Monday, December 8, 2014

District Nerf War

This week was fun, and it flew by too.
Monday- We had a nerf war for our district P-Day and that was really fun and relaxing. To end the night we had dinner at the Dawbins which was the Fish Tacos and Pina Coladas. We challenged them to pass out 10 "He is the Gift" cards before our next visit and they did it!!!

District P-day Nerf War
Fish tacos and Pina coladas

Tuesday- We went with our ward mission leader brother walker out to visit 2 less-active ladies in our ward. The first one was sister durgin who has physical problems which stop her from coming to church. We talked to her about the importance of having goals in our lives. Because living without goals won't help you progress as fast as you would like. Her goal is to get to the temple! Good goal. The next lady we visited was 45 minutes away (and still in our area). Sister Hutchins. We taught about using the footnotes in the scriptures and their purpose for being there. It was cool to see the gears turning in her head and how she slowly picked up on how to use them. It was super awesome to see her go from no knowledge of them to the ablility to teach other about them. Then for dinner Brother Walker's wife made us a super good turkey pot pie with a turkey they raised themselves

Wednesday- We had interviews with our Mission President.  I got to talk with him about the area and questions/concerns I had. He also informed me that I will be staying in Gardiner with my trainee Elder Sholer. And we will no longer be in a car share because they are closing the Augusta Elders Area. So that means we will have the car full time and we take over half of their area and all the people they teach. So that will be an interesting transition. That starts on Dec 17th. We also have to help them clean up their apartment because it's being closed. That apartment has been a missionary apartment for 7 years.  Imagine how trashy it is, then multiply that by 2 and that's what theirs looks like... So much junk! At the end of the day we went over to the Veregge family and had a really good sit down scripture reading with them. Families are so much stronger when you take the time to sit down together and talk, and they get even STRONGER when you talk about the scriptures. We are hoping to help the Veregge family (who haven't been to church in over 2 years) to get back to church because they want to, not because we tell them to.

Thursday- We helped out at the Johnson Hall and talked to Grace, the main volunteer woman who is in charge of everything. She loves the missionaries and enjoys whenever we come by to help out. She may want to learn more about Jesus Christ in the future. We're taking it easy on her because she "isn't religious". After that we helped the public library out with their upcoming book sale. We sorted and stacked and divided books for a good 2 hours... Doing that just makes me want to sit down after my mission and just read all day!! We also met with Grechen and Allison, our Rastafarian investigators. They aren't progressing atm but they still want us to keep coming by. So we hope they will continue wanting to meet with us.

Friday- We got tons and tons of proselytizing materials from the Augusta Elders Apartment so we spent a good amount of time organizing those and somehow and someway, in the jumble of things there was a condom in the box that had all the stuff. So that was quite funny and disturbing. It went straight into the trash! That night there was a community Art Walk in downtown Gardiner and tons of people were outside. We planned 2 hours of street contacting and we handed out 17 "He is the Gift" cards!!!  It was AMAZING!!! We actually felt like real missionaries out sharing the gospel with everyone haha! That never happens out here in New England. We have a solid potential investigator from that too named John.

Saturday- We went over to the P***** house. Here is all who lives in the house.
Tiffany & Rusty P******
12-Cooper, 11-Ashley, 8-Lindsey, 6-Megan, 4-Madeline.
We were able to read the first 3 chapters of the Book of Mormon with him which is pretty huge because he does not believe in reading anything else besides the Bible. So we talked with him about it and he is figuring out whether it's actually God's word or not. We told him that no man can tell you whether it's from God or not. You have to ask him in faith. It says it all throughout the bible to do that. Specifically James 1:5.
The ward christmas party was this day and it was fantastic. Best food and set up I've ever seen for a Christmas Party. The P**** came to it also! They really enjoyed it and 2 of their daughters even went up and sang with the primary when they sang in front of everyone. The 2 girls had no idea what the words were so they just tried their best and mouthed it. So cute. (Those girls softened my heart to not wanting only boys when I have kids of my own)

Here's a video from last week's visit with the Alpacas

Sunday- A former investigator named Delsa Mock who is originally from South Africa called us up and asked us to help her unload a washing machine from their car. It was like 15 degrees outside and we were literally moving this gigantic washing machine on ice and my companion is not the buffest elder haha; 125 pounds of pretty boy. So that was quite interesting and tough. It builds character is what I kept telling myself. After a long day of fasting, which I actually enjoyed, Sister Tarbox fed us Steak Tenderloin!!! So good! That was a great way to end the week.

Sister Tarbox is the best!

I'm enjoying my time out here in Maine and trying my best to make the most out of my last winter here on my mission... Even though it's freezing cold outside.
Enjoy the sunshine for me!!!

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pre-Thanksgiving storm drops one foot of snow...

Beautiful Autumn Leaves...
Also beautiful Winter Snow...

So the snow is officially here to stay and won't be leaving until May. So, rather than hate it, I'm loving it.  I throw at least 1 snowball at my companion every day! There are also chunks of ice on the ground and as we are walking sometimes we try and kick it in between their legs to make a goal and if they score you have to do 5 push ups when you get home. :) Elder Sholer's been doing a lot of push ups!

Monday the 24th- Besides emailing all of you folks, we had a nerf war at the church where we turned all the lights off in the gym and ran around shooting each other. It reminded me of how much I don't want to have to do that for real, like the military does... That night we went to a member's home and the 13 year old boy there kept telling these terrible jokes about dead babies. That's apparently what all the kids do now is tell dead baby jokes....

Chef's at work...
Moose chili...  bet you never had that before!!

