Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Note to Dad on July 28, 2014

Dear Dad,

It is great to hear from you! I am glad everyone is well. I am happy for Shane, Kirstan looks like a really cool girl. I just pray if things go well he can wait at least 6 months to "seal" the deal, I at least want to be there for that! haha Just a simple request from his favorite and ONLY sister. I am praying for Matt. I worry about him more than he knows. I really want to be able to go to the temple with him when I get back. I want to go every week before I go to school in the fall. I'll pray for mom's job and also for your work. You are awesome dad and I know you are working hard! Just pray like it all depends on the Lord and work like it all depends on you! 
Thank you so much for your note this week. I really appreciate the time YOU put into your emails. It is a blessing to me. I especially enjoyed your comments about the athletes who necessarily don't have the greatest talent but work hard and then they can see success. And often times more success than those who are naturally gifted. It reminds of a talk I read this week after I received our transfer news. So we all anticipated transfer calls to come Monday night, it came Tuesday morning during studies...Sister Galbraith was being transferred and I would stay in PoMo with a new companion who had never been a sister training leader and I would be senior companion, even though she's been out 15 months. I was a little stressed. I was feeling like my talent was not going to be good enough. 
So to try and ponder my new situation, I turned to the April 2014 General Conference Ensign. I read the talk, "Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease" by Elder Bednar. He starts out the talk describing a pick up truck that gets stuck in the snow. The driver is flooring it and the truck won;t move. He had been out to chop some firewood so he decided that instead of sitting there hopeless, he'd do what he had intended to do. SO he chops all this wood and puts it in the back of his pickup and due to the extra weight, he had the traction necessary to pull himself out of the snow. I started to ponder this. The Lord gave me this assignment because I just need a little more wood in my pickup truck. I need a little more weight to produce the spiritual traction necessary to propel me forward. I knew this is exactly what I needed. He also talked about how when this extra weight and traction comes we have the choice of letting the weight hold us down OR we can become equally yoked with Christ and be able to bear our burden's with Him. It is in that moment that we can start to spiritually progress. It is through Jesus Christ and accepting His Atonement in our lives that we can accomplish the task we've been given.

I am pretty overwhelmed because I cover 9 companionships of sisters that are in 3 zones and have to work with 3 very different sets of zone leaders. It's not an easy task and right now I have to help my companion learn what our assignment is all about. I have to be equally yoked with Christ so that I can do all He requires of me. And Just like the athlete, we have a choice! We choose to work hard! we choose to see success and it's all about being agents who ACT not agents who are acted upon! 
I love you! I miss you! I love being a missionary! And I hope you have a great birthday on Saturday!!!!

Love, Sister Emily Dahl

Birthday Breakfast at IHOP with Sister Galbraith

Note from July 28, 2014

Hey mom! 

Sounds like you're life is about to get crazy again. Dad told me about you going back to work at the school. I will pray for you. I know this will be a good thing and you will be able to bless those you work with. You have the spirit with you and it will help you know what to do. Also, thank you so much for the shoes! I loved them :) I wore a pair to transfer meeting and looked great! :) THANK YOU!!! Seriously, you're the best! I am not sure where you found that red and orange skirt but i am glad you sent it. It's actually a great missionary skirt! I will have to wear it and send pics. I LOVED all the announcements! That was so great to see them all. Meagan and Jensen's was so cute. I am happy they are finally getting married. and that it is in the temple. Also, what is madelyn's plan? Is she going up to utah too? take pictures at all these weddings! I want to see meagan's dress! I am not too worried about Shane. I just hope he is happy. I just dont want him to get married with in the next 6 months... i'd be pretty bummed if I wasn't there. I eat when we have time haha we eat chinese every now and then but usually what ever is available and fast. My cooking skills have gotten a little better in the last year though haha

How are you really? I miss you so much. It blows my mind that it has been a whole year since I last saw you in person or gave you a hug. This next 6 months will go quick though. I am excited to work as hard a as I can this next 6 but when it's over I can;t wait to get a pedicure with you and go to carolina's :) I love you so much! Hang in there! :)
Love, Em

Email from July 21, 2014

Dear Dad, 
Thanks for the amazing email!  You really nailed it this time. I love reading about everyone and still feeling like I'm in the loop, even though I am in a whole different country! (if Canada really counts...).  Anyways, I bet camping was great.  I really missed not being there.  I know where the rain was that you didn't have, it was here all day Saturday and Sunday!  I love that memory of us putting up the trailer in a full down pour!  We were SO cold and completely drenched!  I am glad we got it up though :).  We were tracting Saturday night and I saw a little fly fishing raft in someone's yard and I couldn't help my mind just miss being there.  I really miss you all!  I can't even believe it's already been about a whole year!  It's all going to end so fast. 
SO amazing about the Tilleman's (Emily's former mission President).  I love the small world with Tina and Sister Tilleman's sister being friends and with the Dave Campbell being a friend as well. I am glad you got to meet them and hear them speak. They are amazing people!  We'll definitely have to have them over for dinner or something when I get home. I'd love to have everyone together.  Also, thanks for expressing gratitude to him for all he did for me, I wanted him to hear that.  It meant a lot coming from you and mom too.

This past week was a little rough.  I got the opportunity to speak a ton of Chinese which was a blessing and I am finding I have more desire to do language study as I learn characters. That's a blessing!  I learned a lot about the Atonement this week, well this morning. I didn't work my hardest this week.  I wasn't hastening and wasn't the example I need to be.  We made a mistake too with some sisters, no details necessary, but I was struggling a bit after the assistants to the president called.  The sisters asked for permission to do something and the Spirit told me no, but we then told them yes. I voiced the prompting, but after talking about it, I ignored it. Bad idea.  Anyways, I couldn't let it go.  I had prayed long and hard and recommitted myself to do better, but I held on. This morning I read the story of Alma the Younger, in Mosiah 27 in The Book of Mormon and also his own personal account he gives to his son, Helaman in Alma 36.  I recognized that as soon as Alma knew he was forgiven of his sins, he moved on.  He got up off the bed he was paralyzed to and got to work! He forgot the torment and pain he felt and let light and joy fill his heart because Jesus Christ had already paid the price. 
Christ has already born the cross. He did it so I don;t have to and I realized I kept saying I had accepted His atonement this time but if I don't move forward and continue then I haven't fully allowed the Lord to enter my heart.  I have to let Him bear it.  He is just asking me to stop being so hard on myself and let Him walk with me. It was a humbling personal study this morning. 
I love this gospel.  I love being a missionary and how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can change us and how it has changed me!  I have become such a better person and I am so blessed for who the Lord is shaping me into. I know this is true and I wouldn't trade the last year for anything. I know that this is the Lord's true church and I love that we're apart of it. It's not always easy but it's worth it. We can all be pioneers for those who follow after us if we accept the trials and bear them with Christ and become equally yoked with Him.
I love you,
Sister Emily Dahl

P.S. I am so happy for Rob (her cousin) and Jess Dahl!  I was thinking about them the other day and are so excited they had a baby!

