Thursday, November 27, 2014

Salutations del Distrito...Written 11-24-2014

Written 11-24-2014
I hope that you had a good week. This last Friday we, as a mission went to the White House. Two ID checks, a dog sniff, and a metal detector later we were in the White House. It was cool being able to go in and say that I've been inside now. It's interesting and very pretty inside. It's also cool seeing the grounds from the inside. It was a fun morning and I'm glad that I could go inside. They have all the normal furniture inside and a couple gifts to the White House on display. [Can you find Elder Braden Dahl in the photo below...if not, answer is revealed at the bottom of this post.]
11/21/2014 Washington D.C. North Mission visits the White House

Don't jump the gun on me yet I haven't been out a year till Thursday (but I guess I will be home in less than a year but it's too far out to be thinking about that). I'm glad that you have been having a fun and busy week. Hopefully you are feeling a lot better and that everyone enjoys Thanksgiving Break.

Monday evening my companion and I went over to our Elder's Quorum President's home and visited with him for a while and had a late dinner. He is an awesome guy and he has a pretty heavy load here in the [Mount Pleasant] branch. It was nice being able to visit with him.

Tuesday we had a lesson with one of our investigators that went well. She only had a short amount of time but she appreciated our visit. We also visited with one of our less-active members and invited them to attend the stake conference on Sunday.

Wednesday one of the members called us and said be here in an hour I have an investigator for you. We went over and taught a lady the Restoration. She was interested but is a more reserved towards the church. It was a nice lesson and hopefully we'll see her more often. We met with one of our members and had a nice lesson with him as well. My companion and I went over to a less-active member's home and invited to them to the coming Festival of Lights this December.

Friday we visited a lot of people. We first went over to a less-active's house and invited them to come to church and Festival of Lights. We then went over to our recently baptized member's home and visited with him and his mother. We shared with them a nice message and started all the lessons again. We went by another less-active home and invited them to the Festival of Lights. We also met with a member that is about to go on his mission and visited with him for a while. My companion and I played soccer in the evening for mutual.

Saturday we visited with a less-active older lady and she fell recently and hurt her arm. She was glad we came by to visit and we set up a return appointment this week. We also visited our investigator with a baptismal date and we were planning out some of the logistics of their baptism.

Sunday was Stake conference which was really nice. After the conference we had a member come out with us for he rest of the night. We visited a investigator and a few members and it went really well. I'm the evening we had a great lesson with another of our investigators of the Book of Mormon.

I'm glad to hear you are doing well and I hope you have a great week. I hope that you have a fun week and Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Elder Braden Dahl

Elder Braden Dahl is just to the left of the girl in the green. He is 3rd row.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fall Happenings at the Dahl Apartment in DC...Written 11-17-2014

Written 11-17-2014 

I hope things are going well for you. It's been fun seeing some of your photos on Facebook from your trip to Tahoe and hanging out with the family this last week. I'm glad to hear that everyone is having lots of fun. It was fun seeing some of the photos that you guys had on Facebook. Brother #2, I saw a few pictures of choir tour and it certainly looked like you had a lot of fun. I'm glad to hear you are doing well and keep up all the good things that you are doing.

Today is pretty rainy and still pretty cold. My companion and I walked around Georgetown in the rain and saw the Old Stone House which is the oldest standing building in DC. We also walked and enjoyed the view and saw some cool shops and a very old cemetery. Afterwards, we headed over to the Botanic Gardens. They has some natural carved models of some of the building, museums, and monuments around the National Mall. It was fun going through there again because it's been a while. My companion enjoyed the cacti the most inside the giant greenhouse. I enjoyed seeing all the weird fruits and flowers from some of the plants inside. Plus it was great to go into a greenhouse with desert and jungle ecosystems when it's 40 degrees outside and rainy.

Elder Larry S Kacher
A lot of trees have lost most of their leaves here but still many trees have their leaves in their fall colors. The weather out here is getting colder. Our highs are in the 40s now with lows in the 20s. No snow here yet but they keep sawing it will snow any day now. I'll have to wait and see but it's not too bad right now. I have had to dawn a bit of my winter gear while riding around in DC but so far so good.

Wednesday Elder Larry S Kacher (Second Quorum of the Seventy) came and visited our Mission. We had something similar to a Zone Conference with him almost all day. He spoke to us for the majority of the meeting and it went very well. Those who spoke gave some great talks and it was a wonderful day. In the evening my companion and I went over to the 11-year old's home and visited with him for a bit. He is doing great right now and excited that he was baptized.