Tuesday- We helped out at the Johnson Hall, we got to decorate their little Christmas Tree which got me excited for the Christmas Season. It was funny because we decorated it before Thanksgiving....  That night we had dinner at a Less-Actives home who was going to host an annual pie night on the night before Thanksgiving so we helped her and the family bake pies.

Wednesday- This was the day the huge snow storm came. It started at 12 PM and didn't stop until 12 AM. The snow just kept coming and coming and coming. It was the really wet and sticky snow, which is perfect for snowballs. Because of the storm all of our plans got cancelled and the pie night never happened. Our cars were grounded and we couldn't leave our apartment because our Ward Mission Leader told us to stay indoors. So we were with the Augusta Elders in our apartment for the night. That was like a sleepover haha. It was fun. We went outside and shoveled even though we weren't supposed to....

Thursday- THANKSGIVING DAY! The day started at Bishops where we had a fairly small Thanksgiving dinner. It's the first time there were no left overs. After that it was about 4 pm and Elder Sholer and I had nothing to do and no one to see. We were a bit confused because we didn't know where to go and at this point in the day I was starting to get thoughts of how this is going to be the worst Thanksgiving ever. So Elder Sholer and I said a prayer asking for guidance in who to see. We came up with stopping by a Nonmember family , The Peters, that we helped move/not move a week ago. We walked on over there and they invited us in and they had just gotten home and were about to have their Thanksgiving dinner so we were able to have it with them. This was a really good dinner, and there were left overs haha. We then talked to them and they invited us to their small farm in South Gardiner the next day.

Friday- We went with the Peters to their small farm that had a 600 pound pig named Miss Piggy and 2 alpacas and 2 sheep and 10 piglets.  It was fun feeding the animals and breaking the ice on top of the well to get water for the animals. We trudged through snow a foot and a half deep and helped get his truck unstuck. We went back to their house and had lunch with them then had a Bible study on Genesis because they are very Christian and wanted us to read with them. They told us as we were about to finish the Bible study that they had prayed to the Lord asking for guidance and for some way to learn more about Him. And they said we came by a couple days after to help... Some people might say that's a coincidence, but I totally think otherwise.
Come here, Alpaca!


Boy, they sure eat like pigs....

Saturday- We helped the Cotnoir family in our ward out with wood and we cut and split and stacked and hauled their wood for 3 hours and finished all that they had. There was snow all over the place and that just made things harder and more difficult which is why it took 3 hours. Then we weekly planned which is always fun! Then we had dinner at the Dawbins. They made us breakfast for dinner and it was so good. I love when people ask what you haven't had in forever because I always know what to say. We watched the new Church produced Christmas video called "He is the Gift."  It was really well made and I encourage anyone reading this to check it out if you haven't already seen it.

Sunday- The roads were covered in a thin sheet of ice which made it impossible to drive in a straight line, so our Bishop cancelled church. I was going to speak at church and it got cancelled so that kind of stunk... We had invited the Peters to church and they were looking forward to coming. We immediately remembered that we didn't have their phone number so we walked out on the ice, practically ice skated to their house and told them church was cancelled. They are awesome and by the time we got there they had already called the church and already got the info that church was cancelled. So we stayed at their house for a little bit and read more out of the Bible because it was to dangerous for us to go outside to the frozen wasteland. Rusty, the dad gave us a ride home and I asked him if he had ever read the Book of Mormon and he said no and accepted one to read. I told him to read the introduction because that will explain almost anything and answers all of the Frequently Asked Questions for first time readers. After that we went to the Tarbox's for dinner and by this time the roads were unfrozen. They told us that they will be moving right after Christmas and that really put a damper on the day because they are such an awesome family!  I'm going to miss them. They will be moving to Grenora, North Dakota.

That's the week I had. I am grateful for all we were able to do and everyone we were able to help. On December 3rd we are having interviews with our mission president and then on the 6th we are having our ward Christmas Party. We have invited tons of nonmembers to it so we hope the turnout goes well. Thanks for all the pictures you sent me! I always enjoy seeing pictures. Stay warm out there in San Diego! (That's not too hard to do...)

All Smiles 
Elder Dahlberg


HAPPY SOON TO BE THANKSGIVING! For Thanksgiving the only plans we have are to go to our bishop's house at 1 pm for the classic Thanksgiving meal. I'm grateful that we at least have someone that wants us over so I'm excited for that. I know that's the biggest question people ask so I felt like telling you right at the start. Now for last week's adventures.

     Monday- Not a ton happened this day, only thing was we got picked up by the assistants to the president and that means I got to hang out with Elder Lund my trainer for the 4 hour drive to Manchester New Hampshire for a meeting.
     Tuesday- This was the day we had New missionary and Trainers meeting. They pretty much guided us on being effective trainers and servants of the Lord. So after that we got back into the car again and the AP's took us home. That was probably the last that I will see Elder Lund while he is still Elder. On December 17th he flies home and becomes Taylor Lund! CRAZY!

Mission trainer family:  Grandpa, Dad, Son

Pictures from the President's Board...  Drew and all his companions so far

We love polka dots!  

