Monday, December 29, 2014

Taiwan Nov 23, 2014 New Mission Trainer, FenJa to Tainan

Hello.... So I like don't even know what happened this week haha. A lot of crazy stuff. 

     First off, mom, anything you'd like to send me would be great :D Maybe recipies for stuff I could make on sundays... but no pressure :D Thanks!!! Love you!!!! Oh and that's super cool you go to go see Elder Green!!! Where did you go to see him?? Man I love him so much haha :D 

      It's so good to hear from all of you at home, and all that's happening for you in this festive time of the year.... Hearing about the snow and the turkey from home sounds fun haha :D We had chicken here at a party two nights ago... it was kind of like turkey I suppose ;) haha. 

     I love hearing from all of you and the things you are grateful for. There are litterally so many things that I am grateful here!! For instance, I'm grateful for my companion, for the ward, the friends I've made. I'm forever grateful for the lives I've been able to impact, but even more grateful for the lives that have impacted mine. I love my mission so much. I love the chance that it gives us to be refined, changed, and put with others to learn together. I love how we get to be put with other types of personalities and learn how we truly can get along with everyone :D The lord blesses us everyday as we do his work. 

     So, my new companion is Elder Varvel, and he is from Connecticut. His visa got delayed, and so he was sent to Idaho for 2 months. But he's here now, and I'm his trainer. He's my first junior, and we're whitewash training together. I think it was supposed to be me training him at first, but honestly, I feel like he has taught me so much already, and I've done nothing except tell him how to say things in Chinese. He loves working hard, talking to everyone, and being a phenominal Elder!!!! Before his mission he played football, lacrosse, and basketball! He's such a stud haha. I love him, and excited to keep learning from him. 

So now for the week update!!! 

Monday: Craziest day ever!!!! So I was just moseying around, minding my own business, when suddenly president calls me and tells me that I'll be whitewash training in Tainan Yong Kang. Wow!!! Super exciting!!!!! Ya :D Then we went to the hospital with Elder Barr, and had some calls, and... ya :D 

Tuesday: We had a really awesome DTM about developing christlike attributes, and we had a really cool member and his testimony. Wow :D Then we spend a good portion of the day contacting, and saying goodbye to some of the members. 

Wednesday: I spend the majority of the day in Jia Yi about 2 hour car ride away from my area for a meeting. We learned a lot about how to train, and president talked to us a lot about what he expects of us, and what we should do. yay :D Then we got back, and had to ride like the wind up the big hill to our church. There was my workout of the day ;) got there just in time for English class, and had a good time teaching the students English. 

Thursday: Last day in Feng Jia. Wow. Exciting :D A little woried for the future, but excitied! We got to teach some really amazing lessons today to people, including sandy, Sister Zhang, and a new Sister Xie. We had a really awesome Experience teaching Sister Zhang about the word of wisdom and comitting her to live it in her life. She said she'd be willing to go and try, and pray while she did. We're excited ;D Then we had a chance to visit some members, and visit the stake president. The stake president, president Guan's son missed me, so we went and visited their house haha. that was really fun. 

Friday: Then everything changed.... (Dun Dun DUN!) Left this morning to the meeting where we'd meet our trainees. I saw Elder Tanner Redding and got a picture with him :D and then I got my trainee Elder Jack Varvel. He's super cool :D We rode the two hour train down to Tainan, and got to our area. We didn't stop, we just headed straight out and started contacting! Found some cool people who already said that they'd be willing to come to church! Miracles!! 

Saturday: Well... we contacted a lot of people... haha ;) that was fun :D And then we go to meet the bishop! He was called in a week ago, and so we're excited to work with him :D Then there was a thanksgiving activity. Really good chance to meet a bunch of members :D I was really happy haha :D yay! So ya ....

Sunday: We had two investigators at church!!!! That was pretty amazing seeing as it was our third day here :D Ya I was happy :D hahaha Other than that we contacted a whole lot, and found a lot of cool people :D yay :D The other Elders made dinner for us, that was so nice of them :D and then... we did a lot of language study, and a family home evening activity tonight :D yay ;D I love life!

So basically, it was just a phenominal week!!! Elder Varvel is going to be one of my favorite companions I can tell :D Super excited to be working with him :D The lord works in mysterious ways, and the work is true :D 

love you all!!!!!!

