Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Elder Dawson's First Week

Well harrow there!!!!           Aug  26,  2013


where to start? 

Ok so the MTC is absolutely crazy!!!! and some of the people here are crazy too.... but that's ok, it happens haha, so my teacher is Ge Lao Shi, and he is from Australia and went on his mission to Singapore. He is way good, and never speaks English, so when he does, it really throws me off that he has an Australian accent haha. So one weird thing about the learning of Chinese here at the MTC is that we don't learn any characters whatsoever here! weird eh? nope, its all just pinyin, but that being said, I am kind of grateful for that because it is HARD here. Our schedule is like, learn Chinese, study scriptures, eat, learn Chinese, go to a devotional, eat again, learn Chinese, study preach my gospel, eat, and maybe if were lucky we'll get some sleep haha. That's one thing that I miss quite a bit. sleep. sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep. one guy brought a pillow pet of simba... that could be fun haha. 

hmm... interesting.. anyways... 

back to focus..... So my companionship is in a three some, and that is always an adventure haha, not only do I have to spend all this time with one other person, but I get to spend it with two others!! haha.... ha..... joy. However, we have had like... double... or triple the amount of spiritual experiences with one more elder in the companionship! It's almost like everything that happens between us is a miracle, I feel as if I am being able to see how the lord works to help people even more and more. We had an expirience while bearing our testimonies to each other that made me cry. literally.   (ok that doesn't actually mean a lot, because as my mother knows, I'm a bit of a crybaby, and I've already cried six times at the MTC.... its really quite funny.) anyways.... we were all bearing our testimonies, and my two companions who are kind of sports jocks started bearing there testimonies and were starting to get shaky voices when they bore their testimonies and it was awesome. me on the other hand started balling my eyes out more than the sister missionaries when I bore my testimony, so there's that, I cry a lot. 

So let me tell you about my companions. Elder Roberts if from Clinton Utah, hes about 5' 10", loves playing baseball, and has those man-ish qualities that I guess gets all the women. (If you don't get what I'm saying, Hes attractive. very. quick find someone to marry him! kidding, he has a girlfriend) He's super funny, but quiet. His best friend is here in the MTC with him and so its fun seeing him also. Elder Roberts has a really strong spirit, but also knows how to have fun here, really, I'm just super excited I got a down to earth companion that isn't one of those crazy "I have to repent two hours in the closet" companions. He learns the gospel, learns the language, and moves on. Now then.... Elder Bird is the other companion..... Elder Bird Elder Bird... where to start... well he does kind of look like a robin.... anyways, Elder Bird has one of the most amazing stories I have ever heard! Before he came on his mission, he was one of those kids that doesn't always do what is right.... like a lot of wrong. However, he had a near death experience that has changed him forever.  Two months before his mission he was out racing in Oklahoma (that where he lives) and had just finished the race, when he started coming home. He was street bike racing, and some of the others were racing in cars and other in street bikes. So he was on his way home, going 65 on the freeway, when he looked back and saw headlights coming at him. It was one of the cars that he was just racing against that didn't see him in the road, and plowed right into him going 135 miles per hour. The car threw Elder Bird forward and he started skidding across the road, where the car then ran over him, but as it ran over him, he grabbed onto the bumper, and started getting dragged as the car was going. He was awake during the whole thing. The car finally stopped after he had been dragged a distance of 2 football fields, and the damage was surveyed. Somehow after all of that, he had no broken bones!! however, the entire left side of his leg was completely torn off down to the tendons, and he had patches of skin missing all of from his arms, to his other leg, around his feet, and his entire waist. He had to get skin grafts all over his body, and through 2 months of recovery, was allowed to go on his mission. The way he describes this experience and how he knows he was saved so that he could go on a mission is simply phenomenal. Overall, he's still a bit of a punk, but he has a testimony more driven than any I have seen, and it is heart wrenching to see the pictures, and hear of what happened to him. 


If I say anyways a lot... its an inside joke.... 

So on to happier topics!! With my crying problem, Elder Roberts says it's totally fine, and that crying is a healthy way to express one's emotions. Elder Bird however says under no circumstance should one cry as much as I do. He says I'm emotionally unstable and need help haha, in a joking way of course ;) I can honestly say however that I know the lord put our Companionship together for a reason. Elder Bird and Elder Roberts have never studied any Chinese, and say they feel lost whenever anyone speaks in Chinese (Understandable). Obviously I have studied a bit of Chinese.... but they told me that if it were not for me and the fact that they have someone to relate to in the companionship (Me for Chinese, each other for how they feel not knowing the language) then they said they probably would have gone home. That's powerful. 

wow I'm like preaching on them.... other stuff.... potato?? It's in our gospel vocab list for some reason... like hey there, wanna learn about the book of Mormon and eat a potato?? awkward... 

So basically the MTC is amazing, and my District on a scale of one to ten, is the best!!! We're all going to Taiwan, Taichung, except for two sisters are going to visitor centers, and Elder bird one of my companions is going to Canada. There's 11 of us in total, and our District leader is probably the funniest most chill man I know! We're all really close as a district, and feel like we're setting realistic goals and achieving them well, but who knows, I have only been here 5 days.... whoot.... 9 weeks to go.... woooowww......

And then Mariah sent me a letter.... haha It was super thick, and was actually a letter that contained six handwritten letters!! so ghee :) 

My Chinese..... it has grown so much, I can now pray, bear my testimony, and teach the first lesson in Chinese... definitely a TON of hard work!! but hey, It's worth It :) I can't wait to talk to you all, and show you how good my Chinese is getting!! and Bryan, you were right, they give you like 20 pounds of books!!! its crazy!!! Two days after we entered the MTC we had to teach our first investigator Eric.... it was a nightmare. Basically all that we could say was that Jesus Christ loves him haha, Awkward when you're trying to convert someone and that's all you can say when they ask questions.... but we get to teach him for the third time tonight, and I think it will be good!! I'm so excited when we will have taught him everything that we can, and then he gets "baptized" seeing as hes already a member haha. 

So I just want to say quickly to my brother Bryan, how did you make it through 12 weeks???? 9 more to go..... *sigh* 

so my time is almost up, so I'm going to go, but I hope you love reading this letter!! I practically poured my soul into it, and Elder Bird says thank heavens I didn't cry while typing this. Elder Roberts says nothing.... he just smiled and kept typing his letter... he does that haha, but shhhh, they haven't found out I'm crazy yet, so lets just keep it that way ;) I love you all so much, and hope you get a chance to write me something, choose Dear Elder, its the way to go and I can get it any day of the week!! and I can get brownies through it.... just saying...... ok, I love you all, and as a parting, I will simply say..... potato. 

Oh ya, and goodbye I suppose.... 

Elder Danny Dawson (Tao Zhang Lao) 

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