Monday, November 9, 2015

Final Mission Letter from Elder Dahl...Written 11-9-2015

Another week has flown by out here. It's amazing how fast time seems to just fly. I can't quite determine if you are counting hours, minutes, or seconds before you see me. From my oldest brother's email you [Mom] sound a bit more than ecstatic.

This week was really great. I'll probably keep this email pretty short because I have to start packing and getting everything ready for transfers. 

As you know I will be leaving my area and heading to the DC South Mission in Arlington for a week. I'm excited for my new area.

Monday I attended a baptism in the ward of an investigator I taught. She was still baptized into the ward but we ended up passing her to the sister missionaries to finish teaching her for a couple of reasons. It was a great baptism and she was confirmed yesterday in church. You should be meeting her on Friday. We also brought one of the recent converts in our area to the baptismal service and he really liked it. It was a great experience for him to see someone else's baptism.

On Wednesday we had our temple trip and it was wonderful. I always love going to the temple and it is so beautiful being able to enjoy the lovely DC Temple and the spirit of the Lord there.

Thursday we met a new investigator that was out working on his car. He was a really cool guy and had a lot of questions for us. We also were able to teach a member that is going through a really hard divorce and a recent convert that has been having a hard time getting to church. The best part was that this recent convert made it to church this Sunday and stayed all 3 hours! 

Thursday evening was the departing interview and dinner for the missionaries leaving this transfer. We had a lot of fun together and shared stories and had a great time. We made a scrapbook page and it was a wonderful evening.
Friday I headed up to the farm one last time where I planted garlic in their garden. We ended up finishing about 2.5 long rows of garlic the time we were there. It was fun and a nice day.

We also met this really cool guy when knocking the door of a former investigator. He let us talk to him outside and we shared with him. Message of the restoration. It really hit him hard and he started tearing up when we spoke about the Book of Mormon. He was really touched and said it was an answer he had been seeking. We are excited to begin working with him.

Sunday we had church and it was great as always. They had me go up and share my testimony as I am finishing my missionary service. It was weird to think that my first Sunday on my mission I spoke from the same pulpit as my last Sunday. After church I had a goodbye party (despedida) for myself and another elder going home in the ward at O's house. It was fun and we shared a great time with everyone. Afterwords, my companion and I went out and looked for some of our investigators and tracted a bit.

So about the bike... [Mom wrote him about disassembling his bike and shipping it home.] So I have my bike here at the apartment locked up in the parking garage with one of my U-locks. The problem is the key I had for the lock is missing and I have no idea where it is. I have looked for it everywhere in the apartment to no avail. If you know how to cut locks it might work but I am at a loss what to do with it. [Dad's solution-we'll hire a locksmith...Mom says, let's pray to find the key until then.]

On Sunday I was thinking of going to all three congregations but just staying for Sacrament Meeting. We'll talk more about the details when you are here or you can shoot me an email.
Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

I'm not trunky - however I believe Mom is...Written 11-2-2015

This week has been really nice. Things have been going well here and my companion and I have been keeping busy. 

Most of Wednesday was taken up closing a missionary apartment. We were asked, along with a few other companionships, to close out a missionary apartment that wasn't being used. We packed up what was good and threw away the rest. We finished it in good time and worked quickly and had fun with each other. It was a good service. Afterwards, my companion and I visited an investigator and we taught her the plan of salvation due to a recent death in her family. We then extended the invitation to be baptized and she accepted! She should be baptized in the following weeks. It was a great experience and we are very excited for her. 

In the morning on Friday we had the opportunity to have a missionary temple baptism trip where we were able to bring 5 family names and perform their baptism and confirmations vicariously. It was another wonderful experience. Plus, as an added bonus we were able to perform 2 initiatories of those 5 names. 

Again we were blessed to go to the temple on Saturday for a recent convert temple trip. My companion and I brought a recently baptized member and he was able to do baptisms, as well as confirmations for them at the temple for the first time. He was a bit nervous but did really well and he felt the spirit there. We also were able to visit a couple of investigators that day as well. One of them we talked about the blessings of the temple and he really opened up to us which was great.

On Sunday two of the investigators we are currently teaching came to church which was really exciting. One of them came for the first time and she enjoyed the services. For Elders Quorum, my companion and I had to give a spontaneous lesson because the teacher didn't show up but the class still went well and we had a good discussion. 

Love,

Elder Braden Dahl
I'm not trunky - but Mom is-she's counting down the days!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

2 weeks!...Written 10-26-2015

In the evening on Monday after P-Day, my companion and I had an appointment with one of our investigators and we were able to talk to him about the Word of Wisdom. It was a great lesson because he had a lot of questions about the subject and is starting to understand the reasons behind what we teach. We then went and had dinner with the Relief Society President and had a great time and a good lesson with her family.

Tuesday Afternoon my companion and I had the opportunity to meet with a less-active member we had previously not been able to get into contact with. We briefly met with him and shared a message with him. He seems like a really nice guy and very gospel minded but he works on Sunday's. In the later afternoon, my companion and I went on exchanges with the Assistants [to the President-AP's]. It was a good exchange and I stayed in my area. We went over to a meal appointment with one of our members and talked about getting sealed because their family has yet to be sealed in the temple. We then went out looking for a referral we had and tracting around there. We found a couple people that spoke English that were interested and we talked with those that had time. One of the ladies we spoke with told of a house that spoke Spanish and might be interested. We went over there and a man let us in immediately. We were able to share the message of the restoration to him and his daughter. We set up a return appointment and. We are excited to begin working with them.

Our schedule for Wednesday was pretty busy. We had a short appointment with one of our other investigators and we talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon and reading it daily. We committed her to read it daily. We then went to a huge meal appointment with one of members. All the elders were over in the ward. This member is rather old and has terminal cancer and he wanted all the missionaries over as he put it "one last time" before he passes on. He has been doing very well and is still full of energy despite his age and disease. It was a really fun night and we enjoyed being with him. After our dinner we went directly to our 9-year-old that was baptized last Sunday and brought him a small gift and visited with him for a bit. We then went over to one of our newer investigators that lives in the basement of a less-active member's home. They are a small family of a husband, wife, and 3-year-old son. We visited with them and finished teaching about the restoration with them and committed them to read daily from the Book of Mormon. After our visit with them, my companion and I went to visit one of the Primary Presidency members in our area. She was doing well and we talked about the upcoming primary program and about the temple.

Thursday was also a very busy day. Some of the highlights included us visiting one of are less-active members named R. He is a YSA (young single adult) that has been trying to get back on the path. He has a lot of desire to do the right things again. We were able to talk to him for a while about studying the scriptures and attending sacrament meeting. He has begun to study the scriptures and is starting to get back onto the path. Also, my companion and I had a great lesson with our Dominican investigator. We taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and she was very attentive. She has begun to think about getting baptized and wants us to meet more with her. We are excited to see more of her progression in coming closer to Christ.

