Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bear Down! Wildcat for Life. Nice curl in the hair.

Christmas stuff from home.

Christmas Stockings!

Merry Christmas from Vancouver

Dear Mom,
   It's great to hear from you. I enjoyed talking to everyone on Wednesday, sorry I cried the whole time! I just got so emotional talking to all of you! I hope you all know that I am doing well. The Lord is blessing me and I am learning a lot. I smile everyday and it's not forced, I truly am growing to love this work I am a part of. So thank you for your prayers and the advice given to me, it helps so much! As I trust in Heavenly Father and rely on Him, miracles happen. He is blessing us a lot and it's great to represent His son at this time.
   Our Christmas went well. We visited many members and ate delicious noodles in the chinese food court near where we contact. It was so busy! Only chinese people are out on Christmas, all the white people are at home, so contacting was a lot more successful for us than it is for the other missionaries. I am realizing more and more what a blessing it is to be a mandarin missionary in this province. I talk to people in Mandarin on the street everyday and I am able to share my testimony with them. We are so blessed! As I am learning this language Heavenly Father is helping me to learn and grow. I am becoming a better me and developing skills I never thought were part of my potential. It's incredible. 
   I finished my 12 weeks of training last week. Whoa. Fastest 12 weeks of my life and the hardest. I am excited for the future. I know whatever the Lord asks me to do, I will be able to do it. He is preparing me in many ways to do His work even better than now. 
   I just want to share my testimony that I know that God hand is in our lives. He is helping His children and guiding them to the truth. I see miracles everyday and meet people who are so prepared! Heavenly Father is real. He is so a part of everything that happens and He is because He knows us. We are all His children and He is guiding us to each other and allowing us to bless each others lives. Every time I meet someone who is so ready to accept the gospel, I think of Kay Rae. She was so ready and Heavenly Father helped us find one another. It took a little time but she accepted this gospel and now is a faithful saint. Amazing. Nothing in this life is a coincident. Every person we meet, every trial we face, every experience we endure is a part of a bigger plan. It gives me comfort to know that I am a part of something bigger and it's exciting to be a servant of the Lord at this time and see Him be an amazing Father to His children.
   I love you so much! I am doing well and learning tons! I know the trials aren't done here but neither is the growing. I am so grateful for you mom and for your example. You have been the best friend I could ask for and I am blessed to have a mother like you! I pray for you and know that you are doing all you can to endure to the end. It's a comfort to know our family can truly be together forever. 
I love you!!!
Love, Sister Emily Dahl

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Kraft Dinner in Canada. Looks like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese to me.

I Love You!!!!!

Let it snow

Email of December 9, 2013

Dear Dad,
I am so glad that you're experiencing some cooler weather.  haha  It's actually snowing today! What?!  Crazy.  It's a little terrifying driving in snow but I am trying to stay safe.  This week was absolutely freezing.  I decided that as soon as I get home I am never leaving Arizona.  Ever.  This is weather is ridiculous.  I am glad the new elders are having a positive impact on the ward.  I'll pray that our ward jumps on the missionary train and gets excited about the hastening.  I think your efforts to bring others will definitely pay off.   The ward definitely follows the bishop.

I got your letter on Monday after I emailed you. It was wonderful. I really learned so much from your words and recieved a lot of counsel. I wrote you back but it shouldn't be there till next week sometime. Mail doesn't come here on Saturdays so it's throwing me off a bit. I will continue to pray for Scott Stump. I am so excited you get to go to the game with him. That's an amazing Christmas gift. I'll be rooting for my Cats!  And #1?  I knew serving a mission would bless the lives of many... hahaha Bear Down! Tell Abi I love her and miss her. I can't wait to talk to that crazy girl on Christmas. She sounds hilarious.
So this week was good. I am still learning a lot everyday and trying to improve. It's amazing how fast the weeks go but how much I am learning in the process. I can really feel myself becoming something I never imagined possible. I am seeing more and more humility everyday. I am learning to trust in God more than ever before and I know that the more faith I have in Him, the more I'll be able to accomplish. On Friday our bishop called and asked if I would speak in church on Sunday. So I gave my first talk in Mandarin Chinese. It was terrifying.  But the gift of tongues is so real.  I wasn't too nervous as I started and I was able to express my feelings pretty well.  It wasn't perfect but the spirit was with me.  I spoke on my mission experience along with my testimony of Jesus Christ.
I was so grateful to be able to share my testimony about this.  Since my mission I have really come to know Jesus Christ.  I never thought that I could come to know Him this closely and this quickly.  I loved the Christmas devotional last night.  Elder Russell M Nelson spoke on Christ being the Prince of Peace. The spirit was so strong!  He really is the Prince of Peace.  His peace has comforted me and brought me out of times of trial and despair.  He keeps me going everyday and as I get to know Him better, I am able to have a greater desire to share His love with everyone! I pray that you and our whole family are able to access this great abundance of peace and love that He offers us.
We didn't teach too many lessons this week but we are finding a lot more. It's similar to Shane. Not a ton of support from the ward/branch, a lot of evaluating the teaching pool and a lot of finding. The Lord is truly pouring His spirit upon the earth and preparing His children for the hastening. I went on my first exchange this week. I was pretty nervous because I had to speak english haha (go figure). I learned a lot though. I told Sister Wang that I was nervous about the future and about having to lead and be the one to stay in an area as a new companion comes in and a bunch of other things and she said something that really changed my perspective. She said everyone gets nervous for big changes in the mission. Everyone has their first transfer, everyone has their first time staying in an area, their first everything but once you go through that and look back you see it wasn't really that bad. You just endure well and trust in the Lord and everything will be just fine.
It's so true. I thought about this as I prepared my talk. I was nervous but I knew that if I just did it, relied on the Lord, and got through it, I'd realize it really wasn't that bad. I have seen that about my whole mission so far. These last 4 months have been the toughest 4 months of my whole life and you can obviously see that from the letters I've written home and all the tears I've shed. But looking back I am so much stronger than before. I have become so much more and I am becoming what the Lord needs. It is always harder in the middle of the trial but when you come out you can see the blessings and the growth. It really testifies to me of God's love for me. I know that what ever He requires of me in the future, I'll be able to do it and I am never alone.
I love you all. I am so grateful for everyone. I am sending a Christmas package today. It's nothing too fancy but I hope you all like it. Thanks for the prayers and the great abundance of love I feel from you. I hope you all continue to be steadfast and trust in the Lord. It's a time of rejoicing and remembrance of His birth and life. He lives!
Love, Sister Emily Dahl

