Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Great Week...& A Short Letter From DC ... Written 4-13-2014

Dad, I hope you had a great week and that all is going well. It has been a great week here. Today My companion and I went down to DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival and we took a bunch of photos there. It's super beautiful this year and tons of blossoms. Spring has come in softer this year. The blossoms are a lot whiter this year than last year. It is still super pretty and it was great being here for the blossoms. There were a ton of people with all their huge cameras and gadgets that was fun to see.

Mom, It has been a great week as well and really busy. For the first time in forever, you didn't mention transfers but they are this Wednesday. I am staying in the area but my companion is going to be leaving. It was really great being his companion for a transfer (only 6 weeks) and I hope to have another great transfer with whomever I'm with.

I'm glad that everyone is doing well and that it's been fun with the family coming and going. Tell my oldest brother that I wish him the best of luck on his next performances.

This week has been crazy busy. We were teaching a ton and giving a lot of service helping a member paint and move. We found a few new investigators this week and had a ton of member support. We had a lot of members come out with us and help us reach lessons with investigators and less-active members. It has been an amazing week and an amazing transfer. It's been great working hard and seeing so many amazing things. You never know who is prepared to listen to the gospel. Some people are super prepared.

On Saturday we had a ward activity where we had "a flight to heaven" where we set the room up like the inside of a plane and the plane crashed. Then everyone depending on their ticket went to a kingdom of glory. It was fun and we decorated the rooms appropriately. The activity was great and everyone really enjoyed it.

I hope you have another great week.

Elder Braden Dahl

Wasn't conference great!-Claro que sí ... Written 4-6-2014

Conference was super awesome. I'm glad you're enjoying your time with Aunt M and fam. Sounds like a ton of fun!

It's been a great week here and it's so amazing to see the work of the Lord here. Today was a nice fun day. We went down to Fort Washington (forever away) and had our Zone Activity with the neighboring zone. We had a sports day and saw briefly Fort Washington. It was nice and it's sunny and warm here. My companion and I got matching batman shirts for our group color just for some fun.
Fort Washington - Zone Activity: Silver Spring and ? Zones
Can you find Elder Dahl and his companion in their matching Batman shirts?
Hint...they are sitting down...just right of center...oh there they are!
It was been a wonderful week teaching the people here. My companion and I met a lot of new people and we knocked a lot of doors. We found several new investigators via our work and the work of members. We were able to teach a lot of people this week who are interested in learning more about the church. We had some amazing lessons and experiences with them. We have been able to have some great discussions between them where the Holy Spirit is strong. There were several times where I said things that definitely didn't come from me.

We're really trying to work on building a solid foundation for our area and are getting in the swing of things (now with transfers just around the corner). We are getting to know the members really well. We've met a lot of them and we have attempted to visit all of them. It's coming around and we're trying to help them all the best we can with the help of Heavenly Father.

Conference was great (as always). The time seems to pass by so fast when watching it. There were some really wonderful messages and a great spirit. There were many wonderful messages shared and a lot of great, edifying things I learned. I don't know if I can pick a favorite talk but I loved the conference.

I hope my youngest is doing better and feeling well. It's a bummer he got so sick. I hope my oldest brother survives his cue to cue today. Tell him congratulations on his college of choice. I'm glad he's got his decisions all down. I'm glad everyone has been having a lot of fun and doing well.

Elder Braden Dahl

Finding people to teach...written 3/30

Dad, I'm certainly glad you missed the stomach bug this year and that everything is returning to normalcy. It sounds like you had a lot of fun on your recent excursions and I'm glad that you've had some fun times.

Great job on wanting to get healthier. It's a world of difference (and let me tell from experience). I'm not all the way there but it's great feeling better and better about yourself.

I'm glad that everything is going well and you've had a good past week. Sunday sounded like it was a lot of fun. However, I'm sure you are all loving spring break right now.

My companion and I are finally starting to get the area down and know how to get from one place to another with relative ease. We've also been trying to get to know all of the members and investigators we have in the area. This last week we were able to visit a ton of homes and see if the members still lived there or not and share a message with the ones still living there. We've passed by around 70% of the members. We had on a huge list of names that we received, a lot of them no longer live there. At the same time a ton of people still do, with several that haven't had contact with the church for a very long time (some have said they can't really remember the last time the missionaries came over). Our huge list of members is more manageable now (which is also a little sad too). We still have a good amount of people to find but they mostly live in the newly acquired part of the ward with the boundary change and it's difficult to find the time to go down that far to find them all. It's about a 30 minute drive down to that section of the area and then trying to find where everyone lives. We've been able to make a few excursions down there and find, and visit some of the people living there and invite them to their new ward. Most of the active members in that part of the area have callings and were going to be released before General Conference so that after General Conference they could attend their new ward. A couple members have begun to come to the Glenmont Ward and they are being warmly welcomed.

We also have been doing a lot of tracting over this last week to find some new investigators for our area. Unfortunately, usually when two new missionaries come into an area many of the existing investigators suddenly disappear. It's super sad and there have been several in our new area that we've had to drop because of lost contact. However, we still have a few investigators from the old companionships that covered our area which is really awesome! Still, our pool of people interested in the church was relatively small. So we've been out knocking doors in our area trying to find if there are people interested in our message of Jesus Christ. It has been really fun talking and teaching a lot of people this last week. We found two new people interested in learning more this week in our area that speak Spanish plus we found 4 people interested that speaks English and 1 person interested that speaks French.Thankfully I have a companion that speaks French because we have run into a lot of French speakers here (plus a few of other languages that neither of us can understand). We've been able to share the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ several times this week and teach other investigators of the church more about our beliefs.