Our day on Friday was equally busy as the rest of the week. One of the best parts of the day was visiting with C., a recent convert in our area. We passed by his home and he let us in. We got to know him better and then ended up on the subject of studying the scriptures. He opened up to us and said he read the scriptures about every other day but was unsure why exactly we are supposed to read the scriptures. We had the chance to explain to him that it is the word of God and can protect us from harm, we can receive answers, and we can learn more about the gospel. As he began to understand we could see he had a greater desire to read and, more importantly, study the scriptures and he committed to study the scriptures each day.

On Saturday we had so many great appointments I'm not sure what to talk about. We taught two new investigators the restoration and they were very open and attentive to us. We also met a less-active member and came over right as her son needed a blessing of health. Plus, we were able to explain authority, priesthood, and eternal marriage to one of our progressing investigators.

During Sacrament Meeting on Sunday our recently baptized 9-year-old investigator was confirmed so now he is officially a member of the Church. We are so excited for him and all the great things that are going to come from the choices he made. Church was nice and we had one of our progressing investigators attend church and a random woman that lives about 2 blocks down the road showed up to church that speaks Spanish. She saw it was a Christian church and she decided to go in and attend and now wants to know more. It is really awesome.

Love,

Elder Braden Dahl

Another day in the life...Written 10-19-2015

I'm not sure if there is anything I want you to bring [to Washington D.C.]. I guess I would say warm clothing (the high has been in he 50's the last few days, which is light jacket weather here but it sounds like California has been a lot hotter and might not be so easily adjustable. 

Monday evening my companion and I went and checked up on one of the recent converts in our area and had a nice time visiting with him and helping him remember the importance of partaking of the sacrament worthily. He liked the lesson we had and is understanding the importance of the sacrament more. We then went over and had dinner with one of the members in the ward and had a great time with them.

On Tuesday we kept busy with meetings in the morning but enjoyed the afternoon visiting with people. This past week the bishopric asked the missionaries to help with cleaning out the records in the ward by visiting all the families we have in our areas and seeing if they still live there and their information is up to date. We went and visited with three families that were in our area that we had previously not visited. We also found out about several members if they lived there or not. We also were able to have a couple other visits.

Then for Wednesday we kept working on finding members as well as other things. We also had lunch with a less-active family, met with two of our potential investigators, and had our 9-year-old be interviewed for baptism.

During Thursday it was a bit hectic. My companion and I planned for 2 workshops we will be giving the coming week and then we helped an elder for a little bit. We still managed to have two great lessons with two of the part-member families in our ward.

For Friday my companion and I went out to do service on the farm in Seneca and we were removing a barbwire fence for the majority of it and then putting in a new electric fence. Then we went and found a new potential investigator while tracting and then went and checked up on a referral our Ward Mission Leader gave us. The referral he gave us was home and she introduced herself and part of her family. She was a bit busy at the time we passed by but she really wanted us to come back and we have an appointment for this coming week. We are excited to get to know her.

This past Saturday my companion and I kept busy visiting a lot of people. We had 2 members come out with us to an appointment and it worked out really well with one of our investigators. We then went and visited a couple members and investigators we had in the southern part of our area. Hno D. took us out to dinner at a new Mexican Restaurant called Señor Tequila's (some name). The food was good but the service was really slow but we had a really good time visiting and chatting. You already have your first appointment now coming here; Hermano D wants to take you out to eat (probably on Monday). Anyways, after the appointment my companion and I went and had a nice lesson with one of our progressing investigators about studying the scriptures. 

Yesterday was a huge miracle. Our 9-year-old investigator got baptized! Everyone was stressing over this baptism and you don't know how many prayers and fasts were done for this. He was beyond nervous for the baptism but literally was praying every 5 minutes for the strength to go through with this. It took a long while for him to get baptized. To make a long story short there was a lot of fear and a lot of different ways we tried to get him to be baptized (a chair, kneeling, sitting, etc) and it wasn't working. He would get too freaked out and yet he still wanted to get baptized. Then the 2nd counselor of the bishopric jumped in the font (in his Sunday clothes), then asked the bishop if it was ok, then told the dad to dunk him (in Spanish to surprise him). With a little assistance he was baptized. I have never seen anyone so ecstatic and joyous to be baptized in my life. He started hugging everyone yelling "I DID IT!!!". It was an awesome moment and it was such a cool thing to experience. It was a wonderful end of the week.

Love,

Elder Braden Dahl







Un mes...Written 10-12-2015

I'm glad that I'm not the only one finally running out of things to say. I'm glad your week has been calmer and that everyone is doing well. I'm starting to wonder with you writing me about all the changes back home over the last 2 years, if I'll recognize anything in California. Here in Maryland things are nice, the weather is changing between hot and cold, leaves are changing colors and falling, it's not raining as much, and people are enjoying the fall season.

Grandpa D sent me an email about college grilling me down for all my stuff; when I start school, scholarships, classes, looking for more scholarships, major, etc. Unfortunately, I don't really have any answers for him. I've been having more of the mentality "When I'm on my Mission, be on my Mission" and I haven't really been focusing on that. Is there something I should do or know, be aware of?

Anyways, on Monday my companion and I went to a part member family and taught them to "ponderize" (aka "Meditizar") the scriptures and invited them to try John 14:15. It was a nice little lesson and then we went over to a dinner appointment with a family that some are active members, some are less-active, and one isn't a member. We taught on "What lack I Yet" from General Conference and we had a really great discussion with them.

Tuesday we met some interesting characters while we were out knocking doors, it reminded me of the people you meet in certain parts of DC. But we had some really good lessons that day. We found this awesome family that lived in the basement of a less-active member. We talked to the husband while he was working on his car outside and then he invited us in to teach him and his wife. It was a good lesson and he had plenty of questions so it went really well.

Wednesday we had the opportunity to meet with our most progressing investigator who is 9 years old. He really wants to get baptized and there are just a couple things holding him back. We are really trying with all we can to help him reach his goal of baptism. He's getting close so we are hoping as he keeps commitments the Lord will bless him.

On Thursday we saw a lot of people throughout the day. We found 4 new investigators and had some awesome surprise lessons. Friday was also great. We went out looking for a lot of the less-active members we don't know anything about. My companion and I had the chance to meet a few of them and find out that a lot of them no longer live there. 

Saturday my companion and I celebrated two of the elders birthdays in our zone and went to lunch with them. We then went to an appointment with one of our returning members. She is doing much better and has come to church a few times. We also had a really great lesson with one of our older investigators. One of his good friends is in the bishopric and he came out with us and helped a ton.

Sunday was wonderful as always. We were able to enjoy it and have a couple lessons and have an investigator at church.

I hope that you have a great week and that all continues to go well.

Love,

Elder Braden Dahl

Monday, October 5, 2015

Making the most of my 5.5 weeks...Written 10-5-2015

It's been a while since our last email and I just wanted to check in and see how Dad's doing. I hope that you are recovering well from your surgery and that you are feeling better. I also hope that you really enjoyed General Conference this last weekend.

