Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2 months out 1/27/2014

It has been fine living in the snow. As long as you dress right it's not that bad to go out. Today is actually fairly warm minus the wind chill. I'm glad to hear that you have so many fun things you will be doing this year.

Things have been going great and tomorrow is Zone Conference and we are getting an iPad mini that we get to use. We also will be trained some more and do other things. 

I'm loving the mission and  there is so much to do in the work. Everything has been going great and I am so happy to be up here.
Photo Courtesy Diana Alvarez
I'm trying to upload pics from this computer but we're at the public library and it's not working. It's hard to multitask with everything.

I'm trying to think of what I did this last week but it was kind of hard. We had 4 inches of snow on Tuesday so we weren't allowed to go out so we went tubing outside our apartment. 

One of the Elders in my apartment went home this week due to medical reasons and we have a new roommate now. He is super tall 6'8" but really nice.

We taught some more lessons and met with more members. We went to a member who has this mansion home and ate there but they are in the middle of no where. We went to Poolsville to help our roommates feed some member's horses today and we went to another members home and got free haircuts (It's just a little trimmed).

We have 2 new investigators but are having a hard time getting our investigators to progress. We are working hard but often they don't have time to meet with us and cancel and reschedule appointments.

But we are still working hard and doing our best. I love being out here and it's crazy how much time just flies by.

Elder Braden Dahl

Specialized Training of January's New Arrivals and Trainers
Back row L to R: Elders Palmer, Wang, Lim, Wilcox, Jensen, Redmond, Peterson, Melander                                           Seated on stage L to R: Elders Anderson, Dahl, Collins, Zollinger, Cervantes, Mecham, Smith, Brown                              Back row of Sisters L to R: Sisters Veenker, Kohler, Marambio, Chappell, Croese, Bertholon                                              Front row L to R: Sisters Johnson, Bascom, Cooke, President Cooke, Sister Checketts & Connolly
Learning to Lead a Hymn

Instruction, Discussion and Role-Playing
Lunch, at last!
Scripture Chase in "Preach My Gospel" using one hand from each companion
Finding separated phrases from the First Vision and shooting them in order.
Finding the appropriate rule in the White Handbook
Photos Courtesy President and Sister Cooke

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week 2 in Germantown, MD


I am doing great out here. I am actually in Germantown but my area covers from the eastern boundary of my mission to Germantown and Clarksburg.
Map of LDS Washington D.C. North Mission Northwest Section
Google Map of LDS Washington D.C. North Mission Northwest Section
I'm doing alright in my language I am trying to speak, but it is easier to understand. The people say I don't have an accent but there are so many different Hispanics here. I think I am missing about 4 Spanish speaking countries but I've met people from all over with all their accents.

I'm not allowed to drive for at least my first 2 transfers. We have a set of English speaking Elders in our apartment. My bike is the same as it was. It is ride-able but it doesn't have all the bells and whistles on it.

It is snowing today and we aren't allowed to go out and drive today so we've been inside almost all day. We're supposed to have 12 inches. The DC area is great and I am really happy to be here.


It has been a great week in DC. We found some new investigators and are planning to visit with them more and teach them about the gospel. The people here are so loving and are so amazing. They come from all over the world. There are many Salvadorians and Peruvians.

I'm working on pictures but it's hard time is way too short. I have a lot of time to write at night but not a lot of time to email.

This P-day we went to DC  we drove and then rode the metro from the edge of the city into the national mall. We went to the first floor of the Natural history museum and the first floor of the American history museum. I saw the Washington Monument (still being worked on). We went to the Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, MLK Jr., Korea, and WW2 Memorials as well.
Visit Lincoln Memorial Washington DC
Elder Braden Dahl visiting Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on 1/20/2014 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

The area is so pretty and I took 78 pictures. In the American history museum I saw the Star Spangled Banner (no pics allowed) and a sunstone from the Nauvoo Temple (pics allowed).
Elder Braden Dahl visiting American History Museum in Washington D.C. on 1/20/2014 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day).   This is the Nauvoo Temple Sunstone Display at the museum.
I miss you and hope you're doing well.

Elder Dahl
P.S. It's snowing today.

Questions & Answers - Week of 1/14 - 1/20/2014

Questions & Answers between Mom & Elder Braden Dahl
Washington DC Questions:
1. What is your address where you are living today? Can I/we send you stuff?

