Thursday, August 14, 2014

My New Area in... Written 8/11/2014

D.C.! Inside the Beltway, In the City, My area includes the Monuments, Zoo, White House, etc.

Mom, I haven't really been on Facebook that much so I haven't really had time to post anything. We did have transfers on Wednesday, the transition was smooth. I'm still on bike and the Zone Leaders brought me to my new apartment. I actually am already friends with my new companions. Yes, you read that right, companions. I'm in a trio now and we actually all know each other from when we were all in the same district 3 transfers ago.

I can forward you the Excellence Newsletter but there aren't really opportunities at a zone meeting before my birthday. However, I am now in the zone where the Secretary of the Mission Presidency, Brother A, watches over the missionaries and fairly regularly goes to the mission office to bring things down to the missionaries here in this zone. Please don't worry about it if it comes late to me. There is no rush or pressure and I can get it the following week at Zone Training.

On Tuesday we had our last district meeting and we all took a photo together. Afterwards, we went back to the apartment and had lunch. For most of the day Elder G was with us because his companion was called to be an Assistant to the President and had to leave a day early from his area. Tuesday was an awesome day for us. We found 3 new investigators, had a member present lesson. Taught a less-active member, and had 4 other lessons. It was a great last day in the area of Montgomery Village South. Tuesday night I finished packing up and was ready for the transfer meeting next morning.

Elder Dahl's new apartment building in Mount Pleasant West area
Wednesday was transfers and unlike before we didn't find out who our new companions were or where our new areas were until during the transfer meeting. This was the older way of doing apparently that some of the older missionaries remember doing. So I had no idea where I was going or who my new companion would be when I arrived at the Visitors' Center on Wednesday morning. They announced the companionships and areas by zones. 15 new missionaries came out but none were Spanish missionaries so they actually ended up closing the Germantown area. I am now serving in the Mount Pleasant West area with my two companions. After the meeting I arrived in my new area and I unpacked a little (one of my companions stayed at the Visitors' Center for the departing lunch for a little bit and my other companion went on exchanges to an appointment with one of our roommates. I stayed with the other roommate for a bit and helped him in his area). We then had a quick lunch and headed out to an appointment. After the appointment we went down to Columbia Heights and General Questioned (GQ'd) people there for a while and found a few potential investigators.

You might be wondering where exactly Mount Pleasant is and what area I am exactly covering. I am no longer in Maryland and I don't cover anything in Maryland. I am in DC and cover everything south of Quincy St. and west of Georgia Ave. to Florida Ave. to North Capital St. in DC. My area includes the Monuments, Zoo, White House, etc. However, almost all of the work is in the vicinity of Quincy and Georgia.

 3rd Area: Mount Pleasant West

Anyways, Thursday we had our weekly planning session and it mostly consisted of getting to know the area, members, and investigators. It also was my companion's birthday and we had a little hang out dinner up on our apartment's rooftop terrace with some pizza, lemonade and cake with an investigator and some of the missionaries in our district. After dinner we went out again and went to try and find some of the less-active members in the branch.

On Saturday we General Questioned (GQ'd) some more at Columbia Heights and found a few more potential investigators. We also visited a couple members and less-actives from the ward. We went down 16th street to visit some people and GQ and we passed by scores of churches. Including a former LDS church building built in the '30s. It is really tall and the exterior is made entirely of Utah quarried stone.
 Former LDS Church building on 16th Street    One of the most elegant small churches in the city

The building also used to have an Angel Moroni atop the steeple. It was a cool thing to see. We also passed by several Embassies and Consulates. While we were down there we GQ'd at one of the parks and met an awesome guy from Ecuador.

Mount Pleasant Branch Building
Mount Pleasant Branch Building
Sunday one of my roommates and I went to the Branch Council meeting and attended it before church. President and Sister Cooke spoke during Sacrament Meeting in the Mount Pleasant Branch. We had a good but very lively Gospel Principles class and then our District Leader and I taught the Young Men's class.

We also went to the Visitors' Center and brought a family in the branch with us to the Night of Music and Inspiration event. It was a really good event and fun to be there.

I'm doing great biking around and the heat hasn't been bad, or I'm used to it now. I don't have any complaints. I hope you do well this week with the crazy schedule and the transition back to school.

Dad, I'm glad that you're feeling better and I hope that things at work can go smoothly with the temporary change.

Last week was Transfers and I am now serving in the Mount Pleasant West area. That means I am serving in The District of Columbia now! It's quite the adrenaline rush riding around in the city on bike dodging cars, people, opening car doors, buses, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Though sometimes it feels like we just spend forever locking or unlocking our bikes; It's really fun to be serving here and there are a lot of good people here. It's fun being in a branch now and I'll get to know the people a lot quicker.

We have a really nice apartment here (one of the most expensive in the mission) right above a metro station on Quincy St. and Georgia Ave. There is a nice lobby, rooftop terrace, and gym here. Tell Mom that there are no bed bugs here.

Elder Braden Dahl

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