Thursday as well we had a meeting with Elder Kacher and all the Branch, Ward, and Stake Councils in our mission. It was another great meeting and it really helped all of us get a better idea of how each council is supposed to function at its maximum.

Friday we had a surprise exchange with the Assistants to the President (APs) and one of them came out with my companion and I. We went and did a lot of GQs [General Questions] at Columbia Heights. Afterwards, we went and had 2 lessons with 2 of our less-active members and we invited them to church. They APs had to leave in the early afternoon but my companion and I continued to visit some of the people in our area.

Saturday one of our roommates was with us for the majority of the day. We all went to the Visitors' Center so I could have a short practice of "Nearer My God to Thee" that we would be performing on Sunday at the Visitors' Center for "Why I Believe" as the special musical number. We had an English class with one of our investigators and it went really well and we invited him to come to church this Sunday.

Sunday was the recently baptized 11 year old's confirmation. I confirmed him in Sacrament Meeting and he is now a member of the Church. He was super excited and it was so great to see him so happy. Two of the other Elders in our branch had a baptism yesterday as well and we stayed for the baptismal service. In the evening, we went to "Why I Believe" where the had Dennis Pitta, one of the football players for the Baltimore Ravens come and speak to us. He gave an excellent talk and the theater was overflowing. It was a great and very spiritual night. I was part of the special musical number and we sang "Nearer My God to Thee" again.

Dennis and Mataya Pitta. Dennis, played football for Brigham Young University and took two years off to serve a mission in the Dominican Republic. He currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens.
He and his wife, Mataya, a dancer, were married in 2008.

Nearer My God to Thee - Performed 11-9-20104 & 11-16-2014 at the 
Washington D.C. Visitors' Center

I hope that you have a great week and that all continues to go well. Have a lot of fun and I love you tons.

Dear Youngest Brother, It sounds like you had a really fun week. You're so lucky to be doing so many fun things. I'm glad to hear Nathaniel, that you likes garlic fries. My favorite fries out here are from Z-Burger. Their seasoned fries then dipped in Z-Sauce (fry sauce and seasoning) are super good. Mom would die though from the burger I get there. I like sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, grilled onions, green peppers, A-1 Sauce, and sometimes pickles on the burger. I've changed a little bit in my tastes now.

I hope you have a fun time with the cousins, grandma, and grandpa. Have a great week.

[Mom wrote him right back...Grandma W says, "He never even ate a burger at home!....Let alone all that stuff on it! I can't believe that kid! I hope he doesn't change when he gets home..." I say "ditto!" As far as changing when you get home, she means that you actually eat all these foods still. ;) Love, Mom]

[Braden's response:] If you think that's a big deal you missed me a ton of turkey this week with stuffing. Also the Ham and Cheese sandwiches with mayo, mustard, pickles, ketchup, tomatoes, pickles; Or the Chicken Salad Sandwiches I have every week. Let alone the pastas. Fried yuca with mild sauce and a little bit of the spicy is SUPER good.

Haha, he's [youngest brother] probably dying. I eat a lot out of things out here now.

Love, Elder Braden Dahl

Busy, Busy, Busy!...Written 11/10/2014

Written 11/10/2014
This week was really great and really busy. Monday we were packed before, during, and after P-Day. I had a practice at the Visitors' Center, we had to give a blessing, teach an English Class, visit the Elder's Quorum President, and visit a less active. Plus we had one of our roommates with us until the evening. It was a little stressful but a rather successful day.
Practicing our song at the Washington D.C. Visitors' Center
This last Tuesday, my companion and I met a less-active member that we had not previously known. We shared a short message with her and we hope that we will be able to visit with her more in the future. We also were able to meet with another less-active in the evening along with an investigator.

Wednesday we had our Zone Training Meeting which took up our morning. It was a really good meeting and I learned a lot of things and we had a ton of announcements as we are approaching Festival of Lights here which will be at the Washington D.C. Temple and Visitors' Center. We met with the 11-year old boy we've been teaching in the afternoon and worked on the final touches of the baptism with him. We invited his mother to attend the service and explained to the boy what was going to happen.