I don't know and everything has to be sent to 11700 Falls Rd, Potomac, MD
2. What 'area' are you serving in?  We got that you're in Gaithersburg 2nd Ward
Gaithersburg - Spanish
3. What method of transportation are you using?
4. When is the next transfer day…once a month?Feburary (every 6 weeks)
5. What day is Preparation Day? Any fun field trips coming up?
Monday. We're thinking of heading down to DC (we are allowed to go there on Prep days)
6. Do you like your sheets & blankets? Do they fit ok?
Yes the blankets are great and they fit great.
7. Can you send me your bike's serial number please? No response
8. About how many missionaries are in your mission?

I think around 160.

CCM-Mexico Questions:
9. Who is the guy you have arms around each other at the bottom of the stairs at the Mexico Temple? Dark hair, thin, glasses-also in the picture of your district

Elder Ma.......(name withheld for privacy issues)
10. I can't find the email I sent but I also thought I asked…How was "God Be With You" on your Sunday Evening Goodbye as the 6-weeker? Did they sing it in English or Spanish? Did you tear-up even a little?  any other details…
I did not cry or tear up during the song, but it was really nice and the Holy Spirit was there
11. How on earth did you manage from 2:30am leaving the CCM until 10pm at the Washington DC Mission Home?It was rough, I tried to sleep on the plane but that was difficult. I don't remember anything after 10:25 that night until 6:35 when I woke up
12. Tell us about your last few days at the CCM…Saturday/Sunday/Monday
Saturday was normal except we packed a little during our free time. Sunday was normal except we said our goodbyes. Monday was all normal classes, except during study times we packed a lot.

Brother #2,
I'm sorry you weren't/ aren't feeling well. It has not snowed but it does get really cold. There are some small bits of frozen snow on the ground but, snow doesn't really stick on the ground here.

Brother #3,
It is really interesting here. The architecture is very colonial everywhere. There are a lot of stores I've never heard of here. I've spoken to a lot of people in both languages. And many people that speak Spanish no some English, especially the kids. I hope you enjoy your new Primary class too.

(written week of 01/14/2014 to 01/20/2014)

Monday, January 13, 2014

From DC (Actually Germantown)

Elder Braden Dahl - Missionary
Washington D.C. North Mission - Germantown-1st Area
So I'm in DC and I'm loving it. The first day we were here it was just bitter cold and I had my layers on. But since then its been warming up and fairly good; yesterday I just wore my regular suit and was fine. I'm in a car area, so my companion drives us around everywhere. I have my bike mostly put together and it is right now in the apartment we are in. I was told by the other missionaries that my bike is very nice and looks expensive, so thank you for the very nice bike.
The area I'm serving in is one of the largest areas in the mission. I'm by the top left corner of my mission. Elder Anderson and I spend most of our time in Germantown. But we cover several other cities as well. Luckily the DC North mission is one of the smallest missions geographically so, it's not too bad. Plus I've heard there are no Spanish Elders in the  farther southern areas of the mission because the lack of Spanish speakers.

On my way to DC I woke up at 1 am, finished my quick things to pack up, cleaned the room, and got ready. We had to be at the bus by 2 am and check in our keys and then we left at 2:30 am. They gave us a small sack breakfast for when we got to the airport. The airport was confusing and chaotic, but they had a CCM worker help us get through. We got through and then talked to some people and I managed to give out a pass along card. We flew to Dallas. Had to go through customs, get our luggage, recheck our luggage, go through TSA and then go to our gate. By the time we got through all of that (and our flight landed on time) we had 15 minutes until boarding, and we hadn't eaten yet. So there wasn't even time to call at the airport. 

I made it to Reagan Airport safe, my companion and I were the first to arrive of the total of 8 Elders and 5 Sisters. We got our luggage, but they bent one of the wheels on my large luggage. (I think-I really haven't had the time to examine it.) So it's a little wobbly now and only three wheels touch at any point.
January 2014 Washington DC North Mission Arrivals - 8 Elders and 5 Sisters

It was so cold they didn't take us on the Metro, because it breaks down a lot in the bitter cold. I rode in a truck with one of the APs who left the field the following day with another Elder. The Sisters rode with the Cooke's and the other Elders road in a silver flex fuel Ford E-350 van. (hmm...sound familiar?) 

At the mission home we all got a quick interview from President Cooke. We were briefed on heat and the cars. We met the Senior couples and the couple in charge of the Visitor Center: Elder and Sister Eyring (yes, he's the brother of President [Henry B.] Eyring).
We had a nice dinner, had a testimony meeting and sang the mission song (it's pretty cool, I have no idea how I can get that to you.)

