s ok in all the skits we do here for zone trainings im always the bad guy

Brent – So it runs in the family. I guess you are a missionary shoe Ninja.

Krista – I think you get to be the bad guy because you are big and can look scary… probably the same for dad. I’m not sure your smaller companion would look all that scary! We had our 18th priest ordained today (Cody Rice) I am lucky or foolish enough to get to work with them and have them all sing in Sacrament meeting at the end of May… I will be sure to bring treats!!!! We are doing a missionary medley

Tommy – far out that is more preists than all of the youth in the firle ward

Brent – I think we are up to 84 total youth. Keeps the Bishop busy with interviews.

Krista – What mission events are coming up for you?  i am still in love with Sister Parker’s blog . It gives me such a great picture of what is happening in the mission. I also sometimes look at the blogs of the senior missionaries in the other areas. You are so blessed in having the Parkers and the great senior missionaries!

Tommy –  I don’t know of any big events really and that is almost the whole firle ward dad

Krista – It is a little ridiculous but very exciting. it will be quite the choir but I have to admit I will be talking to a couple of men in the ward to be “ringers” in case the priests don’ sing too loud. I think Sundance Ward is an anomaly even in the rest of the stake. There certainly aren’t the same number of youth in the other wards. Have you got to know the youth in your new ward? Are there any priests? What a great opportunity for mentorship and strengthening! I think you are really blessed to serve in a ward  that is small and you can really serve the members and make a difference. What a great mission!

Brent- We have had a lot of people move in, even since you left. Take the opportunity to connect with their youth. You never know the impact you can have.

Tommy – that’s what we are trying to do

Brent – The Millennium Falcon just escaped the Death Star. Spoiler alert Ben got killed

Tommy – nooooooo    (editorial comment by Dad – this is my favorite response from Tommy this week)

Krista – Good for you… you would be a natural at that. It will be so important for those youth to be strong for their communities and their families. Our ward is doing a big focus on Family History (right up my alley) We are having a ward temple day coming up soon and one of the new couples in our ward is working on a new temple and family history program. the snacks in Nursery are great but I have to admit I am a little jealous!

Brent – I feel confident they will be able to take out the death star. A little creepy watching Luke oogle Leah. I prefer the ASLC version. Carrie Fischer who played Leah passed away around Christmas.

Tommy – yeah I heard about that. sad…..

Krista – And the kids are pretty darn cute… there is this little boy who has the biggest cheeks you have ever seen and he is a dancing and singing machine. He reminds me a little of you. Although Brother Gilson does like to bring recorders…. so imagine recorders in 2 year olds mouths…. just a little less than musical!

Tommy – haha about as talented as me :p

Krista – Oh those nursery kids have some pretty awesome moves… a little London Bridge, some 5 little Monkeys, Ring  Around the Rosy… it has been a while since I lived in that world. Benny asked me if he could skip deacons and come instead maybe a little more active ( on second thought maybe deacons is busier) Benny uses all his active self on Drew since you are not here to distract and let’s just say Drew is not all that impressed! I can’t remember, remind me , where does Elder Miague sit in his family. How many siblings?

Tommy – he is the oldest of four

Brent – The oldest child must make him extremely noble.

Krista – So you are similar… cool. Are you busy contacting this week or do you have any other possible investigators you are teaching? Dad and I have a SLIGHT oldest child bias… and if you stretch because of Jake we might just let you in that club!

Tommy – very busy contacting – haha yes! I have to go love ya bye!

 

March 26, April 2

March 26

hey Mom and Dad,

This week has been crazy sooooo many meetings. We had the funeral on Wednesday and arrivers training on Thursday and zone conference on Friday. Crazy. But singing at Elder Sennetts funeral was a really good experience. We had 70 missionaries singing and it was really powerful, and YES! Darcy got baptized on Friday night at 7pm and boy was he nervous. He asked us a million and one questions before going into the water. It was a really good baptismal service half the ward attended it! We were also able to get a lot of less active members along to the baptism. Other than that this week has been awesome. Tons of meetings and boy was I spiritually drained after Friday. Going to conference should be a great experience but don’t tell me anything because in Australia we see it one week later.  Ofa atu!

