July 2

hey mom and dad,
so this has been a full on week. we have been running around getting
everything together for the switch over of mission presidents. so as
well a crazy miracle happened this week. elder dudfield (area 70) was
in darwin on sunday. he came for a family vacation but had heard the
story about a family that had been baptized here. he is going to put
their story on lds.org! so you’ll see about darwin online! as for the
work this week we are teaching a new family. their names are
sylvester, oletta and sylvestina. they are cousins of a family
previously baptized. they are doing awesome! crazy week. stressful
week. right now is probably the most tired and worn out i have ever
been in my life but the lord is defintly blessing me with renewed
strength.
Love
Elder Dickson

Brent- Good to hear you are exhausted!  You are supposed to be cause you are doing good stuff. Is Elder Dudfield a General Authority?  I just arrived at the hospital and mom and I did the switch so she may not see these right away.
Drew has no work tomorrow because with Canada Day on a Sunday Monday becomes a stat holiday. He is going to see the fireworks tonight.

T-yes he is, we had an hour long interview with him, elyssa and irene.
he loved it.

B-Nice. So do you know the cousins of your investigators?  When does your new president arrive?  What are your plans for him. The new Calgary president is from New Zealand. I guess the sisters in our ward met them yesterday and the mission presidents wife went on Splits with them. That is a strong start! Cutting edge news boy. 7 minutes ago LeBron James announced he is signing a 4 year deal with the Lakers. We shall see who else goes there. Chris Paul signed an extension with the rockets and Paul George signed an extension with Thunder. I love LeBron but very glad he is in the west away from the Raptors.

T-yeah we know the cousins really well. so he is already in adelaide and
flies up to darwin tomorrow.

B-What will he be doing with you on Darwin?

T-dang lebron

B-Not sure what to do. Really like LeBron but have always hated the Lakers. First world problems

T-who else do you think will go to the lakers?

B-Kwahi Leonard wants to be traded from the spurs. They aren’t getting along. But I wouldn’t trade him in the same conference and have to play him a ton. He is a feee agent in a year and says he wants to go to the Lakers. There isn’t really any big names left.

T-so why would lebron go to the lakers? money?

B-The Cavs aren’t good enough and won’t get better. Some people think he is hoping to attract other players. Others think it is to be close to Hollywood. He is starting to get involved in movies and other such stuff

T-dang crazy #spacejamround2

B-Changes the balance of power a bit. The Raptors will have to deal with Philly and Boston. They need to get tougher. LeBron was in their head and they kept losing to him. So what is the plan when the mission president arrives. Mom is going to be in tough with no Sis. Parker blog to follow.

T-still not sure. gotta take it as it comes
when he gets here.

B-So today Bishop Steed and I had to do tithing on our own. No clerk to help us. But we were big boys and made no mistakes we know of. Taylor went down to Waterton this weekend for a last hurrah!  He flies Thursday. Billy went to the temple this week. He was in Raymond today and leaves Thursday too. Bishop Steed said he looked and sounded great!

T-awesome!

B-So tell me something that you love about Darwin, something you will really miss.

T-i love the people, particuarly the members

B-The nice thing with social media is you will be able to keep up those contacts. So did you take a moment and sing O Canada yesterday?

K- Ok my mom nature is now taking over … take care of yourself my tired and stressed boy…. delegate some responsibility, eat well, excercise. You can do this! I hope when the mission president arrives it will be joyful, not stressful. Can you isolate what is causing the stress?

B-Maybe Tommy is a missionary with two months left and wearing down a bit :). Thank goodness for moms who worry more than dads.

T-i gotta go love you heaps!

B-Take a nap today and then get at er!
Love u proud of u

K-Love you heaps… take care of yourself!

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June 17

hey mom and dad,

how are you? so nothing too crazy this week. we found a couple new investigators and are still moving the work forward. nothing too crazy. i’m super excited for taylor and billy! thats so good that he will be able to keep serving!  i dont have his email from home. as well everybody is getting married before i get home haha

Love Elder Dickson

Krista –

So lots of talk at the dinner tonight about your flights and when you get home. I think people just think about missionaries when they are sending another one off. Is your greenie still doing well. Has he adjusted to the heat or has it cooled down a bit?

T-

yeah he is awesome! –

do you already have my flights?