     Wednesday- This was a kind of a tough day for me because we had District meeting and I was kind of tired of sitting on my butt because the past 2 days were just me on my butt getting spiritually fed... So my thoughts drifted off to the news about Mike Somaru. (Side note... One of his friends died, not in a good way...)  I got a little bent out of shape and even cried a little but I'm back on my feet after talking with the District Leaders about it. President Stoker even messaged me and gave me an uplifting message.
     After that we met up with a lady named Peggy Lane who doesn't have a filter on her mouth so as you can guess whenever she opens her mouth,  expect to cringe a little haha. She is nice and we talked to her about the Law(r) of chastity because she had a ton of questions concerning it.... So that was a little awkward but the best way to teach that lesson is to not beat around the bush and just give it to em straight. For dinner we were invited over to another lady's house named Sister Armstrong. While talking to her when dinner was being cooked, she quickly got up and ran to the kitchen and some not so pleasant words came out and in the mix of that was "I BURNT THE SPAGHETTI!!" haha. Elder Sholer and I just looked at each other and laughed our heads off because of the rarity of this occasion.

     Thursday- We do service at the public library on Thursdays and we moved boxes upstairs for them. In their basement is a family history library and I talked to the historian about me possibly having ancestors that are buried here in Gardiner and she looked it up and Vwuala, (I had to keep that one as he spelled it...) I did. She couldn't find their exact location but she will get back to me on that when we come again. She was a really nice lady named Dawn.

     We met up with another family name the Veregge's who we will start working with a lot more. They need a lot of help.  Basically there is a single mom who has 4 kids all with different mental disabilities. So Sister Veregge is looking for guidance and help as she goes through this tough part of her life. She is older 60's and is kind of fed up with the kids because before them she had like 10 others. So she has been a mother her entire life and is just about to break.

     Friday- We went out with our WML (Ward Mission Leader) to visit some less actives on the ward list and happened to stop by Peggy Lane again and we addressed more of her concerns/excuses as to why she is doing the things she is doing. It is really tough to share the gospel with someone who knows the truthfulness of it and has no desire to live it and receive the blessing that come from it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings so much happiness and joy into your life, all you need to do is live according to the principles in it and apply them in your daily life. People don't apply.... sadly.. I have seen that all too often in my life. They complain about their current circumstance and want it to become better but won't get up and do something about it.  They just wait for something or someone to fix it for them, which won't happen....

     Saturday- Best part of the day was while we were out tracting and we see a U-haul. So as a missionary seeing a U-haul is like being stranded on an island and seeing a plane off in the distance coming to rescue you! We were so excited to go over and help them out. Turned out that it was a family that was leaving but suddenly got a call that they would be staying so they needed our help unpacking the U-haul they already previously packed. This family was interested in our kindness and even said they would come to church and to the ward Christmas party on Dec. 6th. We will stop by again and see how they are doing but that was really awesome to help them. Nice/outgoing people like them are rare to find.  We walked a good part of the day and it was probably 10 degrees with windchill outside. But the sun was shining...... It's so weird how that works out here....

     Sunday- Well no one that we committed to come to church came... including Gretchen and the Veregge's and Peggy Lane and the random family and multiple others that fell through. It's a bummer seeing no results from your efforts. At the end of church though one of the Veregge's showed up to church and wanted us to come over. So we did and for some reason they needed to plant bulbs in the frozen ground outside. So we used the tools they had, An axe and a hand drill to plant bulbs into the frozen clay/dirt ground... haha it was quite hilarious. We talked to one of the daughters named Lily about God and she is 18 and fighting what we teach. She wants to believe in a God but says she will only believe if she sees. We talked all about faith but she didn't want to have any of that.

Well that's all I could muster up this week, Enjoy the sunshine for me!!!!

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? (From Nov. 17th)

     Lots of info!  I received word from the zone leaders that we will be getting iPads in our mission! So they will be rolling out in the first quarter of 2015. So probably by the end of March. Supposedly all north american missions should be getting them around the same time so we will see how that all works out...
Monday the 10th to Sunday the 16th
     Mon- Other than the basic P-day activities we went to dinner at a less active members home and she asked those classic questions of how long have you been out and what are you doing after your mission. I feel like I want to tell you my answer for what I'm doing after my mission. So what I tell people may or may not be new to you. I want to go to Miramar community college but at the same time try for a sponsorship in bodyboarding.  I will be going to competitions and seeing what I've got compared to the rest of SoCal.  I want to chase my dream of becoming sponsored in some type of sport. I am honestly going to do it. I know I will fail at times but it's not about failing, it's about what you're going to learn from it. It's not a failure if you learn from it.

     Tuesday- We cooked for the veterans since it was veterans day. We helped the Cub Scouts at the local American Legion and we also talked to a lot of veterans. The one I talked to the most was from England and chaplain for the fire department. He was chippery as most English people are. I like em haha. We also did the big wood stacking and splitting service project at a members house. I got down and dirty and if you can see my companion did also...... (psych! ) You couldn't find one speck of dirt on that kid! I'm gunna break him in to working you just watch! To finish the night we had dinner at a Less-actives house who promised they would come to church but didn't.... But we won't give up on him. (R**** A***** is his name)

     Wednesday- We had an exchange that day and Elder Sholer had his first moment of being away from his Daddy (me, I'm considered his daddy because I'm training him) While on Exchange we were able to meet with an investigator of ours who hasn't made contact in forever. Her name is Rosemary and she is concerned with our church because she doesn't feel it meets her needs. We asked her if she had ever prayed to know if Joseph smith was a prophet and she kind of shrugged. The reason why we asked that is because if Joseph Smith truly saw God and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove then this truly is the Lord's Church. And praying to God to ask him if that really happened is a way we can know for ourselves.

     Thursday- We lifted tons of books in the public library for their upcoming book sale. That really put my muscles to work haha. This is why we exercise every morning at 6:30. For dinner we were invited over to a members home whose son named Vee is waiting for his mission call.  It will be here in a week or so. So all that excitement is in the air.  I can remember those days. (starting to feel old...)