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November 12th Email

Dear Dad,

So this week was a roller coaster to say the least. We had 7 appointments cancel this week and 4 people dropped us. We had a lot of finding time and it caused me to realize that my speaking skills are not where they need to be. I am understanding so much more but it's not enough, I can't share the gospel unless I can communicate to the what the gospel is. It was super tough. But the weekend was great.

Elder Paul V. Johnson of the 70 was here. He presided over our stake conference and I learned so much from him. We had a baptism Sunday, Agnes Teng. She is awesome. Her desire to be better and her faith are incredible. Then yesterday, we had a mission conference. I learned so much on how I can be a better servant of the Lord and what I need to do to hasten this work. We had a transfer call. Sister Ding (the taller one) is being transferred to Richmond and Sister Lin and I will stay here in Burnaby. I did not see this coming. The thought of me being a senior companion is absolutely terrifying. I fear that next transfer Sister Lin will leave too and I'll be left to tell the new sister about the ward and the people.

I received a letter from Kaylie Sanchez yesterday and she is doing so well! Her testimony is so strong and she is sharing it with everyone. She has so much faith.

This transfer is going to push me and make me a better person and missionary, and I thank God for allowing me to have this opportunity to grow. He knows me and He knew that I needed a push, I needed to run a little faster and get a little further out of my comfort zone. "There's no growing in a comfort zone and there's no comfort in a growing zone" I read President Monson's talk this morning from General Conference. It brought so much comfort (and tears). With Christ, I can do this. He will heal my aching heart. He would never give me more than I could handle, even though I can't see that now. We can do anything with Christ.

This morning after companion study, I went in the bathroom and got on me knees. I plead with the Lord, in a verbal prayer to help me. I am feeling His love more and more and I am learning to rely on Him. I am learning to trust in the calling He has given me. I ask you and mom to continue to pray for me, I really need it right now. I don't know when it's going to get better but I have faith that it will. I know that as I endure my trials patiently, I will be so much stronger. I will be able to relate to more people and I will become more of the person God wants me to be. I'm going to be quite the catch after these 18 motnhs ;)

Anyway, I'll tell you more about the mission like you had asked. So we don't eat with members, we aren't allowed to unless they have an investigator friend, less active, or it's a part member family. From 5-7pm is consecrated finding time. We aren't allowed to have any other planned activities at that time, except lessons, but we need to be tracting or street contacting. This is a finding mission! Then 7-9pm is supposed to be consecrated member time. Since we aren't allowed to eat with members, we visit them at this time. For our ward it's a little tricky because the Chinese wards have no boundaries. It's people from all over the lower mainland, so it's tough to find members to attend lessons and visit them unless we plan well. It's better now that we have a car but it's tough. Our ward is struggling a bit. There are the few super active members, but they aren't super fired up about missionary work. Stake conference was all about the ward and missionaries becoming one and I hope that they get more excited. I am working on getting to know the members better. I am pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people (weird, huh?). I usually can't shut up, but in Chinese I am the quietest one in the room, I'm working on it.

Tell Mom I love all her notes and cards, they help more than she knows. I got the package and I loved it all! My comps were excited too. Tell Kaylie I loved her letter and sorry that I didn't get it until now!

I am glad my cats are doing well. I miss seeing that red and blue run across that green! Keep me updated on their coming weeks. I can't believe Shane comes home in 2 months. Crazy. He's a crazy kid. I can't wait to see little Lucy grow up, make sure she knows who Aunty Em is haha How's Abi?

Well I love you. Thank you for the emails and the prayers. I will be okay. I am just becoming more of who God wants and needs. I hope you have a good week and tell Raini happy birthday for me (it's on thursday). I can't believe she leaves next week! She'll do great.

Keep me in your prayers, you are definitely in mine.

Love, Sister Emily Dahl