K-

Yes, I though get you might have heard. We got an email on Tuesday. You fly out at 6 am on August 28th from Adelaide. First to Sydney… then LA then home. The layovers are not too bad a couple of hours or 3 hours or so. Because of the time change even with tons of time in the air you actually arrive in Calgary the same day at 5:00 pm. I think you r something like 19 hours on the plane plus layovers. you are going to be one tired boy!

T-

dang, i haven’t heard anything yet

K-

So I assume you will fly to Adelaide from Darwin sometime before the 28th. You will probably hear those details when your new mission president comes up to Darwin. Tell me about your new investigators

T-

so we are teaching two aborignal brothers from tiwi and one guy from liberia

K-

Where is Tiwi? Are all your investigators young? How are your other baptisms from Darwin doing. John and Peter and Jun?

T-

so tiwi is an island north of darwin, and yeah they are doing good

Brent-

Got your flights and it kind of freaked me out. Got a little excited. Taylor did awesome. 404 people in Sacrament meeting today

K-

I didn’t even know there were islands there. Are they mainly aboriginal? I loved some of the pictures you shared last week. Especially the one of you and Serina with her art. That will be very special

T-

holy, must have been his good looks

B-

Posted the picture of you with the joey and got lots of response.

T-

she said she wants to do one more for me

B-

We are now sharing Ron Swanson advice from Parks and Rec. a high level of dude conversation.

T-

haha always listen to ron

K-

That is very kind of her. She is really talented. Does she do it as a business?

T-

no she just does it for fun, since i am the longest serving missionary in nightcliff she sees me as her son so she wanted to paint for me

K-

It has been a cool thing that you have been able to develop relationships with the members in Darwin. One of the advantages of serving in a small branch.  Have you seen the Farrer’s while they have been there?

Taylor – How are things going so far! I just had my talk and we are hanging out around my house. What is new with you?

From Taylor.

T-

man was your talk good? –

yeah i have seen them but only for a short time

K-

What is the plan for PDay this week?

Taylor-

Well my opening line was “my family has problems “

T-

haha sounds about right and probably clean our flat

K-

The other day Drew was going to have some friends over so he totally cleaned the house… it was because the girls were coming over too. He said he wouldn’t have cleaned for just the guys. I totally want the girls to come over all of the time. My house would look GREAT

T-

i otta go love you heaps

B-

Have a sweet week. Love you

K-

Love you heaps… we are so proud of you. Work hard and care for that greenie!

Sept. 24 – Tommy Heading back to Darwin!

hey mom and dad so president parker threw me another curve ball.

Im being transferred! so im going back to darwin with elder ellingson in an area called nightcliff. so i have no clue what i got sick from but something got me. the mission took care of us really well and we are fully healed now. some missionaries in the missionhave the scripture cases but i don’t know if they have them anymore. if possible i would like red and short. but i dont know if they exist anymore. so i fly to darwin at 6pm in adelaide so i have a little bit of time to get all my stuff packed. to be honest i’m still a little shocked so my email might be a little bit scatterred.
love
Elder Dickson
Krista –

Wow….that is exciting! Darwin again…. did he give you any indication of what the needs are there? That is really cool to get to see some of the saints you knew there. Do you know Elder Ellingson? – Are you excited about Elder Ellingson? You will get to be with a new senior couple too in the Leas. Are there still some missionaries who were there when you were there before?
Tommy – no i just found out last night that i am moving there. yeah i know elder ellingson he was my zone leader in firle – yeah we will get a long great, i love him! yeah there will still be a lot of missionaries from when i was there before – elder masten is coming in behind me. he actually is elder hartmans other trainee
Krista –

Masten?.. new Zone leader? Haven’t heard about him yet. How long has he been out? Where is he from?
Is there anyone else going to Darwin with you?
T- yeah he is new. he has been out 6 months and is a great missionary. he is from Louisiana. yeah so the list is sister ili, sister white, elder mcdonald, elder siaw and me
K –