Email from July 14, 2014

Dear Dad,

Oh my goodness!  I can't even believe you went and saw the Tilleman's speak yesterday.  I am so excited that you got to see just a glimpse of what I experienced nearly every week!  They are incredible!!!  They have both changed my life for the better and I am truly so blessed for all that I am have been given.  The Tilleman's and the Burt's will forever be close to my heart. Tell me what you said to him and what he said to you! I want a play by play!

So this past week was crazy!  I don't think I have ever been so busy my whole mission and then so exhausted either!  On Tuesday we had a zone conference with the Burt's!  I fall in love with them more and more each time we meet! and then an exchange with the Port Coquitlam (Poco) sisters.  That exchange was definitely an answer to my prayers.  I had been feeling like I was inadequate to be in the position I am and that I wasn't helping any of the sisters. I was pretty down. But after this exchange was such a tender mercy.

The Poco sisters are in a trio and sister Galbraith pulled one into our area and I was with the other 2.  I was able to get them both to open up and start talking about their feelings and what's been tough lately.  And then the next morning I studied for them.  I plead with Heavenly Father to help me know what these sisters need.  And in companionship study it all came together.  It was such a miracle! I just started talking and then the spirit filled my mouth with exactly what those sisters needed.  It all just made sense. It was an amazing exchange and helped me know that I am here for a reason.  I am here to help these sisters at this time and everything I have gone through or am going through is to bless them somehow. It's incredible!

On Wednesday we had our first of 3 zone meetings.  We were training at all of them. So Wednesday when quick and we had one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission with a Young Single Adult Chinese kid named Tim.  We met him last Sunday and he had been seeking direction in his life. In the lesson he felt the spirit so strong and he knew it was the spirit!   He set a baptismal date and went to the YSA branch yesterday. They elders will meet with him tomorrow! It's such a miracle!

Thursday was our interviews with President and Sister Burt.  As we waited we got a personal training by 2 of the assistants.  It was pretty intense but they are helping me increase my faith.  I have been struggling with that a lot lately, but I am working on it!  but since they were pretty backed up we had our interview together, Sister Galbraith and I.  Good thing we like each other :)  He asked about our family and I showed the picture from Shane's homecoming.  It was so fun to be with them.

But our week picked up again when we had back to back zone meetings and a different set of assistants was at each.  Talk about nerve racking!  I get so nervous to train and feel like they go horrible but it turned out okay haha we then had another exchange with some sisters who are struggling a lot!  But to say the least, after that whole week, I am tired!  I crashed on Saturday night.  I could not believe our week had been so draining!  But non the less, I loved it all!  This work is so incredible and I can;t wait to work my hardest for the next 7 months!  It'll go quick but it is all worth it!

I love you! I miss the fam but this is exactly where I need to be!  Please keep praying for me!  Thanks for all the support you give to me!

Love, Sister Emily Dahl

Friday, September 12, 2014

President ans Sister Tilleman - July 13th email.

Dear Dad,
   Oh my goodness! I can;t even believe you went ad saw the Tilleman's speak yesterday. I am so excited that you got to see just a glimpse of what I experienced nearly every week! They are incredible!!! They have both changed my life for the better and I am truly so blessed for all that I am have been given. The Tilleman's and the Burt's will forever be close to my heart. Tell me what you said to him and what he said to you! I want a play by play!

   So this past week was crazy! I don;t think I have ever been so busy my whole mission and then so exhausted either! On Tuesday we had a zone conference with the Burt's! I fall in love with them more and more each time we meet! and then an exchange with the port coquitlam (poco) sisters. That exchange was defintely an answer to my prayers. I had been feeling like I was inadequate to be in the position I am and that I wasn't helping any of the sisters. I was pretty down. But after this exchange was such a tender mercy. 

   The poco sisters are in a trio and sister Galbraith pulled one into our area and I was with the other 2. I was able to get them both to open up and start talking about their feelings and what's been tough lately. And then the next morning I studied for them. I plead with Heavenly Father to help me know what these sisters need. And in companionship study it all came together. It was such a miracle! I just started talking and then the spirit filled my mouth with exactly what those sisters needed. It all just made sense. It was an amazing exchange and helped me know that i am here for a reason. I am here to help these sisters at this time and everything I have gone through or am going through is to bless them somehow. It's incredible!

   On wednesday we had our first of 3 zone meetings. We were training at all of them. So wednesday when quick and we had one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission with a ysa chinese kid named Tim. We met him last Sunday and he had been seeking direction in his life. In the lesson he felt the spirit so strong and he knew it was the spirit! He set a baptismal date and went tot he ysa branch yesterday. They elders will meet with him tomorrow! It's such a miracle! 

   Thursday was our interviews with President and Sister Burt. As we waited we got a personal training by 2 of the assistants. It was pretty intense but they are helping me increase my faith. I have been struggling with that a lot lately, but I am working on it! but since they were pretty backed up we had our interview together, Sister Galbraith and I. Good thing we like each other :) He asked about our family and I showed the picture from Shane's homecoming. It was so fun to be with them.

