Magandang Umaga, (Good Morning)
This has been another rough week, and I'm starting to wonder if thats just normal. I spent the beginning of last week getting really close to the oldest district going to the Philippines. One Elder in particular I really looked up to, was named Elder Gilmore. All those guys were the hope that my district could make it through this. And it wasn't uncommon for us to spend a lot of time in there rooms getting advice and stuff from them. On sunday many of the Elders in that group spoke, and then the whole district elders and sisters got up and sang Nearer My God To Thee, and every other verse they sang in tagalog.
The tuesday after that sunday (2 days before the departure of that district) I got back to the residence hall and was on my way to my room when Elder Carr came up from behind me and pulled me into his room. His eyes were full of tears and something was clearly wrong. He told me that Elder Gilmore decided to go home. He didn't really have a testimony I guess. Which was absolutely heart breaking. There was a solemn quiet over our district that dinner, no one said a word. We thought he was so strong, jokes on us I guess. The worst part is that as soon has he pressed the abort mission button, it caused 2 more elders to do the same.
The next day we had a wednesday night devotional which I had been asked to speak at a week previously. So I had the responsibility of addressing our zone right after Elders Gilmore, Wood, and Spencer left. The topic was "enduring to the end".... imagine that.
I had hoped to send the whole talk I gave, but I don't really have time so I'll just share a thought or two from it.
Going on a mission is much different then the 18 years of talking about it, make it out to be. Its not worse, its better. No one told us when we were in primary that we would be a part of the most incredible global effort to fix the world we live in. We all are in the same boat and we as missionaries are called to maintain our worlds "moral buoyancy" patching up the leaks in our ship, to save us from sinking standards. And its not easy. Its hard to keep going. Its supposed to be that way, thats what makes it worth it. No one walks out of and easy experience and says to themselves, "wow look how strong I am" This climb is long, and difficult, and it feels like its you against the world. I know its been a difficult couple days this week. I don think its any coincidence that this MTC is surrounded by mountains. Because no matter what, you have to climb one to get out. And its up to you how you make it out of here. With gods help or without it. Because we are called to serve. God runs a tight ship. Elders and Sisters I promise you that this is worth it. And even though we watch those on our right and left swan dive off the side of this boat, we must be stronger than that. We must be stronger than that for the people of the Philippines. Each one of us must pull our weight, heaving the flag of god to the top of our masts, proudly declaring, "Ako po si Elder Dahle! gusto ko magbahagi insang mensahe tungkol sa tagapagligtas anim!"
Family and friends. Lastly I want to share a quote that my grandma Whitney always shared with me.
"The purpose of life is not to see who can make it to death safely in a pretty, and well preserved body free from damage. Rather to come flying in sideways skidding on the pavement all burned up from re-entry loudly saying "Wow, what a ride"
I love you all so much, and I miss you all so much. I am excited to get to the field. As necessary as the MTC is I really dont want to be here anymore, because I don't feel like Im really helping anyone at the moment. But I have already decided which mountain to climb. I love you all, smile a bunch and have fun and all that jazz. Please write dear elders. It feels so good to have mail in my mailbox lol. Love You!!
Mahal kita, (I love you)