That’s quite a few going to Darwin. Is Elder Ivory still there?
So you said you know nothing about the area. Was it in your district last time you were there? Are there still two districts?
Brent – ‎Hey Tom very cool. You are a cross continental traveller. Are you still a zone leader?
T- no elder ivory is leaving as i am going up. it is in a different district as last time, all i know is that it is the zone leader area and that they sometimes work in the city center
B- Are you and your companion the only zone leaders for Darwin?
K- Hmmm…. that will be cool! City centre will give you some great opportunities. So Elder !Masten is a new Zone Leader. Any other new zone leaders or transfers of your previous companions? Did Elder Hartman and Elder Degn stay put?
T – yes me and my companion are the only zone leaders in darwin. – and seriously hopefully i don’t come down after one transfer haha – i am going up during wet season, so i should lose heaps of weight –

elder hartman and elder degn stayed put, elder green has been assigned to be a zone leader in alice springs – elder ivory is in golden grove, and elder angelo is in port pirie
K- Me too because now I am going to mail your Christmas packages to Darwin. Did you get the Halloween one already? ( Grandma also put $ 20 in your account for Halloween) . There is also another package somewhere on the way that has Christmas decorations but it is definitely going to Adelaide…. so you may get it after the holiday!
T- just mail them to the mission office and they can mail them to darwin. no i haven’t gotten the halloween one so i’ll get it in darwin. – wow it feels like yesterday i got a halloween package. – thank you mom for sending a package 🙂
K- Oh…serious humidity. Do you still have your good rain coat? I’m assuming the zone leaders will have a car so you will probably have to get a NT drivers license. Did you get that working with kids card last time you were there ?
B- ‎Isabelle and I had heaps of fun (sounding Aussie) at the game today. It was Bautista’s last home game. Hi is a free agent and won’t be resigned. The crowd went crazy every time he was at bat. – ‎Mom works hard on those packages. She is always asking my opinion of what to put in and I always have no idea. Your mom loves you heaps!!!
K- Well two packages on the way before Christmas then! The mission sent a letter with addresses for Christmas packages, so at least that. One will go straight to Darwin
T- no i didn’t so ill have to get that all this time – do the jays not want him anymore?
B- ‎He is 37 and production dropping significantly. I agree with the decision not to resign him. The Jays are doing a good job of honoring him
K- Maybe you’ll get to see a croc this time! I’ll have to tell Grandpa Steed he will be interested
B- Don’t punch a croc, just Kangaroos!
T- yeah thats kinda what i thought with bautista, any big free agents this year?
B- ‎We will see in the off season. The Jays will finish with a losing record. They lost 17 of their first 20 games, got hot in June, and then faded.
K- I think it will interesting to see your convert John and how he is doing. That is a neat opportunity. Is Darwin in the same time zone?
T- i’m sooooooooo excited to see john. and no they don’t do daylight savings
K- So was showing Ms Mann some of you photos on Google Drive at Matt Proctors farewell. A great missionary tool! She and I were both wondering about what the heck was that FLOMBY
T- haha so the story with the flomby is there is acrazy guy in mount gambier who makes them all day long and just leaves them in random places in mount gambier  – hey so i have to go to transfers, love you heaps talk to ya next week
K- Love you heaps too… rock it in Darwin!
B- Miss you – being at CSLC brings back good memories of leadership stuff we did together.

Sept. 11

hey mom and dad,

so this has been another crazy week. we had three district meetings again and we went on trade off to mount gambier (5 hours south). the elders are doing great. other than that this week has been pretty normal. i got a cold so my emails aren’t exactly the best. there hasn’t been much else.

love elder dickson

Brent – Drew and I are watching Cowboys Giants. Our mutual disgust of the Cowboys unites us.

Krista – What happens when you are sick?  Do you get to take some breaks or sleep a little bit more?  I didn’t know that Mount Gambier was in your zone. Who are the elders there?

Tommy –

elder peihopa and elder smith (both from new zealand) and when you are sick you can call president and seek permission to stay in the flat but ill be fine

B-

PEIHOPA!! I know that name. Is he feeling famous now that he is on LDS.org

T-

yeah he framed the article

K –

Oh your mom is feeling sorry for you. Make sure you take care of yourself. Don’t be a Dickson man and take some Medicine or at least some juice and chicken soup.

B- Now it is my mission to get you into lds.org. Maybe if you punched a kangaroo….. – Be a Dickson MAN!!! We are magnificent!

