Friday, October 11, 2013

MTC Week 7

Dear Family, Friends, Previous people I may have met in a sandwich line, and turtles, 

     That makes me so sad that you didn't get my email last week!!! I wrote a ton I promise, and it said it sent, but I guess it didn't :/ Welp, there goes my perfect streak emailing every week. *sigh* So guess what?! For the first time ever, I stayed awake the entire conference, all sessions!!! I was so happy!! I took a ton of notes, and learned so much, and feel so edified! I'll talk more about my favorite parts in just a sec :) Yes indeed.... there's a lot of missionaries out... its like we're trying to convert the world or something ;) So if you ever don't get my letter by Monday at 6, feel free to send me a dear elder and tell me, so that I can run on and resend it, because it really bummed me out that you didn't get my last week email :/ Wow, I'm super spastic.... wow. 

     Travel Plans. Right. So we get them this Friday! ah!! So excited!! As soon as I know, I will write you the next Monday... so In a week I'll let you know haha! So I see Sister Mangelson every day, and we talk a ton! Her district has 7 Sisters and 2 elders, so that's pretty unique! She says she's having an amazing time, and I love being able to talk to her and have us both learning Chinese here! It's so cool!! Me an my companions are going... pretty well!!! They're so awesome, and they put up with my crazy-ness very well considering ;) They are so much fun to be around, and its awesome being able to learn and study with them :) I unfortunately haven't had a chance to perform yet, but I'm still keeping my hopes up that they'll let me perform somewhere!!! Please please please!!! Anything you send this week that would be awesome... Ya... photos.... warm clothes.... a rock... really anything would be great! haha

     So glad to know you still got to get away and go to St. George for the weekend, sounds like it was a party! Well, a pie party by the sound of it, glad to know you're all eating enough pie without me there ;) haha! Oh Taiwan food... I'm so excited :) Once again, sorry my letter didn't get there last week mom! sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry!! I do hope you get it this week along with this letter!! Oh ya... me and Sister Mangelson have been meaning to take a picture together for some time, but we keep forgetting haha! No worries, It shall come!!! We shall get it to you!! :) Tell Cheryl I say back! So fun story, I've been reading a lot in "Our Heritage" And I read about all the hardships that the early saints went through. It's crazy!! I mean, some of the missionaries they sent out literally had nothing except Book of Mormons and the clothes on their back, and then here is poor ol' Elder Dawson going out with his three suit cases full of stuff. I mean, missionaries go without, but really in all honesty, we have so much that we bring with us, and receive so much from others! Both Physically, and spiritually. 


My week! And General Conference notes! 

Monday: P-day a week ago.... I got a package, with a lime green tie! yay!!! Best day ever!!! We also went to the temple, Learned more Chinese, and ate a cookie.  A week ago I also had to say goodbye to Elder Davis, and that was hard. He's so amazing, and I know he'll be really good on his mission, so I wish him good luck!! Ya.... 

Tuesday: Well heard another story from Elder Wuthrich, and guess what I found out! His cousin, Natalie Wuthrich, Went to bountiful with me, and I was totally in musical with her! Ah awesome connections!!!! Besides that awesome fact, this is what I had to say that day: "Ok so today I learned a lot, exercised a lot of patience, and studied! We had a super cool talk by a super cool man with an accent. He talked about how we are Christian." That guys name was president Baxter of the 70, and he told us a lot about how much charity and donations our church has done. I ended the journal entry by saying "Ah! Why are we so cool!!" Haha, right. Humility. On that. 

Wednesday: First day hosting!!!! I got to host three elders, and also talk to a bunch of dropping off families! In class we learned about teaching people and not lessons. We practiced aiming our lessons to the persons needs, and not giving a recited bit about how were there to teach them a lesson on the gospel. Right after class I got a haircut here.... Never again. Basically I look like a poor walrus that's missing half a head. ya, It was a bad haircut haha, but the cool part is they vacuum your head to get the hair off! That felt pretty cool haha. 

Thursday: This was the day Elder Wuthrich asked if I would room with him at BYU when we get back from our missions. I said why not! We both will speak mandarin Chinese, and we get along great! So ya, I guess I have my first college roommate now... odd... Why am I so old!!! 

So sorry these are kind of short day entries, sorry, I want to get to my general conference notes. 