 But our week picked up again when we had back to back zone meetings and a different set of assistants was at each. Talk about nerve racking! I get so nervous to train and feel like they go horrible but it turned out okay haha we then had another exchange with some sisters who are struggling a lot! But to say the least, after that whole week, I am tired! I crashed on Saturday night. I could not believe our week had been so draining! But non the less, I loved it all! This work is so incredible and I can;t wait to work my hardest for the next 7 months! It'll go quick but it is all worth it! 

   I love you! I miss the fam but this is exactly where I need to be! Please keep praying for me! Thanks for all the support you give to me!

Love, Sister Emily Dahl

With a friend.

Vancouver BC Skyline

Doing Service!

With Sister Galbraith

Email from July 7th

Dear Dad, 
  It is great to hear from you! Although I am incredibly jealous that I wasm't there to go to lake powell!!! I seriously wish I could have been, It looked like a blast! This past week was crazy busy with 2 holidays, a birthday, an exchange with the spanish sisters and a mission council with president burt! WOW! I will gladly tell you all about it but before that, it is so good to hear from you! I miss your long informative, detailed emails. It's great! I am glad mom was able to report on me, i hope she didnt talk about my leadership in too much depth. It doesnt need to be published... I'm just a normal missionary with a few extra responsibilities and opportunties to serve. I am sure she enjoyed sharing about me though, I am loving it out here! I am so happy to hear your job is doing well! That is such a blessing! i love to hear that :) i have been praying a lot. everyone seems well. I will keep everyones health in my prayers. Just let me know on when I need to get my blood stuff done. 

   So you asked for "a day in the life of Sister Dahl", I'll let you have it. So I am in a normal proselyting area, in a normal ward but we cover 3 zones of sisters, 8 companionships (including a few trios) so it's 20 sisters total. And our responsibility is "to lift encourage, inspire and bless". As President Tilleman explained to me once before in an interview, my responsibility, with my companion is to teach and train other sisters how to do missionary work. So that includes exchanges. Because we cover so many sisters that means I do about 2, 24 hour exchanges every week. It makes things go quick. Also, we train at different district meetings every week since we are one of the only missions in the world, if not the only mission, who has all sister districts. So we train at those, we train at each of the 3 zones, zone meetings. we collect results and report to the assistants on baptismal information. If sisters have questions about obedience or want permission to do something, they go through us and we will communicate with the zone leaders or assistants. It's a pretty crazy life. But I love it! We really are hastening! 

   Since President and Sister Burt arrived last week and we had a mission council, which all sister training leaders attend, we will be having zone meetings. So we have 1 on wednesday and then 2 on friday, along with a zone conference with the Burt's and 2 exchanges. It'll be next Monday before I know it! It is a fast life, but like I said, I love it. It is so special the miracles that take place and the spirit that is felt when you are able to truly help a sister as she serves. I can feel the Lord work through me to just bless the other sisters. I had the opportunity to exchange with the Spanish Sisters this week and after praying again, we knew I needed to be in their area. And guess what? I can speak spanish!!! The Lord blessed me so much to be able to understand and speak at times and by the end of the exchange, pray. This poor sister said she hated exchanges because no one ever understands and she has to teach all on her own. It was amazing to see how merciful the Lord was to her and also to me. I know that my spanish is not gone, it's just on the shelf right now and the Lord will allow me to remember and continue to study when I return. It was so cool!

   My favorite part of last week was going to mission council! I love the Burt's! What amazing people! i miss the Tilleman's so much and I love them dearly but I know the Burt's are exactly what are mission needs and that we will begin to progress and take this mission to the next level. I felt the spirit confirm to me so strongly that President Burt has all the priesthood keys to lead and direct this mission. We counseled together and everything he testified of and trained on was EXACTLY what we need right now. I felt so privileged to receive that witness so quickly. I love how the spirit truly is involved in every aspect of this work.

   My birthday was good. Thanks so much for the package! I loved the journal and the clothes and I love the scripture case! Thanks so much! Tell mom she did a good job! :) and tell Paula thanks too! I felt your love because it was a pretty hard day. You said you missed not being with me, it was hard not being with you! I kind of had a break down... but I am doing better now. Just learning a lot about myself and how I can improve. 20 is a big age and my next 20 are going to shape the rest of eternity. Thanks for a good start! :) I am happy though, nervous about next transfer. My comp found out she goes in the middle of next transfer instead of the end. I hope I can be with her to the end. She's great!

   Well, I love you! I love the pics and am so grateful you saw so many miracles on your trip. The Lord is funny like that! He is fully in control though and is constantly building our faith. I am praying for you and love you all!

love, Sister Emily Dahl

P.S Let me know if you get a hold of the Tilleman's! i love them and miss them! If you meet up tell them Thank you and that they changed my life and I love them! 

Email from June 30th

Dear Dad,

   HAPPY CANADA DAY!!! Tomorrow is going to be a big day in the life of your only daughter... my first Canada Day AND President and Sister Burt, my new mission president and mom, arrive tomorrow! I am really looking forward to meeting them. I will miss the Tilleman's so much, they both have changed my life forever! But I know that the Burt's will be exactly what our mission needs. It'll be exciting to finally see this change take place.

   So I love my assignment right now, I really feel like I'm hastening! We run!! Also, there is NEVER a dull moment with Sister Galbraith, love this girl! :) We are working hard because our area is struggling! We see so many miracles but a lot of them end up back firing haha I am learning so much though. I studied sacrifice today and was able to understand so much more about how when we truly let things go and give them to the Lord, when we put off the natural man, we build faith. I pondered a lot this morning about what else I can sacrifice so that I can have the faith necessary to see a miracle change this area. I'm not perfect but I am going to work as hard as I can to consecrate myself fully to the Lord.

   I love this work. It's truly changing me and helping me understand what the gospel truly means. I feel like I've been learning it my whole life but I finally am starting to understand what it means to be a disciple. I know this gospel is real. It's so true! I have seen WAY to many miracles and way too many blessings come into my life, that i can not deny that it is true. Thank you so much for the last 20 years, I have learned so much and I can;t wait to see where the next 20 and 40 take me!

   I love you! I miss you! and I pray all is well! Keep hastening the work! 