     Friday- We helped out at the food pantry and tons of people were grateful for our service there. One lady that I helped was blind so I got to lead her through the line and tell her all about each food and which one is which. She told me she like carrots because it helps her eyes haha! She also had a sense of humor which made picking out food go so much smoother. We street contacted this day and no one was outside because it was freezing. We walked a lot and looked for people to talk to and didn't get 1 person to stop and talk to us... WINTER IS HERE! It also snowed this day which didn't help our street contacting.

     Saturday- We decided to go tracting to improve our finding efforts. We tracted into our first door and the lady received us so well! I wish everyone would greet us like she did. So welcoming and nice. She didn't want to hear about us at that moment but we know in a couple weeks we can stop by again and she will want us over. We gave her the Restoration DVD to watch. This is the day that I realized that I need some good gloves pronto. haha My hands were so numb. I am going to carry a golf ball with me everywhere I go so I can knock on the doors with that rather than my knuckle. We also split more wood that day too. The wood splitting/stacking procrastinators are starting to worry about their wood getting ruined in the snow!

     Sunday- We only had sacrament meeting because the church was too cold to meet in for longer than 1 hour. The heater broke over the past couple days and so no heat was able to be sent throughout the building. This week was really cold haha. This was the first time I have ever had to sit right smack dab next to my companion with my hands under my butt to keep warm. And that was inside the chapel in the church building! After church we went over to Gretchen's house where we talked a lot about Joseph Smith and the First vision and how the book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. Gretchen's sister Allison who had previously told us she is not religious at all started asking us questions and we ended up picking her up as a new investigator. We have plans to go over on Friday of this next week to talk to her more.

Something not mentioned in the letter. Tonight Elder Sholer and I are going down to Manchester New Hampshire for new missionary training.  And Elder lund who is going home next month is coming to pick us up at 4:30 today. I'm so excited!

All Smiles
Elder Dahlberg

Monday, November 10, 2014

Good-bye Elder Martineau, Hello Elder Sholer!

This week was full of changes and I hope I can get them all in!

Starting with Monday the 3rd of November
Mon- We spent the whole day with the Augusta Elders and one of them was going home in 2 days so we kept talking about how he is going to go get engaged the day he gets home from his mission to some girl who sees him in the airport. He refused and just kept saying how he didn't want to leave his mission. We finished the night by having dinner at Bishop Abbott's house where for the lesson we recited all of D&C 4 and he and his wife were super impressed with how dedicated we are to serving the Lord.

 Tuesday- This was Transfer meeting day where we woke up at 5AM and drove down to New Hampshire. I said good bye to Elder Martineau and said hello to my brand new missionary Elder Sholer.
Elder Dylan Sholer is from Battleground Washington and is 11 days younger than me. He has an older brother who served a mission in Detroit Michigan and a 14 year old brother. He has a girlfriend that he is very much in love with and misses her dearly, he said he misses her more than his family! But he loves art, music, and movies. Not an outdoors guy or sporty guy for that matter. I mean he is only 115 lbs so if he played football he would get creamed.
On this day I also received word that Helen Stockwell passed away on Sunday November 2nd due to her cancer. That really hit me hard because I helped her get baptised and was such a friend to her. She called me Darling!

Elder Sholer also got to go to his first members home for dinner and we also got to sit in that really cool drag racer!

Wednesday- This day we got the memorial service for Saturday all ready with Gretchen, not a ton happened this day sadly. I was mostly training Elder Sholer on his first day as a missionary.


Thursday- So this whole week we had the Augusta Missionaries sleeping over (Elder Stauffer and Elder Gray) (Elder Gray is the bald one. He has Alopecia or however you spell it) We got the program ready for Saturday with a member or our ward named Brother Maschino. He played the guitar for us while we waited and he played any song you named. I came to realize that I really really love the Beatles and their music.  So whenever someone asks me what my favorite music is I will say the Beatles and Linkin Park. Elder Sholer also got his first taste of cancellations because our dinner cancelled so we walked around the freezing Ghost Town called Gardiner hunting, I mean looking for people to talk to....

Friday- We did service at the Food pantry and helped them serve a record tying number of families. We served 57 families in a 2 hour span. That's A LOT! We were constantly moving and helping. Elder Sholer also pointed out how the people came into the building all sad and mean but once they left they had a smile on their face and were excited. I enjoyed seeing that as we helped these people. To end the night we had dinner at a members home, the Ambrose's (age 50's) who told us all about their travels to Egypt and how he payed for both him and his taxi driver to stand and get pictures on the back of a Rhino. He payed for the taxi driver to go because he wanted to use him as a test dummy to see if the Rhino would actually do it haha. He then told us of how he gave his friend a copy of the Book of Mormon because we motivated him to want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others.

Saturday- We raked leaves with the youth in the morning and packed them into black trash bags and brought them over to a member of our ward who used them as a wind blocker at the base of her trailer. That was all new to me because when it snows they pack snow on top of all the bags of leaves and it creates a shield for the house and keeps the heat in. Kind of like an Igloo. After that we got all dressed in suits and all pretty for the Memorial Service that we held for Gretchen's friend named Ryan.
So her friend Ryan committed suicide by overdosing on heroine and she wanted a place to hold a service so she called us and we were able to set one up for her. We had 40+ non members come to this service which was held at our church and we had bishop come and speak about the 23 Psalm.  I also conducted the meeting and it was a little nerve racking but once I sat down bishop leaned over into my ear and said "Well done bishop..." He said that meaning I will for sure have leadership positions in the future. That boosted my confidence a ton but I don't want to be super prideful so I'll just stop talking now. To finish the night we went over to the Tarboxes for dinner which was fantastic as usual. My favorite family of my mission!

