Elder Dawson

Elder Dawson

Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 6-October 30, 2015

Bula Vinaka noqu matavuvale!

Dude, I am so super stoked right now! So, all week I've been visiting the Travel Office trying to get my flight plans, which my whole mission got last Friday. My Visa was causing problems and earlier this week a worker in the Travel Office told me that I was put on the temporary assignment list, which would have meant that for a transfer or so (6 weeks) I would have been serving in a state within the United States.  I came to terms with it because I knew that Heavenly Father would put me where he needed me, but I was still super bummed out that I wouldn't be able to go to Fiji with the rest of my District and District H. Today Elder Forbush and I went to the Travel Office to go and get my travel itinerary and when we got there no one was at the front desk and I thought to myself "Great it's going to be one of those visits". Then a brother walked into the office and our conversation went something like this.

"How can I help you Elder?"
"Hi my name is Elder Dawson, I'm going to Fiji. I'm here to see if my travel plans are here yet."
"Elder Dawson...Ah okay."
*3 seconds of silence*
"So....Your Visa came."

As soon as I heard those words, I almost couldn't breathe. He showed me my itinerary and the final destination was Fiji! I couldn't believe it. All week I had been praying that my Visa would come, and that I would be able to get to Fiji, and I know Heavenly Father heard my prayers. I leave the MTC Monday, and I couldn't be more excited. 

So, about the rest of my week. On Sunday we had a wonderful sacrament meeting, the topic was enduring to the end. A common scripture used was Ether 12:27.   "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
It talks about how The Lord will make all of your weaknesses strong if you have faith and if you actively live worthily of his help. 

On Monday nothing to eventful happened just the usual MTC life. On Tuesday, a lot of us within the Fijian mission were really not feeling very good, and there was a devotional that night, so we talked and said that we might just skip it and get some extra sleep. Man we are glad we didn't. Elder Neil A. Andersen spoke and it was the best! He spoke about sacrifice, opposition and, what I appreciated most, deliverance.  It was so cool hearing the words of an Apostle of God, especially when they are meant specifically for you. It was truly a great experience. 

On Wednesday we got to participate in something called People and Your Purpose, which is the first workshops the newest missionaries participate in when they arrive at the MTC. We got to be the example missionaries, so we would knock on a door and in front of a big group of new missionaries, get to know an investigator. We would ask simple questions about them, just get to know them, but then we start digging a little deeper. It was super easy in English but it was tons of fun, and I remember participating on my first day and seeing those example missionaries and thinking, "Man I'm never going to be that good", but with help from my Heavenly Father I got just that good. 

On Thursday we had our In Field Orientation,which was a 9 hour meeting. Man, that was an experience. There were some sweet breakout sessions where we would just practice teaching random people, or working with the members in our ward and stuff like that. Then right after dinner we had Skype TRCs. We got to teach this awesome member named Kabi. By the end of the night I was definitely tired, but I have to say it was a great day. 

Man, I've seen the Hand of God in my life so much this week; from my Visa coming in on time, to the view outside my bedroom window. God is everywhere. An awesome Elder challenged me to look for the Hand of God everyday and I want to extend that challenge to you. I know if you look you'll see it, and when you do, don't forget to thank him. I know that Heavenly Father wants to bless our lives, I know that he wants to see us smile, he wants to see us happy. I know that even during our darkest times if we turn to God we can feel his comfort and love. I know this to be true. I love my Heavenly Father and I love the Gospel that has been restored to this earth. 

Au Lomani Iko

Much Love 
Elder Dawson

Peace Be Still
Keep it Real

My Last Week in the MTC-Pictures

Provo Temple

Elder Green is so proud of our friendship!

President Willes and I!

I'm gonna miss this residence.
My Canadian Brother Elder Datoon. Easily the best Fijian speaker in our District, also an awesome example of love.

Elder Larsen

Elder Dunn

Friday, October 23, 2015

Week 5-October 23, 2015

Bula Vinaka!!