Love, Sister Emily Dahl

my address is 880 herrmann (basement) st coqutilam, BC V3C 6E7

Email from June 23rd

Dear Mom,
   It's good to hear from you! I can't believe Brad was in the hospital again! I will keep praying for his health, scary stuff! If I need to get checked, call the mission office and ask for Sister Hogg, she's the mission nurse. I probably have a similar condition because my blood clots super easy, scary. I am glad he is doing well! I love that girls camp was such a success! I miss all those girls, maybe next year, Bishop Taylor will let me tag along again! :) I would love that!

   I loved hearing about the miracle you witnessed after the trial of your faith. So last week I experienced the same thing! I told you about the assistants challenge and how we needed to find 2 baptismal dates in our area in 2 days. We ended our p day early last week and worked SO hard! But we didnt set any, we were so close a few times but it didnt happen. 

   We were dreading the assistants call on Tuesday morning to get baptismal date information because we didnt want to tell them we didnt get it. We exchanged that day so I was up in North Vancouver and Sister Galbraith had to talk to them. On the phone, one of the assistants committed Sister Galbraith and the other sister to find 3 baptismal dates that day and to text them that night the names and dates of those people. Those sisters went to work! They were contacting, tracting, calling everyone they could and they did it! They set 3 pretty solid baptismal dates for July! It was incredible! They set one on the street, one on the phone and one in a lesson.

   When they called that night I was freaking out! The Lord just made this amazing miracle happen! I wasn't there to witness it but I put in  a lot of work. We exercised a lot of faith but it wasn't until we had exchanged where not only Heavenly Father let a miracle happen but He let a struggling sister experience it and witness it! The church is so true! No one can tell me God is not real when we can commit 3 strangers to prepare themselves to enter into a covenant with God and be ready to do so in one month. Miracles have not ceased!!! I love this work!

   Then yesterday, we had no one to come to church. I was speaking that day and that morning when we realized we had no one who committed, we were so bummed! We hate putting zeros as our results! We didn't know what else to do. After sacrament meeting concluded, Bishop Hall came up to me and said, "There's a man sitting in the back that we don't know. Could you sisters go meet him?" We went back there and met Gord. He had been receiving a lot of spiritual promptings that he needed to come to church. And specifically to our church. He stayed all 3 hours and we made him a new investigator! We had a friend at church! Heavenly Father literally dropped him in our laps! I was so blessed to witness this and be a part of it. 

   The Lord is so mindful of us. He is aware and even though we feel inadequate at times and we feel like we're not good enough, the Lord is on our side. He knows I can be a sister training leader, sometimes this past week I wondered why I was chosen but I know that the Lord is a miracle worker and I have something to offer. There is a quote by President Monson that says, "...do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle."

   I am walking proof that God is real. I am a miracle and I love what the Lord is shaping me into. I love seeing amazing things come to pass every day and also the mighty change in myself. I love this work and I am forever grateful for the opportunity I have to be missionary at this time. It;s the best decision I ever made and I love it! I am praying for you and everyone and I know this church is true!

  I love you! 
Sister Emily Dahl

With some noodles and my companion.

Happy Birthday to Mom!

Email from June 9 th

Dear Dad,
   Thanks for the few photos! Looks like everyone is well. Lucy is growing so fast and I just realized that Kilee is almost 16... Holy Crap! haha She becoming so beautiful! :) Tell her I love her and miss her! I am really glad she got to go see her dad, how did it go? I hope everyone is well. It sounds like you're working hard and seeing deals happen, awesome.
  SO this week I learned a lot about the spirit. I feel like when I first got out on my mission it was so hard to recognize the promptings of the spirit. It's a weird thing because as a missionary, if you're being exactly obedient then you automatically have the spirit with you all the time so deciphering between promptings had always been a little difficult for me. My trainers would pray over the map and they'd say, "Where do you think we should go?" I had no idea! I was just staring at a bunch a streets. I never understood what they meant when they told me the spirit would guide me to where we needed to go.
   Now that I've been out here for over 10 months, I have gotten a lot better at not only recognizing the spiritual promptings coming my way but also acting on them. Last week I saw so many miracles. We had a zone meeting on Friday and I had never felt the spirit so strong! My heart was pounding so hard and I seriously cannot deny that the gospel is true! The church is seriously SO true! Every part of it just makes sense and everything witnesses to me that God is good and He's real and Jesus Christ is our Savior and so a part of our lives! I was so pumped up and couldn't wait to get out and just tell everyone in British Columbia! I didn't care who I talked to but I needed to share what i just felt!
   We didn't have a ton of time that night to contact but we went out and I was going to reach our goal of 4 new investigators. There weren't many people on the street but I was searching for the one. I had a strong prayer in my heart and I was trying to follow that spirit that i carry with me. Sister Wang and I were walking on the street and saw that there were not that many people down one side of the mall and I quickly turned around and said, "We need to talk to her!" and then boom! she became a new investigator then we talked to a few other people and it died off again. We started heading a different way and I quickly turned my heels and saw Jay. I said, "We gotta talk to him!" Boom! New investigator who will come to our chinese ward sunday. Seriously, such a miracle! I could hardly even believe it! The Lord guided me to so many people and it was just by looking at them and following the feelings I had.
   So often the spirit is trying to tell us something. HE is constantly giving us direction in this crazy life but if we aren't doing all we can to be worthy of that spirit or if we don't follow the promptings He gives, it's hard for Him to trust us. We truly can have a relationship with the Holy Ghost and trust goes both ways. We have to trust Him and He'll continue to bless our lives and help in our journey through mortality.
  I love being a missionary and being a part of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I know I need to follow Him more than ever and i know He'll help me with all the assignments I have been given on my mission and in my life. I love you and am praying for you! I am so blessed to have two amazing parents who taught me so well how to follow the spirit.
   Love, Sister Emily Dahl

With some friends at church.

