Monday, September 23, 2013

My New Thor Action Figure

In MTC for 7 weeks

So I have been in the MTC for 7 weeks, what?!  I can hardly believe it. It was a great week!  I got a letter from Kay Rae (finally!), Sister Nymeyer, B, and a package from Raini and you guys! Thank you! I LOVED the Thor doll. He is next to my Family photo and Jesus on my desk. thanks!

I get more and more excited to go to Canada the more I think about it.  I am not so scared anymore, because I know that I will be okay.  I came to a realization this week, I'm serving a mission and I am speaking Mandarin Chinese..Chinese is not the hardest part of my mission.  You would think that it is the hardest par,t but it's not.  Don't get me wrong, learning Chinese is one of the hardest, trying things I've ever done, but it's not the hardest.  Being a missionary is SO hard.  I always forget that this work is not easy.  We are called to find God's lost children, get to know them, find out their needs, follow the Spirit and teach according to their needs and do all we can to help them come unto Christ.  What a big job.  As we were teaching this week during a role play it hit me.  This is so hard, but that's okay.  If it wasn't easy for Christ to atone for sins I can't imagine teaching about it would be easy.  I feel blessed to be able to  represent my Savior and find God's children.  Knowing that comforts me in going to Canada.  There about 20 Mandarin missionaries in my mission...maybe and I know it is no chance that I am going there.  Someone needs me. (BTW we got our Chinese tags...I almost threw up).

So as sister training leader I have been able to help all the new sisters that came in this week. They are so great!  They think I am so much older than them. haha  They are all 20, I'm just older in MTC terms. haha  They have such a strong desire to be obedient and learn and I feel so privileged to be the one to help as they struggle through and experience exactly how I felt.  I have to correct some behavior, but as I do that I am able to treat them with love as the Savior would.  I know that Heavenly Father allowed me to have this calling to help me grow and become who he needs to be as a leader.  I am learning so much and I am so grateful for the opportunity.
SO Something super awesome and legit that happened this week.  I am singing in the General Relief Society meeting on Saturday at the conference center!  Wooo!  I'll be wearing a blue-ish shirt.  Look for me :)  You should totally sneak in dad.  If they know what's good for em they'll show my face, haha but I could always use a humility lesson and don't worry mom, I get them daily.

Alright a funny, humiliating story from this week.  Sister Astle had really bad heart pains so we took her to the front office since the clinic was closed.  We ended up meeting our teachers old mission comp and he told us something in Taiwanese to tell him which was, "en dao li he" which pretty much means "Hey handsome".  Me being the person I am volunteered to tell our teacher.  Bad idea.... Our teacher is like an angel.  He is kind and spiritual and like the best person I've ever met in my life (besides Kaylie haha).  So I said to him "En dao li he" and he just looked at me funny then I repeated it.  Then explained how we met his old comp then how learned a lot about him.  Like that he is exactly the same in class as he is in a normal social setting.  He still looked confused still.  An elder tried to clear this up and said "yeah, like we heard Bro Tate is a lady killer".  He did not seem to like that comment so then I tried to make it better and said, "Hey, I'm sure you're a lady killer too!" yep...didn't help... so his entire countenance oozed awkwardness... bu hao!  So then I tried to fix that mouth vomit and I said, "what?! I just said you were handsome?!" recovering from that one!  I just wanted to cry and run, but with 2 companions you can't really get anywhere fast! wahhhh!  I just hid behind my books and sulked in my consequence. Thank goodness we have repentance! and I have a teacher who forgives.

Well other than that this week has been great! I love it here! I know it's hard but it's worth it! Keep writing!  How is everyone? Coy's baseball? Laci? Matt? Lexi and crew? 

Love, Sister Emily Dahl

p.s Dad the sister who is from that news clip with the 2 bros and mom who got mission call on the same day is in the other branch! She's going to San Diego Mormon Battalion Visitor Center! cool! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cousin Lief left for Paris, France today

Working hard or hardly working?