My week has been super rad! Or as we say now Sickmada (nd). Monday all the Samoans left, all of them, which bummed me out because they had some choice Elders and some awesome Sisters that I'll definitely miss. On Tuesdsay we threw a birthday party for Brother LeDoux, it was pretty sweet. Then the Kiribati left. Which was sad but it was pretty sweet to, we saw them leaving and we all ran up to their rooms and scavenged everything we could. We even got a mini fridge. That makes three. The mini fridges at one point were shared among the Islander Zone, and there was peace and prosperity, but after a week of having our fridge stolen with all our goods, including my queso, we said enough of that so we took all of them.

On Wednesday we got to host a bunch of new Elders. Something like 300 plus missionaries came in that day. Most of the kids I hosted were going to Argentina.

Yesterday, Thursday, we had our first Skype TRCs. That's when we teach a lesson to a member in nothing but Fijian. Our member's name was Sai. She is a 24 year old at BYU Hawaii. She was so cool, and crazy helpful. We sang hymns to her, shared a quick message about prayer with her and then asked her for feedback. She told us that Elder Kumar had sworn in the middle of his testimony and Elder Stevens had challenged her to a fight, instead of challenging her to read the Book of Mormon. She said that our singing was awesome though. I loved every terrifying moment of speaking with her.

Last night I spent the night in the room next to me which has Elders Green, Ogden, Forbush, Larsen, Datoon, and Mo'unga. Some weird stuff happened. A lot of sleep walking and sleep talking. It was a fun time though. Elder Green and I couldn't stop laughing.

We as a District have decided to stick to a very strict program called SYL, or Speak Your Language. Basically we just speak Fijian now. Well, as best as we can, which for most of us, including me, is not much. Speaking the language is getting me so pumped though to actually go to Fiji. Sometime today we'll be getting our flight plans for our departure. I can't believe we only have ten days left here! I'll miss it here but at the same time, I can't wait to leave. I'm so amped!

Thank you guys so much for all the letters! They mean so much to me. So, weird request, but Dad all the Aussies in my District think you are the coolest guy because you're a Marine, so if you could send some super sick pictures of guns or other stuff like that, and if some Marine Corps swag could end up in an envelope and end up in my hands that would be sweet. Mom, all the guys think you are a super savage. I got my camera case and SD card a day before my camera so they thought you sent the camera case in a mocking way. They love you! Anyways, thank you so much Lundgreens!  I love the camera and I took some pictures to prove it!

My rad desk!

Elder Ogden and Elder Green

Elder Christy (the Aussie) and Elder Stevens AKA Thanos Insanos

Lately I've been thinking about Christ and the Atonement. It's so wonderful to know that even in the darkest moments, in the worst of the worst, we can know that there is someone who loves us so much that we would put himself through the same pain and sorrow just for us. Just so we can return to our Heavenly Father. 

 Luke 12:32 "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."

Au via wasea na noqu ivakadinadina. Au kila ni lomani keda na Kalou. Au vakadinadinataka ni Parofita o Josefa Simici. Au kila ni bula ni Parofita bula ka Parofita o Thomas S Monson. Au kla ni dauloloma ka dauvosota i Jisu Karisto. Au kila ni e wawa va keda I Jisu Karisto. Au lomani Jisu Karisto ka na Kalou. Au lomani noqu lotu i Jisu Karisto. Au vakavinavinakataka va na lotu i Jisu Karisto. Ena yaca i Jisu Karisto, Emeni. 

Au lomani Iko!

Much Love
Elder Dawson     

Peace Be Still

Keep it Real

Finding Brother Carver

This was a happy moment!
Brother Garrett Carver, my Stafford, Virginia homie!  Love this guy!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Week 4-October 16, 2015

Bula Vinaka! Man this week feels like it flew right by. We have three missions leaving this weekend, the Kiribati missionaries, the Samoans, and the Marshallees. It sucks to see them go but it's hard not to be super excited for them and to meet all the new missionaries. We are hosting again this Saturday so we get to greet the new Islander missionaries. 
This week started out pretty rough. I hit a pretty gnarly mental and emotional wall. No tears just a couple of sleepless nights and bad days, but one of my instructors, Sister Trammell, gave me a pretty good pep talk. I love Sister Trammell.  She's such a cool gal. All of the class agrees, we want to hang out with her when we get home.  