On Thursday we had another English Class we taught to one of our investigators and it went really well. He is from Peru but has lived in Spain for many years now.

Friday we had lunch as a district from some food a member gave us. After we had lunch together, my companion and I went out to go visit some of the people in our area. We visited a couple members and less-active members and then we had a lesson with one of our progressing investigators.

Saturday we went out 'finding' to try and find some more investigators. We found a few potentials and we hope that they will make the decision to progress in the gospel. We also had a lesson with a progressing investigator about the Book of Mormon. The lesson went really well and we helped them understand more about the Book of Mormon but now it is up to them to ask if the book is true.

Sunday was the Baptism.
As a baptism always is, it was a little stressful. But by the time the service started everything was in order. We had the program put together and most of the members branch attended the baptismal service. My companion baptized him and I will be confirming him next week. It was super great and a wonderful service. We were so excited that he made the decision to be baptized and is trying to live a good life. We are excited to see and hear about his further progress in the church. It is super awesome to have a baptism here and we are hoping that we can have a few more baptisms coming soon. Right after the baptismal service however, we had to bolt to the Visitors' Center so I could perform in the Night of Music and Inspiration. That also was a fun event with many wonderful performances. It was hard singing because they forgot to turn on the feedback mic, so we couldn't hear each other. We only sound good if we can hear each other but 'es la vida.' I think we're performing that song again next Sunday again at the Why I Believe Fireside, but I'm not sure. I'll send the music home in a send stuff home package I'm planning on getting out some time this month. [Mom asked how much we practiced before that night...] We practiced every Friday for a month and once on a Monday. We kinda practice on our own during our free time throughout the week. We also had a member bring his friend to church yesterday and we were able to meet with him and he was able to attend the baptism!

"Nearer My God to Thee" Night of Music & Inspiration Nov. 9, 2014 
Elders Ortega, Dahl, Rushforth, Hansen, Peterson, Fuller, Jamias,Sorensen, Fisher

I'm glad to hear that you had a good week. It seems like you've been really busy lately. I'm pretty sure I forgot to mention to you but last week during our transfer meeting we had the opportunity to watch Meet the Mormons at the Visitors' Center. It was a really good movie and I really liked it.

Today we went downtown. Our roommates and us biked around Jefferson Island (where the Jefferson Memorial is) and saw the nice fall colors along with the Potomac River. We also passed by the George Mason Memorial on the island. Then we went over to the Holocaust museum again. Afterwards, we went over to the Air and Space Museum. It was a nice day and fun to go see some of the fall sights.


Elder Braden Dahl

Capture the Vision

We are all in this together. With fellow ward members and missionaries, we plan and pray and help one another. Please keep the full-time missionaries in your thoughts and prayers. Trust them with your family and friends. The Lord trusts them and has called them to teach and bless those who seek Him.
Elder Neil L. Andersen

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance…

John 14:26

The Lord invites us to discover, ponder, search, and evaluate, and thereby come to a personal knowledge of the truth.

Fall is Here...Written 11-3-2014

Written 11/3/2014

I hope that you've had a great week. Everything here has been going well but it's getting a lot colder here now. Autumn is in full swing and all the leaves have changed color and it's getting windy around here. I love you lots and have a great coming week.

This week has been quite the awesome one.
And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness. (2 Nephi 5:27) Find out what makes us so happy we jump for joy and happiness! Visit or give me a message!
Y aconteció que vivimos de una manera feliz. (2 Nefi 5:27) Averiguar de porque nos saltamos de gozo y felicidad! Vaya a o mandarme un mensaje!
*Elder Braden Dahl is 4th from the right with the windbreaker jacket on.*
On Wednesday we had a lesson with our 11 year old investigator and his mother. My companion and I went in after a lot of prayers and a fast. We explained to her that he has already received all the lessons and that he already knows the principles of the gospel. We asked her to let him be baptized sooner than his 12th birthday in April and she agreed to our request. She told us that he can be baptized on the 9th of November. He was more than excited and so was his grandma who is a member. Since then we have began working on his baptismal program. We also had another lesson with one of our other investigators about coming to church that went really well.

Thursday was also an awesome day. A member gave us a referral and said of we had some extra time we could go and pass by that day. We had a little extra time and we decided to go over. We met two people there both are older ladies from Él Salvador. They are interested in learning about our church. We taught them the message of the Restoration and invited them to come to church. They were both great and one of the ladies came to church this last Sunday!