Braden bearing his testimony in their testimony meeting
The mission home is in a very affluent area and is very nice. Lots of paintings and nutcrackers. That night the power went out for a minute so we woke up 5 minutes late and then it was fine except the power went out again from roughly 6:40am to 8:30ish with the exception of a short 3 minute relief of power. It was fine and we made do. I helped make breakfast with what we had available. 
Love to see the guys roll up their sleeves and cook! Elders Melander, Collins & Dahl
We went to the visitor center the next day
President Cooke, Elder Braden Dahl and Sister Cooke with the Washington DC Temple in the background
and met our trainers, got our packages, said goodbye to the people leaving.
Elder Anderson embracing Elder Braden Dahl as his new trainee
The temple was closed but I had the opportunity to walk around it and see how it looked. It is a beautiful temple. And yes, I touched the temple. Then after that it was go the apartment and get to work.
Washington D.C. Temple in Kensington, MD Taken 1/8/2014 by Elder Braden Dahl
P days are on Monday. My sheets are nice and comfortable and I'm plenty warm. I am only allowed to email 30 min on P Day.

I don't know my apartment address yet. But ALL mail and packages must be sent to the mission office with my full name Elder Braden Dahl 11700 Falls Rd, Potomac, MD. They then forward everything to the apartments. FedEx, UPS, etc packages will be held at the mission office until Transfers (every 6 weeks), but USPS packages can be forwarded (although I've heard mixed opinions on whether this actually happens or not. 

Elder Braden Dahl
Glossary of Terms (by Stacie Dahl (Mom)):
Preparation Day - Preparation day (or P Day as it is often referred to) is a missionary’s once a week chance to do big shopping trips, play sports, do laundry and write letters home to family and friends.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

In DC (Washington DC)

Mom (Stacie) says: Well we learned the hard way that the week that you travel from Mexico to Washington don't get a P-day to write your parents.
But we did get this! 
"I am in DC safely. This is a Facebook mission. Since you are the photo expert can you start saving and/or removing my photos that are not mission appropriate."
So Mom asked what is 'mission appropriate?'
"My Facebook pretty much has to be wiped clean of all photos that have me in not mission attire, photos with me and one other member of the opposite gender, etc. Some scenery is fine. The pics just have to be churchyish." 
Elder Dahl with his companion in Gaithersburg, MD on 1/9/2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Voicemail from the Mission President

President Cooke from the Washington D.C. North Mission left a voicemail this evening (01/07/2013) and said:
"I wanted to tell you that Elder Dahl is here safe and sound...thank you so much for giving us such a fine Elder."

Last full day in CCM

We are allowed to email for a few minutes today (Monday 01/06/2013).  I just wanted to let you know that I'm still leaving tomorrow and that I leave the CCM at 2:30 am tomorrow.  I'm supposed to be in Dallas around 8:10am (I think). I land in [Washington] DC at 3:15pm. (all local times)

Love you, Elder Braden Dahl (written Monday January 6th, 2013

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope all the family has a great 2014. I'm glad to hear that everyone had fun on Christmas. And I hope everyone is still doing well. I am extremely grateful for all the prayers you have said on my behalf. I know Heavenly Father has blessed me because of those prayers.
Happy New Year! Happy 2014! I don't know when I am going to be able to email you next as I will be heading out into the field [Washington DC-North]. It sounds like you are all having lots of fun.

It's crazy to think I'm almost done with my time at the CCM, it feels like yesterday I was with you all running around…in Roseville.

Here in México people were blowing up stuff and shooting fireworks all night, but I did not stay up until midnight, I went to bed as usual at 10:30pm. 
It's cool that you and my oldest brother had the opportunity to sing Handel's "Messiah" and it certainly sounds like you both had fun. I'm also glad everyone is having a nice Winter Break and I hope everyone does well this coming semester.

We didn't go to the temple today; I think it's closed on New Year's Day. All the new districts are going tomorrow so they can go once before it closes.

Yesterday we watched an old devotional from Elder Bednar given at Christmas (and from context clues I'd say 2011, a Christmas where it was Sunday.). About not just having a testimony, but becoming deeply converted unto the Lord so that you will never fall away.

He also spoke on developing the Character of Christ in our lives and gave an amazing example of a woman who called him when he was a Stake President saying there had been an accident. 2 girls in their ward were severely injured and one was dead. He needed to go to the hospital in his city because that is where they were being transported and they needed someone to identify the bodies. One of the girls was this woman's daughter. The woman was on two phones (before cell phones) with a nurse preparing transport. Elder Bednar heard on the other phone that they confirmed the dead girl was the woman's [daughter] and the instant that happened the woman said to Elder Bednar we need to find the other two mothers and tell them what happened and make sure they are alright. When funeral arrangements were being finished, she spoke with President Bednar and said you know it's a closed casket ceremony but the morticians did such a good job with my daughter and I don't want you to remember the terrible image of her at the Hospital where she was disfigured, I want you to have a good memory of her and a better last impression. This women was also the Relief Society President and a sister who did not know about this accident called the woman the day of her daughter's funeral and chewed her out because she had a cold and no one had brought her a meal. So on the way to her daughter's funeral the woman dropped off a meal to that sister. We need to become like Christ and turn out in love and compassion when the natural man would turn inwards and be selfish. Elder Bednar said the perfect example of the ‘natural man’ is the Cookie Monster: "Me want cookie NOW." He wants instant gratification, and when he gets what he wants he takes it in all at once.