CTR, 義

Elder Dawson 陶長老

Taiwan Nov 16, 2014 The Time to Say Goodby

The time has come to say goodbye...
Well hello everyone!!!! 

Well Hello Everyone,

     Howdy..... just so you all know why I chose that topic, it's because I'm moving this week haha. They haven't told me where I'm moving, or with whom I will be with... but I'm sure it will be fun :D I move this friday.... an unusual day for moving, but hey, we just stay open and I'm excited for this new part in my journey!!!! I'm super sad to say goodbye to FengJia 逢甲 here, but I suppose the time has come to be called to other places... and so it is.... haha

     Other than that this last week was crazy!!!! I don't have a whole ton of time today, but I'll just write what I can from this week!!! 

     Ok so this week I got to go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders!! I was with Elder Wootan from Layton Utah :D He's super cool, and I learned a ton from him about missionary work, and I'm super excited to keep moving forward and working :D He's like a big ball of amazing missionary-ness!! haha. 

     and the obvious, this last saturday I got the call to move.... It still hasn't quite hit me that I'm moving... but that's ok, I'm sure life goes on :D our investigator Brother Liao came to church this sunday!!! I was so happy to see him, and he's totally going to be baptized next month!!! Just pray for him!!!! Thanks everyone :D

     Oh, and remember how I was an exchange student here like 4 years ago?? ok, so when I was on exchanges, I had a really cool experience! I was contacting people at red lights, and I rode up someone and this is what the conversation went like "利賀!你最近好嗎?" and then he looked at my, his eyes widened and was like "You're Bryan's brother!!!!" Paused a few seconds thinking... then was like "You're Danny!!!!" Alright.... I was trying to have an intelligent conversation in Chinese, then suddenly he pulls out english and yells "You're bryan's brother!!!" like.... I don't think I've had someone call me bryan's brother since I was a sophomore in musical. So that was a weird sensation haha! But then we talked about how we'd met like 4 years ago, and now he's studying at FengJia University, which is in my area :D It's a super small world! But I was happy to meet him haha :D So ya... that was a cool adventure..... 

     Other than that, I have been reading more about what is expected of us as members of the church. I feel that it's really easy to sometimes compromize with some things, saying that we're 沒辦法, that we just can't do that one commandment. and then I think of how many blessings god has blessed us with each comandment. each on has it's own blessings. So I guess in a way, we're just picking which blessings we don't want. Haha, Sorry, random thought with Elder Dawson this last week ;D 

love you all!!!!!!

CTR, 義

Elder Dawson 陶長老

Taiwan Nov 9, 2014

Dear all, 

     First off, mom and dad, I'm so jealous you got to go there!!!! How was it to see the places where you got married after 30 years??? You both look so happy :D Mom has a glow about her! That's so cool :D You two are having a party I bet :D 

     So wow.... I'm blown away at the email you sent dad :D It's just so historic, so memorable, so adorable! I always knew you and mom were the most adorable couple in the world, and not its solidified in stone. You two are so cute it makes me sick sometimes ;) haha. love you too :D 

     So this week was very good!!!! Not gonna lie, life is doing pretty well here :D we're finding people, and doing the Lords work!!! Move call came, but Elder Barr and I are not moving, so that's fun :D We're really happy to still be together haha, we're going to continue striving for excelence, and being the best missionaries ever, to bring the people of FengJia 逢甲 The truth! Ghee :D 

     Ya..... other than that, I have to say, This week was super tiring. So the month of November has been declared as POWER MONTH!!!!! Which means that we have some crazy high goals........ Which means that we work even harder! It's been exciting to see How much more we truly can put into this work. This last weeks goal was tract into 7 sit down lessons.... not easy I tell you! So instead of the nice balanced finding that we usually do, We tracted. Half our area. 4 Hours a day. Man that was tiring haha, I don't know how many hundreds of houses we knocked, but it was super worth it, and we met some super cool people! Ghee :D I loved it!!!!!! This next week is to add 50 people with times to meet and learn more about the gospel. So that means all our extra time this week is poured into riding around the streets contacting people. Man it's just so exciting!!!!! Whoot! Get's you're blood pumpin ;D 

     Ok.... here we go.... the week :D 

Monday: Well it was a good P-day. Elder Barr got a good looking haircut ;) haha, bought some stuff to prepare for english class, and then we went and ate at Chillis :D It was super yummy and a little bit salty. yes. amen. Then we had a meeting with a new investigator with a lot of potential :D Miracles! 

