Saturday, September 21, 2013

MTC Week Four

Dear Family, my family, 

     I am writing you from... a computer lab in 7M..... yep..... how interesting..... and let me just say, I love emails!!! I could sing a song about it!! (please wait....) Ok I just did to my companions! Don't worry, it's normal and they've gotten used to me singing out loud randomly :) So really quick to you father.... yes you dad, if you ever think that there's anything in my emails that shouldn't go on a blog (like personal stuff, family member stuff) then feel free to take it out and post the rest of the email on the blog! no worries, I'll just trust in you're judgment :) but also I do want people to read about what I'm doing so... up to you :) So that's awesome you're renting out the basement again!!! yay!!! I'm sure they'll be just as amazing as the Gombergs were :) So practicing mandarin eh?? hows it going!! I wish I could write to you in mandarin.... but uh... ya... not happenin, so just imagine I can actually speak Chinese haha! We watched "The Testaments" in Chinese yesterday and... I'd say I got a solid...... 17.5% of what they said haha! Everytime Christ spoke I understood it perfectly because it was church vocab I understood!! yay!! but then Korihor spoke... yikes. I need to learn Chinese. So yes I got the violin and can I say it has brightened my whole time here!!! Never before has playing the violin become such a stress reliever and such a solace for me :) I also got all the music!! This Thursday I have an audition to play it places, so hopefully that goes good!! oh ya and with the music.... If you could send the piano accompament to Joseph Smiths First Prayer and to I know that my redeemer lives that could be great :) Oh ya! and same day dear elder letter? awesome! there was so much awesomeness going on with that day, I almost exploded from how awesome my parents are!!! 

So... I got better from being sick :) and the Mandarin is going good!! my teacher asked in this next lesson teaching the investigator that I stay silent the whole time, so that my companions can struggle their way through it without me to rely on haha. Well that will be an interesting journey ;) I love my teachers so much!!! they are so spiritual, and everything they say always lifts me up to new heights!! Hm. Now I have in the Heights stuck in my head.... odd..... well, pacencia yi fei. (totally spelled wrong) so ya!....My companions... well.... we'll get back to that ;) 

Dad, that sentence you wrote to me " We'll bid you adieu for a short while and look forward to your wit and biting satire on MTC life." literally cracked me up!!  thanks so much!!!! 

So.... onto the dear elder you sent me ;) So thanks so much for the Chinese Hymn books!!! my district loves them, and they all say thank you!!!! so next rant is on electric razors. Basically the best thing that has ever happened to mankind. Ever. I have no idea how I have lived without an electric razor all this time!!! It came to me like.... mana in the wilderness. yep. thats all I got. amen, Hallelujah, and moving on. That cool violin thing you sent is awesome! and once I figure out how to use it, it'll be of great use to me!! :D So I don't know the mission address.... I'll find out and let you know :) oh and ya... a missionary plaque scripture... I found one, but lost it, so let me get back to you on that... again haha. (sorry world!) Thank you so much for all the inspiring words!! from family and others!! they mean so much to me, and I legit-ly love all the advice all the time!!! Sorry to all those who wrote me a letter and I haven't answered yet... sorry!!! I need to be called to repentance!! 

Speaking of repentance.. funny story time with Elder Dawson!!! So we were at the showers.... showering.... yep. And when I got out, I was like washing my hands and stuff, and these elders that had just gotten into the shower started doing a remake of a song, which happens to say the D-word in it. I was shocked they sang it, but I just cleaned up my things and was going to leave, when this short guy from Arizona storms into the bathroom, stands in front of the stalls where they are showering, and says "Elders, we are missionaries representing Christ, and I am appalled at the kind of language you are using right now. So you all need to shape up, be quiet, and you all need to repent." ..... I mean I have heard of calling nations to repentance, but he literally just... called them to repentance! awesome!! needless to say, me and that kid get along really well now :) and the elders in the showers took it well, apologized and went back to their rooms. Awesome. I love this gospel so much!!!! Where else can is say "Ni Xu yao Hui Gai!" and not have people look at me funny?? haha!!! Ah... sometimes I think I'm funny. Ok, so onto a day by day of my week :) 