Tell KMG in response to the last question on her letter, some of my favorite quotes are (but are not limited to):
"If life was easy, it wouldn't be so hard" ~ Sheri Dew
If likfe were easy, it wouldn't be hard Sheri Dew

"Forget about yourself and get to work"~ words to Gordon B. Hinckley 
from his father, Bryant S. Hinckley.
Forget yourself and go to work Gordon B Hinckley Bryant S Hinckley

"Remember who you are” ~ words to Simba from his father, Mufasa
Remember who you are Simba Mufasa

Mom, I don't have any bedding or pillows with me. Yes there are things I would like when I arrive at DC. Can I have new pajama bottoms because the ones I brought have a giant hole in them and I tried sewing them back together but it only lasted about 3 or 4 days. You can just send one of the many I have in my room. Also a pair of shorts (preferably with pockets) would be nice.

…Confession time, I´m fairly sure I brought the camera cord for my camera but I accidentally thought it was my iPod cord and I turned it into reception for safe keeping and I can only get it this last Friday, so I should be able to send pictures via email as well later on. I have 5 forever stamps,
I have started that project of labeling pictures.

Dad, This week at the CCM has been great. It's crazy to think that by this time next week I will be in Washington D.C., back in the States. The days are about the same, lots of studying the gospel and the language. It's good and I'm reading a lot from Preach My Gospel

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to watch "The Testaments" as our Sunday night movie. Sundays are probably my favorite days at the CCM because they are so fine-tuned to the Gospel and focused on the Savior that you can really feel the Holy Ghost so strong.

The time I've had at the CCM is amazing but I am excited to head out to Washington D.C. this Tuesday.

I had the opportunity to anoint a blessing for one of the Sister Missionaries in our District this week because she was feeling ill. It is always amazing to use the power and authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. It was also a great reminder to always be prepared and worthy to use your priesthood power. 

Question: Where do you watch the broadcasts-what building? Answer: it's the Gordon B. Hinckley Building
CCM Mexico Gordon B Hinckley Building Auditorium Auditorio
CCM Mexico-Gordon B. Hinckley Auditorium (Auditorio)

CCM Mexico Gordon B Hinckley Building Auditorium Auditorio
CCM Mexico-Gordon B. Hinckley Auditorium (Auditorio)
Parents seated enjoy a show by young students
Question: Where you go to church on Sundays? Answer: in the Seminary Building

CCM Mexico Seminary Chapel / Capilla del Seminario
CCM México-Seminary Chapel (Capilla del Seminario)

CCM Mexico Seminary Chapel Building / Capilla del Seminario
CCM México-Seminary Chapel (Capilla del Seminario)
Casually-dressed Seminary students pictured above
Question: When do you do service like cleaning the bathrooms, sweeping and stuff-do you have a picture?  Answer: service is on Tuesday + no cameras on that day

I hope you and the family are all doing well and have a great 2014. Happy new year. I hope the family enjoys the rest of their break and I hope you all have a great year. It’s nice to hear from the family every week. Love you lots. Sorry I’ve got to go. Hopefully I get to email you soon. Love you.

Elder Braden Dahl

P.S. Our district asked if we are allowed to call home at the airport but since we are leaving in 2014 we will be getting our 2 phone calls this year. So we're not supposed to call at the airport, Sorry :( 

P.S.S. Youngest Brother, that's so cool you know a song on the harmonica now. It's super fun being able to play an instrument. You are so lucky you got to see “Frozen,” that is the prime talk of the CCM. Everyone wants to see that movie right after they get back home. I really liked your note and I love the picture you drew for me. I really miss you too. (written 01/01/2014)


Elder Braden Dahl

Glossary of Terms (by Stacie Dahl (Mom)):
'heading out into the field' - meaning the Mission Field which in Braden's case is Washington D.C.-North (mostly in Maryland)
CCM – Centro de Capacitación Misional México which means Mexico Missionary Training Center (MTC)
Temple Closure - the México City México Temple will be closed for approximately 18 months beginning Monday, January 6, 2014, to accommodate an extensive renovation project. The temple will be rededicated following construction.
Elder Bednar - a similar devotional was given here.
District – typically encompasses four to eight missionaries