Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My 1st Convert Baptism-Letter 5-19-2014

Dear Mom,
It has been a great week out here. Monday and Tuesday were basically my former companion packing all the time. We met with C. (our investigator with a baptismal date) on Monday and Tuesday and had a great lesson with him and we finished all the lessons that he needed.

Wednesday my former companion did some frantic, last minute packing and then we dropped off his things at a member's home where he and his parents were staying. His parents saw him and they briefly did their welcome reunion and then we went off to the Visitor’s Center. We got there a little early and I visited with some of the other Elders there. Then I met my new companion who is from Layton, UT and only has two transfers left on his mission. He also was in this same area about a year ago, so some members remember him. It's different dynamics now here, but it's still good. They say you learn a ton from your "greenie-breaker" because they open up what the rest of the mission looks like.

Thursday we visited some less-active members throughout the day and they got to know my new companion. Then we went to the Chapel with C. so he could have his baptismal interview. President L. (First Counselor in the Mission Presidency) gave the interview but came late because he had to take his grandson to the hospital because the grandson broke his arm. The interview went great and C. passed!

It was a rainy most of the week but Friday was the worst of it.  Apparently there was flooding in some areas so missionaries couldn't leave the apartment until 11:00 am. My new companion and another Elder (my new roommate) went to their leadership training meeting while I went with my other roommate (Elder J.) visiting some of my less-actives, and some of his less-actives. We tried to stop at a few potential investigator's homes but they weren't there. When our companions came back we had dinner and then visited some more less-active members.

Saturday my companion and I had breakfast at C's home and we reviewed over everything and then briefly taught the fifth lesson in Preach My Gospel. The lesson went really well and it was great to see all the changes in C's life since I first met him. We also had a mission training with Elder Ballard. Sunday was C's baptism. It was a great week and super fun. C is the one that was in California for a while.  My former companion left early this morning  to go home with his parents so he might be back in Utah by now or at least on the way.

P.S. I was going to get Zyrtec but I really haven't had any allergies since Tuesday so I've been alright.

Dear Dad,
My new companion is from Layton, Utah and only has two transfers left on his mission. He is the youngest of three (he has a brother and a sister). He served in Spanish Germantown about a year ago so some people still remember him. He's more laid back and very big into sports. He really likes soccer and mountain biking and wants to go mountain biking next week. He is definitely different than my last companion and he does things differently just like every person does. It is taking some getting used to but it is opening my eyes more to what the mission is like for the companionship.

We seem to be getting along well and we haven't had any issues so far. He a pretty chill guy and a lot of Elders really like him. I like him and am trying to get to know him better. I don't have any complaints and the more I get to know him the more I like him. It's just getting used to a new companion, especially when you are in the same area and nothing else has changed. It's a good change though. I am learning a lot from him.

This week has been really amazing. I received my new companion on Wednesday and we've had a busy week since then.

On Saturday we had a Mission Training meeting with all of our mission plus the Maryland Baltimore and Washington DC South missions as well.  We had Elder Gerrard, I believe an Area Seventy speak to us briefly and conduct the meeting. He spoke on the importance of members and missionaries working together and the importance of being sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong of the First Quorum of the Seventy then spoke also on the importance of members and missionaries working together in unity and perfect harmony to help bring others to Christ and to be touched by the Holy Ghost. He also spoke of catching the wave of missionary work. He said that missionaries are the wave and members are the surfers waiting for the wave. Missionaries need to teach members how to catch and ride a wave so it is an enjoyable experience and not an unpleasant wipe out. Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy then addressed us.  Elder Clayton spoke about "hearing Him" and the things we need to do so we can hear Christ. He pointed out that others can "hear Him" when they listen to the missionaries but missionaries also need to be doing things such as keeping the commandments, having no contention, edifying one another, and the list went on. The last speaker was Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He talked about getting more baptisms and what we need to do to have that happen. He made sure that we knew that "to the rescue" of less-active members was very important and we need to continue in that, but he said that shouldn't lower or effect the number of baptisms. It was a very powerful talk and then he allowed about ten missionaries to come up and ask specific questions about how to get more baptisms or help the less-actives. 

After Elder Ballard spoke he changed the plans and had all three missions break off so the mission presidents could talk to all their missionaries at once because that very rarely happens. (I almost forgot that other missions don't all meet every six weeks at a transfer meeting like I am blessed to do.) We broke off and our Mission President just reiterated the key things that we said and bore his testimony. We then broke up and went back to our areas to get back to work.

On Sunday it was C's baptism. We confirmed everything at Sacrament Meeting. We ate lunch at the "A" home with the A's, my former companion and his parents, Hno D, and Sister O.  My (new/current) companion and I left early to go fill the font and get the baptism all ready. We had everything ready and everyone coming and we took a few photos before the baptism. The program was great and Hno F. A. and Hno J. G. gave wonderful talks where the Holy Spirit was extremely powerful. My previous companion baptized C.  My current companion and I were the witnesses to the baptism.

A member wrote down the exact time C. was baptized and showed it to me. He wrote May 18th, 2014 at 5:49 pm (my time-EST). After the baptism was almost a dinner party for C's baptism and my former companion’s goodbye.  My (current) companion and I stayed for a bit but we had to go to the Visitor’s Center for a "Why I Believe."

It was so amazing to have my first official baptism in the mission. I was so excited and happy for C. I can't wait for our other progressing investigator to be baptized hopefully this next month. It was a little stressful this week but it all worked out and was amazing.

P.S. Tell Brother #2 happy belated birthday and tell Brother #3 Happy Birthday.  I hope they got my cards, if not they'll arrive shortly.

Dear Brother #1,
I'm glad to hear that you went to the temple this week. I'm sure it was a great experience. Just keep hanging in there with school.  You are almost done with the school year and you've got finals coming up.

That's really cool that M.H. wants to go to church. Invite him to every activity as well. Make sure that you introduce him to the missionaries as well. Be a good friend to him because that's what makes things more comfortable. Don't shove the gospel down his throat but do share with him what the church has to offer. You never know who is ready for the gospel. There were two do-not-contacts in the ward when I first came that are now trying to reactivate and are coming to church and church activities as often as possible. In fact, the baptism I had yesterday, was a man who I was told was the ride to church for a recent convert and he'll come to church so he can bring the recent convert home but he doesn't want to be taught or become a member.  He was happy the way he was. Now he is baptized and going to be confirmed next week a member of the church. I'm not saying anything will happen but anything is possible.

I'm glad you got to go and see another choral performance. It sounded fun. I'm glad NHS has been going well for you but I have no idea who any of those people are who are the new officers. I hope you have a great week and everything goes well for you.

Love,  Elder Braden Dahl

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