Tuesday: We had an AMAZING ZTM today!! Wow, so inspirational! We watched a video about Christ that may or may not have made me cry. I'll let you decide on if I did or not ;) Then we went on exchanges with the DongHai 東海 elders :D That was exciting :D 

Wednesday: Studies... food... lessons, and preparing for english party, which went very well!! WE celebrated Thanksgiving! Which, might I say went very well :D Ya..... and then talked to a lot of people :d 

Thursday: Had a super good meeting with our Sister Zhang 張姐妹 and helped her overcome her inablility to come to church :D ghee :D then the tracting, and dinner with people, and tracting... ya :D 

Friday: Lunch... tracting.... calls... tracting.... lesson canceled... tracting.... Met a familiy tracting!!!!! ...... then a good Coordination meeting :D Ya! 

Saturday: A good day, we met with a very disheartened Brother Lu 盧弟兄 and helped him be happy, and then tracted, met witha  new investigator,j and then tracted. Hey mom, If you have time, could you help me look up a book. The authors name is 陳映真 and he wrote a book about missionaries a long time ago called 噢!蘇姍娜! and apparently its really touching :D If you could find it and let me know that would be awesome :D 

Sunday: Well we found out move call, and nobody was moving! Ghee :D So here we go, still pushing on! with the weather change, I may be starting to get sick, but that's ok, we had a chance to rest a bit, and then go tracting :D Haha. Then we met with an investigator, and the Member present helped us give her a blessing. Phenominal. He blessed her about her mom, and didn't even know about her moms situation! Wow... talk about the power of the spirit. Amen. 

So that was this week! Fun times, I do have to say that there was blessings in it all :D Thanks for all the support and prayers!!! I love you all, and I'll talk to you next week :D 

CTR, 義 

Elder Dawson 陶長老

Elder Barr and I eating Chilli's together 

P.P.S. this is us at the singing at zone conference

Taiwan Nov 2. 2014

     Wow, what a week.... I'll be honest I totally forgot it was halloween this last week haha, I spent the entire day wondering why people were dressing up as cats and vampires... and then it hit me haha. 好丟臉 ;) 

     Well mom and dad, once again it is amazing to hear from you two traveling the world and partying now that none of your kids are at home ;) hahahaha, going to ShangHai, and then to japan?? Wow... 也太幸福吧!! haha ;) I hope to see pictures of all of this.... may pictures :D haha, pretend you were me for a second, and just take a lot of pictures, heck, maybe dad could even try his hand at selfies ;) haha, KIDDING. please don't. ;) Good to hear from you all, and I will be praying for all those people, and hope that all will go well. 

     Well.... I'll just tell you straight up, I forgot my journal today, so I wont have the day by day update, but that's ok right, you'll all still love me :D So this last week went really good!!!! We had a chance to meet with a lot of investigators and give them baptismal goals :D A special one was a man named Brother Liao. He moved to america when he was a little younger, because of family dificulties, and he's just come back and wanted to start investigating the church because of the help and emphasis it has on families :D It's so awesome!!! I'm super excitied :D 

    Other than that, there was an awesome talk on unity at stake conference, about how unity in a group takes time and practice, it went something like this (this was the stake presidency 2nd councelor): "When I was a boy, I had a 6-pack. They were solid, defined, and individual. However, after having 30 years of practicing unity and love...... well....... it's hard to get them apart now." Bahahaha, it was really funny :0 

So ya!!!! I will write more next week.... next week will be a very interesting week, so wish me luck, and I love you all!!!!! Carry on Carry on Carry on!!!! 

CTR, 義

Elder Dawson 陶長老

We went inside that fancy merida store haha :D 

Taiwan Oct 26, 2014

Dear world.... hi :D 

     It has gotten to the point where I feel like it's probably just my parents who read this email, so addressing it "Dear world" Seemed a little broad, but I'm sure I can still hope ;) 

    So mom and dad, taking a random trip to mexico Eh??? Sounds like a fun journey :D and you ate lobster!!!! Man..... I wish I had it that good hahahaha ;) Kidding, here we have..... chicken feet and stinky tofu... hahaha! Take that ;) haha. Love you all :D 

     So The world of Taiwan is doing Phenominal!!! I love it so much here, and we are still working hard to find, teach, and baptize the elect of god haha :D it's all going good :D I'm really happy here in FengJia 逢甲, we're really busy working our butts off, and it's tiring, but I'm so happy to be able to work my absolute hardest here in this point of my mission :D I've been thinking about it a lot.... how happy I am to be on my mission... it's good. 