T-

haha rest is for the weak 😛

K- Saw some great pictures of you in arrivers training. Are things still going well in your flat? – Oh your mom is going to get all protective! Pretty hard to do from across the world

T-

yeah things are going great! –

haha im ok 🙂

K – Ok, I believe you… won’t pull any crazy helicopter mom stuff. Did you see the pictures of Waterton? Kind of crazy. It’s a little strange because we just are sitting and waiting to see what the fire will do

T- I really hope it doesnt hit the townsite. what happens if it does?

B- Ian Tyson is coming to Centennial tomorrow. He is speaking to 3 Leadership classes and giving a keynote. A busy and fun day.

T-

oh tell him i say hi!

K-

Don’t know what happens. They will fight it if the fire gets to the town but the fire is so huge that I don’t know what they can do. it really depends on the wind and weather. if we could have rain it would make a difference. Is it getting warm there?

T- yeah about 20 degrees

K-

How are your shirts and pants holding out. Do you think any of them need to be replaced?

B- It is soooo dry Tom. The driest since 1945. Calgary is brutal too. There is a fire ban in the city. No fire pit. I can’t ever remember that happening before.

T-

they are holding really well –

K –

I’m glad… that will mean you are not getting pants for Christmas… always a good thing. Oh Elise  is going to Australia for about 6 months. I am not sure yet where she is going. i haven’t had a chance to talk to her or her momyet

T-

oh cool why is she coming?

K-

Not sure… touring? I don’t know if she has a visa to work or not. I will get details and let you know. How are your investigators coming along?

T-

they are doing good we found a new investigator named george who is from china and he is on date for the first of october

B- You have the magic touch with those great people from China

K –

That is so exciting! People from China are certainly joining the church in great numbers in your mission.  Is he a student?

T-

yeah he studies software engineering

K-

You and Elder Heindel were meeting to get onto a campus right? Did that ever happen?

B-

Dishes done … I’m back

Matt Proctor’s farewell is next week. I saw him today. He looks ready. Watch out Hong Kong.

T

president is still working on the campus –

i gotta go love ya

August 13, 20

Fun cousin picture 2/3 of the way down

Letter from Tommy August 13

hey mom and dad so the big news is that my new companion is elder hartman (my former zone leader in darwin)! also we will be training! the other cool news is that they falt mates have changed. elder miague is now companions with elder mikami! so all of the missionaries i have been around in one flat. its crazy tpo think that i have already been out one year. yes i did get the package and i smashed the soft licorice really fast. other than that this week has been pretty normal. oh and another cool thing, elder riding ended up giving me his drone!

love ya
Elder Tommy Dickson
Brent – What do you mean you will be training?   How does that work as a Zone leader? I am in Wa‎terton now. It was warm this morning but cold now. We are hiking Akimina Ridge tomorrow. Taking on the three peak challenge.
Tommy – so we will be in a trio training a new missionary
Krista – That is cool that you have Elder Hartman! Who are you training? When do you get him? That will be fun to see how much Elder Miague has grown since you knew him as a greenie….. and a drone???? Fun week! Do you just fly it around the apartment?
Brent – ‎Funny story, Joseph asked if we were doing a big dinner after church today. I told him I didn’t know and sent Joseph and Benny over to cement to ask Joan. She said there was no plan so I told the boys I would make something. 1 hour later we got an invite from Joanne for dinner. We may have moored our way in a bit but it was delicious.
Tommy – i will find out who i am training on wednesday – we start transfers at 2pm today – its 11 here
Krista – Fun! I am excited for you. That sounds like some great combinations and challenges. So believe it or not I am starting to think about Christmas…. is anything wearing out? Any requests? Where did the other elder in your flat get transferred to?

Do you go and pick up the new transfers in your zone? Are you the only Elders with cars in your zone? Do you still have Elder Heindel until tomorrow?
Tommy – no so most of the companionships have cars so they all come to the chapel at 2pm and we move them to and from the zones. elder heindel is at the mission office until he flies home on wednesday
Krista – What about the senior couples? Did any of them move? Any of your old companions get moved? Transfer week must be very busy.
Tommy – no so the senior couples don’t really move – transfer week is chaos
Krista – How many new missionaries do you have transferred to the Marion Zone?
Tommy – 8
Krista –

Good kid!
Sundays are always an adventure in Nursery. I am relearning the basics of the gospel and it is really sweet to see the little ones as they learn and talk about simple things. Today was about the sacrament and thinking about Jesus… a good reminder for me as I was talking to Drew! you can learn a lot from Nursery!
Tommy – its suprising hey how much we learn from the kids
Krista –

