Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Too many bus tickets!

A view from the street our church building is on.

Alicia's baptism!

Letter from Monday, October 28

Dear Family,
We had a zone conference this week.  President Tilleman is a fire ball!  haha He has an excitement and energy about missionary work that is contagious. He is pushing all of us and it's working! The missions numbers have doubled and tripled and we just keep going.  It's exciting to be in the midst of the hastening of God's work.  At zone conference I realized that I need to have more faith.  I often feel like I lack the faith and trust in God that I will learn this language, that I will find prepared children, that I will really grow to love the mission. It's slowly coming but I know that I need to put more trust in Him.  I have realized this week that I am in the middle of the refinery furnace and God is working on me so I can become the servant He needs.

I read a talk this week that really had a huge impact on me. It's called "More Than Conquerors through Him That Loved Us" by Paul V. Johnson. Please look it up and share it with those you feel impressed. It talks all about how trials in this life are there to help us really grow and gain experience that helps us become like Jesus Christ. We are constantly being pushed and pulled and sometimes we wonder why bad things are happening to us but it's a part of life. We gotta go through the hard things so that God can polish us. We're good people but "being good is not enough. We want to become like the Savior" I know that it's hard right now but I know God loves me and that if I endure this pain and hardship with faith and with patience then I will become something much greater than before.
The Lord is changing me. I can feel it. I hardly feel like myself and I think God is molding me into the woman He needs me to be long after my 18 months is over. It hurts. A lot. But I know that my pain and suffering is not wasted. As He shapes me I will be changed. And as I change I will be helping others to Christ and showing them how He can change them too. We're all here on earth to become stronger. We're here to prepare our selves to return to God's presence and in order to do that we have to be pushed, we have to overcome and fall down. But it's the times we fall down and get back up again and finally push over the peak of a mountain, that we can see the view God had intended us to see all along.  A lot of growing is happening and I know that I will be better because of it.

Alicia Wu got baptized yesterday! Her 1st lesson was my second day in Canada. She is awesome. She has so much desire to follow Christ and doesn't have a super strong testimony but was willing to do all she needed to in order to enter the waters of baptism. It was exciting to see her take that step.

We get a car this week!  I am the designated driver so we'll see how rusty I am for not having driven in like 3 months. haha  I think it'll be a good stress reliever and I'll feel like I'm contributing to the work.  Our area is huge so it'll be useful.  There are Chinese people everywhere.  There are different shops and such that are all Chinese. I have not been to China Town yet but they do have one.
I hope everyone is well at home. I pray for all of you everyday. I am praying for the Stumps.  I really do love him and his family.  He's one of the best wildcats around.  Make sure he's knows that.

Love, Sister Emily Dahl

Friday, October 25, 2013

My First Fall

My companions

Sister Lin and Sister Ping

A week in Canada Ehh?

Dear Dad,

So tell Coy and Poppy happy birthday!  That's fun mom is going to Missouri. 

I could not email yesterday because it was Canadian Thanksgiving. Who would have thought?  You can send all mail to the mission home.  They deliver it twice a week.  I am about 40 minutes from the mission home and from the temple...(I don't know).  But we get to go about every 4 months, so that's exciting.  There are about 275 missionaries in the mission and 19 are Mandarin...9 are sisters, so I gotta get comfortable. haha Only 3 of us are American. So that's fun.
I arrived to Canada safely but was in immigration for 2 and half hours waiting for my visa. It was horrible but I stayed positive!  I love President Tilleman.  He loved to hear that I knew Dave Campbell so well.  He speaks very highly of Him.  Let President Campbell know I am proud to be associated with him ha ha. 