     When I started on my mission I had a very good family friend talk to me about missions, and the chance we have to teach others about the greatest teacher of all time. I accepted what this friend said, but I don't think I truly recognized what he was telling me. The power of that statement also means that we are not here to show of and get the gain for ourselves, we are here to teach others about Christ, and how they can learn from the perfect and greatest teacher of all, our savior Jesus Christ. I've been thinking about that a lot recently hahaha ;) 

So.... onto a synopsis of the week!!! :D 

Monday: Well, we had an awesome day, that was actually not P-day because we're going to the temple tomorrow :D However, today, Elder Barr had to go to the hospital to see the doctor (obviously) and that was fun and took up some time... haha. You'll realized I've spent a lot of time this week at the hospital with my companion haha. Fun time s;D Then I took a quiz on Chinese..... and...... ya. :D 

Tuesday! Temple Temple Temple!!!!!!!!!!! First time doing sealings in English hahaha. and let me say, When we come across the really hard names from like russia or germany that are 7 names long, it's pretty fun to try and pronounce. However, when you have a taiwanese person doing that it's priceless. Ok, I probably shouldn't talk about this haha, but it was awesome :D then we went to the church for a lesson, rode 30 minutes out there, and then he cancelled. So we rode home, and were done with the day, no more time haha. The DongHai 東海 elders got a new missionary with them. A taiwanese elder named Elder Gong 龔長老 who was baptized this year in April!!!!! He's just a short term missionary right now, and he's so awesome! Talk about an amazing RC!! haha .

Wednesday: Had a phenominal DTM today! yay!!!!! Then we spent the day in the other elders area procelyting because we didn't have enough time to come back to our area. But we had an awesome english class!! Ghee :D 

Thursday: Read a really cool scripture about RC's in a misson :D In D&C 75:3 with Psalm 126:6. Read it ;) Then we went to the hospital again because Elder Barr's hand started swelling up from a cut he got two days ago. Fun times.... so spent the day there haha :D 

Friday: Was reading more D&C, and read about how the Church will support our families while we're on our missions :D D&C 75:24 :D Then we had an awesome lunch of Hot pot, and then met with some investigators and had one come to the gospel class at the church! We finally got her to be able to build relations with members, and learn more about the church from members :D 

Saturday: October's almost over. look at that :D This morning we were at the hospital again for a checkup on Elder Barr's hand, and that went well :D Then we had a time running around like chikens with our heads cut off too and from lessons! it was crazy, but as always, worth it ;D Ended the night up by visiting Less actives :D A good day :D 

Sunday: A day of rest for everyone... which usually means us missonaries are SUPER busy haha :D They changed the bishopric here today, changed the bishop and first councelor out, who have been serving for 7 years! Wow... so now we have a new bishopric :D Fun times..... ya..... 

So that was the week!! I love you all, and hope you all stay strong in the faith, and have a awesome week this following week :D love you all!!! 

CTR, 義

Elder Dawson 陶長老

                                      My companion and I and sister Peng at the temple :D
                                         Elder Palmer and I at the temple :D 

Taiwan Oct 20, 2014

Well hello!!!!!! What a fun week, don't you think? haha :D So sorry, this weeks letter will be a little bit shorter, seeing as we get to go to the temple tomorrow!!!!!! yay!!!!! So we only have one hour of emailing to do this week haha :D However, that is ok, I will still tell you how last week went :D (Yay temple temple temple temple!!!) 

first off I bought new sunday shoes. They look really cool, and were fairly cheap :D Ya... sorry really random topic to start with haha, but that's what happened :D Ghee :D 

This last week we had a chance to teach a lot of lessons!!! In all these lessons we were able to help many different people in different points of progression learn about this gospel. It was quite the feat, but as it happens, we are doing very well, teaching a lot of lessons, and apparently our district is leading the zone haha. Yay :D Happy day calloo calay :D 

So yes, I'm doing really good, mom and dad I'm probably going to buy new glasses this week, or contacts... I'll see :D I love you all!! Talk to you next week more :D 

CTR, 義

Elder Dawson 陶長老 

Taiwan Oct 12, 2014 Parable of the Darkened Room

  Hello everyone! How are you doing today? That's good...