Today has been pretty mellow. We have had some other elders over and played a board game called Pandemic where all the players are on a team against the game. Basically you have to cure 4 epidemics using various strategies. It was fun and it's been nice hanging out. I hope that you have a great week.

It was pretty wet and rainy this last week and definitely busy with meetings, transfers, and General Conference. I'm glad everyone is doing well things are still trucking along. Tell Grandma and Grandpa W that I'm excited for their mission.

Tuesday we went with the English Elders to pass off an investigator that spoke Spanish. She seemed very nice and interested in the message and it was awesome to start teaching her. We also went over to one of our less-active member's home and taught her and her daughter about the 10 commandments and invited them to watch General Conference that weekend. It was a nice lesson and the spirit was there.

Wednesday was busy with transfers. Since my companion and I were staying along with our roommates it wasn't too much of a hassle. After transfers we grabbed lunch with a bunch of other missionaries at a pizza buffet. We stayed super busy on Wednesday and we taught a lot of our investigators. We also had dinner with a member and then went over to one of the part member families and taught their investigator son. He is really cool and working towards getting baptized. Then in the evening we went to a new investigator and taught him the restoration.

On Thursday we went and taught a less-active member who recently has been reactivated. We had a good lesson about following the prophet and she said she'd watch General Conference. We also had a really good lesson about the plan of salvation with another investigator.

Friday we taught one of our really progressing investigators and we asked him to watch General Conference with the question of should he be baptized. We saw him at the priesthood session and he really enjoyed it. One of his really good friends is the second councilor in the bishopric which has helped a lot.

Saturday and Sunday was obviously General Conference and there were a lot of great talks. I watched all of the sessions in Spanish as usual and they were really great. I watched the normal sessions at the Montgomery Village Chapel (where we meet for church regularly) and then the priesthood session at the Seneca Stake Center. I'm not sure I have a favorite talk or speaker but there was some great things and I learned a ton from it. We even had two of our investigators watch General Conference. It was a great week.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl


Little Brother #3,
I'm glad I got to hear from you this week. It sounds cool that you're putting together a bike. That will be a cool surprise for Christmas and will certainly be a awesome gift for him. Star Wars in school sounds like a lot of fun, I hope you're excited for episode 7 coming out at the end of the year. We might have to go and see it sometime.

It's cool that you're getting into coin collecting that sounds like an awesome collection. I'll keep an eye out for American Samoa quarter if I see it. I'm glad you like biking; it is a lot of fun plus where you live is super flat. I hope you have a great week.

Little Brother #4,
It is so cool that you got a giant stuffed animal. That is crazy big. I hope you have been enjoying him. I don't think I've seen a stuffed animal that big. I hope you are enjoying school and doing well. Keep up the awesome work.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

Monday, September 28, 2015

Another Week in the Life...Written 9-28-2015

Things sound like it has been going really well and busy as ever. Dad sounds like he is doing great and getting a lot better. That is awesome how things are doing.

This week has been busy we were teaching a ton of less-active members and investigators. I'm not really sure what to write this week but things have been going well. We've been having some really good lessons with our investigators.

Today we had our zone activity where we made and are breakfast and enjoyed hanging out. The we played some volleyball and soccer. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.

Seneca Zone Activity 9-28-2015

Transfers are this Wednesday with my companion and I staying together in Montgomery Village North. It is crazy to think that it is my last transfer is approaching. I am glad to be staying here and am exited to continue to work here and bring others closer to Christ. It feels like yesterday I just came out here. I'm excited to see what this next transfer has in store. 

I also am really excited for General Conference coming up and there should be some great talks coming up.

So I'm at a complete loss of what else to write but I hope that you have a great week.

Love,

Elder Braden Dahl


Mom: Let's see--what to write...
what did you cook and eat for breakfast?
tell us more about your companion-where is he from, what are his hobbies, is he 1st missionary in his family, siblings, etc
Are your other 2 roommates being transferred this week?
What are you going to sing next? With whom?
Does it feel like fall yet?

Elder Dahl: I think I can take a hint...
Bacon, waffles, pancakes, orange juice, milk, with syrup and whipped cream.
My companion is from Mesa Arizona, has a younger brother and sister, his mom is a convert his dad served a mission in Italy, he enjoys bow hunting, sleeping, eating food that other people cook for him, blowing things up, etc
Both of my roommates are staying (Elder C and Elder T)
No plans for singing yet (the new VC director doesn't like musical performances so much)
Yes it feels like fall, it's getting cooler the leaves are already changing, getting windier and cloudier

Monday, September 21, 2015

Great Falls...Written 9-21-2015

It certainly sounds like a busy weekend. I don't think things ever seem to calm down at home. I'm glad you had an enjoyable weekend and that all went well. I hope you found some fun in the stress of all of it. It must have been fun having my oldest brother back for a bit and I'm sure he enjoyed it too.

This week has been a busy one. Monday evening, my companion and I went to one of the members in our area and had dinner with her and her non-member husband. It was a nice dinner and we were able to share a short lesson with them. The husband isn't very interested but we still had a lot of conversation with him. We also went and found a less-active member that neither of us had previously met. She has a strong testimony and still believes in much of the doctrine but was exposed to some anti-Mormon material and decided to stop going to church. It's sad to see that but she was very open and receptive with us so we have hope and will continue to work with her.

Tuesday I was on exchanges with the Quince Orchard Ward Elders. I was visiting the English program and it was an awesome day. We met briefly with an investigator that they had lost contact with and we reestablished some connection with them. We also visited with a couple less-active families. In the evening, we had dinner with a member who had her non-member cousin and family over for dinner. It was a great evening and lots of fun.

Wednesday my companion and I checked up on a less-active member we have been trying to help return to activity. She is very nice and wants to start coming back to church. We spoke about studying the scriptures daily and church attendance. It was a great lesson for the time we had with her. We also had an amazing lesson with our 9-year-old investigator and 2 of his member friends that are the same age. We talked a lot about the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the lesson he committed to baptism! He has a phobia of going underwater but really wants to be baptized. It was so cool to see that lesson and the help from his peers being great member missionaries at a young age.

On Thursday we had a awesome lesson with one of the potential investigators we had in our list of investigators. She is a super awesome lady and is so ready to hear the gospel. We had an amazing Restoration lesson with her and she believes in everything that we taught her. We are so excited to keep working with her and see her progress in the gospel. 

Friday we went looking for a lot of our potential investigators. We found a few of them and we found a few new potential investigators along the way. We were able to be out and busy for the day. Then on Saturday we were checking up on our less-active members and getting to know them better. 

Sunday was great. We had a "Why I Believe" fireside at the Temple Visitors' Center and we had a lot of people from our area attend. John and Hannah Smith spoke who are well-known lawyers in the community. Bro. Smith is a convert and a descendant of George Albert Smith. He was the lead lawyer for Homeland Security for President Bush. Sis. Smith works at a law firm that promotes religious freedoms and has served 2 clerkships in the Supreme Court.