Elder Dickson

Krista – Ofa atu???? What is that ?  I’m so glad about Darcy and I’m glad you had some less actives at the baptism. Do you have a picture? Do you work with the less actives alot?

Tommy – ofa atu means love you in tongan

Krista – Hooray… I’m surprised arrivers training was so late… didn’t you do that already? Or did those visas come through for the other missionaries? How is Elder Miague doing?

Tommy – its the second one and he is doing great far out I swear he’s training me

Krista – That is great. Did you do anything for your birthday? What are you going to spend the money on?

Tommy – we made puffed wheat squares and a cake and im not sure yet

Krista – I saw that picture of the puffed wheat squares… that cracks me up. Do Australians know what puffed wheat squares are? How was Zone conference… what did you do?

Tommy – no they have no clue I brought them to ward correlatrion meeting and the ward mission leader was really confused and it was really good we got trainings from sister parker, president and the assistants

Krista – So did they like the puffed wheat squares? Maybe it is just a Canadian Prairie thing. What did Sister and President Parker teach?

Tommy – they loved them and asked for the recipe and the taught about teaching repentance

Krista – That’s great I just wanted to be sure I didn’t miss you. It sounds like Evandale has lots of work to be done. I was so happy to see the baptism photos. You will always remember that. That one event is worth your whole mission. I’m proud of you and so happy for Darcy. I’m sure this week will be a little quieter after such a big week. I cant even imagine training, funeral, baptism, conferences. It will be nice to just teach. Do you have any other investigators?

Tommy – yeah we have a man named paul who wants to be baptized

Krista – Cool… is everybody an islander ? New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa etc…..How far is Morialta away from you?  Tell me a bit about Paul

Tommy – New Zealand isn’t considered islander unless you are maori – and its like a 30 min bike ride – paul is a wonderful man in his 50’s who just lost both his parents. he already has a testimony of the word of wisdom. he was a former investigator of the assistants who just lost contact with them

Krista – That sounds like a great opportunity. What stage is he at in his teaching? Are you working with him or are the assistants?

Tommy – we are working with him and he is just starting again

Krista – Paul??? Your investigator? How did they ever contact him then? Just goes to show a change of heart is real!

Tommy – yeah we are working with an awesome family who are just being butts and not coming to church

Krista – Well… that’s an interesting way to put it… do they have kids, teenagers?

Tommy – yeah they have two young kids 3 and 1 and they love the missionaries and the gospel but aren’t coming to church

Krista – Ofa atu… got to go and get Jake in the bath… Have a wonderful week. Mom

April 2

This week has been a crazy one also. So we were only able to see Darcy once this week because he is preparing to go down to tazzy (Tasmania) this week. He is doing great though, He is super keen to be a home teacher and president Kelley (EQ) is super pumped for that. Paul has been having a very rough month. For the past three weeks his water line was sabotaged. This week his house was broken into. It just goes to show you how satan works on those that are preparing. other than that it has been a normal week. We went on trade offs with the other elders in the district this week and had to build them up on a few things but they are really great missionaries. Its been a lot of finding this week and not very much success but we know that it is coming so we push forward.

Isaiah 43:2

love Eder Dickson

Brent – Is Paul an investigator or less active?

Tommy – investigator

Brent – Are you able to help Paul out. Maybe guard his house :). mom and the boys loved conference. They were on the main floor row 13 on the left side. They didn’t know the tickets were so good. They came in and we’re told to take the elevator down to the main floor. Whooooo – So it has been a weather and geographic themed dinner with the two Grandpas.

Tommy – haha yeah lots of talk about Chinooks im sure – lots of door knocking and some street contacting. and really good just slow

Brent – No, lots more talk about what can kill you in Australia. People were worried about the cyclone that hit NE Australia. Is Tom okay. That is the same as asking if the storm in Halifax impacted us in Calgary. Grandma D wants to know if it is still super hot and are you on bikes.

Tommy – no that’s like asking if an earthquake in chile affected Calgary. there arte a set of mountains and a whole desert between us and the cyclone -no it has started to cool down 18-25 degrees and lots of rain. yes we are still on bikes

Brent – Grandpa Steed is really impressed but questioning the accuracy of your geography. Super nerdy  Grandpa said something really needs about the height of Chilean mountains. You fill in the blanks. – Grandma D – do your pants still fit. Are u losing weight.

