Saturday, June 21, 2014

What a Week! Written 6/9/2014

I'm so glad you and the family are enjoying Nauvoo. It certainly looks like you all are having a ton of fun.

I don't even know where to begin with this letter. Last Monday night my companion (Elder C) and I taught the last of the Family Home Evenings lessons for the single adults in our ward (it was for 5 weeks on the missionary lessons). They had a little dinner/party afterwards that we stayed for and it was really fun hanging out with them (don't worry they're much older single adults-older than singles ward age).

On Tuesday my companion (Elder C) and I went with our roommates, Elder L and Elder J to help give service to one of their members cleaning up a lot of dust and dirt from inside their house that they are remodeling. We also talked to D. A. more about her mission call that she received. I forgot to tell you last week but D, a member in our area received her mission call to the California Oakland/San Francisco Mission! The missionaries here are all really good friends with her and we are all excited for her call. She leaves in September and she says I should go down there after my mission and say hi. 

We also had dinner with a fairly recently reactivated family and taught them about Family History and they are excited to begin the work for their family. I am excited that this ward is really getting into Family History. In fact, the Relief Society is now having classes for Family History at the Family History Center on Wednesday in Germantown. Later that night another member took us to Bruster's Ice Cream, a really popular ice cream store here where all of the ice cream is made right there. I had Graham Central Station and Mint Chocolate Chip, they were excellent.

Wednesday was Zone Training and I learned a lot. Sister Cooke gave a short workshop on staying healthy because of (as dubbed by the other zones) The Great Seneca Strepedemic. There has been quite a few cases of strep throat lately, my roommate Elder J had it, my zone leader, Elder M got it twice (he finished his antibiotics the first time and still got it again). There have been a few other missionaries that have caught it. Everyone is trying to avoid catching it as much as possible but it can take symptoms up to 5 days before appearing. The rush of people with strep throat is over. The last person I know that caught Strep Throat was on Sunday the 1st. However, everyone is still tying to be cautious. The Zone Leaders let us know in their workshop about finding people that the mission plans to significantly cut back on miles in the car areas to encourage biking and public transportation so that the missionaries can meet and teach more people. After the workshop the Zone Leaders also mentioned to a small group of us that if this change happens eventually we could receive more money each month for public transportation on money that normally would be spent on gas for the cars. I wasn't overly enthusiastic about this coming change (nothing is changing for June, they just want you to start practicing so you can get used to it before the change actually happens). Germantown's a big area and doesn't have many bus lines, but I was willing to give it a try. My thoughts were I'm going to try this out and hopefully it will work out and be successful.

However, none of that matters anymore because I got transferred! Now you're probably thinking, what!? Long story short, Wednesday night after English Class around 8:30pm my companion (Elder C) and I got a call from the APs. They told us that there was going to be an emergency transfer and that I would be leaving my first area and going to Montgomery Village South first thing in the morning with my new companion Elder A. My companion (Elder C) would receive Elder C from Montgomery Village South into Germantown. I don't know the details of what was happening but I know that one of the elders was struggling in particular. Wednesday night I rapidly packed everything up and finished the last few things (bedding, shampoo,etc) in the morning. Thursday morning, Elder C and I drove down to the Montgomery Village Elders' apartment and did the transfer. I'm a bike Elder now with Elder A and I am serving in the Montgomery Village South area which covers parts of Gaithersburg and Washington Grove. I am still in the same ward and district as before which is nice but confusing for everyone else. My companion, (Elder A) is from Tampico, Mexico and speaks English better than some native speakers. He has been out for just over a year. We've been getting along well and are doing well in the area. Our roommates are our zone leaders and fellow district members, Elder H and M. I don't remember if I've told you or not but Elder H is from Auburn, California so we did some of the same things such as Camp Winton, Sacramento Temple, etc. Elder M was born in Russia and moved to Utah when he was around 8 (I think). He speaks Russian, English, and Spanish.

Being on bike is good expect going up some of the steep hills. My bike is doing fine but I am having problems with my front derailer, it is having trouble switching gears. Elder H and I have been messing with the adjustments but we usually can only get 2 of the 3 gears to work. However it's not really a problem because I just keep in in 2nd gear and rarely would I even consider any gear higher than 2-8 and any gear lower than 2-1. The I usually ride in 2-5 or 2-6. Down some hills I've gone up to 2-8 but I normally just coast down. The lowest gear I've gone into has been 2-3. I've been locking my bike and my area is by far the least dangerous and fewest theft bike area in the mission. I'm starting to get used just being sweaty and smelly all the time.

In the new area I'm trying to learn who are the members, less-actives, investigators, and potentials. I'm also trying to get a mental map of the area down as well. It's a little hard coming in the middle of the transfer but I'm catching on quick enough.

Dear Brother #4,That's so cool that you caught fireflies in Nauvoo. The fireflies here are just barely starting to come out, so you don't see too many. That's cool that you got Minecraft for the computer. I hope you are enjoying playing on it but don't become too addicted to it. I hope that you are enjoying your time in Nauvoo with the family and Grandma & Grandpa.

Dear Brother #3 (aka Mr. Rich Man),I'm having a lot of fun on my mission. Yesterday I taught the 10 and 11 year olds in Primary. They're lots of fun and we taught them the 10 Commandments and some cool hand signals to memorize them. I also went to the "Night of Music and Inspiration" yesterday and heard some really good music. Today was my zone activity and we all went mini golfing which was really fun. I'm sure Minecraft has been really fun and I hope you are having even more fun in Nauvoo right now. There are some really cool things out there and I hope you are learning a ton.

Dear Brother #2,Congratulation on your finals. Come on, you think you did you're best when you got 100%? That's awesome. I can't wait to see your success in all your other math classes in the coming years.That's awesome that you got to do baptisms at the temple. I have over 100 ordinances reserved on Family Search from distant cousins that are ready to go to the temple. I have some work for you and the family to do this summer. Tell mom I have a lot of women that need their ordinances done. Elder A and I are planning on going to a special mission approved baptism for the dead session at the temple on the 11th and I'm planning on doing 5 of the names I have reserved.
Elder Braden Dahl

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