Tuesday: MARIAH GOT INTO NOTEWORTHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yep, highlight of my day!!! haha, I was so freaking happy!!! and so excited!!!! Ah!!! This is what I wrote in my journal "I'm so freaking happy for her!!! She's practically living Pitch Perfect!!!" yep. amen. Ok and then I don't know if I wrote about this last week, but me and Elder Ricks have an agreement where whenever one of us calls the other by their first name, they get slapped for it. Funny thing is, Elder Ricks keeps calling me Danny, But I haven't called him Nathan yet, so basically I've slapped him like 30 times now, and he hasn't been able to for me haha, hilarious ;) 

Wednesday: Hard day. Hard hard day. "Ok so today was hard.... I don't know what to do with my companions!!!!! AH!!!!! They are so frustrating!!! ok simmer down... simmer...." That was what I wrote haha, ya... it was a hard day. We get along a lot better now, because we had a talk and some hardcore companionship inventory going on, so were cool now :) Another thing that happened on Wednesday was that Sister Grigg accidentally shot silly string into Sister Wang's Eye.... awkward, and funny haha. oh ya, and Wednesday I reached 14 times crying. wow. potato.  Pray for me.... pray pray and pray some more, I also had some troubles teaching my investigators, so that was rough... but there you go! 

Thursday: Journal Entry "Today.... Talk about a roller coaster of emotions!!! happy, sad, happy, sad, potato, acompanist, happy sad, I'm gonna kill someone, happy, sad, hey thats funny, happy sad, I want to sing, I don't know what to do, lord help me, happy, sad". yep... wow, ya that day was awesome because I got all the stuff from my parents!! yay!!! and I got an accompanist for my audition next thursday!! lets hope I do well!!!! 

Friday: I don't know what to say... things went good.... yep.... onward 

Saturday: I GOT TO SEE BRYAN AT TRC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so freaking happy, and so surprised!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I also taught a family home evening lesson where I accidentally told everyone that they were sinners and needed to repent. awesome. I was kinda sad right after I saw bryan... but then Elder Smith made me a paper heard, and it kinda made my day back to better!!! It's amazing how much the little things can help :) 

Sunday: Best. Day. Of. The. Week. Bad day for crying though, because I went up to 17 times.... yikes, I think I'm scaring Elder Bird, he's worried about my health with crying that much haha! Sundays are just so spiritual and amazing, I love it!! we had this guy give a devotional on how it was making "Ephraims Rescue" so I hope everyone goes and watches that, because I cant, and I'm sad! (not really haha) but ya. We went on a temple walk, worked on patience with the companions, sang Joseph Smiths First Prayer in Choir practice, and just had a party!! Oh and I started reading "Our Search for Happiness" by M. Russel Ballard, and its so cool!!! He has a lot of cool insight on the book of mormon that I have never thought of before!! 

Monday (Today): Wow... P-Day.... It's amazing how the time flies by!!! We went to the temple this morning, and then did service :) we folded sashes for an hour.... ya... not the most fun thing in the world, but hey, its temple service, gotta love blessings!!!! yep.. the day is still young... who knows what could happen...... 

So I was doing some scripture study lately (wow I say "so" a lot...) and I found this scripture in Mosiah 18:21-22 (I think this is the one I want on my mission plaque), which is amazing!!! it says "21. And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another. 22. And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the Children of God." I has been my goal to try and align my will with the lords, and I read these verses during a time when I was having a hard time with my companions. I realized then that I would never be able to teach the lords doctrine how he would have me do it, unless I let my heart be "Knit Together" in love an unity with my companions. It hit me like a high five to the face with a sack of potatoes. I read that, and I realized a new approach to love my companions, was to just listen to them!! I always think that my opinion is right, and so listening to them talk about things I think they shouldn't, or act in ways they shouldn't has always bugged me. However, I realized now, maybe I should just listen to them and see where they're coming from!! Phenomenal. I see the truth of how you can't change others who bug you, but you definitely can change yourself into figuring out why they act the way they act. I love this church, and I love the gospel. I thought I knew the love the lord had for me before this, but now, all I can think about is how much he loves me now!! Its so much more!! I love the lord, I know this church is true, and I know that if we love the lord with all our might, then he will open the gates of heaven with love towards us. I love my family, I love my friends, and I love my savior. 