Tommy – of course but it is as insignificant as that – losing weight and the pants are still the same

Brent – Grandpa S says takes a Nerd to know one. One day you will be obsessing over the clouds at the head of the lake just like Grandpa

Tommy – haha actually I predicted the weather like that a day ago

Brent – Grandpa D is lazy and laying on the couch. He has no questions. Just thinks you are pretty cool. Grandpa S is telling Grandma D about sharks. True Story in Australia. In that cyclone a shark got thrown inland. A 3 foot bull shark showed up inland quite a few feet in a pool of water. They confirmed it got thrown from the ocean. Sharknado is real.

Tommy – sharknado strikes again

Brent – I think Grandpa S has a tear in his eye. He is so proud. Turns out the flooding pushed the shark inland and whe the water retreated the shark was stuck

Tommy – sharknado Adelaide edition…..but I don’t think chainsaws are approved

Brent – As your father and patriarch if danger from a sharknado arrives I give you authority to find a chain saw and arm yourself. How is your companion doing? Do you see the Parkers much. If I don’t ask mission questions Mom will get mad. She won’t want everything about sharks.

Tommy – we see the parkers quite a bit considering we live down the street. and he is doing awesome will for sure be a future leader

Brent – Grandpa D wants you to know the Oilers are now in 1st and Flesh fourth. Both made playoffs. 5 points from first to fourth. Final four update. Gonzaga beat S Carolina and N Carolina beat Oregon. Both super close games. Go Zags

Tommy – oilers are first in the west?

Brent – 1st in Pacific division. Anaheim 2 San Jose 3 Flamers 4. It could all change with one week to go. All four are in. Who knows where they finish. Anything exciting or different this week? We had a great experience in the St. George temple. Crud, it is rain snowing now and Rugby is supposed to be outside tomorrow.

Tommy – haha tough it out

Brent – Oh, the fat flakes are sticking. There is a by election tomorrow to replace Jason Kenney. Pretty sure the conservative will win.

Tommy – that’s a pretty safe bet – we see all conference sessions at the chapel and a week behind

That is all for this week

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Tommy! March 19

Hey Mom and Dad,

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! So the funeral for Elder Sennett is on Wednesday and we will be singing each life that touches ours for good. I didn’t really know him very well but I did know that he was a great example to us missionaries. Presidents Lien would always be “would Elder Sennett do that” he was a real hero to our mission. Yes we still have the baptism coming up. This Friday at 7pm. So a little bit about Darcy. Darcy is 19, He is Aussie, studying to be a nurse, originally from Tasmania, got in contact with the church through his girlfriend from another ward, is literally the golden investigator. Elder Miague is doing great. He really stepped up in confidence this week and is starting to take the lead in most things and yes his culture shock is almost gone. Anytime we see food he hasn’t had, we buy it. This week has been pretty normal. I made some pancakes Grandpa Steed and Dad style (mickey mouse blueberry). We had trade offs with the zone leaders and I was able to learn a lot from Elder Radovan from the Phillipines. pretty normal overall.

lots of love

Elder Dickson

Krista – Did you get your birthday package? I mailed it in January but I hope it got there. I have been watching this cheesy show about Australia’s border patrol where they stop people flying in who are smuggling things and they open packages if they contain stuff they are suspicious about so now I am hyper worried about your packages.

Brent – Glad all is good and Elder Miyagi is feeling more comfortable. Taylor and Teigan were pretty proud of their picture.

Tommy – yes I got the package and just different ways to do the work than what im currently doing. and im sure teigan and taylor were sooo proud of that

Brent – Teigan is a ward missionary. He is learning the discussions and sharing them with members. Taylor is supposed to start th soon too.

Krista – Good, I am looking forward to seeing some epic birthday pictures with your decorations!

Tommy – that would have been soo helpful to do before the mission

Brent – President Craig has been encouraging this. Our missionaries don’t have lots to do so hopefully this engages them. Our new sisters are doing a lot with the Laurels.

Tommy – so who does teigan go out with?

Brent –  Teigan goes out with Bro So or Brother Blanco. It seems to be working well.