Well some great spiritual moments but I also got  “my hair cut”, told about multiple Batman cars, tried valiantly to prevent a little one from throwing up when her parent left for a minute and got more shots from the doctors kit than I can count… got to say much more entertaining than sitting through the adult lessons!
How are your Nepali investigators?
Tommy – they are doing well, progress is slow but coming along
Krista – I’m glad that even with all the busyness of being a zone leader that you still get the opportunity to teach investigators. What are you teaching them right now?
Tommy – we are focussing on clearing up the doctrine of the trinity. stupid nicene creed……
Krista – That’s interesting. I wouldn’t have guessed that doctrine would be that challenging. I guess you just take some things for granted when you grow up in the church. Any Christmas needs??????
Tommy –  yeah its annoying but all good and no not that i can think of now.
Krista –

Ok… you just are going to get Mom ideas… probably some cheesy stuff, some stuff your companions think is crazy but hopefully it will make you feel like not much has changed at home.
Where is Elder Hartman from? How long has he been out?
Tommy –

elder hartman is from draper utah and he has been out almost a year and 3/4
Krista – Is it starting to warm up in Adelaide? I am fighting off the thoughts of fall here. School is coming too fast!
Tommy – yeah its starting to warm up but its slow still. i got to go and organize some transfer logistics, love ya!
August 20
hey mom and dad so this week has been awesome. so first of all we got to meet gary e stevenson and he was really awesome. he did a personal training for the mission on saturday morning and i sang in a choir for him. i dont even know how to describe it. so elder hartman and i are like the same person its crazy so we get along really well. also my trainee is elder degn (pronounced dane) from malad idaho. he is really good and is so excited to be better. he is very quiet so the opposite of elder miague so its a little different. one of the big points of elder stevenson that stuck with me is that he said. “when people ask leaf questions, don’t respond with leaf answers. respond with root answers”
Brent – Nice!!!‎ I think mom will be impressed you sang in the choir. She is in Waterton and I am in Calgary with Jake. Where is Elder Hartman from?
Tommy – he is from draper utah
Brent – he is from draper utah
Krista – I’m here , just biking to the church so I don’t use all my data emailing you
T-

we just had one for the missionaries and one for each stake
K – Did you just attend the one for Marion Stake? S Elder Degn is quiet. What else do you know about him?
B- ‎That is a great opportunity. Not many missionaries have that happen. So do you do everything in a group of three or do you split off. I’ve never heard of two zone leaders training a greenie.
K – Ran into Noah L at church today. All his mission papers are done and he just has to have the final interview with the stake president and hit send. He is trying to get them in quickly and then he’ll see where he goes and how long a wait. He shouldn’t have visa problems because he also has a Us passport. I’m excited for him
T – he is really big into snowboarding and yeah we also attended one for marion stake – the zone leaders in our mission train heaps. and thats awesome for noah!!
B- Billy S got sustained to be ordained an Elder today. He also spoke and did a good job.
T-

no i didnt but elder hartman did
K- We had a fun afternoon in Waterton. I brought down a bunch of Food Network magazines and all the kids in our family and Pollock’s picked something to make. It was a little hodgepodge but lots of fun and tasted surprisingly good. Benny made white chocolate mousse and Drew mad stuffed zucchini, vegetable pasta , and also made sweet potato chips with Isabelle – Funny moment . I am sitting at wifi to email you and guess who just hobbled up…. you are right Taylor.!!!!! He is getting better and has a huge brace on his leg
B- ‎I’m sure he came for WiFi just so he could email his favorite cousin!
K- He is emailing his cousin now…. so maybe not his first motivation but still doing a good thing –

From Taylor….
Hey. So you can now sleep easier now I have be tentatively cured from the afflictions of my knee. I know it is a big deal, don’t get to excited. How has your boring mediocre life going so far other then sleepless nights thinking about my health?
T – hah its been good tay
K –