     Wow what a week!!!! Was that a good week?? I think it was :D I loved it so much haha! GHEE :D 
     So it's good to hear from everyone as always :D I've realized that a good portion of my emailing time is simply sitting here reading about all of you, and that's how I love it! I love to hear about things going on at home, and especially from all of my missionary friends and the miracles that they are having in their missions :D It's a good time :D 

     A chance to have general conference, I do have to say what quite a booster here :D I used to always fall asleep in General Conference, but I don't know why, this time watching I didn't even want to fall asleep, and was just so happy to hear and learn everything. There were some things that stuck out very prominently to me as I listened, and some that probably stuck out to you too. 

     In the saturday morning talk that Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave, he talked about changing ourselves to be able to observe and receive this light from the spirit, so that we can see other worlds. This reminded me of a analogy that someone told me that changed a big part of how I looked at life and this mission opportunity. They said our lives is like a big messy room in the dark. We walk around in it, and hit against things that hurt and make us stumble. However, a lot of the stuff in the room is ours, our own mistakes and bad habits. The holy ghost acts like a light that slowly gets brighter. As we become closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly father, the Holy Ghost slowly and gradually Illuminates the room and lets us see the things that need cleaning. As soon as the Spirit lets us see clearly the junk that needs cleaning, it is still up to us whether or not we choose to start cleaning, to start fixing our bad habits, start making relations with others better, and to continue doing the things that will help us receive more light. As someone told me this, it made me realize exactly why this mission is such an amazing opportunity. It is allowing us to receive more and more light, so that we can see more clearly the parts about ourselves that need changing and improvement. I was truly happy when I heard this Analogy haha :D 

     With this, I have thought a lot about pride and subornness, just as was said in conference, if the Lord told us that one of us would betray him, or that somebody needed help and changing. Are we the ones that say "Well it must be him, or it must be her or her Etc." Or are we humble and accepting enough to simply ask "Lord, Is it I?" Theres a lot of excuses in life about why things go not the way we want, but sometimes, we simply need to sit back, look at the situation, what went wrong, see what can be done better, and ask in humility "Lord, is it I?" These two things were two of the biggest things I took away from conference :D 

And with that, on to the week update :D

Monday: We went shoe shopping but I didn't buy anything, and then we had a chance to contact people, and change our lives :D 

Tuesday: A beautiful day! According to my journal haha :D We had a good chance to go to our Zone training meeting, and learn more about finding with our missionary purpose in mind. Then we met with an investigator, and I decided to write down everyday's blessings in my journal. 

Wednesday: "Kick Butt Day"! According to my journal  ;) We got to meet with a sister Huang who is going to be baptized in January. She recently lost her husband, and her son is a member. After her husband left, she realized that all she desired in this life was to be with her family forever. So she started meeting with us, and loves everything we're teaching :D Except scriptures, because she tried starting from the old testament reading, so she said it was way too hard haha. We helped her with that :D Then english class! yay :D 

Thursday: Learned about the special blessings that D&C 21: 4-6 give us :D And then got to have lunch with Sister Chen that got baptized a few weeks ago! We were so happy :D Then we got to meet with some really cool and 帥 people from Malaysia. Talking with them was very interesting, because it was a full on mix between english and Chinese haha. Fun :D 

Friday: 雙十節快樂! happy 10/10 day! every single lesson we had today didn't show up haha. but that's ok, because we had a lot of time to find other people to teach :D 

Saturday: Conference!!!! I've already shared some of my insights above :D Then at night the first councelor in the bishopric invited us to BBQ with him and some of his non-member families. That was exciting :D 

Sunday: More conference!! :D and then we got to meet with a new investigator who has been searching for truth in his life, and then meet with another investigator who is having troubles believing in Joseph Smith. Both were insightful lessons that I learned a lot from :D 

So yes, that was the week! Sometimes I think I write too much, and I think to myself "What kind of person would spend their time reading something like this??" haha, sorry, love you all, and hope you enjoy the read! :D 

CTR, 義

Elder Dawson 陶長老  

Photos! : 

Elder Anderson and I :D 

The kid I talked about last week that looks like russel from Up :D