It has been a really fun day today. Today my companion and I went with our roommates to Great Falls on the Maryland side. It was super beautiful to see and I loved seeing the rapids and falls. We took some fun pictures and really enjoyed going out there. It is a nice short walk out there (.3 miles from the parking lot to the main viewing point).

I hope you're doing well and all continues to be good at the Dahl home.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl


P.S. The pope is coming on the 23rd and will leave early on the 25th (as told by Sister Cooke)
I'm with Elder P (my companion-tall skinny), Elder T (Tongan), and Elder C (Brazilian)
 at Great Falls on the Potomac (MD side)


Monday, September 14, 2015

¡dos meses!...Written 9-14-2015

I hope that you are doing well and Dad's feeling better. I hope that you have enjoyed having Grandma and Grandpa D at the house.

This week has really been great. Today we hung out at the Stake Center with some elders and played basketball and had a nerf gun war. Things have been busy here and my companion and I have been going hard at the area in the work of the lord.

It seems like everything is going well in the family. Everything seems really crazy over there and is starting to settle down.

Things are going well here. I'm don't have many plans for when I get home/college. However, I'm still planning to live at Grandpa and Grandma's home. I don't really know about anything for college. I know there are a few people heading off to Utah State in the future but I don't have any roommate plans and I feel fine being on my own. I feel like you probably know more of my plans for home than I do. Right now my plans are go home, probably find a job for a bit, go to college, live at grandma and grandpa's home, find another job, study (insert whatever I'm going to major in), use my scholarship.

This week has been really good; my companion and I have been working well in the area. We found some new investigators and are still working with those who are progressing. We are having lots of success in the area. We are getting to know the members here as well as the less-active members.

Thanks for all the great updates and have another great week.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hello...Written 9-8-2015

It always seems to be busy at home. I'm glad everything is going well and that everything is going alright. Dad, congratulations on losing ## pounds already! That is definitely a positive thing. You are in my prayers.

This week has been really nice. My companion and I have been working on contacting our potential investigator pool a lot. We had around 100 at the beginning of the transfer and we are slowly getting into contact with everyone and seeing if they are still interested. We're now down to 60 potential investigators. Unfortunately, most of them have not been interested in hearing more about the gospel. However, we have picked up 2 as new investigators and have found a lost less-active family from our searches. We've also contacted a few that are interested and have set up appointments with them for this week.

Monday evening we went out looking for some of the potentials far out into our area. Most of them no longer live there but we had this really good conversation with this old man out in front of his house. He didn't really want to change but he thanked us for his visit and he said it got his mind really thinking. It was kind of sad to see his worldly perspective. His kids were more of acquaintances to him and they saw him once every blue moon to catch up. It is really amazing to see the importance of families and how the gospel really blesses people.

Wednesday we taught a lady that is pretty familiar with the church. She has family that are members and has been to the visitors' center. She is cool and was interested in learning more. We had a really good lesson with her and we felt the spirit a lot.

Thursday was a fun day. We had a tire on our truck fail while we were on exchanges. I was driving but luckily the tire blew when we were going only about 10 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood. Thankfully, I knew how to change it and it was all fixed with relative ease. We did find a new potential investigator that day and we taught a great lesson to an existing investigator with our ward mission leader.

Saturday one of the assistants came out with my companion and I in the evening for exchanges. We had two really good appointments with a returning member family and one of our really progressing investigators. The investigator is super close to baptism and it's more of scheduling it. She is going back to work since she has been sick with a fever. So hopefully her schedule will work out quickly so she can be baptized soon. She is an awesome lady and it has been so cool working with her.

Church was great on Sunday and we had some investigators at church. We then went to a few members and had some good lessons. We also checked up on one of our progressing investigators who is doing well.

The reason I didn't email on Monday is because we had a ward picnic on Labor Day. It was a great turn out and we got a few referrals from it. We had a lot of fun and we played a lot of games and did a lot of activities. After the activity, my companion and I went out and had dinner with a member and then went and saw one of our investigators.

It has been a busy week but everything has been going well. We are keeping busy and loving every minute of it.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

Mom: So now that you're in the car do you have the Tiwi system again?
Elder Dahl: Yep. Tiwi is installed on every vehicle in the mission

Monday, August 31, 2015

Hola...Written 8-31-2015

I hope that you are having a really good week. I hope things have calmed down and everything is readjusting now that my oldest brother is off at school. Hopefully, my next oldest brother is adjusting to being the oldest at home and everyone is helping out and doing their part. I'm sure Mom is glad that that whole ordeal is done and she can move on to her next big project.

Today has been a pretty mellow day. We spent a good part of the day cleaning up the apartment because it was really trashed when I arrived. We've been throwing away tons of stuff and getting everything organized again. This apartment has had someone finish their mission here for the last 4 transfers and when people leave the mission they leave behind a ton of stuff. It's been the great purge from the apartment. We also had a nerf gun war where some of the new missionaries stopped by and our roommates and us loaded all the nerf guns we could and unloaded on them for about 15-20 minutes while we gave them each 2 "peashooter" nerf guns. They lasted a lot longer than we thought they would, but in the end since they were out numbered and way out gunned, they surrendered. It was a fun little activity for the day.

Things have been calming down a lot more this week. My companion and I have been really able to get into the swing of things. We are out teaching a lot more and working hard in the area. We are meeting more of the less-actives in the area and we are finding a couple new investigators. We are working really hard with 3 in particular all of which are in part-member families. One of them is a 9-year-old boy that has a phobia of going underwater. We are working with him and getting more comfortable with the idea. He is starting to get more comfortable with the idea and doesn't burst into tears when we mention it to him now. He's a really cool kid and he is really into video games like the new Super Smash Bros, Minecraft, Street Fighter, etc. He knows a ton about the gospel and has a great testimony; he just has to get over his fear. Another investigator is a lady that is the daughter-in-law of the old Elder's Quorum President. She and her husband are really trying to turn their lives around. She wants to get baptized but it's more of a matter of scheduling a date. Also, we have the husband of a member that's really cool. He is keeping his commitments but is just a little weary of getting baptized right now. He is a completely different guy than from last year. The best thing was that all three of them came to church this Sunday which was awesome.

We have been having some great experiences this week. We have been having these great lessons lately trying to ask a lot more questions. People have really been opening up to us and we are gaining their trust. Every day seemed to have its miracle. Tuesday, a member opened up to us how they are preparing to enter the temple but are struggling with tithing. My companion and I were able to bear testimony of the true blessings of tithing. Wednesday, we accidentally tracted into our Ward Mission Leader's home and his non-member wife was a lot more open to us and now we are trying to teach her again in a much less 'preach-y' way. Thursday,  the English elders had us come over to a pass off a lesson to a less-active member and her non-member husband that speak Spanish and want to go to the Spanish Ward. The room felt like a pressure cooker for the spirit while we were there.