On Saturday we met a referral from one of our members who was born in Peru but lived for many years in Spain. He was interested in English Classes but also has a lot of interest in the Church and what our beliefs are. He is a nice guy who has a ton of potential. We also had a lesson with one of our long-time investigators and made a lot of progress figuring out what doe, of her doubts are.

Sunday we had 4 investigators attend church with us. It was an awesome time seeing all of them their for fast and testimony meeting. After Sacrament meeting our 11 year old investigator had his baptismal interview and passed! We are very hopeful and prayerful that his baptism will go off without a hitch.

Christmas? I'm not thinking about Christmas right now. I'm having a hard time thinking of anything I need or want. Some things I came up with after my 30 minutes of meditation are light gloves (I have a heavy deep winter pair and I have bike gloves without fingertips, it gets cold here but it's not always dawn the deep winter but you still want something covering all your hand), and I still can't think of anything...I can't just think of anything off the top of my head. I don't do well with these kind of questions. Give me a week and I'll try to think of something else.

To answer your other question; I get money each month for all our expenses (ie not for rent, utilities, public transportation fees, etc that are handled by the Mission Office)

Love, Elder Braden Dahl

Fall at the LDS Washington D.C. Temple
Elder Braden Dahl and his companion having fun taking pictures at the Washington D.C. Temple

Monday, November 17, 2014

Written 10-27-2014

I'm glad to hear from you this week. This P-Day we went to the Museum of Natural history and explored around it again seeing all the things they have there from mummies to diamonds and everything in between.

It was fun to go and see again. We also stopped by the Smithsonian Castle and saw the few things they have there again.

Being on bike isn't bad right now weather wise. It's getting cooler now but it's just light jacket weather some days. It's starting to rain a lot more again. The few trees in DC are changing colors now but it's easier to see autumn by the temple where it's less concrete jungle. Winter is supposed to be coming soon and rumor has it that it's supposed to be a really hard winter.
Smithsonian Castle
Hola mi querido madre (Hello my dear mother),
Tuesday was our Temple Trip. It was a great time there and I am continuing to bring some of the names of the people I have found.

We are still working with Family History for our members and we hope to see more success. Most Hispanics here don't find ancestors or records but instead put it stories and pictures for future generations due to the lack of records.

Wednesday we went to a less-active member's home for dinner with my district [see Q&A #2] and we seemed to eat our hearts out. It was also cool because we ate with real silver silver wear. It was a great time visiting her and we had a wonderful lesson with her about church attendance. We had a wonderful time seeing her.

This week we were able to give some service. On Friday we helped set up for another wedding reception for a couple hours at the end of the day. We only went for about 20 minutes of the reception because we were so busy Saturday though. Saturday, Elder Crosswhite and I changed a tire for a lady on the side of the road with a flat tire [see Q&A #1]. It was a cool little service to give and it definitely made her day.

Also, Saturday and Sunday we went with some members to the Hispanic Heritage Nights [see Q&A #3] and saw some dances and heard songs and talks from people form all over Latin America. Every single country in Latin America that speaks Spanish (+Brazil) was represented by at least one person there in the audience. They were some really fun nights to go and see the things performed. The first thing everyone from Gaithersburg asked me, and I quote "Are they feeding you in your area?!" (I wish I could say I was joking but no seriously, it wasn't hello, or a handshake, or whatever other salutation). I guess biking around the city has paid off. It's still lots of fun and I enjoy doing it.
End of Transfer Photo of Our District...Elder A at the podium and the rest of us pretending to be asleep or bored
at his dissertation...Mount Pleasant West District - October 2014
Braden is "asleep" 3rd from the left
As for transfers, I will be staying with Elder Crosswhite in Mount Pleasant West. So at least 6 more weeks or being here! I'm excited to see what the next transfer has in store for me.


Elder Braden Dahl

P.S. So we're going to the White House as a mission. [Mom had to send some info so he can apply to go. They have to supply their social security number and some info to the Secret Service to be able to go. Public tour requests must be submitted through each individual's Member of Congress. The approval process takes between 21 days to 6 months. So it's kind of a big deal!]

Since we know that Braden writes us on Mondays, sometimes, I can get right on when he writes us. I quickly shot him 3 questions to which he quickly replied...