Eating Dumplings

E mail from June 2

Dear Dad,
   Don;t worry about not writing last week. In the moment, I was a little bummed but I ended up being okay. The rest of the week got better. That day i told Sister Wang everything on my mind, poor thing. She said she understood my English but not what i meant haha I went on an exchange with the Sister training Leaders and that was so inspired. I was with a sister from Sugar City, Idaho. She and I talked a lot about the Higher Law.
   Since I have been out here, I've learned so much about the Higher Law. After being on my mission for nearly 10 months now and helping people come unto the waters of baptism, I have learned a lot about he eternal perspective of life and also God's nature. As we live the doctrine of Christ, having faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, we are purifying our hearts. We are striving our very best to become like Jesus Christ. But as we can see in this world, many changing values and shifting views on morality have definitely influenced us. But something struck me in a conference talk. I can't remember which one but it talks about how God's spiritual law does not change.
   The Higher Law of making and keeping covenants is the way we must live in this life. We can not lower our expectations because if we are to live this law, we have to keep our expectations where God's are. I have felt a deeper sense of who I am and who I want to be. I know that my mission has completely changed me and is definitely preparing me for the rest of my life. It's preparing me to face greater difficulty, it's preparing me to honor my temple covenants with more seriousness and sacredness. It is helping me understand the type of family and home I wish to create. It is helping me keep my expectations high. I love this concept and I am so grateful I grew up in a home where Monday night was family night and every night we knelt for family prayer, our family goes to church. I love that I grew up where the principles of righteousness were taught. I never realized it before but now I can see how important all of these things are for living the Higher Law. It';s amazing!
   Well I love you , Dad! Thanks for being such a great example and helping me so much with all of my righteous desires. I am so blessed to be a missionary and I have this time to refine myself and become even more Christ-like so that when I return, I can continue on my way back to our Heavenly Father with a better understanding of the importance of gospel living. And I have the tools necessary to help me get back. The church is true!
   Much love, Sister Dahl

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

President and Sister Tilleman

My apartment

May 26th Email

Dear Dad,
I haven't received a note from you yet so I will just send one on my own. I was pretty bummed when I didn't see a note in my inbox from you...It's been a tough week and I was hoping you'd say something that would help. That's okay though. I know you're probably doing something really important!

So this week...It's kind of hard to explain how I have been feeling. It's kind of like I'm running in place but not like Emily Toia on a tread mill, not that accomplishing. It's kind of like I'm putting all my energy in the world to swim against the tide but the current keeps pulling me out. I don't know what analogy i'm looking for but it's been a tough week. I feel like I am working so hard but I'm seeing not much progress. I feel like I'm almost in a daze. I am trying to be obedient, but I feel like I keep slipping up. I am trying to talk to everyone and find new investigators but by the end of the day it just doesn't happen.  I feel like I am trying so hard to keep my expectations on my mission high but I feel like I am slowly losing the drive.
I have so many feelings and I am not sure how to fix it.  The middle of last week I realized I started to lower my expectations a lot.  I would think of my future and how I was just going to settle for so many things.  I wasn't going to give it my all, I wasn't going to reach all the potential I have in this life.  For example, I think about school sometimes and how I want to double  minor in Spanish and Mandarin.  It sounds pretty tough right?  It is!  but could I do it?  Absolutely.  I would have to work my butt off a long with all my other classes, but I know that with the Lord's help I could do it and I think He would want me too.  But lately I have been thinking, ahh there's no way that could happen.  There's no way I could master 2 foreign languages.  It really saddened me that I was giving up so soon.

I started to pray really hard and seek inspiration on what to do. A talk by Sister Linda S Reeves from the last General Conference really started to open my eyes. She talks all about having a Christ-Centered home. It helped me think about the type of home I want one day and the type of man I will need to marry to create such a home.  It helped me set some higher expectations for myself.  Also, I went on an exchange with another sister and I was really able to help her with some concerns she's having.  It gave me more hope to keep going.  The Lord is looking out for me and He is helping me develop certain skills and helping me use the strengths He's already given me.  I am working very hard to trust the Lord.  I know His expectations for me in this life are high!  He knows I can accomplish so much and He doesn't want me to give up or think I am anything less than what He created me to be.
It makes me nervous I only have about 8 or so months left to be a missionary.  I worry that I will hit a low point again when I get home and I'll end up making a life decision I will always regret.  I'm not sure what to do, Dad.  I am trying really hard and I know the Lord is throwing me little reminders of  His love and He's encouraging me to keep going, but I hate that I've been feeling this way.  I am really pushing myself to raise the bar.  I hope you can ponder my letter and send one back for next week and give me some direction.  Please tell the family to pray for me.  It's been a rough transfer.  Only a few more weeks left and I don't know what's going to happen.
I love you.  I missed hearing from you today!  I pray for you every night and know the Lord will bless you in finding a job.  He' blessed me so much and I am just trying to trust Him.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Love, Sister Emily Dahl

May 12th Email

Dear Dad,
It was so great talking to everyone yesterday! It made me so happy and I loved hearing everyone's voices. I am also very grateful I made it through an hour with out any tears. haha As soon as I started the call Sister Wang put some paper towels in front of me just in case!  The only time I got a little emotional was when I was telling Mom how much I love her.  She's seriously so incredible!  I don't know how she does it.  She is the most Christ-like person I know and it was so special for me to be able to tell her that :) Give her a big hug for me!

SO this past week was pretty good!  Still getting used to the new companion but things are going well.  I pondered a lot this week about why I am still here in Burnaby and why I'm in the position I am.  I really have gained such a  strong testimony of Heavenly Father's plan.  He's so aware of each and everyone of us.  Whether it's something big or small, He's helping us during our time in mortality.  He helps us make decisions and influences us in away that 

1. we can learn and grow. He knows I need to be here still. He knows I need to do my best to help Sister Wang feel special and accomplished in the end of her mission. He knows I can be the one to help her fulfill her calling as a district leader and 

2. we can bless the lives of others so they can learn and grow. He does this through the Holy Ghost. I like to think of President Tilleman as a perfect example. Last transfer meeting he told us, "I don't do anything on my mission unless directed by the spirit. I don't have time for anything else". He is so inspired. He follows the spirit and he knows what I need to still be here. 

I have seen more and more in my mission how Heavenly Father has used me to help others on my mission and it's through the spirit. Whether it's going to drop by someone in the ward who has been on my mind or I write or respond to an email with a prayer in my heart that it will touch their heart. I have seen countless miracles during my mission because I have followed the promptings of the spirit.

