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.

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.

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 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

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! 
Elder Braden Dahl

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy 4th of July...Written 6/29/2015

Well this week has been fun. Tuesday my companion (Elder O) and I went on splits with the Elder's Quorum President and the Ward Mission Leader to do some Home Teaching since the program kinda died in the ward and we have a new Elder's Quorum President. We were just helping them know what to do so that they can train the Elders in the ward and get the families assigned. I was with the Elder's Quorum President and we were able to visit 2 less-active member families that we are trying to reactivate in the church. We had awesome lessons and 1 of the families came to church this week and a few members of the other family came to church as well.

Thursday we had our Zone Conference which really was mostly explaining our new Tiwi systems. You might ask what a Tiwi is; a Tiwi is a computer installed in every mission vehicle to monitor our speed, location, and driving skills.
 Tiwi System-What is it?
It gives alters on aggressive driving, speeding and not wearing seat-belts, etc. They take a bit of getting used to and figuring out logging in and out of the car but overall it's a great program that will help a lot and luckily I'm already a pretty good driver so I'm not getting any violations. It was a good zone conference and I enjoyed learning some new things. 

Anyways, now to the part that will get you jealous; also on Thursday the Mission had the opportunity to go to the Strathmore Music Hall and
attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert. It was their opening concert for the 2015 Atlantic tour. The choir were accompanied by the Orchestra at Temple Square and guest singer Alex Boyé performed two solos during the concert. When we heard that we were going to this concert I was super excited naturally but I thought we'd probably be sitting in the nosebleed section since tickets for this tour range from $15-$200. To my shock when I got my ticket I was sitting in the Orchestra Section second row from the front in front of the 1st Chair Violin. It was awesome being so close to the performance and getting the surround sound feel of the choir and
orchestra. All the music was wonderful and the choir sounds like one voice. The music was wonderful and you could really feel the Holy Spirit testifying throughout the performance. We also were able to briefly talk wit the people sitting behind us who were not of our faith. We explained a little about what we believed in and out purpose as missionaries which was a great missionary experience right before seeing the choir. After the concert we were able to talk to a couple members in the choir and thank them for the performance. 

Not all the missionaries were in the first two rows. Some were on the sides in the back of the orchestra seating, others were on the mezzanine level, and some were in the nosebleeds depending on when you picked up your ticket. But every missionary and senior couple went to the performance. The concert was great and it was cool to be so close to Mack Wilburg and Ryan Murphy conducting. Alex Boyé stood right in front of us and in between songs he whispered hi to all the missionaries in the front. The first chair violin was amazing and it was cool to watch her at times.
On Sunday, my companion, Elder O and I were able to go to the Young Men's class and talk to the boys about why we chose to serve a mission and what blessings a mission brings. Since this month is about Priesthood and Priesthood Duties the Young Men's President (who is a Returned Missionary of 2 years) asked us to help teach. A lot of the boys in the class have never thought about going on a mission and a couple were unsure. I think it was a great opportunity for us to help them out. There are some great guys in that class and a lot do have desires to serve a mission.

If you want to know what the weather here is like, imagine it getting up to the lower 90's with high humidity and then in the evening have huge clouds come in and dump rain and lightning. The weather here is basically bipolar and you get used to it quick. There is a lot of rain here and there have been a few flash flood warnings but nothing has happened here. Don't worry about me in the weather here because I'm doing just fine. Plus what are you doing anyways watching the weather in Maryland, the capital of Colombia (Washington D.C.) is closer.
As for the 4th of July, sorry I won't be getting any pics of the National Mall. President Cooke has felt impressed that it is too dangerous for us to be at the National Mall this year. We can be in DC until 6:30pm and then we have to start heading home. We found this out last night so we are still working on our plans for the 4th this year. It still should be fun just a bit different than last year. We can't see the fireworks in DC but the zone leaders are working on getting permission to see some around Silver Spring.
The ward here is pretty diverse there is a bit of everything here. Generally in the mission there are a lot of people from El Salvador.

I did get your mid week email and tell Grandpa thank you a ton for me. Tell him I'm working on Family History and have indexed around 300 records in Spanish (per request of my stake indexing coordinator--aka my Mom).

Dad, I'm glad that you had a good week and that everyone enjoyed the classes you taught on Sunday. It sounds like it was a really great Sunday with all the missionary farewells and tell everyone I say Hi back. 

This week has been nice; my companion and I kept pretty busy. We've been working with a lot of people and trying to get them all to come to church (less-actives and investigators)

Dad, I want to wish you a happy early birthday! I hope you have a great birthday this week and a great 4th of July as well. I hope you can have a stress-free week and enjoy yourself.

Tell my oldest brother congratulations on getting his Patriarchal Blessing and to keep working on his Bird (Eagle Project).

Elder Braden Dahl