Friday: This is literally all I wrote in my journal. "Great Day!! Yay!!" Wow. awful. Because now I don't remember that day, so I have no Idea what happened... yep. Moving on. 

Saturday. Started by saying "Wow that was a short Journal entry.... I probably need to repent haha!" GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!! I'll get more to that later :) I went and talked more to Elder Garcia, and that was super fun!!! But the coolest non-spiritual part about Saturday is that we found the bat cave!  here's what I said "Oh! Funny story, we found a bat cave!! Like a study kind, not a literal cave with bats. We drew a piano that goes on the front door, and we "play" it to get in and study! It's super quiet in there, and we don't allow people to talk, so It's cool how much studying happens!" Finally, I think I found a way to get my companions to study. Thank heavens. haha

Sunday: yay yay yay more conference!!!! (more later on that) but the cool part of Sunday was that we got to see Vocal Point!! They sang and shared stories from their missions, and I cried. Amen. 21 times at the MTC. Rocking it. Oh and Elder Wuthrich left today, so now I am friendless. Kidding, I still have my companions as friends ;) And My district... And Elder Hainsworth... ya.... 

Ok so on to general Conference, wow? Am I right?? It was so cool! I was surprised that they didn't announce any new temples, but I suppose there probably a reason for that, you know, all them missionaries out preachin' and stuff ;) haha, oh I sometimes think I'm funny... anyways! I Really loved how Robert D. Hales reminded us that we were listening to the Lords conference, and we would hear his words. The next thing that struck me super had was Edward Dube (cool accent guy) said, well I guess his mom said "Never look back, look at what we have to do". The more I thought about it, the more I realized its true! I mean, a lot of times we simply look at how much we've accomplished to make us feel better about ourselves, and to make us feel like we have to do less in the future because we've done so much. Elder Holland said "The past is to be led from, not to be lived in." It's such a rally to push forward with faith, trying our absolute hardest to do the most we can in the future. Missions are hard, but I know that if I approach it with the thought of "look what there is to do" and not with "look at what I have done" then the Lord will work wonders through me. In comparison with that thought, he also said an amazing quote about some... cattle? trying to move a stone. He said "It doesn't matter how strong you are alone, but how well you move as a team." As missionaries, we preach as a team. I have let some things slip by with not trying to help my companions as much as I could, because I figured I could just do it by myself. However, as soon as I heard that, it hit me that, no matter how strong I am as a missionary, it all matters about how me and my companion move together. We all must become one with preaching the gospel. 

S. Gifford Nielson said "Pray for the missionaries by name" *ahem* hint hint. 

Timothy J. Dyches quoted and said "With thou be made whole?" and all I could think was "I don't know, will we?" If want to be forgiven of our sins, and be able to move on, we have to be willing, and ask the Lord to help us, or else it wont happen. Another interesting concept he brought up was the fact that the second great law was "love others as you love yourself". To fulfill that law, we have to love ourselves. This has always been an interesting problem for me, but now I know that we cant just find solace in trying to help and serve others. We also have to help, serve, and love ourselves, so that we will be able to love others. Wowza. Game, set, match. 

Well unfortunately I only got through a third of my conference notes, and I'm out of time :/ but if anyone were to write me a letter this week, they'd probably hear more from me, just saying ;) haha, but to end, I just wanted to share another quote from conference that reminded me of the people of our church. Its from Henry B. Eyring, and he said "Remember you are the Samaritan, not the man, or the Levite that walked by." As people of this church, we are the good Samaritan's trying to heal others and bring them to the Lord. To be able to do that, we cant just say were going to try and help, then pass up opportunities, we must constantly seek opportunities to teach, heal, and be good friends. Helping people come closer to Christ doesn't have to be converting them to the church, sometimes, it simply means being their friend. Don't be the person M. Russel Ballard described when he said "People don't ask for opportunities to share the gospel, because they're afraid they'll have to." This gospel is centered on Christ, but that doesn't mean standing on the street corner preaching repentance unto the world. Reevaluate how you treat others, and If your being a good friend to those you interact with, and that will show you how well you are bringing people closer to God. 

I hope you have a great week, and I'll write more about conference next week I suppose!! 


Elder Dawson 

P.S. I hope you actually get this letter!! haha

P.P.S.: Photo time!!! 

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