Sunday- We were able to go on splits with a member of our ward who hasn't gone out teaching with the missionaries for a while and we were able to motivate him to come out more often. We also got a random call from a person in our phone contacts and it was a lady named D***** M**** who once had the missionaries over once a week. We went by and she told us all about herself. She is a chaplain for the Methodist church and told us she will never become a Mormon but LOVES what we do as missionaries by sharing Jesus's love and grace with others. She is very Christian and very nice. I have never been declined so gracefully and with love. She is from South Africa and has a wicked cool accent.

So, if you're wondering about the weather here it's sunny but it's starting to become a mirage. The sun is up but NO HEAT is coming from it. It's sad but true. There isn't snow all over the ground but there will be next week.... So fingers crossed!! Thanks for all the emails this week it was great to be able to hear about your weeks. Hope you enjoyed the email!!!  If you have questions for me to answer, ASK ME!!!!

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

OK, somebody made Elder Sholer a really "cute" apron...
 (I'm positive Elder Dahlberg would NOT want one!!)

Monday, November 3, 2014

I'm TRAINING a brand spanking new missionary!!!!!

Wow!  I have a ton to write about this week so make sure you get ready to read this email!

Monday- After our emails to home, we got to see and hold and an 1830's copy of the Book of Mormon. It has been said that Joseph Smith held this copy but how can you really know that? haha Anyways, that was really cool to see. Then we went and visited the Pemaquid lighthouse which was also really cool to see because that meant I got to go see the ocean again. It was the Atlantic Ocean and much much windier and colder and gloomier than the Pacific Ocean but hey, it was still the Ocean.  I tasted the water and it was nice and salty :)

 Pemaquid lighthouse, which is actually the lighthouse on the back of the Maine stamped quarter! cool fact!

For dinner that night we went over to a members home named the Cotnoirs. Its french and pronounced Cotton-wahhhrss. So make sure you get that right!  Something cool about this family is that they used to be stationed at the Miramar Air base in San Diego. I worked there before I came out on my mission so we had a lot to talk about during dinner!

Tuesday- We didn't have a ton of crazy plans that day but one thing that stuck out was when we were Less-Active hunting and we came across this house way out in the boons and it was a Less-Active. And we knocked on the door and the woman answered and immediately had a huge smile on her face and was so happy to see us. Turns out she had just finished praying for someone to come visit her. She takes care of her Special Education daughter who is in her late 30's and needed someone to talk to. So we talked to her and she wants us to come by again and teach her how to use the foot notes in the scriptures. SURE THING!

Wednesday- This was an awesome day. In the morning during Personal Study we got a call from Gretchen our investigator and she told us she needed a place to hold a memorial service for her best friend that just died from overdose and was wondering if we knew any cheap places around town. So we assured her that we could hold it at our church and so we called up the Bishop and asked him about the situation and he said "Let's go meet Gretchen."  So at 3 pm after our district meeting we met up with Bishop Abbot and went over to Gretchen's house.  It was fantastic!  Gretchen brought some friends over that had questions and concerns and Bishop had ALL the answers. There is a reason why it's his 3rd time being a Bishop in his life! We set up a Memorial Service for Saturday November 8th at 2 pm. And it will be held at our church. Also while we were over there her friends were freaking out about Mormons and what we believe and thought we were some crazy cult. They asked all the questions they had and they were all answered and one of them replied with "Well,  Mormons are definitely not what I made them out to be.  Looks like all the Christians and Catholics in the world need to look at the Mormons and take notes."  Oh man,  people are so funny.

Thursday- We went over to Gretchen's house and set up the program for the service and helped her out spiritually because she is drained and exhausted from this whole ordeal.  We also did tons of service by helping older ladies of the ward prepare for winter. We raked leaves, moved wood, stacked wood pallets and took down gazebos and stuff.  Lots of odd jobs helping them prepare for this winter. To end the day we attended a Cub Scout activity called a Raingutter Regatta.  That's where the kids make boats and do races by blowing into the sails to win. We were referees and judges for that. There were tons of nonmembers there and nothing immediate came of going to that activity but it was a good way to help out in the community.

Friday- We helped another member of the ward prepare for winter by stacking tons of wood. At least 3 cords of wood, which is a ton to do in 2 hours.  We were hauling!  This was also Halloween and we needed to get inside our apartments by 5 pm. So that cut the day really short. But we did get to go to a members home for dinner and we shared a Scripture that was appropriate for Halloween. Leviticus 22:31-32. Check it out :)

Saturday- We were able to Witness the baptism of the sisters' investigator named Elliot. He is a great man and will be a great addition to the ward. Elder Martineau felt sick after the baptism and puked on the way to the car to leave. So we called the mission doctor and he told him he had Acid Reflux. So we went and got him some medicine and then went home. He napped the rest of the day and I just tried to stay productive and tried to not eat the house down haha. There was tons of Halloween candy in the apartment from Halloween so I tried not to eat too much of it. This was transfer call night and the mission president called and told Elder Martineau he would be leaving and I would be training a new missionary. He then said, "Do you accept?"  And I said, "YEAH I DO!!!!"  I've been waiting to train for a while because the mission President hinted that I would be training a while ago.