From Taylor,
Anything interesting happening? Taylor wonders about companions, animals, people you are teaching etc
K- I’m also wondering how your investigators are doing? Was this week too busy? – How’s this for a memory. Drew is running the dishes game for all the cousins and they are doing dishes in two cabins… poor Mark and Winston got called up tons
T- how come drew got to weasel out of that one  – my companions are really good
K- He did dishes yesterday and he was the only cousin old enough who knew the game and could run it
B- Gotta be some privileges for being oldest. Anything fun planned for PDAY today?
K- Everyone is getting dessert here….you can imagine the chaos… one of the funniest desserts is Nate who made a cake that looks like a wheel of cheese…..”cheesecake” get it!!!!!! -Benny says hi smelly how are you doing? Walker wishes he could send you a batch of his brownies. Clara misses you and remembers pulling candy off your shirt
Tommy –

haha tell them i say hi! and not really just have to get a lot of zone things done. we usually dont really have much of a p-day because of responsibilties. its all wporth it though to help the missionaries
B- Love the Oilers shirt. What a righteous and Noble cousin. – Maybe help the play a game of pool or help them improve their bowling game? 🙂
K- Clara wants to tell you that Kathlyn and Grace are in Singapore right now so they are the closest to you. Sabrina and Clara and Walker are watching me email you right now
T- haha not really – tell clara “apa kabar”
K- What does that mean? – Saya Suka Tommy says Clara…. that means I like Tommy
T-  it means how are you?
K-

The kids here were quite interested in your pictures and knowing about your     mission. Sabrina was surprised that we didn’t FaceTime you all of the time so we talked about how you need to be focused on missionary work and we are proud of how you are focused.
Clara says Bike Saja which means I’m doing good
B-

‎Better butter up to Mom and send pictures. She is currently assembling your Christmas package.
T- i have put a few on and will take more this week
K- Missionary Christmas is challenging!!!! The package has to be under 4 pounds and mission appropriate???? A great challenge!
T- i have to go love yous!!
K- Love you heaps!!!!!!

August 7, 2017

hey mom and dad, so nothing much has changed since we thursday. the zone is one that needs a lot of ministering. we are on the phone every night counselling missionaries so really busy. this weekend we were able to find 3 new investigators from nepal so i am learning some nepali. also yes elder heindel flies home on the 15th of august and his leavers trainings and stuff starts on friday so i basically become a single zone leader as of friday. The university is going great we updated presidnet parker and he has a member from firle ward (former state judge) working on getting us permits. other than that nothing really new. are you talking about lexie from the yellow cabin or lexie leishman?

love elder dickson
Krista – Lexie from the yellow cabin ( which is now the green cabin) . That is interesting about the Nepali inestigators? Are they Christian? A family or students?
Tommy – two are christian one is hindu, they are all students at flinders university. They painted it green? we spend majority of our time working around the university
Krista – That makes sense… It sounds like students are the most open to listening to the gospel. How is driving going? Are you getting used to having a car or do you sometimes still bike?
Brent – That is exciting teaching people from Nepal. You seem to be meeting people from many places, especially Asia. Matt Proctor’s grandpa died last week. He was 92 and died in his sleep. Sounds like a great way to end an awesome life. I am taking Grandpa and Grandma D up to the funeral on Wednesday.
Tommy – we still try to get on the bikes as much as possible because we can talk to more people that way but when we have to take care of zone business we usually need the car
Krista – Tell me about a couple of new missionaries you have met and something cool about them.
Tommy – oh goodness there are a lot of great missionaries mom, so ill tell you a little about a few

elder mikami: elder mikami’s grandma is a dickson so we are related. he is also one of the most patient people i know.
elder mcdonald: he is from south africa and has qualified for the olympics in karate
elder fepuleai: he is a big ol teddy bear. he is sooo loving and accepting of everyone
Krista – That is great that you are learning so much about them. Speaking of pants… where are you at with clothes? Are you running out of stuff? With the pants for the elder do you want me to shop and ship (might take a while to get there) or do you want the money put in your account and you can look on a PDay?
Brent –  Funny thing happens when you serve others, you come to like and love them. What is leaver training?  Do they do something special to get them ready to go home?  The Calgary Mission President and his wife were in our ward and bore their testimonies. They said that 37 missionaries went home last Friday and 29 new ones came. I guess they borrowed members vans to get them all to the airport. That would be quite a transition.
Krista – So how can you tell it is a holiday in Canada? This week Sundance Ward had 128 people and Waterton branch had 187 children under the age of 12. There were at least 75 people sitting outside on the lawn of the church. They even had chairs and a speaker out there. Waterton was so busy today that they closed the gates of the park for the first time ever for about an hour!
Tommy –