Elder Dawson 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Photo With Cousin Aaron

MTC Week 3

Well here we go.... third week email.... wow.... how the time passes fast, and yet seems to take forever haha. So overview of the week.... It definitely had its ups and downs!! Sometimes I would be super excited to be here at the MTC, and other times I had the feeling that I wanted to kill small baby panda bears. However, right now I feel awesome and like I truly am blessed to be here right now :) Ok so first off, thanks for all the packages!!!!! On my actual birthday, the sisters in my district got me birthday presents that included: Chocolate Pie, High heel insoles, acne medicine (odd....), crystal light packets, canned carrots, a Book of Mormon in Italian, a mini baby seal stuffed animal, and a drawing of me anime style :) It was so awesome, and so cool that they got me stuff!!! even if the stuff was... well... you know ;) Thank you Mom and Dad for what you got me!!!! Tell Amah and Agong that I LOVE the watch!!!!!! I wear it every day, and I love how classy I look in it ;) Thanks for the music, my recital CD, the socks (yay lime green ones!) and ties!!! and of course the other stuff haha :) It was amazing reading my patriarchal blessing again!!! there has been so much more stuff in it that applies to me now that I'm on my mission, and I love reading it and seeing blessings that have already happened :) thanks :) Now then.... Emily Jarman..... I don't know if she's going to be able to read this.... but thanks for the package!!! I use the Angry Bird notebooks for my quotes from people, the pen to write the quotes (who would have thought), and the stickers are all over my closet!! haha! Of course, thank you also for that donut.... wrapped in tissues... wrapped in a plastic bag... and covered in bacon.... baha, it meant so much to me :) oh and I showed the picture to elder roberts and he totally remembers!!!! we all had a mind blown moment haha :) Now.... Mariah..... What. the. random. rock. ;) hahahaha! thanks so much!!! The tie is by far my favorite tie, and all the people in my district love it!!! It helps that theres an angry bird sown into the back ;) seriously an amazing idea!!! haha, thanks for the something helpful, and then something... not so helpful haha :) Yay packages for my birthday!!!! Ok.... back to my letter.... so like with most, we'll start with funny things, go into a day by day synopsis, and then go into the spiritual thought of the week ;) so, my companions are crazy. And they seem to have this obsession with watching me turn off the lights..... ok that may sound weird, but I kid you not, they watch me turn off the lights before we go to bed, then they get back up, and turn the lights back on so they can watch me turn them off again! Its really funny, and I have never heard Elder Bird or Elder Roberts laugh so hard!! They find it hilarious!! I don't even know what I do!!! haha, but then they bring in the other Elders in our district and have them watch, and they find it hilarious too!! Apparently we missed the opportunity to have me on america's funniest home videos before I left, and all I would have had to do is turn off the lights ;) Awesome. Tuesday: yay packages!!! (that was my thought haha) So monday we had a devotional about how our father in heaven loves us and well..... let me type what I wrote in my journal (I'll probably do that a lot....) "We had just got back from a devotional about our father in heaven loving us, which made me think of my dad, and how he and my mom sent me two packages with tones of stuff and well..... 10 times I have cried at the MTC. I AM SO BLESSED!!!!" and thats how it went haha.... so thanks mom and dad :) love you tons!!! Wednesday: On Wednesday, I felt the spirit a lot. Like a lot a lot haha, but with that, there was also some hardships. so