Friday, we had a great lesson with that woman we are focusing on teaching and she committed to come to church and she wants to be baptized. Saturday, we were working with the 9-year-old boy about baptism. Plus, we found a family from Sierra Leone that is super interested in the gospel and committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon that we are passing off to the English elders. Lastly, on Sunday, my companion and I talked to a guy in the road who was on the phone with his sister. He told us that she was saying for the last half hour how she was trying to find God. Although she ended up not wanting to hear more, her brother who we were with, invited her to our church and he said that he'd be interested in hearing more about us. It was a week filled with awesome miracles and experiences.

I got a lot of packages this week. I have been enjoying the ties that you sent to me and yes I have been wearing them. I have been wearing my Muggle shirt from Aunt D and using the nerf gun too. I also got a lot of "Sunshine" from the G's and D's down south. I received letters from the N's, and Grandma D. Tell everyone thank you for the birthday gifts and I'll try to send them all a thank you letter as well. I'll keep an eye out for anything else.

I hope you have another great week and that all goes well. If I'm not mistaken my next P-Day will be on Tuesday because of a Ward activity, so don't think I died if you don't get any letter next Monday.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

My roommates and companion



Our new mission vehicles...in our dreams!



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Déjà vu 2.0...Written 8-25-2015

I hope that you are doing well and that your week went well too. I'm sure there has been lots of stress around as of late with Mom taking my brother off to college. I'm sure they'll both be fine but everything in the moment just seems too hot to handle.

I cc'd you in my email to Mom since I know she's probably got a lot of other things on her mind right now and will be off in Utah today. I'm back in the Gaithersburg 2nd Ward and it's been a lot of fun. It's a different area than before but I really am enjoying it.

I'm glad everyone is finally getting off and starting school. I'm sure it will be a really different, new chapter with the next oldest brother out of the house now too. Don't stress out about it too much and I'm sure everything will work out fine. At least you can call him all the time still. Plus he'll be just fine at BYU. Tell the G family that I send my condolences and love to them. I'm sure it's crazy hard having their dog pass away.

This week has been a pretty good one. On Monday and Tuesday my companion, Elder H and I went out and visited some of the members and investigators in Mount Pleasant. I said a couple goodbyes but we were pretty busy. I finished packing up and got all ready for the transfer meeting.

Wednesday we had some elders with a car pick us up in DC and drive us over to the transfer meeting. So the big news is that I've been transferred. I'm sure you're dying to know everything. So my new companion is Elder P from Mesa, Arizona. We are serving in the Montgomery Village North area in the Gaithersburg 2nd Ward. So I'm back in the same Ward I started my mission in just in a different area (again). My first two areas in the ward were Germantown and Montgomery Village South. So I'm back in G2 and back in a car. It's weird being back here since its been over a year since I left. It's another big déjà vu moment for me. I'm seeing people like O, Hermano D, J, etc again in church (not my area though). We went and saw a few members in the area and I was introduced to a few people I didn't previously get the chance to meet. Just so you are aware my roommates are Elder C born in Erechim (Erexim), Brazil (in the Porto Alegre North Mission) but lived the majority of his life around Salt Lake City but briefly in Sorocaba, Brazil (by São Palo). Also Elder T again born in Sacramento, CA but lived for a bit in Tonga and then moved to Washington State. I'm sure you're happy to know I've been safe and sound this whole time. No problems here only hard work and fun. My new address is in Gaithersburg, MD.

Thursday my companion and I had a really great lesson with a referral that we received. It is a Mexican family and we were able to catch them at home and teach them the restoration. It was a lesson with a good spirit and then they invited us to come by again. We then stopped by an active member's home to see how she was doing. It turns out she was pretty sick and feeling very under the weather. We were able to offer her a blessing and give her some comfort. It was a small miracle that Heavenly Father gave to us. On our way out, we contacted a man that was really interested in the church. He took us talking to him as a message of God and he really wanted to go to the Visitors' Center and see what it was like. I was excited to have such another amazing experience.

Friday and Saturday we were able to contact a few people and see an investigator or two. It is nice getting to know all the people we are working with here and begin to watch their progression. We have this awesome investigator that is in a part-member family. He used to be uninterested but has really sparked desires as of late. He's learning little by little but he's doing almost everything that we ask him to do. I am glad I get the chance to know him now and help him come unto Christ.

On Sunday we went to church and it was fun seeing so many familiar faces again. We had a bunch of meetings after church so I couldn't really talk to anyone after church but I did get some hellos in before church. Elder Perkins of the [First Quorum of the] Seventy came after church for a stake missionary correlation that the missionaries, ward mission leaders, and bishops were invited to. We talked about missionary work in the stake and learned a lot of new things. 

 Elder Anthony D. Perkins


My companion and I then went with the Germantown Elders to Hermana O's house for dinner. It was a fun night and we had a great lesson as well.

The reason we didn't have P-Day on Monday was because we had Elder Perkins of the Seventy come and have a mission tour. Seneca and DC Zones had their "revelatory experience" (meeting) on Monday for the larger portion of the day. It was really a great day. I was selected as one of the six interviewees for the 2 zones. It was cool be interviewed by a general authority and it was mostly concerning the mission and how I feel about it. It was really great. Elder Perkins gave wonderful workshops and we had some great practicing for missionary work. He talked a lot about being diligent, finding, and inviting. Afterwords, we went to a member's home and had dinner and a lesson.

So I guess both my birthday's have fallen on a P-Day this year. I just started using my new iPad case from one set of grandparents which is really nice and I received a lovely card from the other grandparents. The Zone Leaders usually end up going to the Mission Office on Saturday to pick up mail and supplies for the week in Seneca. I don't really have any plans today nor do I really know what to do. It's been nice to relax today. Hermana O and Sister Cooke already sent me birthday texts. My roommates made me waffles this morning which was really nice especially since it's my favorite breakfast.

I hope you and my brother drive safe and have a great trip. I don't have wifi in my new apartment but you should be leaving in 5 minutes if all goes well. Take care and be safe.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

Monday, August 17, 2015

One and Done...Written 8-17-2015

Well I'm glad to hear things are still normal at home. I don't think there is ever a dull moment at a Dahl house. There always has to be something going on. I'm glad your e-prep project went well and that everything is up to date now. I'm sure it was a pretty daunting task to take on but worth it in the end.

The Taylor Swift Concert sounds like it was really fun. Although it seems like it was a bit of an excursion overall between what you and Mom said it sounds like it was a fun night. I'm glad you got to enjoy her concert. It must have been a really fun night.

I'm glad everyone's getting into the swing of school again. Hopefully Mom is not stressing out too much over the crazy school schedules and my oldest brother heading off [to college].

This week was really good. We had two investigators attend sacrament meeting and we had the confirmation of AM. We were out teaching a lot and it was a fun week. Transfers are this Wednesday and I will be leaving my current area in Mount Pleasant East. We'll see where I end up but it should be a fun new adventure.

It has been a busy and good week. In the evening on Monday Elder H and I went to a member's home nearby and had a great Family Home Evening with them and our recently baptized friend-AM. It was a really fun night and a great lesson.

