Wednesday, April 2, 2014

3/31/2014 Letter

This week was good but everyone was a little anxious to hear about transfers. We were able to visit with a lot of less-active members this week, which helped a lot. We also had two lessons with our investigator who has a baptismal date. My companion and I are still excited for him and can't wait to meet with him this week.
Yesterday, we went to Hermana O's for one of the many coming Elder Al.. parting dinners (He is finishing his mission on Wednesday). I had chicken tacos, pork tacos, and nopales tacos (cactus tacos); they were super good and we had a great night. Afterwards, Hermano D asked if I ever had real agua de jamaica (jamaica the flower not the country pronounced huh-mike-a). I had never had real jamaica to drink, only the artificial flavoring of it. He got out some dried jamaica and boiled it in water and made the drink. It is a super delicious drink and apparently really healthy for you. As always, the real stuff was much better than the flavoring of it.
The temple was a great day, there aren't tulips all over the place quite yet because of all this wintery weather over here, but I've heard they are coming out of the ground now. Spring hasn't hit us yet in Maryland. What everyone is waiting on is the cherry blossoms. In DC the cherry blossoms are a huge hit at the National Mall and apparently absolutely gorgeous. People crowd DC to see them. The trees were a gift to the USA in its early years from Japan. The trees are very old which is really rare for the east coast because trees aren't as old-aged over here. Anyways, the Festival of the Cherry Blossom has already started but it goes from March through May, and they're still waiting for some consistent warm weather for the trees to even bud. 
Transfers are on Wednesday and everyone’s getting excited to see where they're going. Tuesday night the Zone Leaders do a "call-out" where they will announce who the new companionships are and where the people who are leaving their area are going. This past Saturday the Zone leaders did their call-out and announced for each area, in the zone, who would be leaving or staying (both can stay or leave as well). My companion has been here for 5 transfers (5@ six-week periods) and he was convinced he was leaving for his last transfer. We got the call and his prediction came to be incorrect. Instead, I will be going to stay in Germantown with him. So I get to be with my companion for another six weeks (no extreme circumstances permitting). 
Love, Elder Braden Dahl
I'm glad to hear your still staying busy. Hopefully everything will not be too stressful this coming week. I hope Sunday was alright and you had a great Sacrament Meeting. I know that you’ll enjoy General Conference this coming Saturday and Sunday. It's weird when they announce conference at 2pm and 4pm instead of 11am and 1pm. I think this is the first actual time zone difference that I've really noticed here.
The Temple trip on Wednesday was really great. My companion and I got there early with our roommates so we had the opportunity to wait and just ponder in the Temple for a little while. The session was really wonderful. Afterwards, we returned to our really busy schedule. We quickly went to the store for our roommates, dropped them off at the apartment, picked up a lunch from a member, and went immediately to District Meeting. (All in under an hour, the temple is at least a 30-minute drive). Needless to say, we didn't eat lunch until after 4pm. It felt like I was back at work again with our late lunches. We just ate enough to sustain us because we had a large dinner appointment at 6pm. It was a great day but a little packed.
Yesterday had some interesting weather, it was raining (continuation of the rain we had on Saturday) and during church it started to hail a little. Then it started to sleet. There was a nice layer of sleet all over the ground and roads. It was not hard to drive in if you went slow and were careful, but my companion and I saw 2 cars that were crashed off the side of the road (no one hurt just lost control) from when we left and were driving to Hermana O's (3.6 miles). Then it rained through the night and cleared up almost all of the sleet. Today it's a little cold but sunny. Every time we have one day kind of spring-ish, we get a week of winter.
Next transfer I am officially no longer a trainee. I will be done with the 12-week program and will only have one hour of companionship study instead of 2 hours.
Love, Elder Braden Dahl
Brother #2,
I know that you don't like writing but that doesn't stop me from writing you. I hope that everything is going well. I hope you are enjoying school. Your choir pictures from your performances look great. I'm sure you're still keeping up the awesome work you are doing in your classes.
How's Teachers' Quorum going? I hope that church is fun and that you are learning more and more about the gospel.
I hope you have a good week and have some great warm weather. 
Love, Elder Braden Dahl
Brother #3,
I hope that everything is going well with you. How has school been? How is scouts? I heard you guys can get a little crazy. I hope that you have been having lots of fun lately.
How is your obsession with chicken? Where I'm at is basically chicken-topia. You would love all the chicken here. That is the most common food that I eat. But like you've seen in my old emails I eat some other things too. A few days ago was the first time that I had salmon. It was shredded up and tasted really good and it didn't taste very fishy.
Anyways, I hope that you are doing well and having a great time. Enjoy being a zurdo (you're the only one in the house that is one now).
Love, Elder Braden Dahl
P.S I'm a zurdo. [Mom’s Note: Can you figure out what ‘zurdo’ means using the context clues?  It’s Spanish for being ‘left-handed.’]
Brother #4,
I hope that you're doing well. Hopefully, you’re not having as many nosebleeds now. Anyways, how is school doing? How's scouts? How is church going?
Yesterday, my companion and I were in Primary the whole time. We went to one class and acted out the story of Esau and Jacob. I was Jacob and my companion was Esau. We did the part where Esau sells his birthright for some food. The teacher gave us lentils beforehand and I gave them to my companion and he ate them.
Then, we went to another class and talked a little about baptism and showed the kids how they are going to be baptized. Then we went into Sharing Time and helped press play on the piano (it has recordings of all the Primary songs and hymns). Then my companion was asked to bear his testimony about missionary work.
Love, Elder Braden Dahl

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