I love this concept and I know it'll help you in your new calling as a ward missionary. Get a new ward list and go through and mark everyone you know that is active. Mark everyone you know is a recent convert and who is less active. Prayerfully ponder who needs to be rescued. I think the ward mission leader and all the ward missionaries should do this and come together to give the missionaries a list of who to visit. Also, when you are in lessons with the missionaries, observe their teaching, how often do they use you as a member, are they teaching people or are they just teaching the lesson? Prayerfully ponder what they can do to better use members and in meetings, by the direction of the spirit, you will know how to help those elders see even more success in the ward. I am so excited for the opportunity you have to serve in this calling! You'll love it!
I love this gospel. It makes me a better person everyday and I love the great happiness it brings to me and to others. I love obedience! There is no way I'd see so many miracles and see the influence of the spirit in my life with out emphasizing exact obedience. It's absolutely crucial as a missionary! 

Well I love you and I love everyone at home! I am glad Abi's mission is going well too! :) Say hi to everyone for me!
Love, Sister Emily Dahl

P.S. my wisdom teeth have been bothering me lately... not good!

I Love The Temple

With our friend Xiao.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Temple Day.

DQ Run

Matching socks from Sister DeMordaunt's mom.

April 26th Note

Dear Dad,
Dear Dad,
   It seems like life is crazy as ever in the 602. Sounds like everyone is busy and life is definitely moving. I continuo pray for your job. I know Heavenly Father is working something out for you and will give you the best opportunity for you. I love when he makes decisions for us :) He's so good at that! Tell Shane he's got more personality than anyone I know! He'll be the face of the sprint company across the street. They don't know what they're doing. He has nothing to worry about. He will be blessed so much for his service in NJ. I hope he has fun in Utah.
   So this week started on such a high! Shu Hang had a date and we were going to the temple. The temple on Tuesday was incredible. It was amazing to be there with Jennifer and with President and Sister Tilleman. I will not have the opportunity to go to the temple with them at the end of my mission so it was so special to be there with them and to feel the much needed spirit of the temple. Wednesday was great until Shu Hang texted us. He dropped his date and my heart dropped. I couldn't believe it. He is getting a lot of opposition from his family and friends. He felt like he needed to think more about it. We were able to convince him to meet with President Deyell on Friday in Vancouver to have an interview. We had full faith that he could be baptized on sunday and were praying so hard. He met with President Deyell and the conclusion was that he needed to speak with Presdient Tilleman. 
   At that point I figured it wasn't happening this past weekend. but the assistants said Presdient could do it either saturday or sunday. I got excited again but I wasn't sure if he even wanted to be baptized anymore. Saturday night we were still on exchanges with Sister Ellgen when Shu Hang texted and said there's no way he could make it. Earlier that night I was on the phone with him and just pleaded with him to meet with Presdient. I told him that this was such a special opportunity and that this never happens! When we got the text, I just began to cry because I knew he was so close and so ready! Sister Ellgen was so great and comforted me. She told me I had done everything in my power to help him get to the waters of baptism. Realizing I had done everything I could, hit me pretty hard. I knew it was now out of my hands. 
   The next morning we texted President back and told him he would not be able to meet with him in the morning but that afternoon in Richmond. After many texts and phone calls, he was at the Richmond Building. I was praying so hard for him. When I found out he did not set a date, I just died. I knew for sure that it would get through to him how important this step is. Then we spoke with an elder who helped translate and he told me SHu Hang had not quit smoking and needed more time. I was so confused. 
   We then called Shu Hang. I asked him about the meeting and he said it wasn;t anything special. He didn't really say much and then I asked him about smoking. He smoked last week and I asked him why he didnt tell us and he said we didn't ask. I felt like I had just been punched in the stomach. We had just bent over backwards for him and I couldn't believe it. It hurt so bad to know that he still had a problem and we didn't know. I was pretty emotionally exhausted yesterday and just thanked Heavenly Father for letting us see many miracles. But in the end it really was up to Shu Hang. He has the gift of agency and he had to make that decision.
   So yesterday was a bit of a roller coaster with 7 loopty loops. I never thought I would mourn so badly over someone else's salvation. It was an incredible feeling and it taught me so much. I know that Shu Hang will be baptized, he just needs more time. I learned about the love President Tilleman has for every living soul and his desire to bring everyone unto Christ. That was my crazy week and I wouldn't change any of it. My blood pressure went up a bit but I know more than ever that Heavenly Father is looking out for us. He is so aware! I know this church is true! I love Jesus Christ and all the opportunities he gives me to change and improve. I love you!!
Love, Sister Emily Dahl

My comp bought me some new rain boots.

MY boots are all destroyed.

Note from April 22nd - Happy Easter

Dear Dad,
   Happy Easter! It's a great time up here in Canada. I am seriously seeing SO many miracles and the Lord is blessing our companionship more than I've ever seen! It all started on Thursday. We realized that Shu Hang was willing to maybe set a date for baptism. He said he would think about it and while he thought we were going to fast! We told our zone leaders to pray for him and they joined our fast and encouraged us to invite him to fast as well. He fasted with us! Good friday was a day of miracles! That morning we received a phone call from Sister Tilleman inviting Sister Demordaunt to a sealing for a recent convert. It is the woman who's dog bit President when he ended up in the hospital. She ended up getting baptized and now she's getting endowed. Sister DeMordaunt met her at a ward activity on an exchange and ultimately helped her make her decision to go through the temple. Amazing. So we will be going to the temple tonight with Jennifer, President Tilleman, and Sister Tilleman! We are freaking out! I have been really wanting to go to the temple and now we get to go with a recent convert and with President. Amazing.
   Then we met with our friend Xiao. She has been progressing so quickly and when we taught it took a wrong turn but our member saved us! Xiao now has a baptismal date for May 18th! We are so excited! Then we made our way back to the restaurant to break our fast with Shu Hang. He seemed well and still wasn;t sure what to do. Before we met with him we were doing some training and received so much revleation on what we needed to share with him. He wasn;t sure because of all these different reasons and we tried to help him see the big picture and the eternal perspective. FInally we shared Ether 12:6 with him. "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." It clicked. He knew. He set the date for April 27th... Shu Hang is getting baptized!!!! I am so excited! I have been teaching him since January and he's been through SO much. I didn;t think I could set a baptismal date int he middle of a busy restaurant but it happened. My heart was burning with the spirit and I knew that the spirit touched his heart. It strengthened my testimony so much about fasting and the impact the Lord has in our lives. I am so blessed.
   I am doing so well! A little nervous about transfer calls next week but I know the Lord knows what I need. I've been out almost 9 months and in this area for 7...it may be time for so change and when the Lord makes changes, He likes to make them BIG. Well I love you. I am praying hard for you. You;re going to look great when I get home! :) I can;t wait to go skiing together again. That was on of my favorite days we spent together. I am praying for everyone! 
Love, Sister Emily Dahl