We kept busy throughout the week. Teaching a lot of people, particularly investigators. We've been focusing on a part-member/less-active family a lot lately. They even came to church in Sunday and stayed for all 3 hours. They were a bit nervous at first but ended up really enjoying it at the end. Their kids all loved primary and wanted to tell them all about it.

On Friday I was on exchanges with the DC 3rd Ward East area. I was with Elder B, an English elder that came out this transfer. It was a really good time and we saw a lot of awesome miracles. We found a less-active member whose records aren't in DC. A referral that Elder H and I sent them the day before (just a phone number) found us and gave us their address. We also moved a member. Plus we were able to teach a lot of people that day. It was a really fun day and I got to know Elder B a lot better.

Saturday we went to a dinner at a buffet for one of the members in the branch. She was having her 80-somethingth birthday and invited the missionaries over to celebrate. It also happened to be Elder Hz's birthday and it was a fun big celebration.

Sunday was a great day! AM was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting. So it was amazing to see that. We had some really good classes as well. Also in the evening we had "Why I Believe" at the Visitors' Center. Jason Hinds, a track and field athlete spoke there. I also sang with a group singing "I Believe in Christ." Unfortunately, they are no longer recording performances for some reason so only pictures from now on. Sorry about that. It wasn't that good of a performance but it was mediocre.

So transfers are this Wednesday and I'll be leaving Mount Pleasant East. It was a quick transfer and now I'm gone. It was really fun being able to be back in Mount Pleasant again even if it was for a short while. I really enjoyed being the east area and it was a great adventure. I won't know where I'll be until Wednesday at the Transfer Meeting. I could go anywhere and I'm not really sure where I'll end up. I'm excited to see where I'll go and serve in my next area. It will be another great transfer. It's crazy how fast the time is flying by. It was great serving with Elder H and I learned a lot from him. It was fun being with him and serving with all the other missionaries in the city.

I hope you have another great week and that things don't get too crazy over at the Dahl house and I loved the update from you. I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well and getting into the swing of school. Don't stress out too much with my older borther and school and eagle; it will all work out.

"Because I Have Been Given Much" - Accompanied by Sister Oliver
Left to Right: Elders Dahl, Fisher, Hartzog and Tutu'u
Uploaded 8-11-2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Baptism and Baseball...Written 8-10-2015

Don't worry about writing me late. I just figured you've getting tired of writing since its been something you've had to do for a bit now.

Maybe the time is passing for you slowly. But time here seems to be flying by. I can't believe it's already August. And it's already the middle of August. I still can't figure where all the time went.

This week has been nice. We did find some more new investigators this week. My companion and I have been keeping pretty busy and enjoying ourselves. It's crazy to think that summer is coming to its end. It seems like everyone just started their summer breaks. I hope one of my brothers is enjoying school and the rest of the family is enjoying the last few days before school.

Monday and Tuesday we had several appointments and were able to visit a lot of investigators and members.

Wednesday the mission went to the Temple a week early since the temple is closed for maintenance until October. It's always great going to temple and you always leave feeling better.

On Thursday we had our Weekly Planning session in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress. It was cool to do it there and it's nice saying you've been able to use the main reading room of the Library of Congress.

Saturday we had a "Focus" in one of the areas in the district. Basically the district I'm in showed up in the area and went finding for people to teach. My companion and I had a great miracle. We went finding for someone and they weren't home. We knocked the two doors next to the home we were knocking and no one was home at either house. Then we saw someone walk up to the first side house (second door) we knocked. We asked him if he knew that person we were looking for and he told us no. We asked if he was interested with the same response. We then asked if he knew if anyone around would be interested and he told us a house nearby that might have a Mormon there. We knocked the door and we found a less-active member that hasn't been to church in years. He served a mission and went to BYU. He is really cool and still has the spark of his testimony. He was shocked that we found us. It was great being guided by the Lord. We taught him and we now have his info for the elders we were focusing for.

We also had the opportunity on Saturday to go the Washington Nationals Baseball game in the

evening. The elders in the district met up right before for a potluck dinner and then we all went down as a district and enjoyed the game. The Washington Nationals played the Colorado Rockies; the Nationals won the game. It was a really fun night. We were even able to bring a recently reactivated member with us to the game.

Sunday was a pretty busy day. We had the baptism of one of the investigators we are teaching. She is the sister of a member and is really solid. It was so great seeing her get baptized this week and it was such a superb spiritual experience. There were a ton of members from the branch that attended her baptism and it went great.


Today was a fun day. My companion and I went downtown to see some of the sights. We went over to the FDR Memorial and enjoyed being there. We then walked over to the George Mason Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial and checked both of those out. It was fun being down to the sights again and I took a few more pictures down there.

I hope you have a great week and enjoy yourself.
Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

Mom: Sweet! I knew the baptism was coming up but I didn't know it was yesterday! How exciting!

Braden: Yes I still have both my [Washington Nationals] hats from last year. It was a fun game on Saturday. Not much left really planned for the mission. I think we have a General Authority (70) coming end of August. But I can't really think of any other major mission event coming up soon.

Mom: Sister M sent us her pic of you & Elder Haggard in front of Jefferson Memorial this morning too. Fun to see so much of you today! 😄

Elder Braden Dahl: Awesome. Yeah she asked for your phone number and I couldn't remember it for the life of me. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing. However, I still do remember the home phone and dad's cell. Luckily, I still remember your email.

Sister M: Ran into your son today at the Jefferson Memorial. He's doing great & he says he loves you!









Monday, August 3, 2015

Upcoming Baptism...Written 8-3-2015

Tell Grandpa and Grandma W Congratulations on their calls. [Called to Family and Church History Headquarters Mission in Salt Lake City, UT] It should be something really exciting for them and it will be another great experience. I'm also glad that you are feeling better and that Matthew has been a great chauffeur. It's crazy to think in 3 weeks you'll be taking him off to school. Time seems to just be flying by. 

Sorry I know so much about DC; I guess I've just been living here for the last 20 months and have picked up a thing or two. My letter to Dad had a lot of the touristy things to do. I'll see if I can get into contact with some of the people I worked with in the past and see if we can visit with them. The hard thing is it's just pretty far out and I can't really have a lot of communication with them right now. But will get to that later. I've still got plenty of time. Walking will be for most of the touristy stuff downtown but besides that there wont be terribly much walking. I'll plan on minimal walking. If there is anything Dad or you (tourist, cuisine, what normal people do, chapels, historical sites, etc) just let me know. You're the better researcher of the group. We'll probably drive around where I served, see some of the chapels, maybe visit a couple sacrament meetings, and try to see a few people. It's kind of up to transfers and where I go and what I do but it should be fun.

This week has been a good one. My companion, Elder H and I have been working hard in the area and doing well. We picked up a few more new investigators that we've started teaching. I met someone that knows D. L. [Braden's 12-year old scout leader] that we GQ'd [General Quesiton'd] and I met a couple from HB that recently moved out here while on the Metro. They even still have their 714 number. It's been certainly an interesting week.