September 16th

So great to hear all is well! Bear Down! I'll pray for them! (As the begin their PAC 12 schedule).

How is Devante Neal liking the good ol' UA? I hope he loves it like I do! 

I am so happy Scott (Stump) and fam came and visited! I love them, it's so amazing that you two are still best buds. 

I am so excited for Raini to go to the temple, I wrote her an email today and a letter last week prepping her a bit. She'll love it.

I am loving my assignment as Sister Training Leader. I attend branch council meetings and I look out for the sisters. I interview senior companions and report back in council meeting. This week my job gets super fun!  We have 5 new sisters coming into our zone, I am soooo excited. There are 2 international sisters who come on Tuesday and I have to help them out all afternoon and during Devotional.  Then on Wednesday the other 3 come and I will introduce them to the MTC, give them a tour, and pretty much be their big sister. I am so stoked!  I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to serve them, it'll be way fun.  I also get to participate in leadership trainings which help me a ton in becoming more Christ-like, it's great.

So I can't believe it's been 6 weeks on Wednesday...where has the time gone?! It's crazyness. I am so amazed at how much I've grown and how close I've come to my Savior and oh yeah, I can speak Chinese! Tomorrow we're doing our first English fast...ohhhh boyyyy!  That'll be exciting and probably terrifying.  Last night we watched "The Testaments" in Mandarin, talk about a slap in the face saying, "Hey! What have you been doing??  You didn't understand anything!" haha  It was an eye opener, but I know that I will be able to speak well and learn in the field. I am terrified to leave.  I'm comfortable..I know my way around, I know if I say something wrong my teachers already have accepted the Gospel and are enduring to the end and I'm not jeopardizing their salvation, but in the field... #nopressure. I'll be fine, I know but it's still scary. And no one from my district is going to my mission, no one from my zone is going to my mission, NO ONE is going to my mission. That'l be a fun plane ride!

Our Tuesday Devotional was great.  It was James B. Martino of the 70.  He talked all about member missionary work and how critical members are in the work!  I know that this is so true!  I feel so blessed that I was able to help Kaylie come to the Gospel and be a member missionary before I came on my mission.  It's so important that members find people to bring to the Gospel.  I encourage everyone in our family to prayerfully find someone they can bring to the Gospel, think of a way it'll bless their lives.  Tell Coy and Laci it can be the catcher from Coy's summer ball team. haha Tell the sisters in our ward they are doing great, I got a letter from them this week. I loved it.

Sunday we heard from Ron Tanner, the co-producer of "17 Miracles", "Ephraim's Rescue", "Only a Stonecutter" and the John Tanner story film and wow, I love pioneers.  I feel so privileged to call my self a descendant of those faithful servants who risked their lives and lost their lives for the Gospel.  I hope to emulate the faith they had.  I can not wait to meet all of them one day and just thank them because who knows where I would be now if it wasn't for them (Even though your great great great great Grandpa died and mom's didnt...haha).  I love them all.  If you haven't seen "Ephraim's Rescue" then you should.  It comes on DVD on Sept 24th!  We watched a few clips.. What an amazing man. 
Well I love you all! 

btw I may be singing in the General RS Broadcast if I get chosen.  I had to fill out a survey so hopefully all those years of dealing with mr.   Ross will pay off now haha.  You all are wonderful!  I am learning a ton! 

Thank you for the prayers!

She loves this shirt.

September 9th

Hey Dad! 
   It's so great to hear from you!  It's so awesome you went on trek!  I always wanted to go but it never worked out unfortunately.  Nice to hear Shane Hatch gets the privilege of spending a plethora of time with you.  He is being blessed. (You can tell him I said that)  It's been raining here quite a bit.  I would say I hate it but I need to learn to love it.  A sister in BC emailed me and told me that about 50% of the people she sees are Chinese.  And that I need to get water proof shoes and a good rains.  A LOT. yayyy! haha  I will learn to love it, I know.  She also said to study hard and look at some Cantonese too, WOW.