Q & A:
#1 Mom: Have you ever changed a tire before? Did you come out clean like Jamie Hyneman or dirty like Adam Savage?

Elder Braden Dahl: No I haven't, I was like Jaime Hyneman. Elder Crosswhite more like Adam Savage.

#2 Mom: I can't believe the whole district went to eat at 1 persons home! Spanish food? Or what did you eat?
Elder Braden Dahl: Chilean food-some, beef, pork, lots of fruits, cheese and crackers, Jello, ice cream and a ton of other food. We were stuffed.

#3 Mom: What is Hispanic Heritage Night? Was it in Gaithersburg? And you saw members from your old area there?
Elder Braden Dahl: at the VC [Washington D.C. Temple Visitor's Center]

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall, Rain, Wedding Reception, "Why I Believe" Fireside and Racing Around the National Mall...Written 10-20-2014

Written 10/20/2014

Fall is in full swing. Yesterday the high was 53 degrees here. The leaves are starting to turn here and everyone's worried because we are supposed to have a really hard winter coming. In the city it's harder to notice a lot of trees but you can definitely see some red, brown, yellow, and orange in the leaves.

This week has been really nice. Wednesday a huge storm came through here and there were tornado warnings and flood warnings for the beginning of the day. My companion and I got completely drenched while biking that day. I've never been able to pour water out of my shoes before. It was a bit of an adventure but nevertheless, the work will continue.

NOT Braden's actual shoes but
wanted to give you a visual...
Pouring water out of his shoes!
Friday we went to the Visitors' Center to practice for a group song I'm going to be in coming in November. The music is not terribly difficult but there are a lot of parts and I'm jumping all around on parts. It should sound pretty good though when it's performed. That evening we also went to the opening of the Young Single Adult Center and the Old Chapel. The senior couple in charge invited a bunch of missionaries to help out with the barbecue they were having. We helped out for a while and brought some of our members over there. They brought a few friends so now we have a couple referrals from it. We had to leave a little early though because we had an appointment later in the evening. 
The bride getting ready to
throw her bouquet.

Saturday was nice and busy for us. We went with the other Elders to a lunch appointment and then headed over to the church to open it up for a wedding reception. We then headed out and taught for a bit and then went over to a service for a member who needed some help moving some things. We then went over in the evening to the wedding reception. A family in our area was sealed and they wanted us to stop by. We went over for a little bit and congratulated them and got a lot of food. It was great knowing that they are sealed for time and all eternity with their son. We are very excited for them.
Celebrating with MARTINELLI'S Sparkling Cider
Elder C & Elder Dahl Celebrate 20 Lessons this week while at a wedding reception
for a family in their area, Mount Pleasant West.

On Sunday we went to church it was very nice. We went to "Why I Believe" at the Visitors' Center where 2 recent convert/former pastors of another faith spoke. They were very good speakers and they had great testimonies.
Deseret News: Former priest, pastor share their journey to Mormon faith

Zone Activity-10/20/2014
Sunrise Photos from Lincoln Memorial
The National Mall is really cool. You can spend years there and never see all of it. The Holocaust Museum is similar to LA but not identical. There are a lot of cool places to see but there is a lot of walking. From the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial it's about 2 miles. Plus not everything is perfectly next to the National Mall lawn. A lot of people bike around or go on a Segway tour (but you can't go into the museums with a Segway and you can lock up your bike or use Capitol Bikeshare. It's an amazing place and I have the luck of being here for a while. Honestly, it's a super blast and I'm mentally making a list of the best places to go for the time we have.

Zone Activity-10/20/2014
Amazing Race @ The National Mall

I hope that you enjoyed your week. Today was our Zone Activity and we took Sunrise photos from the Lincoln Memorial. We then did an "Amazing Race" going around the memorials on the National Mall. Luckily I knew where all of the places were around the mall. It was really fun and a great activity. My companion and I then went down to the Ripley International Center, the Sackler Gallery, and The National Gallery of African Art which are all mostly underground and connected to one another. It was cool seeing some of the carved ivory tusks but nothing was a super wow. We went back to stop by the ghetto Chinese shops with our roommates and then we went and played soccer with some kids at the field by us. I hope you have a great week.

Love, Elder Braden Dahl
 Ripley Center
Ripley Center

Smithsonian National Museumof African Art
Freer / Sackler The Smithsonian's
Museums of Asian Art