Krista – The apartment looks small but relatively clean. Do you have laundry in the suite? That is interesting to hear about Darcy. I’m glad you will get to be a part of his baptism. Does he have a good support network outside of his girlfriend? Are you enjoying the new ward?

Tommy – yeah he has a really good support network in the ward. yes we do have laundry in the flat and yeah im loving the ward. we have great members who just love us

Krista – You have been very fortunate in the wards you have served in. Tell me some more about what you have learned from Elder Radovan. How does he teach differently?

Brent – Well you are just sooooo loveable. So far my biggest contribution as a rugby coach is my driving the bus to the Soccer Center. It is warming up but lots of snow on the field. Just signed Benny up for the Hornets. He will play with Lance Watson.

Tommy – hes just very bold with the way he invites people to do things. I would say “can we give you a card” and he would say “ill leave you with this then” – benny will love rugby – and ahhhh the soccer centre turf

Brent – I hope so. It will help having Lance there. They both want to be like their big Brothers.

Krista – Do you have any other investigators other than Darcy? How will singing for the funeral work. Will all the missionaries in Adelaide sing or just some?

Tommy – all the missionaries in the adelaide zones and yeah we have a few but none super solid yet

Brent – So who else are you working with. Any cool stories? Mom has been watching a cheesy movie titled Australia from the 90s. She is hooked.

Krista – That will be a great experience. That must be at least 40 missionaries. Have you been practicing? I’m glad you have some more investigators, hopefully they will stay interested.  What do you do that is special for a birthday in the mission?  Ok… in my defense Drew and I both decided this movie is super dumb but I feel like I have to finish it.

Tommy – so for our birthdays there really isn’t anything special other than sister parker calls you in the morning and we are going to practice at district meeting – what is it about?

Brent – I think moving cattle. Hugh Jackman is in it. It would have been better if he was Wolverine from X-men

Krista – It’s kind of confusing. The first half is about  a cattle drive from the outback to Darwin before WW2 and then it switches to a story about the Japanese bombing of Darwin. It has Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman… but no Wolverine vibe. Trying to finish it right now… not sure I am getting through it!

Brent – Everything is better with Wolverine!

Tommy – that sounds kinda weird

Krista – I taught my last Sunday School lesson today. I am going from teaching Gospel Doctrine to Nursery….I think I got a promotion!

Brent – I don’t think we will save it for you. Chambers went to a big international 7s tournament in Vancouver. I tried to convince him Australia over New Zealand. He didn’t agree.

Tommy – who won the 7s tournament? and I heard talk about an upgrade

Krista – But you will be happy to know that the boys won’t let me delete ” In the Good Old Summertime”. They say we have to watch it when you come home!

Brent – It is weird being in Bishopric and talking about your wife’s calling changing a month before it happens and not say anything to her.

Tommy – haha that is a little weird and I swear  I will never watch that movie

Brent – South Africa beat England in the final. I watched most of it. Best game was Fiji vs. USA in the 3rd place game. Fiji won – Canada did really well. Finished 12. Biggest Rugby crowd ever in Canada. 72,000 over two days.

Tommy – Fiji is supposed to be really good at 7s. was Canada in the tourney?

Krista – OOOOOOOHHHHH I sense a challenge!  Now I really do want to save that movie!!!!. Lots of good things about Nursery, cute kids nice people but have to admit the snacks are a little awesome! Benny would love Nursery too. He spent all night at the family dance playing with Eddie Trim who by the way is a fabulous dancer. Drew’s only reply was lucky you, runny noses and stinky diapers. I don’t think he is as keen on the under 3 set!

Tommy – snacks is all im for and that’s really good Canada did well

Brent – I can get my own snacks. I will pass on the diapers. What is some of the best food you like that is Australian.

Krista – Grandpa and Ry came over for dinner… somehow Joseph ended up here too. He has a good sense for good food(today was ribs). Then Benny went over to Steeds when they were having Beatons for dinner so I guess it goes both ways!

Tommy – some of the best aussei food is the aussie burger hands down the one with beet and pineapple

Krista – Tell me about Darcy’s baptism. Do the missionaries make up the program or the ward? Will you have any part in it?