   I am so glad to hear that mis amigas (Young Women from Via Verde Branch) are doing so well! Wo ai tamen! They are so great. Please let them know that I love them so much and that camp was such a wonderful experience! They have blessed me so much and would LOVE to hear from all of them! 

   BEAR DOWN! Its good to hear they are having a pretty solid pre-season. Please keep the updates coming, they really are greatly appreciated!  It's crazy how 90% of my district doesn't even know what a touchdown is haha.  Well that's probably the extent of their knowledge.  If you care to know my Pokemon they gave me is Nidoqueen...I am blue, look like a rhino, I'm tough, a leader and awesome.  My powers consist of strength, toxic, earthquake, and horn drill..It's pretty epic haha.  I'm learning to embrace it since there's not much else I can do! haha Also you will be proud to know I told the John Button Salmon story...except I got 1926 and 1927 mixed up again....dang it!

   I LOVE LUKE NEAL! He is seriously an angel sent from heaven that is super fit!  I love it.  I am so grateful he is so willing to help Coy with his goals and endeavors and also help you with yours.  Keep going Dad!  You can do this!  I know you can!  I pray for you every night. Could you send a pic of coy??  I want to see how ripped he's getting haha in a missionary appropriate/ sister kind of way. (Note from John: Luke Neal is a fitness trainer that moved into our ward a few months ago and helping Coy, Brad and I)

   Tell the sisters to keep going! They will be so so blessed for their service and willingness to accommodate to the needs of the mission! Tell them I love them and that I will pray for them!

   So this week... Some pretty big things happened.  I am realizing the type of person I am. Strength: I can see. I can see my faults like no other!  I can see that the Lord is breaking me down and that He's starting to mold me.  I can see that I need to shut up sometimes.  I can see that silence is a good thing.  I can see that I'm in trio because God loves me and knows me.  I can see a lot. but Weakness: 1. I don't often see these things for a while.  I try so hard to be better, but I often don't even realize me speaking Chinese in a lesson is a bad thing or that me correcting others is "what I do" (as sister Astle puts it...that one hurt).  I don't realize these things and it's tough for me because I want to be better and grow, but if I cant even see the problem then it cant be fixed.  2. I finally see what's wrong and I want to try and tackle every single thing at the same time! not possible. I can't eat a whole elephant at the same time.. It's coming piece by piece, but its tough being patient when you're trying to see improvement in yourself.  Overall moral of the story, I am growing.  I really am.  You may not be able to see it, but I can feel it. Each day I can get better.

   Yesterday we had a district meeting all about the Atonement. I had been thinking about it all week because it was our topic for our church talk.  I contemplated my faith in Christ and His sacrifice.  Yesterday it hit me though.  I do have faith is Christ.  I know His atonement is real.  We went around the room and bore our testimony of what Christ meant to me.  I said Christ gives me HOPE.  Hope that who I am today doesn't have to be who I am tomorrow, or next week, or next year.  I know I can be a better person and through Christ I can become the daughter of God He sees me as.  It's incredible.  I felt my Saviors love so much as I spoke those words and I totally cried. It was awesome. 

   Another thing from yesterday is, I am now Sister Training Leader.  Yep. the calling I said I did not want is now mine.  I'm sure you called it Dad haha.  Well my job is to help the sisters, be the eyes and ears of the presidency of what the sisters are doing and how they are feeling.  I am really grateful for this opportunity.  I have been praying ever since I got here for opportunities to love and serve others and I know God gave me this responsibility so that I could love others and serve them.  And I know I will be able to be an example. We get a few new sisters in our zone next week and I'll be in charge of helping them get adjusted and knowing the ropes.  I am so excited and feel so privileged to have this opportunity.  Also, my companions are the music coordinators..I love it.