Sunday- This was an interesting day because I woke up to the sun rising with some black clouds in the sky and then I went and took a shower and I came out and it's SNOWING outside!  I was shocked. It's November 2nd and it's already snowing!  It ended up snowing the entire day and pelted the Augusta/ Gardiner Area with like 5 inches of wet heavy snow. And since I'm going to be training and being the full-time senior companion Elder Martineau privileged me with the car keys and made me drive in the snow.  It was my first time and I literally drove slower than a grandma without her glasses on!  I did not want to crash.  So I did my best.
Haha, I found this picture to go with his commment...

So the winter weather is here in New England and Snow is on the ground. It's probably going to melt but it will be back.... I enjoy getting pictures of events you went to throughout the week so if you're just urging to show someone a picture, feel free to send it to me. haha  Well, thanks for all the love and prayers being sent my way!

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Rain, rain, go AWAY!! (From Oct. 27th) Uh oh, that means they got snow instead!!

This week was a little wacky because almost every single day wasn't a normal day. This week we had a zone conference, I went on an exchange, my companion got sick, there was a ward activity, and last but not least this whole past week it rained constantly and on one of the days, Thursday, it literally rained ALL DAY. I have never seen anything like it. From the moment I got up in the morning to the moment I went to bed it was raining. It wasnt drizzling or pouring but it was a steady stream of rain all day long. And that was a day we didn't have the car so you can imagine how wet my shoes got. In fact they are still a little humid as they are on my feet right now.  (I'm sending some warm socks...) 

Tuesday- Elder Martineau and I prepared the church for the upcoming zone conference and set up over 100 chairs and tons of tables. We also went and saw a couple of Less-Active members who weren't home, except for one named Peter Cunningham. He is a man that we will for sure see again because he is really interesting. He is all into German Nazi memorabilia and knives from that era. He lives in a small trailer/mobile home (like most Mainers) and has all sorts of knives and Nazi helmets resting on skulls on the walls. On that visit he even said the word "swastiker".  If you don't get it,  people in Maine add an "er" to a word that ends in "a". Example: Pizza = Pizzer. SO when he said "swastiker", I couldn't help but chuckle.  Peter is in a tough time in his life where his physical body is breaking down and his brain is trying to cope with all the deterioration. So he doesn't feel happy and we are hoping to fix that by visiting him and reading scriptures with him and lifting his spirits. Also my trainer, (Elder Lund) now the AP (Assistant to the President) stayed the night for zone conference and we had a blast talking about all the fun times we had together and talked for a good 2 hours at night. It was so great to see him again.

It's great seeing former companions again!! 
Elder Lund, the Assistant to the President

Wednesday- Was zone conference and I got to see Elder Dean, and Elder Beck again and it was also great to see them again. I found that the longer you're out on your mission the better it gets.  I get more out of meetings and I enjoy them more and more. At the beginning of my mission I really hated them (haha) but now I cant wait for the next one. There was a quote that was said by our mission President that really hit me. In talking about failing at something he said, "You didn't fail. You just had an extra step to progression/success." I think that is an awesome quote because if you live by it you won't get down on yourself for anything. You will always have a brighter outlook on life or as we Mormons call it an eternal perspective. So I hope to apply that quote into my life so I can always have an eternal perspective. We were also able to finally see Meet the Mormons and it was really good. My favorite person was the fighter girl. She is awesome.

Thursday- It was the rainy day and I was on an exchange with our district leader Elder Jessop. He has 9 days left on his mission and is going home to Utah on November 5th. He is fighting off his "trunkyness" but you can tell he has enjoyed his mission and will forever remember it. He is a great missionary and I wish him luck out there in the real world. The only highlight of the day was having a lesson with Armando our recent convert. We read 1 Corinthians 13 with him and commented on how he is such a great example of Charity to people. We complimented him a lot during that lesson so he would feel loved and that he could recognize his strengths. I've found that over my mission sometimes you don't know you have a strength until someone tells you about it. So it never hurts to compliment!!

Friday- This is the day we helped butcher 3 pigs. I didn't get to see the pigs die so that was a relief. When we arrived the pigs were already beheaded, skinned, gutted, and the blood was drained out of them. My dad would be proud of me because one of his cheesy jokes came out when I saw all the pigs wrapped in tarps in the back of a trailer. I said "Hey look, it's pigs in a blanket!"  Everyone started laughing and I just thanked my dad for torturing me, I mean sharing with me all his jokes haha :) While we were butchering the pig we had a little camping stove going and we were cooking pieces of pork.  Apparently, one of the pieces wasn't cooked enough and my companion got sick and threw up and ended up feeling terrible so we had to go home and we missed the ward trunk or treat where tons of the Less-Actives that we invited came to. So that was a bummer.  But he feels better now.

Saturday-  We helped a couple of members of our ward stack their wood because winter is just around the corner. We hope the snow doesn't come this week but it could if the weather aligns right..... I HOPE NOT!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday- Besides church we had lunch and dinner at members' home and we felt like kings because they treated us so well. In between those 2 meal appointments we got some planning for the week done and then tried to visit a less-active but he wasn't home... We found out that a member of our ward tried to be a Navy SEAL and went through all the training and stuff but quit because he couldn't take it anymore. He lost 65 pounds in the process and couldn't take it anymore. Navy SEALS are some tough dudes.

This week for missionary work didn't go super well because a lot of our actual teaching appointments fell through. It always stinks when that happens because its fun and nice to do service but we have to teach too... I like to teach just as much if not more than do service. SO I hope this week goes well. One of our investigators, Gretchen's,  brother died of overdose and Gretchen is in a ton of heartache and pain.  If you could include her in your prayers I know she will appreciate it. :) I appreciate all the letters and emails I get from you and I hope to hear from you next week!