leavers training is when the missionaries going home get prepped for home and do things like “self reliance training” and others. to be honest in our mission it’s like a big secret what happens there
Krista – That cracks me up…. what do you do while he is in leavers training? Do you get to be in a group of three?
well another missionary in the zone is leaving also so i get his companion and we go out for the day
Brent – Sounds very mysterious:). Mom has been binging on disaster movies lately. She loves them and I admit I got sucked into some too. Now she is with an old friend Harry Potter. I am guessing that doesn’t surprise you – Tomorrow will be an exciting holiday Monday, more house painting!! Love that. I have had a pretty awesome July so I can’t complain. Haven’t been to Waterton yet but may get there for a bit before summer ends. I watched the Super Rugby final yesterday. It was the Crusaders from N Zealand vs the Lions from South Africa. Crusaders killed them. I think I am hooked on this Rugby thing.
Tommy – its crazy how good new zealand is
Krista – I saw a Facebook post today of the Farrer’s in the Darwin airport and then on the plane on the way to go home. I have loved seeing Sister Farrer’s posts. I feel like I really got to see a lot of your Darwin experience so I am grateful!
Tommy – she is in adelaide right now
Krista – Did you see the fabulous “Flat Tommy”? A little ridiculous I know but it was fun. I was laughing at how the teenage boys loved to kiss it!!!! Dad told you about Noah Laycock getting ready to go on a mission. That is really exciting for him! We are so glad
Krista made a Flat Tommy and took it down to Waterton for the Steed Family party on the long weekend.  He got a lot of attention from family and friends!
Tommy – yeah i was so excited to see that!
Brent – Some pretty big boys on the Crusaders. The Jays have fallen apart. It will take a miracle for them to make the playoffs. Drew’s Dodgers are on fire. They are on a 35-7 tear right now, best of any team in a stretch since 1927. My Eskimos are 6-0 despite having 18 players on the 6 game injures list. Calgary, BC, and Winnipeg all look really good too. The rest not so good. I think Calgary is the team to beat.
Krista – The Byams are starting to get excited for Layton to come home. he is serving in a Filipino ward right now so he is getting fed lots and getting to learn a little Tagalog. It is fascinating how you are learning little bits of so many different languages and cultures.
Tommy – GO STAMPS GO
Brent – ABC – anyone but Calgary says the diehard Edmonton fan 🙂
Tommy – whatever
Krista – Grandpa Steed did the unbelievable and went to get blueberries at the coast with Isabelle and Bronwyn instead of going to the party yesterday… people were surprised. i’m sure he will show up in Waterton any minute and then over at our house by late tonight. Hopefully they were worth it!
Tommy – wow unbelievable
Krista – Boy those blueberries better be worth their weight in gold, or maybe it was just an excuse to go on a road trip!
Tommy – i thinkit was an excuse
Brent – I don’t care if it gets me some sweet Abbotsford blueberries. You will probably always think those are the best since it is your birthplace. Good stuff comes from Abbotsford!
Krista – I agree… or maybe just the desire to be a man of mystery! He also loves the social part of getting all of that fruit. What are the best fruit and vegetables to buy in Australia? Is there anything that is more expensive because it has to be imported?
Tommy – we get really cheap mangos and really cheap passion fruit but my fav is durian
Krista – Durian? I don’t think i have every tried it… isn’t it stinky????? Who introduced you to it?
Tommy – yeah it stinks but tastes sooo good, a member in darwin showed me
Krista – Hmmmm…. you will have to show me. Any pictures this week?
Brent – Never heard of it. Mangos, cherries, and blueberries are my jam.
Tommy – sorry im the worst at taking photos, i will upload next week  – sorry im the worst at taking photos, i will upload next week
Krista – Ok… I know you are busy but we love seeing you! What is coming up for the Marion Zone?
Tommy – nohing really big coming up other than transfers on monday. oh we are going bowling today as a district
Brent – Mangoes on the trees!!! Sounds Celestial, if it wasn’t for the intense heat and humidity. Maybe the price you pay for mangoes.
Krista – Mangoes on the trees!!! Sounds Celestial, if it wasn’t for the intense heat and humidity. Maybe the price you pay for mangoes.
Tommy – i will! and yeah staright up celestial  – has benny and drew gone through all my stuff yet?
Krista – Have fun! That will be a busy place with all those missionaries… take a few pictures. Benny is headed off to Volleyball camp this week. If he is decent a lefty is always in high demand
Tommy – ya i saw drew wearing my brown shoes
Krista – Yes I have to admit I offered those up…. they weren’t in your buckets and I figured you might want to buy new when you got home anyway…. My bad
Tommy – ok thats alright no worries
Brent – That could be. I don’t know who is who’s. I can punch him if you want. Benny and I are going to have a fire tonight. He found some Weinhards root beer we forgot about in the storeroom so we are going to get root beer wasted!!!
Tommy – i got to go ill email you next week love ya!