We also have a few people that we are working with that are preparing for baptism. One of them is coming up soon and it should be awesome. She's been going through some difficulties but has been working through them with the help of the Lord. It's great seeing the steps she is making toward baptism. There are some awesome people in the area that we have begun to work with and it is always exciting to see their progression. It's always great being out here as a missionary. DC never ceases to have a great adventure. 

I hope that you have another great week and that all continues to go well.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

Touring Washington DC...Written 8-3-2015

Just feel free to look up places and if you want to go anywhere by all means let's go.

All of the things on your list are pretty easy to do. The only thing I am unsure of is the Reflecting Pools because when the weather starts getting cold here they drain every fountain, pool, or artificial body of water to prevent freezing and damage to the pool/fountain. Middle of November it should still be there but it's really up to Mother Nature. Anyways, the best way to do the memorials/monuments (Korea, Vietnam, Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, WWII-but could also include FDR, MLK Jr, George Mason, and signers of the Declaration of Independence) is in the morning. Most of the museums and other structures open at 10am. What you do is you head out early and walk to the memorials and monuments you want to see and then go check out the rest at 10. The must see memorials and monuments are Korea, Vietnam, Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, and WWII. The others I mentioned are still very well done and beautiful just less known (there are a billion other even smaller memorials or statues all around DC but usually not worth the visit unless significant to you).

As fair warning be prepared for some walking. If you're downtown you are lucky to get a parking spot within 10 blocks of where you want to be. Parking is expensive and usually pretty short term and it's just literally hours of circling around places (Think like downtown Los Angeles or San Fransisco). The Residence Inn in Arlington, VA is .3 miles away from a metro station (pentagon city) on the blue and yellow lines. If going downtown use the metro rail and walk. Basically, Maryland you need a car (suburbia), DC a car is good but there is some traffic (Big city) but not terrible, downtown=no car. We'll probably walk and metro around downtown. Use a Smartrip card (metro card that is cheaper than a fair card, and they save a dollar each way and are super cheap ($10-$2 for the card $8 on he card and you can reload them). I have one extra, I'll work on acquiring another extra card. It might be a good idea to do some practice walks around town before you come here. I'll keep walking to an absolute minimum but downtown the National mall is 2 miles long and requires some walking.
I'm no expert on Virginia, but Arlington is also a good morning destination. Have your walking shoes on though. Tomb of the unknown solider will probably have a change of the guard every hour because it should be the off season (if not every 30 min for the busy season), also in Arlington is the raising of the flag, Iwo Jima statue, eternal flame (JFK burial site), and the Arlington house. Arlington is a lot of walking around.

Capitol Tours can be reserved in advance or show up and hope for tickets (just like the Washington Monument). For scheduling wise I'd recommend reserving them because it's a hit or miss if you show up to grab tickets (I got lucky last time because they had 2 extra tickets for the tour). Same process as you did for the Washington Monument just on the Capitol Building site. 

This is very important if you want to go to the White House; you need to work on that ASAP, as in now. It usually takes around 2-3 months for clearance if I remember correctly. Go to the White House website and get info for the tour. You have to send a bunch of stuff (SS#, ID, DOB, etc) to get clearance to enter. Make sure it exactly matches your ID you bring (and please bring some form of photo ID) otherwise they won't let you in when you get there. It takes some time but they have all the info you need on the website. So sign us all up if you want to go and try and schedule it when you can.

DC Temple and Visitors' Center is super easy. So transfer meeting (aka where you'll pick me up) is located at the DC Stake center which is literally next door to the Temple and Visitors' Center. If you'd like, we can go there after transfers or on any other day. Sessions for the LDS Washington D.C. Temple run
Tuesday–FridayEvery hour from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; every 30 minutes from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
SaturdayEvery 30 minutes from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

and there is clothing rental there as well. The Visitors' Center is open everyday 10am-9pm. Also during our visit, that Sunday will be "Why I Believe" at 7pm. An event at the Vistors' Center where they have some recent converts speak and a keynote speaker. The whole mission will be there.

I'm sorry I don't know much about what's outside of the mission to visit but Virginia has Mount Vernon, Air Force Memorial, Pentagon, and 9-11 pentagon memorial, also the larger Smithsonian Air and Space museum. I don't know much outside of Southern Maryland and DC. If you or Mom have anything you are dying to do outside of Maryland or DC, feel free to explore the east coast.

Some things I would recommend doing in DC include (but are not limited to) the following...I'll give you my reasoning but if you don't sound interested in it we don't have to go because I've been to these places and have seen them. I'm just throwing some out there for you to enjoy. 
National Museum of Natural History-the biggest of the Museums on the mall, it has a bit of everything: Hope Diamond, tons of jewels, mummies, dinosaurs, taxidermy, etc 
National Museum of American History-Nauvoo Sunstone, Nauvoo temple historical plate, Dorothy's red ruby slippers, star spangled banner 
National Air and Space Museum-Wright Brothers' plane, big jets, airplanes, spirit of St Lois, rockets, military aircraft
Library of Congress-nice building, Jefferson library, main reading room, Gutenberg bible, unfortunately currently can't see a first edition of the Book of Mormon anymore :(
Kennedy Center-Mom's alley-don't have to see a show but they do tours you see the hall of nations, the hall of states, and their main theaters.
National Archives-Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution.
Holocaust Memorial Museum-sobering experience but a popular destination.
National Gallery of Art-some great art, have to be careful in some rooms but there is some great Art and artists in there.
National Gallery of American Art/National Portrait Gallery-portraits of every president, Joseph Smith, and Brigham Young.
Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hot, Humid and a Baptism...Written 7/27/2015


Things are still hot and humid here. But things are going well. We are teaching lots of people and found more new investigators. We've been working in particular with three people we have on baptismal date. One is coming up soon so we are trying to get all of the lessons done and help them the best we can. We have a couple people progressing and we are working hard with them.

This P-Day was pretty low key. We sang and played some basketball at the chapel. Then we went and played some ping pong at the YSA center with some missionaries by our house. It was a pretty good time and fun today.

Sunday evening I had the opportunity to go back to the Glenmont ward to go to a baptism of an investigator I taught. It was a great experience being able to go back and see him make a big step in the right direction. It's always such a great joy to see people get baptized. It was a great end of the day.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl

Friday, July 24, 2015

Good Times in D.C. ...Written 7/20/2015

Happy Belated Birthday Mom, it certainly sounds like you had a busy birthday but in the end it sounded enjoyable and rewarding. Everything sounds as busy as usual at the Dahl House.

It's been nice in the city again [living in actual Washington D.C.]. Since I'm in another area here I only know the active members here. It been nice in the [Mount Pleasant] branch and its functioning much better than the last time I arrived here. A lot of members were pleasantly surprised when I was at church and its been nice here. It is certainly hot here and the last few days have been in the upper 90s and the humidity has been high. Not much you can do about it just go around and sweat a ton. Drinking water is a high priority.

My new companion is a bundle full of energy. He's a really hard worker. He's a great guy and its been fun so far being companions with him.