Tommy – im doing the baptism but the ward makes up the program

Brent – Beet? Not sure I can support that. I had the most amazing burrito in San Diego. Probably won’t have one that good any time soon. 3 more days of students 2 days of PD, then spring break. I am ready. Be sure to send us some pictures. I am excited for you.

Krista – What a great experience. Today in Sunday School my lesson was about missionaries and we spent a lot of time talking about the joy that comes from bringing one soul unto Christ. You will always remember this.

Tommy – we are sooo excited – we have to go ill talk to you next week.  love ya!

Krista – Love you heaps! Happy Birthday

Tommy – wow mom you’ve already adopted the aussie term

 

 

March 14

Hey mom and dad,

This week has been a really somber one in the mission. On saturday night we found out that Elder Zobrist (a senior missionary) had had a stroke and was taken to hospital. He is fine and recovering. But the really sad news is that yesterday Elder Sennett (senior couple) was killed in a car crash. There have been lots of tears and mourning throughout the mission. I didn’t really sleep last night thinking about it. But we know we will see him on the other side. So other than that this week has been pretty normal. We taught Darcy a few times and he is progressing like crazy and will be baptized on the 24th. Elder Miague is doing well. He is really lacking in confidence though so thats been our focus for this week. He came from the Phillipines mtc and was there for 3 weeks. He is the oldest in his family and a recent convert (when he was 14, hes 20 now). Teaching was a little interesting because he is nervous to teach so he will just testify of what I said and repeat me. Overall he is doing really well.

love ya

Elder Dickson

March 8 Tommy is a Trainer

hey Mom and Dad,

First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM (3 days late)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This week has been absolutely crazy. So first of all for the first few days of the transfer until I got my new companion I hosted elder Nelson and elder Mikami. and guess what? Elder Mikami’s grandmother is a Dickson. We looked at our fan charts and are like 8th cousins! So anywho iIproselyted with them for a few days until arrivers dinner. So turns out that elder mikami and elder nelson aren’t getting companions until next transfer because the two americans didnt get their visas. I got my new companion……..elder Miague from the phillipines. (yes Dad his name is pronounced like mr miagy from karate kid). He is 20 years old so it feels a little weird training someone who is older than me. So its been a real culture shock for him. He has never seen a toaster before, a washing  machine (before the mtc), chocolate milk, a microwave or potato chips. He is from a very isolated part of the Phillipine but his english is pretty good. So the new area? We live literally down the road from the mission office so we see president and the assistants all the time. Yes all the senior couples attend our ward. So as for investigators we have lots! We have one man named Darcy who is going to be baptized on the 24th of march and a few other solid ones that elder Miague and I found that we are going to invite to baptism. One of the hardest things this week was becoming a district leader. They didnt even tell us how to do it they just kinda said here’s a folder with indicators sheets, good luck. So its been a steep learning curve. its been an over all awesome week.
love ya heaps (aussie way of saying it)
Elder Dickson
Brent – 8th cousins. It would probably be safe to marry his sister.
Tommy – haha we were laughing because he came up to me and he looked at me and is like “elder dickson im your cousin”
Brent – ‎I am missing San Diego. It has been -10 and snowy since I got back.
Tommy – haha thats the opposite of here im getting tired of the heat
Brent – I would like to get a little tired of it. Are you getting the pictures I sent?
Tommy – yes and i know that teacher! wasnt she mrs.mann’s student teacher?
Brent – ‎Just watched the Raptors beat New Orleans. Lowery broke his wrist and is gone until playoffs. They are in 4th right now but starting to play better. Ibaka is a stud. Yes, Ms. Lowey. She said she taught you PE in 10. She taught at Wisewood for a while and just came to us in September.
Tommy – ok ya i knew that i recognized her. and how is ibaka playing?
Brent – In San Diego we found a funky sock shop. Remember the Red Sox socks I had. Same thing. I got Drew Dodgers Raptors, and NY Giants socks. Benny got doughnuts. They were happy. Got Jake a shirt that says

I hate tacos – said no Juan ever! ‎Ibaka is awesome. Great shot blocker. Sweet inside moves. Didn’t know he could shoot the 3 so well.
Tommy – haha jake always has the best shirts – whats his numbers?
Brent – ‎He may not get them but they make me laugh. He wore the Bob Ross PBS art guru shirt today. A classic. No‎t sure. Lots of double doubles. Often second most points after Derozan. We need Drew for stats. He is at Tree house working.
Tommy – hahah that one is the best – far out turns out that was a steal
Brent – Benny had Baden Powell banquet tonight. I missed it. Had Jake duty. So we went to DQ for blizzards and burgers. I bought a 2 for 1 blizzards coupon that is unlimited for 1 year for $25. I have more than got my $ back on that.
Tommy – I have to go love ya lots bye!