April 14th Note

Dear Dad,
   Sounds like you're having a blast with Shane in Utah! I miss you both so much! I am totally jealous my 2 best buds get to hang out so much. It has to be such a great feeling to see so many old friends and family in such a short amount of time. I am so grateful our family has been blessed with so many amazing people. 
   Well life up north is going well! I am starting to realize what people are talking about when they say Vancouver is one of the most beautiful places in the world! It's Spring!!! It was up to 67 degrees and we were having a hay day! haha it's been so wonderful being outside in this beautiful weather to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone. We saw so many miracles this week and are truly feeling God pouring out His blessings upon us. We have seen so many miracles and so many occurrences of God sharing His love. 
   I have been thinking as lot about love and a lot about how we give and receive love. During a companionship inventory with the Sister Training Leaders, we talked a lot about love. It really was so interesting that within in our companionship we give and receive love differently, whether it be through words of affirmation or service. We all have so much love for each other but one companion saying "I love you" to the other wouldn;t go as far as doing the dishes and vice versa. I just thought about our Savior. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of love. He showed His love in word as he taught us the way to eternal life. He also did it through deed. He performed countless miracles and ultimately performed the greatest act of love this world has or ever will see, through His atoning sacrifice. 
   I thought a lot about how I can better follow the example of Jesus Christ, especially this Easter week, by loving more. I need to do it through words. I need to tell everyone the glorious message of the gospel and I need to tell them the Lord loves them. I need to show my love through my actions. I have to get up and get out. I need to constantly seek opportunities to serve those around me. And I know that as I strive to love more, in all ways, I will show my love for my Heavenly Father and also for my Savior, Jesus Christ.
   I know He lives. I love being a representative of Him. I love the Chinese people I am able to serve everyday. It is such a privilege to be out here. I am nearly half way and I am already so in love with this work. It is such a joy and such an amazing opportunity to be out here sharing God's love with his children. I don;t get discouraged when people reject me because I know they just aren;t ready to accept His love just yet or we're just not using the right method to give it to them. 
   I love you! I hope you have a great Easter week! I am praying hard for you and know the Lord is looking out and will bless you!
   Love, Sister Emily Dahl

Tell Bryant Snow I need to be adjusted the day i get home. My back is all outta wack. haha

Trying to keep my feet dry with my sad boots.

Loved the package!

A dog peed on me.

Note from April 7th

Dear Dad,
   Sounds and looks like you all are having a great time in Nashville. I remember going to Denver, that was so fun. It's funny being on a missi0n though because as you all were at the Final Four and I was watching conference in Mandarin I just kept thinking, "I really hope mom and dad are able to watch this! It;s so good!" There were so many amazing talks and helpful insights. I had to listen to 3 sessions in mandarin so Elder Holland and Elder Bednar's talks will probably be a surprise when I read about them in a few weeks. I had like 2 lines of notes for Elder Holland... clearly I didn't understand haha It was a neat experience though. The one session we did listen to in English (saturday afternoon) Answered everything I've been dealing with and also our companionship!
   I have been thinking a lot about how to strengthen my faith and Elder Russel M Nelson answered that one pretty well! He talked so much about where we put our faith and how it needs to be in our Savior. That's the kind of faith that moves mountains, or baptizes someone or helps you find a new job. He talked a lot about SHOWING your faith. We have to seek opportunities to not just exercise faith but to show it! Then Elder Richard G. Scott got up there and changed my life. We have to love, trust and then share the knowledge we know. He taught simply and clearly how members can share the gospel. We just have to share the doctrine of Christ. It's about Faith, Repentance, baptism by water and fire and then enduring to the end. We don;t have to get so complicated with tenets! (2 Tim 2:23, D&C 19:31) It helped me learn to have more confidence in my investigators and what I can do to help them progress.
   Then W. Craig Zwick got up there and answered every problem I will ever have in my mission companionship and eternal companionship. We have to step back ask the other, "What are you thinking?" We have to be patient and in all situations think of the others perspective. I have been struggling with that this week and was definitely called to repentance. I need to be more patient with my companions. If I don't know where they are coming from then I need to ask them where they are coming from! We can "transform hazardous cases into holy places". That talk was so powerful! And then as Elder Quentin L Cook spoke on Family History it gave me such a strong desire to seek out my ancestors when I get home. I am so grateful for all the history I do know already. He said it's time to Hasten THIS work! I have sucha  strong testimony of the temple and the 130 that were built in the last 50 years and we now need to help the Lord take all His children;s names there.
   Those are just some of my thoughts this week. I had a tough time this week. I was a little sick and was struggling with the language and spiritually as well. I was so discouraged because we have no baptismal dates and our area is struggling. I am trying to increase my faith though. I am seeing more and more how the Lord is blessing us. One crazy miracle of the Lord protecting us is we have an investigator who lives in a super sketchy part of east van and our plan was to go to her this week and clean it so we could help her quit smoking. Friday morning we called her to invite her to conference and her phone said "not in service". We kept trying but nothing happened. Then in zone meeting the zone leaders announced that President received revelation that we needed to create a red zone in east van. It's a section where no missionaries are ever aloud to go, ever. Our investigator lives in the middle of that area. We don;t know what would have happened if we went there but we know that Heavenly father is really protecting us. It's such a blessing.
   I love you and pray you get the chance to watch some conference. Tell Shane I still think he's a great catch. Any girl would be crazy not to love him! Maybe he needs to grow out the mane again haha I will continue to pray for your job. I know the Lord will bless you. Thank you for all your prayers and continued support! I am so grateful! 
Love, Sister Emily Dahl