here's a bit of what I wrote in my journal from Tuesday "I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!! (exact number of exclamation points... nailed it) I love being able to study the gospel more and get to know Christ and heavenly father in a way I've never been able to before!! My testimony has grown so much, but I know I am still small. However, through small, imperfect testimonies like mine, I know the lord can work great wonders. Amen." and then the hardship part.......... I don't think I should write to much about it in my letter here, but I hope that there are prayers coming in for me and Elder Bird. He's having a hard time seeing the point of the MTC, so he sleeps a lot and slacks off.... its frustrating, but I know that the lord will help me know what to do :) Thursday: "Today was.... welp. I missed musicals again, but we had a cool role play where I was the investigator!! It was so amazing, because the teacher was the missionary teaching me! It helped me know how and what to teach people!!! yay!!" So ya... that was Thursday... moving on... Friday: Whoops, forgot to send out all the letters that I wanted to send to thank people... Sorry everyone in the world that send me something!!! I'll answer soon!!!! haha, anyways, Friday.... friday we did more role play, and prepared for TRC on Saturday! ahh!!! I did a role play with Elder Colvin and Elder Smith teaching me, and it was amazing!!!! It's quite the amazing experience to have the spirit be there even though its just a pretend meeting haha. Saturday: So Saturday was a bad day..... I'm not going to sugarcoat it, I was mad haha. This is what my journal entry went like "Today I was astounded at the stupidity of some people. Mainly the immaturity of some people and how they don't study, they dont try hard, and they complain all the time" and then I went on haha. It's ok they, we have companionship inventory and talked about it, so now were all trying harder, and I pray everyday that I will be able to know what to do to help them. However, at the end of the night, guess who I saw that made my entire day better? Aaron Garcia!! my cuz!!! he came down to my room and we talked and just had a dandy time and took pictures (you'll see them soon) Sunday: Heres my journal entry "Wow... today.. Sunday... phenomenal, and it sucked for different reasons. Today Elder Smith became the new district leader, and I had more troubles with my companions. But that is not important, because right now, my heart is full. Today started normal, but ended in 11 times I've cried at the MTC haha. Why?? because we watched the Testaments movie about the coming of christ. Amazing. It reminded me that there was a phyisical man, the physical son of god that love me (were talking ME!) so much, that he was willing to die for me. I need to make myself worthy of that love, and try to sanctify myself more. My mission isn't just a change in my life, It's a change in me." Sunday was quite the amazing day I must say! and you know what made it better?? I got to see Aaron again!!! I truly believe that Aaron got here at just the right time. I was having troubles with my companions, but everytime I see him and get to talk with him, I'm super happy!!! It's a miracle that I get to spend this time with my cousin, and I'm so excited that we finally get to see each other more :) We stay in the same building haha. So I have no time left.... but consider my Sunday entry my spiritual experience, because that was probably the most moving experience of my week ;) So to leave (before my pictures) I just want to say Ephesians 5:8. Its amazing, and when I read it, I was like "hey look, thats me!!" so yep, thats how that was. It was like.... a monkey... picking berries out of a coconut tree. Thats how unexpected it came to me haha. ok that was a forced analogy... anyways...... CTR, Elder Dawson