My area is called Burnaby. It covers Burnaby, Vancouver, Coquitlm, and New Westminster...It's huge.  I have 2 companions again.  They are both from Mainland China and they really like to speak Mandarin.  Sister Lin is a convert of 2 years.  She is from Southern China, I think and has lived in Toronto with her family for the last few years.  She's been out 6 months and speaks pretty good English. Oh and she's a total stickler for the rules, which is awesome but I get told what to do a lot ha ha Sister Ding is great. Also from Mainland, not sure which part.  She speaks very little English, but we meet in the middle. She has been out a year.  She's much more laid back than Sister Lin but it's fun to have a balance. They both are helping me a lot.
So we have no car because neither of them can drive in Canada.  So it's me as the DD.  President wants me to get used to BC first so we have no car but with about 10 progressing investigators it's hard to get where we need to on public transportation.  I ride the bus and sky train everyday. Lots of contacting time.  I have been struggling to talk to people (weird, right?) but I am learning quickly. I just gotta open my mouth! SO weird how thats hard for me haha but everyday gets better.
I had a really hard time adjusting. I cried a lot yesterday. (I wrote you and mom a letter about it, just know I am doing much better. It was quite therapeutic) I have come to realize that it is going to take some time learning this language. It is so hard. At church I felt so alone. I did not understand and I just wanted to get out. In lessons it's a little better but I feel like the investigators don't care that i am there because I do not understand. I really beat myself. I felt like I was failing as a missionary. That everyone says it'll get better but I didn't believe them before yesterday. I just broke down. I hit rock bottom. But I realized that Christ is with me. He was just waiting for me to take His hand and do this together. I love my Savior so much. I have  come so much closer to Him the last 2 days than my whole life. He has already made so many burdens light and it is such a comfort to know He is with me. It confirms to me that the message I am sharing is true and it gives me a drive to keep pushing. 
I am adjusting quickly and am taking it day by day. I can't believe I have been here a week already. I am growing and stretching and I know I'll be able to help someone soon. Keep me in your prayers. I love you!

Love, Sister Dahlabill

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week 9. Leaving the MTC

Hey Dad!
   So this week was good then really really bad then amazing! I'll explain of course but wow. The Lord really pushes you when you have His name over your heart! I love this work but sometimes I feel like I'm not good enough. Sometimes these feelings are good, humility is so important but even though we are protected as His servants Satan is trying so hard to bring me down. It's so discouraging. I am pushing on though.
   As I said this week started off great, besides the fact that I didn't get a single letter or dear elder till Thursday (Jack, you're the Man!) I was learning a ton. We really were teaching well and applying everything we learned. I made a goal to finish the rest of the Book of Mormon before I leave the MTC (I was in Alma 55) and I was reading a ton and loving it. I could see the power of the Book of Mormon enter my life more than ever. But then I saw how a little bit of contention can turn into a poison. As a companionship, Sister Astle decided that we need to be more blunt with each other in focusing and being on task. We did that which wasn't the poison but I, for some reason, decided to begin the neck chop (thank you, Brentyn). Let's just say, not the best decision Sister Dahl has made since being on a mission. Anyways, this led to much contention. That began my downward spiral. I got super down. I was upset with companions. We were mean to eachother and it was just bad. It continued on until Thursday. I was upset and I just felt horrible. The spirit was not with me.
   I prayed so hard to try and get this feeling to leave me and it did but not completely. Then I kept having the prompting to get a blessing. It's tough to humble yourself and ask especially when I don't even know who to go to in the mtc. This experience made me think of when I struggled a bunch at the beginning of the semester and I had to ask someone besides you to give me a blessing and that led to an amazing relationship with Brother Somerville. I have grown to love my branch president and his wife so I mustered up the faith to ask him for a blessing. He willing offered one of the most amazing blessings I have ever received. It was just like Brother Somerville's blessings. He did all he could to help and really focused on the spirit even though at the time he did not know me very well. In the blessing, he promised me courage as I get out of my comfort zone. He told me that God is proud of my service and my willingness to be a leader over the sisters. He told me that I will have companions that are less able then me and that I will have the opportunity to build them up. It was so amazing to feel the spirit so strongly again. I could feel God's love so strongly and I know with out a doubt that this mission is where I need to go and what I need to do. God knows me and I am His daughter. I now have stronger faith to embark on this next part of my mission.
   This allowed me to go into conference with peace. I learned so much and I realized so many important truths. God loves all of us. We as men and women have specific roles in this life but we all have the opportunity to have God's power and authority in our lives. It's okay to be sad and discouraged but know that Christ can help. CHRIST LIVES. I know this more than ever. He is with all of us and will help us in all that we do. I love all the prophets and apostles. They are amazing. It was also neat to hear S. Gifford Nielsen again, he came to our stake when I was junior I think. Awesome.
   Well I am learning everyday. I know this is where I need to be. I am nervous but excited to get to Vancouver. Tell mom I would love for her to fly with me but a phone call will have to do. I can't wait to meet President and sister Tilleman. I'll tell them President Campbell says hello. Thank you for all the love, support and prayers. 
wo ai nimen!
love, Dai Jiemei!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