My other instructor is Brother LeDoux. He's just as awesome. His favorite movies are the High School Musical series, so we often sing those songs in class. He loves messing with us. He throws acorns at us if we sleep or he'll just get everyone to leave class and leave the one person alone sleeping in the class. He takes us outside and makes us have speed walking races for Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches. Christy usually wins.  He uses his super speed walking powers. 

As of a few weeks ago I was put in a Tripanionship. That consists of myself, Elder Stevens from Spokane, and Elder Kumar from Brisbane. I love both of them. I miss Elder Guymon but I know I'll see him in the field. 

The MTC is just a place for teenage boys to grow as missionaries during the day, but at night or during down time, we love to do stupid stuff. We play a game here called "What are the odds?" So far because of that game I've had to:  take a bite out of a banana from the side with the peel on, eat a piece of cheese cake covered in salt and pepper, drink a mixture of heaven knows what, eat a lemon, rind and all,  and a few other things. We all love it.
MTC Dorm Room...imagine the fun!

On Monday we had a small birthday bash for Elder Ogden. It was pretty dope. We also watched a movie called Meet The Mormons, if you haven't seen it, I highly suggest it. I guarantee you'll love it.

Elder Ogden's Birthday. 
Back Left to Right: Me, Elder Green, Elder Datoon, Elder Van Rossendal
Middle Left to Right : Elder Dunn, Elder Ogden, Elder Roberts, Elder Forbush
Front Left to Right: Elder Aguiar, Elder Larsen

Throughout the week we have watched some of the videos about Christ and his earthly ministry. It's so weird, all my life I feel like I've known of Him, but now I feel like I know Him. I can feel his love for me daily. It's the greatest feeling I've ever had. Thinking of what he did for me gives me the boost of energy I need to push through the day. I want everyone to feel the way I do when I see a picture of my Savior, or read a scripture about him performing a miracle for a "lesser" person, or when I here a hymn about Him. I would love to hug him and thank him for the sacrifice He made for me. I guess giving my all out here will suffice for now. 

Thanks for all the support. On all of those days I'm having a hard time, getting your letters makes it so much easier. 

So, I asked some of the guys what they would love to see in a package from my mom. 
Peanut Butter
Mixed Nuts
Pub Mix
Little Nerf Guns
Raspberry Strudel
Quaker Snack Mix/ Chex Mix
Shia LeBouf "Do It" Motivational Poster
Cheese Whiz and Crackers

Also I found my camera, and when I tried to turn it on, it wouldn't work. I changed the batteries and it still didn't work. So I'll send you some pictures a little later from the guys in my District. 

Au Lomani Iko Levu!!

Much Love 
Elder Dawson

Peace Be Still
Keep it Real

Friday, October 9, 2015

Week 3-October 9, 2015

Bula  Vinaka! Thanks so much for all the Dear Elders letters. They've been awesome to get and read. Did you know you can send packages through Dear Elder and they get there that day. *wink wink*

My week has been pretty rad.  On Saturday and Sunday all the missionaries crammed into the Gym to watch Conference. I took like 12 pages of notes. Elder Green and I also played the box game, he beat me 305 to 85. I loved Sister Marriott's talk on having faith. I loved the Quote from President Hinckley she used.
"If you do your best, it will all work out.  Put your trust in God...The Lord will not forsake us."

We got two new Tongan Districts; ten new Elders and four new Sisters. They all look like babies. 

On Wednesday a film crew from Australia came to our class to learn more about the MTC and how they teach Elders the language. The guy was really respectful and cool. 