   Well I love this work. The Chinese is coming.  It really is a day by day thing.  I am learning a lot.  In a lesson this week I said "When we meet you with last week we can teach this" hahah.  I totally meant "When we meet with you next time we can teach you this" haha.  Those things just keep me going.  Gotta laugh to stay sane haha.  Well I love the work.  Thank you for everything!  Could you send me the "I found my friend" story I shared at my farewell??

   Thanks for the Canada stuff! I love the t-shirt!  In Chinese Vancouver is pronounced "one-ge-hua" hahah its great!  Thank Tina and Rick for me. They dropped off a package this week and I love everything they sent! I love you all! Stay strong! 

   - Sister Emily Dahl

Oh Canada!

With Spencer Katoa

Caught in the Rain

With Kayla Fuge

Happy September

It's so so crazy to me to think that I have been here almost 4 weeks..Where has the time gone??  I have learned so much and I am starting to get a glimpse of what the Lord wants of me and who I need to become to be a better instrument in his hand.  Everyday is something new and every night is a different prayer.  I love this work though.  It is incredible the army God has prepared and I feel honored to be a part of it.
Sooo BEAR DOWN!  I'm repping my UA sweatshirt today! It's starting to get chilly least for this AZ girl. I'm happy to hear that UA started out the season well, even though it was just NAU. Please let me know how they continue to do, it keeps me sane. I'll explain later. That makes me so happy that Jack is in ZonaZoo (U of A student section)! It's the best! Tell him to write me about how much he's loving UA, his roommates, the ward, and institute! I want to know everything!
Now, what I was saying about how I love to hear about sports. My entire district is like completely uninterested in sports! It's killing me. The only Elder who knows anything is Elder Caldwell (The one going to calgary) and he's like a normal guy in liking sports. All the others talk about pokemon, dungeons and dragons, music, and other stuff I kind of have heard of but still have no idea. It kills me. Yesterday, an elder was talking to sister Palmer about which generation of pokemon they liked and which one they would use to in battle and then it turned into "Whats the difference between a sorcerer and wizard?" I was done. I just went and talked to Elder Caldwell about the NFL haha which I dont know a ton about but enough to keep us both sane. I was pretty disappointed when neither of my comps knew who Luis Gonzalez was when I had a dream he was my dad haha we're doing okay though.
So this week for Tuesday Devotional we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve. SO amazing. It's incredible that I've been here a month and already heard from 2 apostles of the Lord. Their spirit is incredible. He spoke on "First Love, Then Sacrifice". It was awesome. It's amazing to look at love and see where we are. Where we are in relation to loving our father in Heaven and also in loving our fellow men and then looking at sacrifice. We sacrifice so much to serve a mission. I'm leaving behind school, all of you, friends, pants, dancing and netflix but those things won't even seem like nothing in comparison to all the blessings I will receive and all the things I will learn as a servant of the Lord. I feel so blessed to be here and can not wait to get to Canada and bless the lives of those individuals there.
I met a girl who said her cousin went to the Vancouver mish speaking Mandarin and loved it! He served a ton on college campuses which I think would be such a blast! I also heard that they just recently started sending sisters there speaking mandarin so I maybe some of the first. I have only met one other sister going there manadarin spekaing and she's already there.
So I've learned a lot about how the Lord works this week. He knows me so well. I am in a trio for a very purposeful reason. I struggled a lot this week with not talking haha. In lessons I talk the most (in Chinese) sounds like a blessing right? Yes. Such an amazing blessing that I am able to communicate in this language that I have been learning for all of 4 weeks now but bu hao (not good) because I am depriving my companions of growth. If I dont let them struggle and work through this then they won't grow as much and when we all work as one in a lesson and speak equally then the Spirit won't be there as well and we won't help our investigator as much as we could. I know the Lord wants me to learn this now so that I can be an even better missionary when I have just one companion. The Lord knows me and it's so comforting that He is here to help me.
I loved the packages! Thank you! :) Happy Canada!! If you come across a big flag then send it on over..I would love that. Elder Caldwell is grateful as well. We wore all our canada stuff on Thursday, it was awesome!  You can tell Gary Matthews that I LOVE Candada already and can't wait to get to BC. Tell him to write me all about BC, I would love to get more excited.
Tell Brad and LEX Happy 3rd anniversary! How's Lucy doin (Lexi is due in January and the baby will be Lucy)??
Well I'm doing well! I'm so blessed and I love you all! I love you mom. I miss you everyday! Tell everyone they are great! and that "dear elder" is their best friend! (you can go to write Emily a note that will be delivered to her mailbox the same day.  Just put "OCT 09 CAN-VAN" in the mailbox field.) 
Love, Sister Emily Dahl