It has been amazing that we have been able to teach so many people this week; both members and non-members of our church. The Lord is truly hastening his work here like it says in D&C 88:73.
"Behold, I will hasten my work in its time." Our area feels like it is on fire and we are just watching miracles occur several times each day. 

Elder Braden Dahl

Monday, April 13, 2015

Navy Football Coach & Physically and Spiritually Fit...written 3-23-2015

I'm going to go back and forth between Dad & Mom's questions and Braden's answers. His letter makes more sense when you know what Dad & Mom asked him...

Dad: I have a stomach bug outbreak and work with about 30 residents and 9 staff members. We are hoping to get a handle on it. It should be a busy week.

Dad, I'm glad to hear that you're doing well. I hope the stomach bug problem gets handled and over with quickly at work. 

Dad: The ward is going to start a missionary training class for the adults. It is a program initiated by the Stake Sunday School. The ward Sunday School has asked that I attend the adult class and then teach the youth of our ward the information. I am actually excited about it. I think it will be fun.

It also sounds like the new missionary class should be really fun. I hope it all goes well. This week has been nice for me. It's been great getting to know everyone and finally starting to get the area all down.

Dad: It was also nice to get the picture the family sent mom. We assume that is from a family in your ward? 

Oh, and that photo that was sent to Mom on Thursday, March 19th at 11:52am... It was from a senior sister missionary. I don't think you guys have seen Meet the Mormons as many times as I have because they have a certain Navy Football Coach and his wife from Annapolis, MD featured. Yeah it's them from Meet the Mormons because they went to the temple (DC being he closest to Annapolis) and we caught a pic with them when we were at the temple the same day.

Barbara & Ken Niumatalolo with Elder Mayta and Elder Braden Dahl. Ken is the Head Football Coach of the
U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and was featured in the movie, "Meet the Mormons"

NCAAF head coach Ken Niumatalolo believes in teamwork on and off the field. 

Mom: Wow Braden! I can't believe you lost 6-8 suit sizes!! I was teasing with Dad saying that you are going to come home the 'crazy' missionary who will be whipping us into better spiritual shape and the 'crazy-exercising' missionary that will also be whipping us into better physical shape! I told Dad that you'll get home and have us up at 6am jogging -- in matching jogging suits for the whole family -- while reading our scriptures as we go! I hope you get the joke, it's a women/mom thing always trying to keep up with all those other perfect Mormon Moms thus the matching jogging suits, jogging & scripture reading all at once.

I'm not sure about matching jogging suits; I'm still not a huge jogging fan. I could get you all on bike though and I can get some matching reflective vests. Roseville isn't too-too bad so we could probably read scriptures while on bike, or Dad will just have everyone download the audio for the scriptures and play it on their iPod at the same time.

This past week has been great. Monday evening we started doing A Family Home Evening with a less-active member who is also a recent convert. She has gone through a lot of hard times but is super nice. We also having her home teachers come over and help us share a message.

My companion and I also helped move a less-active member in the other Elders' area. She used to be a member in an area I previously served in. It was a little short notice but we were glad to help and finish moving everything. It was a great opportunity to serve and they really appreciated it. This week we also went over to a member's home to fill up bike tires with the two small bike pumps I have so they could give it to another member for transportation. It's fun to see all the little things you can do to help. (Don't worry I still always offer to wash the dishes at everyone's home-they just never let us do it.)

We have the goal to meet all the members in our new area to better know them and help them. We started doing that this week and have been going around looking for the members. We have had good success already and have found and met with a lot of the active and less-active members. They all seem great and we are getting a better grasp on how to help each of them. So far we're probably about a third of the way through visiting all the members but we are hoping to visit with a lot of them this week.

We also are trying to visit all the investigators the Sisters and Elders gave to us when the area was created. We've been able to visit with a couple of them now but not as many as we'd like. However, in our searches for members and investigators we've found a lot of new and potential investigators that we are really excited about. The area has so much potential and the members in the ward are super willing to help with missionary work.

On Thursday, our Zone (Silver Spring) went to the temple to do baptisms, confirmations, and initiatories for our ancestors. I brought my 5 names and performed the ordinances for them. It was a great time at the temple and super fun. The senior missionary couple in charge told us that the mission had completed over 900 family file names!

On Sunday I got to quickly go back to the Mount Pleasant Branch in DC for the baptism of one the investigators I taught. We set his baptismal date a little after the transfer when I left and he was able to complete it. We arrived just before he was baptized and we had to leave shortly after because the member that brought us down was helping at the baptism of one of the primary kids in our ward the same day. It was great being there for a few minutes and congratulating him. It was awesome feeling seeing him be baptized and knowing that he is coming closer to Christ.

It snowed here for the first day of Spring. It's still cold here but it is supposed to warm up this week so we can finally have some real springtime weather.

Elder Braden Dahl

PS-Just so you know, on Saturday we all received our new iPad minis. So I have it now and it's all good.