July 24, 2017

In Darwin Tommy had his scriptures dot painted by a member – it is a traditional aboriginal art form

 

hey mom and dad,

thats soo great to hear that moroni’s quest went well. i remember the one i attended vividly. i specifically remember when president craig walked over the hill. i will never forget that. It’s so good to hear that drew was able to have such personal spiritual experinces. Its really those that carry you through the trials.  this week has been pretty normal. as zone leader the chaos never ends. we are always running around solving problems. i cant really remember any other specifics.
love ya
Krista – I am glad to hear that you could help that Elder… helping him feel Christ’s love is the most important thing you can do. Hopefully he will continue to feel positive about being on a mission. It seems like you are very busy as a zone leader. Is it rewarding? What parts do you feel best about?
Tommy – yeah its really rewarding. we get to help a lot of missionaries. i feel best when we can encourage a missionary that they can do it and to not give up. we dont really get pdays just due to lack of time but thats ok
Brent – ‎Hey studly, that is awesome you were able to help that missionary. You are very good at that. I am off to the closing Moroni fireside with Benny and Bronwyn. Drew is at work. He had to work Sunday so he could be at Moroni Quest.
Krista – I’m glad, that seems like something you would be a natural at. Do you have more frequent interviews with President Parker to take care of all of that? I have to tell you a funny story. I posted the picture of you and Elder Heindel on the Adelaide mission site…. did you notice in the picture that you look a little like twins? I had to look twice!
Tommy – yeah but i got a new hair style so now we look different

Krista – Are the Farrers gone home now? Who is replacing them in Darwin?

Benny says cool scriptures and wants to know if you heard about Teigan… He goes to the Dominican Republic MTC?  Benny says loving your bed trololololol Bronwyn wants to know if you feel really cold after all of the hot weather.  They are gone now but I will tell them your answer
What is the new hairdo?
Tommy – yeah its really cold. and thats crazy i didnt even know there was an mtc there – ill send a picture next week
Krista – I can tell you are busier  as a zone leader because we don’t get as many pictures. Or maybe that is just because you are back in basically the same area. Do you go on splits as zone leaders? How many different areas are in the Marion Zone. I remember Aberfoyle and Trott and you are in Oaklands Park… What else?
Tommy – there are 12 companionships in the marion zone. – just busier
Krista – So does that mean 12 areas or do some companionships share an area? How many sisters?  I am kind of sad I don’t get to see the Moroni’s Quest Fireside. There are a ton of our ward who are characters. Brother O’ Brien is King Noah and dad said he braided his beard!!! Sister Frodsham made cupcakes for all the youth today… amazing! and Sister Mullen was asking about you today… I said you are good at helping others so being a zone leader lets you use your talents. Even is you are a little busy
Tommy – 12 areas, 4 sets of sisters – thats good to hear! sister frodsham is the best
Brent – ‎Sitting on the Parkland gym waiting for the fireside to start. It has been a hot day so I am cheating and came with no suit coat. Brother Torrie is doing the music so it should be epic. He had his grand piano shipped on because he didn’t like the church’s – ‎The cupcakes were delicious. They were celebrating pioneer day July 24 tomorrow. Brother Hudson and I had two each while counting tithing.
Krista – Do you get  Pday today or are you busy with Zone business?
Tommy – usually too busy
Krista – Do you remember when you got mom volunteered to be in the orchestra with Brother Torrie? We are lucky to have him in our Stake…. crazy talented! That males me want to go watch that video of you playing trombone for that carol festival. That seems like AGES ago!
Tommy – i gotta go, talk to you next week

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!