Feb 27 – Tommy is on the Move!!

Hey Mom and Dad,

We had two new investigators this week. First we had Dimitri. He is half chinese half russian and is really interested in the Book of Mormon so we gave him a copy and he tried to give us money to donate to the church. He seems like He will be pretty solid. Our other one is name Rod Ventura (thinking to myself his name should be ace) and He isnt as solid but was willing to listen to our message. The big news though is that sisters are moving into the trott park area! So there will be two companionships’ in the ward, aberfoyle elders and trott park sisters. The biggest news this week though is I am being transferred! I am going up to Evandale (right by the mission office) and I will be district leader and training a new missionary. I’m gonna miss this ward a lot. But I’m excited to have the opprotunity to train. So ill be in the same ward as President and Sister Parker and the assistants. It should be a fun adventure!

love ya

elder dickson

Brent –

Trainer and District Leader. What a great opportunity. But maybe no bikes. Will you lose all that fitness?

Krista – Wow, that is so cool. Evandale??? What zone is that in? What is the name of the elder you will be training? Where is he from. That shows a lot of confidence in you. I’m proud of you – What ward does that put you in?

Tommy – that will put me in firle ward and i am still in a biking area and i dont know who im training until wednesday and thats in firle zone

Krista- Ok… cool, does the missionary just arrive on Wednesday then? When does that mean you move? Today? Do you know anything about the apartment?

Brent – Oh good. Wouldn’t want you to loose that fitness!  ‎Are you still close to the ocean or far away? Training is an awesome responsibility. You set the tone for their mission. Love them a lot and out them to work. I trained 3 missionaries. It was a great experience.

Tommy – I am far from the ocean 😦 but im close to the city. and ill move today and the new missionaries arrive on wednesday. I know nothing about the area because im being flushed in, they flushed the entire happy valley ward . elder angelo is going to an area called semaphore (firle zone) elder martin is going to golden grove (modbury) and elder atkinson is going to victor harbour – oh and elder punou is going out bush!

Krista- So do you stay with another companionship until Wednesday? Do you know who? In your apartment or theirs?

Brent – So you have a busy day. I’m assuming you have another missionary to hang with until Wednesday. So no more ocean shots for a while. I’m excited for you.

Tommy – I have no clue until i get there at 2pm

Krista- That’s an adventure! Take a few pictures. How do you know all about the other Elders like Elder Punou? Do you email them? How exciting to get a new missionary. Is the area by the mission home in the suburbs still? You said it was closer to the city. You have been to the mission home a couple of times . Is the area quite different from Aberfoyle/Trott?

Tommy – yes the area is alot more apartments and more like students. and we do a mission wide onference call where they announce where everyone is moving

Brent – We used to call each other after to find out what is up. The letter to transfer would arrive same day for everyone. Not sure we were supposed to do that.

Tommy – haha yeah probably not

Krista – Oh that is cool! It is neat to figure out where everyone is going. It must make you feel more connected. I always look at Sister Parker’s blog and see the new missionary training. It will be strange to see you as the trainer and not the trainee. So in your mission is a district usually 3 companionships? and then 3 districts in a zone?Watching the Oscars red carpet… must be getting old don’t really care about the dresses anymore!

Tommy – well it all depends on the zone, in firle there are three districts and in my district there are three companionships including mine.

Joseph (cousin) – Hey its Joseph the flames have a playoff spot. In my basketball I got to the final and lost but someone on my team broke there best players ankles

Taylor (better looking cousin) – Hey. How are things doing? Surprise you are talking to Taylor.  I heard that you are now are now a district leader.  I am happy for you. Is there anything that I should know from the last time we talked?