Yesterday most of our District got sick so like half of us went back to residence. I had to take four shots of NyQuil out of a SoBe cap, I was just happy Elder Green had some.  

The language has been coming along very well. We are starting to teach two investigators a week and both are in Fijian and we can't use our note books. I'm sure they just have the hardest time not laughing when we just get really quiet when they're speaking. I'm sure we just look like deer in the head lights. 

My District gets to be hosts for the new Elders this next Wednesday. That should be pretty exciting.  We will get to meet the new guys on the street and show them around!  

I forgot to tell you guys this but two Friday's ago I ran into Travis Wares at the Temple.  We were both pretty happy to see each other. 

Today has been a rather unproductive P-Day. Usually we get back from the Temple after a session and we'll hop into our P-Day wear and we'll go to the gym. Then after like 3 hours we go do laundry and email. Today, however, most of our day was spent lounging around. It was kind of nice having a day to get better though. 

So a couple of Elders have told me that their moms have been following my blog. That's funny, I totally forgot you were doing that. 

I love you guys a ton and I miss you guys a lot. I'm glad you guys are both doing well. Give my love to the chillins and to Michael. 

Much Love,
Elder Dawson

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week 2-October 2, 2015

Bula Vinaka! Boy, has it been an interesting week. A few ups and a lot of downs. 

The days here seem to drag on forever. This last Monday seems like it was months ago.  On Sunday we had a devotional and the key speaker was President Allen, he is in charge of the Home Front campaign the church did quite a while back and he is now in charge of something that has to do with missionaries. The whole night just felt like he was rebuking us about being stupid hormone driven young people. Elder Guymon got yelled at for running on some chairs to get to his seat, and then at the end of the devotional he got a sister's email, that crazy kid. Then we watched a video Elder Bednar did that was about being converted to Christ, not the church. It was awesome. Through the entire devotional and video just a few seats in front of me there was a sister who I swear was Bri Biorn"s twin.   

On Tuesday, we did our first act of service.  We cleaned a whole building. Elder Larsen and I got stuck with cleaning the bathrooms...scrubbing toilets.  I walked into a stall and flushed the toilet (because it was nasty) and I got sprayed by so much water.  Apparently there was a little post-it note on the door that said "out of order". Luckily it was my last toilet.  All I had left was to vacuum the whole building. 

Later that night we had an awesome devotional and the speaker was Elder Costa of the Seventy. His talk was AMAZING.  He talked about his experiences with the missionaries as a young man (he's a convert). He kept saying that missionaries were his heroes, even more so than prophets and apostles. Elder Guymon, myself and the rest of District E and H (The Fijian Mission) all think he's going to be called this next conference as an apostle. 

Yesterday, Thursday, I was teaching my investigator his last lesson and we asked if he would enter the covenant of baptism. He started with "io" (yes) and then went off in Fijian, but Elder Guymon and I were so excited we didn't really listen. When he stopped talking I said "Sa totoka dina oqori" (that's truly beautiful/That's wonderful). He laughed at us. When our teacher came in to talk to us he asked if Elder Guymon and I knew what we said.  I said yeah. Then he told me that our investigator, Kalivati, and said that he would be baptized, but he was having Word of Wisdom troubles and he had smoked a cigarette that very  day...and how did I respond? "That's truly beautiful!"

Today, however, is the lowest point so far. About 40 minutes ago we had to send off my companion, Elder Guymon, back to his home in Mesa. I can't explain how hard this hit both the Fijian Districts. We all loved him so much and he was such an awesome guy. He just wasn't ready for the MTC and the MTC wasn't ready for him. All of us know that by going home he'll only be blessed and he has been such a great example of courage and spiritual strength. Elder Larsen and Forbush have basically been our brother companionship so we are all sticking together for the time being. Probably during dinner we are going to go look for Guymon's twin who is here and just let him know that we have his back and that we love him too. 

That's all for now, I love you guys a lot!

Au lomain kemundrou! ❤

Your Son
Elder Dawson