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 2 Photos

                                           Danny and His Mission Companions

                                           Danny and his MTC District at the Temple

                                  Danny at his Senior Recital just before leaving to the MTC

MTC Week 2 & Photos

Well hello dear people of whom I love,         Sep 2 2013

    Well what a day today has started out to be?? I feel like its a special day or something.... like something really big is happening today! what is it??? hmm.... oh ya!!!! It's labor day!! who could forget a thing like that!? haha... ha.... ok jk, happy birthday to me, mazeltov and moving on haha. So guess what I got for a birthday present today?? oh its great!!! kidding not really.... I'm sick. like a dog. haha, and It's awful. It started yesterday night, and I just passed out, and tried to wake up this morning, but I just feel so sick, I think I may die of the Black plague. If that happens, know that I give all my socks freely to those in need of left socks. Oh and get a good musical number at my funeral haha, ok thats enough, I'm not going to die, I just feel like it haha. 

anyways... onto bigger and better things!!! so, thank you so much for you touching letter to me dad!!! I loved reading it :D and thanks for the happy birthday package, when I get it i'm sure I'll love it haha. Thanks for those photos you sent me!!!! I love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love LOVE it when you send me photos!!! I like to see whats going on at home :) 

Ok so.... time to talk about what I do with my life here at the MTC.... we'll start with the funny things, and then end with a spiritual note! So everyone in my district is hilarious. seriously hilarious haha. We have a guy named Elder Smith who looks EXACTLY like Kahn from the new startrek. Like seriously, I'm going to send you a picture, and you'll see just what I mean, it's crazy!!! Ok and apparently they think I look like russel from UP.... so that's unique haha, I get to do the "hello, my name is russel" routine all the time haha. ok so heres a highlight of my week: 

Monday: Got attacked by silly string in my dorm, got a package of donuts from the clinger family, and then went to a talk by neil L. Anderson about families. It was all amazing and the talk truly was inspired and helped me learn more about my family, and why I love them :) 

Tuesday: Probably the hardest day at the MTC thus far.... It was rough, and I felt depressed the whole day, like I didn't know where I was or what I was doing with my life. It was rough, but near the end of the day, my district leader talked to me (Elder Watson) and helped me realize my purpose more and boost my spirits :) 

Wednesday: The first companionship argument..... it wasn't even bad, just a little bit of tension, but we all got over it, and get along fine now!!! no worries at all :) Not a lot happened wednesday.... oh wait!! we taught our investigator Eric for the 4th time Wednesday!! That was quite an amazing experience.... we went in trying to teach him about the restoration, but he went  on a tangent wanting to know the reasons why he needs to pray. The spirit was super strong, and even though I butchered the Chinese grammar, I was able to convey what I thought in a way that helped him understand :) it was so cool!! ah! I died. ok right?? I died? I died. 

Thursday: So today was the day that pretended to read peoples palms.... unique and super funny bahahaha!! Oh and I got a letter from Kaala Hanni!!!!!!! YAY LETTERS!!!!!!!!!!!! We had class for 6 hours like a normal day, but this day I was alert the whole time!!! I've learned so much Chinese, I feel so blessed that I have this opportunity to learn and speak the Chinese Language :) 

Friday: Musicals. I am Obsessed with musicals!!! Its like I'm a free floating elephant with an allergy to peanuts..... ok bad analogy, but I'm seriously missing my musicals... none of my companions liked musicals at all, so seriously, I sing to myself all the time, and they keep telling me to stop haha. Once upon a time someone in the showers told me he'd literally kill me if I kept singing in the shower, but oh well, Its the MTC, Who would kill anyone there ;) 

Saturday: Ok so this day was the funniest day at the MTC that I have had yet!! We were laughing so hard at lunch, that we could hardly breath!! Its funny because we have a sister in our district who doesn't like laughing because she says you could die from it (Sister Hsu) so when we were all laughing that hard, she was like "told you so!" What was so awesome about this day though, was because we had so much fun, and also had so much spiritual-ness happen :) In class we did a role play where I got to pretend to be the investigator. It was all in Chinese, so it was a little hard to follow at times, but it got to the point where I was acting and said "I know that there is a god, but I just don't think he knows me." The teacher who was playing the missionary looked at me and said "I know that there is a God who loves and knows you personally." It hit me kind of hard, and made me so excited to go out and tell the people of Taiwan that there is a god who knows and loves them!! AHH!! It was a super cool experience ;) 

Sunday: Fast sunday.... So I'll be honest here, probably the first time I've fasted for 24 hours straight haha. but thats ok, what made it worse is that I got sick :/ However, what made it betters is that it was Jenny's birthday!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you got my letter..... I sent it a few days ago haha. So we had a ton of free time on Fast sunday, but we went on a temple walk, spoke Chinese, and I went up and bore my testimony in church in Chinese!! YAY!!!!!! I also realized this day however that I say really weird things.... my companions pointed out that I say really odd analogies.... but oh well, they know they love me haha. 

And were back to today.... I'm running out of time, and I don't know how long uploading photos will take, but here let me try, and if I have more time then I'll write more :)

Inline image 1

This is me searching the ceiling in our room for notes.. and I found one!! 

Inline image 2

Me and my companions in front of the temple!!! 

That's all the photos it will let me send in one email, but I'll send more in another email attachment!!! 

I love you all so much!!!! if you want to know anything just let me know!!! 


Elder Danny Dawson 

P.S. this is one for the blog