After 8 weeks in the Missionary Training Center

Emily in the choir at the Relief Society General Meeting at the Salt Lake Conference Center - September 28, 2013

Week 8 in MTC

Dear fam,
   Sooo I guess that there really is more to a mission than the square mile I have lived in for the last 2 months. I received my travel plans on Friday, whoa. Things just got real! I leave on Wednesday, October 9th, at 7:30 am. My flight is at 11:00 and I'll arrive in Vancouver at about 12:30 Vancouver time. I'm super excited but there's one little thing...I'm traveling alone. There are no other missionaries going to the CVM on the same day as me. I am super nervous about being alone. You get so accustomed to having a companion (in my case 2) and now I have to be a solo sister for a whole day at the MTC then all day wednesday. I know I'll be fine but airports just make me a little nervous haha. and having to go through customs alone...ahhh pray for me! I need to have more faith! ha I will get to hang out with President and Sister Tilleman alone so that'll be cool. and we both know Pres. Campbell so that's an instant in haha cant wait to meet them!
   I have learned so much this week. Our companionship was able to get coached by our teachers and wow, that was needed! We really began to understand that we have to still be who we are even though we are speaking chinese. We were sent somewhere for a reason and those people need us and that includes our personality. Ruan Laoshi explained it like this, mandarin missionaries (all foreign language missionaries, so this goes for Raini too) feel like they have an english box where they are themselves and totally normal then they have a chinese box where they have the tendency to change who they are because it's a different language. We have to somehow bring these two boxes together. It helped me realize that if Sister Dahl, in english, wants to talk to everyone about everything and is super personable, why should that change in chinese?? It shouldnt! So I have really been trying to talk to our investigators like they are real people and then relate the gospel to them. Christ taught in parables so I need to follow His example and also do that.
   This week I was also able to really look at Christ's example and what that looks like and how I can develop that. The hymn, "More Holiness Give Me", that we sang in the RS broadcast really helped me to see that this song is what I want. I want more holiness, more strivings within, more faith in my Savior, more sense of His care, I want SO much more. But I also realized that I can't just want these things I need to have a desire that allows me to act and continually pursue these attributes. My favorite line in that song was, "More used would I be". I really pondered this. I am His servant. We all are His servants but I am His full time representative and I want to make the most of that. I want to be used as much as I can be so that I can bless as many lives as Heavenly Father needs me to. I want to have no regrets by the end of my mission and I want God to be able to say to me, "Emily, well done thy good and faithful servant". I am growing everyday and I get closer to becoming the instrument He want and needs me to be. 
   I love being sister training leader. I would have been released this past sunday but since there is a new district coming in they asked me to keep going for one more week. I love it. I have really been able to grow closer to my Savior and see the love that He has for others. I know that with this assignment I have been able to help others. I have received so much revelation for the sisters in our zone and it has taught me so much about spiritual promptings. I will be counseling a sister a the end of the day and I just pray for them as they talk to me and pray that I will be able to say just one thing that will help me. It has been such a blessing to serve in this assignment. 
   So on another note...UTAH IS SO COLD! I think God is prepping me for Canada because oh boy it has been so frigid! haha I am going to die. But one of my teachers told me that I can't let them weather effect me. I need to be my own sunshine and the sunshine for everyone else. I prayed for strength in this and I could definitely see God's help. It was sooo cold on friday and my comps were both complaining and I just stayed happy. It didnt bother me too much. It'll take time to adjust but I know it'll be good!
   I got your dear elder about coach matthews... wow. (Steve Matthews was one of Emily's High School basketball coaches. he died after a long battle with lung cancer). That hit me pretty hard. Do you have the address of the school? I would love to write her a hand written note. It really breaks my heart, He was my favorite. It comforts me to know He has the knowledge of the truth and I pray that hit brings His family closer to God. I have been praying for them.
   Yesterday I bore my testimony in Chinese. I am super nervous for the field but its just helping me learn a lot of chen bei (humility) I know mom is happy about that. haha I love the work. Every day is a new day to learn and grow and it's such a blessing to be a part of Helaman's Army. We are stronger than ever before and I am looking forward to helping the chinese people of Canada. 
  Anyways, How is everyone? I didnt get a letter from you dad. Maybe I can check later. I didnt get any mail this week :( no worries, I'm okay! 

I love you all! Wo ai nimen! zhege jiaohui shi zhenshide! (the church is true)


Sister Emily Dahl