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

P.S- I got to hold a ferret this week.

Elder Dahlberg gets arrested... (just kidding...) From Oct. 20th

 I'm going to do it in the Mon-Sun format again because its easier to get the info out that way. So here it is.

Mon- I got my haircut by a member of the ward and she did a great job. Much better than I could have done if I just took the hairclipper to myself. I got it in a fauxhawk because it looks better than just shaving it all off like most missionaries do. To finish off the night we went to the Tarbox's house for dinner and as usual the 2 boys were crazy as can be but I love 'em so much. They are STUDS. They are such good examples to me and their mom. They want to serve missions and always ask us great questions about ours.

Tues- We taught Sister Durgin (70ish year old woman who is physically handicapped) and we read through the story of Laban in the Book of Mormon. (1 Nephi 4-6.)
After that lesson we had to rush over to a move that was happening and they really needed our help. We helped an elderly woman around the same age as Sister Durgin move downstairs to an apartment that is identical to her old one upstairs. So this was the easiest move I've ever done because you pick something up from upstairs and walk downstairs and put it in the exact same spot in the lower apartment. Only part that was tough was you could tell she had cats and you could tell she hasn't cleaned in a good 5+ years so there were cat hairs that were piled into mini pancakes. There was one where it was so tough and compact that you could pick it up and drop it and it would make a sound on the ground when it hit.... THAT'S A LOT OF CAT HAIR!!! I always knew I didn't like cats, but doing that made it so much more clear to me that I don't ever want a cat!  Dogs are so much better. And after that we helped another Less-Active lady winterize her home for the upcoming winter. Even though she is bailing out to Florida for the whole winter...

Wed- Every Wednesday from 11am-12:30pm we have a district meeting where all the missionaries in the local area meet together and have a meeting on how the work is going and a short lesson on a subject in the gospel. This week we were told to put our heads down and reflect on your so called 'happy place' is. My mind immediately went to the ocean and of me sitting on my bodyboard just looking at the horizon for an upcoming set of waves. I always knew that was a place where I am happy and comfortable and it just affirmed it to me that it is a place of mine that I will always be able to go. The lesson was on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and I forgot how the happy place came into the lesson but what I got out of it was that I gave up what makes me so called 'happy' to help other find what makes them happy. And in doing so I found so many other ways to make myself happy opposed to just the one of me surfing in the ocean.

You're under arrest for not eating your turnips!!

     For dinner we went to a member family named the Goves and they fed us Deer Meatloaf with homemade/homegrown peas, potatoes, and corn. Their son Normand Gove is a cop and he stopped by to hang out for a little bit. I wanted to get a picture of him handcuffing me so I asked him and he said sure thing haha. So that explains the picture of me handcuffed on the ground! As for the dinner,  a lot of what we get fed out here is homegrown because everyone has gardens and because the soil out here is so nutrient, none of the gardens ever fail! (you must like that mom :)

Thurs- We did tons of street contacting this day and tons of tracting. In the end of the day no one was interested in meeting with us again and there were no potential people who would be interested. But we did talk to a lot of nice people who listened to a little bit of what we had to say. Which is a nice change of things. It's funny sometimes because you go up to talk to someone and ask them if they would be interested in learning more about Jesus Christ and why he is important and the classic answer is "I'm all set" and they walk away, but sometimes we get dumbfounded when someone says "Sure." So those are the moments we want to happen but sometimes we forget what it feels like and are surprised when it happens. We also had dinner this night with the former bishop of the ward Butch Dawbin and his family. He is a member missionary!  He will do anything for the missionaries so that is good to know and we can use him in our teaching.

Fri- We did more street contacting this day and it was a really muggy day full of rain and humid heat. Not comfortable at all and because the weather was like that not many people were outside. We walked around for 2 hours looking for people to talk to and only found a total of 6...  We are encouraged to stay away from knocking on people's doors because that always upsets people and doesn't give us a good image. Sometimes the work out here is discouraging but the good parts of the day overshadow the bad moments and I forget what the bad was even like (haha) so that is definitely a blessing. This night we were taken out to dinner by a member to a steakhouse! It was called Texas Roadhouse and it was really good and I got ribs!! So that was a positive part of the day that uplifted us from our day of street contacting in the rain without umbrellas because there aren't any in the apartment. (But we will get some so that doesn't happen again.)

Sat- Did some more street contacting in the morning and talked to a biker who drove down to the Key West in Florida and back this summer all on his Harley Davidson. He told us he likes what we do but said he is catholic and his mother would kill him if he were to learn more from us....  This man is in his 40's and he said his mom would kill him haha. I thought that was funny.  We helped another member of the ward move this day and we found some golf balls in his apartment so we will use those this upcoming winter to knock on doors with. (That way they don't have to take off their gloves to knock on the door...) After that we went to the Keene's home (related to the Goves) and helped them split wood and stack it. Because we are in Maine, the weather changes every 5 minutes  and randomly it started to thunder and lightning and it started to pour on us so we went inside and ate breakfast for dinner. Found out I'm more of a sausage guy rather than a bacon guy... Which one are you? Bacon or Sausage?

Sun- We taught a class on the Law of chastity and that made things interesting. We used Genesis 39 and the example of Joseph and Potipher's wife. And how he wanted to stay virtuous and stay chaste before marriage. To end the day we had dinner at the cops house (Normand Gove) and he told us all these stories of his hunts and all the animals he has killed.  He eats them all and keeps their pelts so he is a good hunter unlike the hunters who kill just for the fun of it. He is the one who shot that black bear that was stuffed into a box in the freezer. He is an awesome guy and served a mission in California.
 This is the bear stuffed into a box in the freezer...  (Ewww!) 