Chinese Name Tag

August 26th

   Wow. It is so great to hear from you! I am so glad everyone is doing so well. Happy Birthday to Laci and Abi! I sent Laci a card on Saturday so it should be there today or tomorrow. Tell Kilee Happy Birthday too, I forgot last Monday. 
   So cool that Coy is starting Ball. I brag about him all the time. I hope all goes well for him! How's school for everyone? I cant believe that a year ago this time I was starting my freshman year at UA. And its so cool Jack (Kauffman) is starting. He emailed me. He went and saw Brother Somerville. Jack is going to love it..he's so legit he'll probably get called Mandarin speaking! I can feel it. haha anyways, I'm gonna miss UA sports, you'll have to keep me up to speed. Bear down! 
   So my week..Wow. It's so true when they say, "The days go by like weeks and the weeks go by like days" It's crazy I've already been here almost 3 weeks but at the same time Wednesdays and Fridays feel like 3 years haha those are the days we have 3 hours of class and then dinner then 3 more hours of class (ALL IN CHINESE) so we get pretty exhausted! I love the work though. Teaching is my favorite. I get so nervous before but then I am able to communicate to our investigator that our message is true and the spirit is so strong. I speak the best Chinese when i have the spirit with me and that's definitely the strongest in lessons. I'm staying positive about the language but it gets tough. It's like a roller coaster of emotion everyday. You are doing okay then two seconds later you're so down and overwhelmed because you just feel like there's no way you can speak this language and use every grammar principle right or say the right tones but then you get a little slap in the face from Mr. humility and I realize, I can't do this alone. I need my Heavenly Father's help and His son Jesus Christ. During Sacrament meeting yesterday I was really touched as the 3 districts that leave tomorrow sang "A child's prayer" I was so overwhelmed by the spirit and the love the God has for me, and in that moment I knew. Wo gen ta hui zuo zhege (I can do this, with him). It's a crazy thing to experience everyday but its making me stronger and the missionary God wants me to be.
   Funny story. In our lesson last week my comp was trying to explain how to pray. She began by saying, "We address our heavenly father" But she used the wrong tone on "Chang" and she said, "We prostitute our heavenly father" Our investigator was really confused haha the funny times like those are what are helping us get through this. We laugh at ourselves all the time and it makes things easier. 
   So guess who I saw the other day... well I heard his voice. Yep, Mr. Jacksonville, Florida in the flesh. You can probably guess but I didn't make it known that I saw him haha He's crazy, Canada is great. It's funny I have never been to Canada but I already love it so much. I can't wait to go there and serve the people God has prepared for me to help. It's going to be amazing. Also I saw Jessica Lamb yesterday, we took a picture. She seems well, we talked quite a bit. I still don't see Leif often.. and when I do he says he wants to leave the MTC and get to the field. He's still got 3 weeks but I've got 6 so woo! haha
   Well I am learning a lot, I love the work. Thank you for your prayers. They mean so much and are much needed. I feel your love so much. You all are amazing. Please write me. I LOVE letters :) You're the best!! Wo ai nimen!
LOVE, Dai JieMei