English speaking missionaries definitely have a different experience here. It's a very different culture working with Spanish speakers and non-Spanish speakers. Different issues or concerns, different functionality of the wards. Just different but in the same place.

Things have been nice around here. We went to the Washington D.C. Visitors' Center 4 times this week. We had 2 tours and one teaching appointment plus the "Why I Believe" fireside. It's been crazy getting to and from there from the City but so far so good**. We've been keeping busy this week and we picked up a ton of new investigators. We've also been working on getting members to come out with us and teach at appointments. So far there has been good success in that.

For the "Why I Believe" fireside yesterday, the temple president and matron spoke--President Kent W. Colton and his wife Sister Kathryn Colton. We also had one of the recent coverts in this area speak. It was a really good meeting and there was a really good spirit to it. We were able to have quite a few people from our area come there.

Being back in the City is nice. It's a different area which is taking some getting used to but there are still a lot of people I recognize here. It hard work but I'm up to the challenge. There are always reasons behind everything and though I might not know them all at least I know a few of them why I need to be here.

One of my roommates, Elder T, was born in Sacramento, lived in Tonga for a while because he's Tongan, and then moved to Washington State and my other roommate, Elder H (yep that one-he's been my roommate before) are my roommates. Elder H2 is my companion. 

Today we went to the Library of Congress and to the Museum of American History. At the Library of congress my roommates (Elder T and Elder H) and my companion-Elder H2, got their reading cards there. Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the books and the wear on them, they are no longer showing the first edition of the standard works in the rare book section. It was a bummer but I'm glad I saw them when I did. One of the librarians felt sorry for us and showed us something I had no idea about. He went and got the Book of Mormon in Deseret; a language basically made up by the Mormons to make it easier for immigrants instead of English. Apparently, it was supposed to be a permanent language in Utah but just didn't catch on. It was really cool to see and an interesting part of history. The librarian told us that that book was about to be digitized as well but they hadn't gotten to it quite yet. It was a cool thing to see. At the museum of American History we saw the star spangled banner again and other fun things like Count Von Count from Sesame Street.

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl
**Braden's apartment in Washington D.C. to the temple in Kensington, MD is about 8 miles but Google Maps says that by car it takes approximately 24 minutes to get there. Do the math, that's 3mph. But Braden does not have a car, he has a bike with his own 2 legs. Who knows how long it takes by bike!






Back to my old stomping grounds...in D.C. (Mount Pleasant East Area)

I hope that you (Mom) and my younger brother start feeling a lot better. I hope you can get over your sickness and enjoy everything.

No worries about transfers, I moved and I'm back in Mount Pleasant. I am now in the Mount Pleasant east area (I used to be in west). It's crazy being back in the branch again especially since it feels like I just left. I would share with you about my new area but it's all about the same, President Ortega, same chapel, same apartment, etc. My companion is Elder H and it's his 3rd transfer in the field. He is from Chicago but recently before his mission moved to North Dakota.

So in Mount Pleasant I'm back on bike and it's been hot and humid out here. We cover most of DC in the East Area (all of the east side of DC and a little bit of the west side). There are 3 companionships in the branch 2 Elders and 1 Sister. The branch seems to being doing well. We have some good investigators here and I've really enjoyed starting to get know them. It's fun being back which was definitely a surprise to me. Not sure what you want to know about here since I was in DC for 7 months already. We had 2 investigators and a less-active member come to church this week which was awesome. We brought one of our investigators to the VC this week and we had a great tour with her. In the end we watched the Joseph Smith Prophet of the restoration video which she really enjoyed. I've been working with Elder Haggard to get the area in a bit more order so we can work hard and get everything we need to done.


Tell Matthew I wish him the best of luck for tech week and his eagle project. Both should be great.

Yep. Same place. I just serve in a different area. Same apartment and everything I'm just in the other room

Love,
Elder Braden Dahl


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hello from hot, wet, and rain in White Oak, MD...Written 7/6/2015

I hope you had a great week. For the 4th of July, my companion, Elder O and I met up with some of the Elders in Silver Spring ward and went to the Parade in DC just off the National Mall. We really enjoyed it but only ended up staying for about half of it because we went to a less-active/part-member family for lunch as a 4th of July BBQ. The wife cooks super good and made some amazing food and cheesecake dessert. We then hung out and played games with some other elders. After that all the Elders met up in the zone at the Institute Building at the University of Maryland. We played soccer and other games and then had another BBQ. We watched the fireworks on the drive home.

Well since you asked the workout question 3 times in your email I think I'll answer it. I go to a gym in the morning and usually do cardio for about 30-40 minutes then I work arms one day, then abs and back the next, and legs the third day. In total I work out 1.5 hours a day/5 days a week. If my brother doesn't like running; biking, walking, or hiking (he's got mountains in Utah) are good for some cardio. Fill milk jugs with water or small rocks to work out arms, sit ups or curl ups are good, do some jumping jacks, push ups, etc. the thing is no one likes starting to work out. You just have to start and then you get into it and enjoy yourself. Vary the exercise by changing the reps or do some thing different. Put your feet on a chair and do push ups, do tricep push ups, add weight, etc. check online for some great free, no equipment workout plans. It's all about what you want to do.

We've been working on starting home teaching in the ward with the new Elder's Quorum President. We have been going out with him and the Ward Mission Leader training them to help train others to do their home teaching. They came out with on Tuesday and we had a great time with them.

Wednesday we had our temple trip and it was another great day at the temple. It's always great being able to go especially since it will be closed in August and September. Thursday was the last Zone/District meeting for the transfer and we had fun and took a picture together as a zone and then as a district.

On Sunday, the Bishop had us over for lunch which was really nice. We have gotten really close to the bishop lately which is awesome. He's super awesome and it's crazy to think he's only been a member for just over 2 years. We also went over to a member's home who has been going through some great challenges. They are active members but due to some of the wife's health challenges they have not been able to attend church as of late. The husband confided in us that a couple of weeks ago they were discussing how they felt abandoned and prayed for help. That was the very night we knocked on their door and for the first time, despite several attempts, we were able to visit with them. We had tried in the past but we often never made it to their home due to one reason or another and when we did pass by, they were never home. We have seen them several times since then and they are always home when we knock at the door. The Lord truly answers others prayers through his servants and we must be founded in Christ to complete His work.

We met with out investigator who should be baptized soon and he feels really confident about getting baptized and wants one of his member friends to baptized him. It is something super exciting and I hope I'll be able to attend the baptism.

So you didn't ask about transfers; I'm leaving Glenmont Central and heading off to somewhere else. I have no idea where I'm going but I'll find out on Wednesday at the transfer meeting. Sorry if the suspense kills you all week until you find out next Monday where I'm at. That being said, I sent a package today of some of my stuff (mostly things I don't really use, old pants that don't fit, etc). There is an envelope in there for your birthday and you can probably guess what is inside but the rest is just stuff. The receipt says it should arrive on Wednesday.
I hope you have another great week! 
Love,
Elder Braden Dahl