This is all I got for this week. This upcoming Wednesday I am able to watch Meet the Mormons and then on Friday there is a ward trunk or treat so I am excited for that. Thanks for all the emails and letters!!!!

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

Monday, October 13, 2014

He has been on his mission for 1 year already!!

This week flew by. It came and went so fast. We did a lot of work this week and I will try and do a new format this week so hopefully you will like it. (Mom tell me if this is better than the older format.)
Mon- After doing emails and getting Subway which is given to us for free because a member owns it, we went to a park nick-named HobbitLand. It's called that because it looks like Lord of the Rings was filmed there and there is a specific spot that looks very similar to a part in the movie. I didn't care all that much for that part of it. I took advantage of being out in the forest in the fall. SO i got some of those awesome fall pictures. I also received the mini package from my family on that day.

Tuesday- We went over to the Gove's (member) for lunch and had burgers that tasted surprisingly a lot like In n Out burger. While out in the boonies of Maine we were Less-Active hunting and we came across one who only wanted to feed us. So they told us that they would order us pizza for dinner and turned out that they did. Nice people. We also helped an 80 year old man fix the belt on his lawn mower and it turned out that he had a belt one size too big and one size too small, so that was pretty funny to find out after all the hard work. This is the day when I realized it's time to change out of the short sleeves and start wearing a small jacket, because it's starting to get cold.

Wednesday- We had district meeting and for the lunch part of it Mary and Tony Youland came up from Woolwich, Maine and visited me and gave me an apple pie, my big winter coat that I strategically left with them and they took us out to McDonald's for lunch. That was so nice to see them again and talk with them. I know that won't be the last time I hear from or see them.

Elder Dahlberg's Mom away from home...  Sister Youland!!

     We also had an unexpected lesson with our investigator Gretchen. That was our only other lesson this week. But we talked to her a lot about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how we believe everyone will be resurrected again after we die. And we mean everyone. Her dad was in the room and he was VERY knowledgeable about religion and he kept trying to bash us and tell us how we have it all wrong.  I did NOT bash with him because I hate bashing. That's not good to do and missionaries always brag about how they bashed this past week. I'm not like that. I told him that we believe in the same God and that when this life is over, He will know where we will be happiest and HE WILL BE JUST. He agreed 100% and we ended the lesson on good terms.

Thursday- THIS IS MY HUMP DAY!  I officially was out on my mission for a year on this day. I opened the mini package that I was sent by my family and it had tons of letters in it and pictures and oh man that just did what a snickers bar does in the commercials. We did service this day for an elderly woman and we helped mow her lawn and sweep millions of pine needles off of her lawn. 2 hours of raking up pine needles. My shoulders were sore after that! A member of our ward was tipped off by my sneaky companion Elder Martineau that it was my year mark and she brought me a cake. I got to blow the one candle out, and I chose to do it with my nose haha. Needless to say that wasn't the best idea because something came out of it and landed on the cake. But no one saw so I just didn't say anything hahahahaha!   (Ewww, gross!!)

Friday- We had a coordination meeting with our new Bishop and got our areas all squared away and we all got on the same page. We learned that he worked as a manager of the business side of the Boston Red Sox and he worked for the Church and was in charge of the finances of the MTC's and all the BYU's . SO he was a pretty big head honcho. We also went and did service at a food pantry and we came in at the perfect time. All of the normal volunteers weren't there so we were put to were work to say the least.

Saturday- We helped put in windows at the local Christian church and then they fed us pizza after. (We got pizza a lot this week) I got to talk one on one with their pastor and that was a really good conversation. We both talked about the Bible and how it's God's word spoken through his servants on earth the prophets.

     We also did a 10 mile walk this day. We walked all the way to 47 Adams Lane in West Gardiner. If you Google earth it you will see how far away it is from 273 Water street (our apartment) On the way we looked for people to talk to but all we got were "I'm all set" and invitations to drink beer and go to a strip club haha.. Oh man, people these days. But on the bright side, someone driving by us on the road saw us and then saw the Augusta Elders in Augusta out in a restaurant and he decided to pay for their meal because he likes what we do and wanted to support us. So we get the beatings while they get the blessings? I guess that's fair.

Sunday- It was fast and testimony meeting and the Tarbox's got up and talked about "Meet the Mormons" and how good of a movie it was. They encouraged everyone to at least go and watch it because its inspiring for everyone, non Mormons included. We went Less-Active Hunting again after church and it was a super success!!! 2 of them answered the door nicely and invited us in. THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!! We got return appointments with both of them this week and were so excited to go by and talk with them. One of them is a county sheriff and is a very avid hunter. He showed us around his man cave which was full of guns. 50+ guns and handguns were even laying on the floor in the corner because he didn't have any room for them. On the walls were Deer heads, Bear Pelts, and 2 GIANT Moose Heads. 900 lb moose. Those heads were as big as my entire body pretty much. SO COOL!

This week went by so fast and honestly today I was like "Whoa... its P-day already." Usually I look forward to P-day and I'm excited to do emails because I want the uplift, but this week I was totally uplifted already. So I just got a huge boost for this upcoming week. I hope all goes well and I look forward to hearing from you next Monday!!

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

P.S.  If you're wondering whether or not I'm enjoying my mission... I love it :)

Playing Wolverine with his "Ants on a Log"...

This was on Saturday at a street event right outside our apartment called Swein Stein. That's the most people I've seen since being home haha seriously!!!