Tommy – nah there really isnt anything too new that has happened just hot all the time (im getting sick of summer) and come on taylor they dont say how are you doing in aiustralia they say “how ya goin?” – Joseph what spot are the flames in?

Taylor – Taylor here I am sad to here that. It just snowed again today in Calgary so you got something to look forward to when you get back. School is going okay. There isn’t anything new for me, other then the fact that I am in the shadow of my sister with math as she got a 100% on her final exam so that is fun.

Brent – 7th place. And the Steed’s have left the house

Tommy – why are you guys at my house right now anyways? – oh ok

Krista – They were picking Benny up for the eternal cousins switch. I don’t think Joseph can be happy unless he has someone to hang out with. Taylor would have been happy to sit here and email but there was considerable pressure from Joseph because they have a short window before Ben has to go to Stake priesthood. So the assistants and the Parkers are in your ward. Are there any other Elders or sisters in your ward?

Brent – They came to pick up Ben to party so we had them send a few words. Surprise, Joseph didn’t have a lot of patience.

Tommy – yes i will have the morialta elders and firle sisters (both in my district)

Krista – Wow that’s a lot of missionaries for one ward. It must be an area that has a little more teaching but probably not as many dinner appointments. You’ll have to get out those cooking skills! Does someone come to pick you up today? Are you packed already? Do the sisters move into your apartment? Better do some cleaning 🙂

Tommy – yes we are completely packed so we are getting picked up by victor harbour and taken to transfers. and yeah dont worry the assistants called ahead of time to make sure it was clean

Krista – That cracks me up! Well this will be exciting and  waiting a couple more days will be interesting. How many new missionaries are coming this transfer?

Tommy – 8-11 depending on visas

Krista – Hmmm… is there a possibility that your elder won’t arrive. That seems like a lot of missionaries. That is like when you arrived. I don’t think there has been another group since that was that big

Tommy – yeah i dont know i guess we will find out

Brent – That is a lot of new missionaries. Just think one lucky fellow gets a elder with great Leadership skills but poor taste in hockey teams.

Tommy – wow….. taking a shot at the flames  – are the oilers in the playoffs?

Brent – Right on they are. Second place in their division. Pretty sure they will make it but not sure how far they will go. Think the Flamers will make it too as a wildcard.

Tommy – whos the best player on the oilers right now that made the difference?

Krista – I’ll be curious to see where your companion is from. You might get your first American! Drew is busy making cookes right now. He is a bit of a whirlwind in the kitchen! Let’s just say there will be some mess to clean up… kind of like his mom!

Brent – Connor McDavid is leading the league in scoring his second year. Way more assists than goals – Cam Talbot their goalie is top 5 in the league.

Tommy – so he actually is ridiculous

Brent – So do you have a special training program or just do what everyone else does?

Tommy – we do the 12 week program. its the same as everyone else except we have trainings that are also given by president and the assistants

Brent- Could be a little different from 1989? What are some of the things you have greenies do?

Tommy – its just teaching them preach my gospel and how to do the basics of missionary work. lots of roleplays and practice

Krista – So does that mean you get your greenie for a guaranteed 2 transfers?

Brent -I was not the biggest fan of role play. You are a better Elder than me!   Saw Ibaka play his first Raptors game Friday. He looks good.

Tommy – not necessarily we will see if i get to finish his training  – I hate roleplays too and sweet how does the team look?

Brent – They traded away Sullinger to Phoenix for PJ Tucker. ‎Good utility player. It will take a bit of time to jell. The had a big win against Boston Friday. Boston is playing really well. I don’t think anyone will be able to stop the Warriors this year.

Krista – I’m glad you are staying close for now because your birthday package will reach you. Hopefully in time.! What will you miss about your old area?

Tommy – I will miss the members and we have a youth in the ward that we play basketball with who is a huge fan of okc so he hates durant

Brent – Understandable. But I don’t blame Durrant. He was a free agent. Rugby starts March 13. Pretty sure we will be inside and at the Soccer Center. Not as warm as last spring.

Tommy – I have to go now, ill let you know about my new trainee and area next week love ya!

Krista – Love you… we’re very proud! Be good to that greenie. Somewhere is a mom praying he gets a good trainer