Sister Xu broke up with us and gave us gifts. I cried the whole time. (we got dropped)

Chen Popo! sorry my eyes are closed

March 31st Note

Dear Dad,
   I guess I can no longer tell my investigators you are a bishop (ni shi yige zhujiao!). I am so grateful you were able to serve well in that calling. You were a blessing to so many. I loved having you as a bishop as I went through high school. It felt like I could share the great relationship we have with everyone in the ward. they could talk to you like I do. It's so special! I am glad you enjoyed my note. I tried to bring a smile to yours and mom's face. btw I felt the spirit so strong when you said Steve Smit is a counselor now. It just confirmed to me that he is so ready for a calling like that and that he has been called of God. I am so proud of where he has come and for the blessing he has been to our family and Joni and Megan. Let him know I love him and I am excited to sit next to him on the stand at my homecoming talk :) 
   Jack is going on a mission! I am so excited! He is such a stud. Argentina look out! You;re getting the best guy around. I am so excited and will start praying for him as he prepares even more. He will love the mission. And what a blessing to speak spanish! That will be so neat for him. 
   SO something I have been thinking a lot about this week is obedience. It seems like a simple concept but it has just been such a crucial part of my mission so far. I can see a direct relationship with obedience and blessings. When we obey, the Lord is bound. He has to bless us. I was reading this morning in Mosiah 2:22-24 and it just hit me so strong. The spirit confirmed to me that when we obey, blessings ALWAYS follow. I see so many missionaries who aren't doing their absolute best to obey every rule. They don't take the handbook to heart and it's just sad to me. I was on exchanges this week and another sister told me one of my strengths is obedience. It meant so much to me and I feel like I am honestly doing everything I can to do exactly what heavenly Father has asked me to do. (I'm also trying to stay humble!)
  I can see how this mindset will effect me the rest of my life. I can feel the world getting more and more evil. I am away from the world at this time but when I see small glimpses it's so sad. I know in the future I need to be strong. I need to keep this mindset of exact obedience, to the commandments and to my covenants. It's such a blessing that I am learning this now. It amazing to be able to evaluate myself all the time and check to see how I can improve. It is helping me become better and refining me. I pray you and the family are doing everything you can to follow Jesus Christ and every commandment He gives us. I am so grateful to be raised in a home where our standards were high. Thank you so much for that! 
   I love you so much. I will continue to pray for you and for the boys. I know everyone is going through separate challenges and we're constantly learning and changing. But I also know when we do what the Lord would have us do it will always be better in the end. 
  love, Sister Emily Dahl

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

At the baptism of Echo

At Echo's baptism

Kaylie Sanchez with her parents at their baptism.

Note from March 17

Dear Dad,
   I don't even know where to start. My heart is full and words really just can't express how I feel about Saturday. Tears just streamed down my face as I read your comments on the baptism in Lake Havasu. It is an amazing feeling to know that when we just open our mouth and share the gospel, miracles happen. Knowing that Kaylie is a miracle, Kevin is a miracle, and John and Lynn are both miracles, gives me so much desire to share this message with EVERYONE! I am so happy :) I prayed a ton for them this week because I know how hard Satan works to prevent another soul being saved. I am so grateful all of those prayers were heard and Saturday was an amazing day.
   Thanks for sharing your testimony at their service. It means a lot to me that you could represent me. It makes me so sad I could not be there since these people are so close to my heart. I think so often of Kaylie and the amazing woman she is and is becoming as she has accepted the gospel. She does exactly what every convert should, SHARE THE JOY! She is the perfect example of this. It makes me feel so privileged that God picked me to help her come to the gospel. But then again, I didn't do much, I just got her in the building! I wish more than anything I could have been there but if i were to be anywhere but there this is a good place to be. But don't worry! I'll be with them next year in the temple, there's no way i missing that one! :)
   So Saturday here was a great day too! It rained ALL day. ( I am really hating all this moisture! No one wants to talk to us!) but despite the constant down pour, Echo got baptized! :) She is what we like to call, GOLDEN. She met with us for just 6 weeks, 10 visits, to be exact and didnt believe in God or anything. She was really interested and took every assignment to read and pray, very seriously. It is a miracle that we were able to teach her. She progressed to quickly and has such a strong testimony of the gospel. She was so excited to enter the waters of baptism and I told her that March 15th will always be a special day in her life (and also in mine). She had Satan working on her this week after she had to move to Richmond, reschedule her baptismal interview twice and then commute 2 hours by sky train and bus to get to her baptism, but she over came! She has such strong faith and I am so excited for her to progress in the gospel.
   This week I had the opportunity to go on some exchanges. It really is showing me that I can actually speak this language. The Sister Training leader (Sister Biggs, she's from Mesa) told me that in our lessons she didnt understand a word but she could watch me and told me "you are proof that the gift of tongues is real". She said I didnt even struggle, I was speaking chinese! I was pretty nervous to not have a companion that could say anything but Heavenly Father blessed me so much. Tonight is transfer calls. Sister Lin and I will find out if we're being transferred after 6 months. It's been a great 4 transfers and I have learned a ton but we will see what happens tonight. I feel like these last few exchanges are helping me see that as i rely more on the spirit and not on my chinese native companion, that the Lord really helps me see miracles happen. It'll be exciting to see what the future holds.
   Well I love you. I have been praying super hard for you this week. It does stress me out but I am trying to rely more on the Lord, just like you are. It's exciting to hear about Dylan. Tell him I say "Atta boy!" haha she's beautiful. Is she the one who dated Adam price for a long time? I know I have seen her somewhere before. So cool about Chris Kauffman. I am so excited for him! Also it's great to hear about all these mission calls and papers going in. I am so glad Jack is on his way. I got a letter from him not too long ago, love that guy! Everything is good up here. I am working hard and really seeing the joy in this service. Thanks for everything!
Love, Sister Emily Dahl
P.S. I forgot my camera card last week in the computer at the library...7 months of pictures gone. Please save all the pictures I sent to you on your computer :(