Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Back to Maine...

Good Bye Elder Hansen
   Besides the MTC this past week was the toughest to deal with.... So this has been one heck of a roller coaster week. This week has honestly been one of the hardest of my mission.
Hey, Elder Beck!

And Elder Jensen again!!

   I started this week down in New Hampshire and in my favorite area so far, Ascutney, with one of my favorite companions Elder Hansen. I got to say goodbye to all the people I taught down there. Some of them even cried when I left. I also for the first time cried when I said good byes to that area.  It was SO good to me and I loved it there.  I went to transfer meeting and got to see a lot of my missionary buddies and that really was a blast. Elder Lund, my trainer, is now the new AP! (Assistant to the President) That's crazy! Those are the missionaries that President really likes haha.
     I also got my new companion-- Elder Martineau, He is 20 years old and is from New Mexico. Loves guns and his family of 13. (6 of them are adopted from Russia). I also got sent to my new area of Gardiner Maine. Being back up in Maine is different than New Hampshire because there is A LOT more poverty and welfare up here and it's colder... We live in downtown Gardiner above a game shop that sells card games and comic books. 
Here is the address. Google earth it and you will see what i see every day.
273 Water St Apt 3
Gardiner, Maine, 04345

The leaves are starting to change colors...

This is a tree from the above view, near the water.

In this area we have 2 investigators.
R****** B******- An older woman married to a less-active member and has been investigating the church for 20 years about. She is a very real person and doesn't beat around the bush when she needs to tell you something.
G******- We just found her this past week. She and her husband are recovered drug addicts and want to come closer to God. They both have dreadlocks and would fit in so well down in Mission bay or somewhere down there haha. They are really awesome though.  I'm excited to teach them about the gospel.

     This Saturday we got to attend a 102 year old birthday party and a family reunion at the church.  At this reunion there were 5 generations of that family in attendance and I was in awe. The lady who turned 102 is part of the first converts of the church in Maine.  It is historically proven and her grandparents are the ones who are the first converts in the church in Maine. There was a group picture taken and they put it up on a website. I haven't seen it but you can. Here is the website:
password: lanemaine

     This ward that we are a part of just combined from the Gardiner Ward and Augusta Ward into the Farmingdale ward. We just got a whole new bishopric and a new bishop and all new auxiliary leaders. Also, there are 3 sets of missionaries in this ward and it looks like we will all stay. It's weird having multiple sets of missionaries in one ward, especially up in the small wards of New England.

*Funny story alert*
Elder Martineau and I decided we needed more service to do in this area and we started out by going to city hall and they directed us from there. We were told to go to a local foundation that would gladly use our service called Gardiner Maine St. (They fundraise for the city of Gardiner) So we go to their office and ask the head honcho if we can help them out in any way and he said to pass out these fliers for their upcoming event.  In my head I said that we don't advertise but Elder Martineau beat me to it and accepted... So we had 7 destinations to go to, local stores, and give them these posters to put up as advertisements. This event is a beer fest called Swine Stein. So if you can imagine Mormon missionaries walking to these destinations asking them if they want to advertise a beer fest.... It was quite comical after it was all said and done. We both vowed after that experience that we wouldn't ever advertise or represent anyone else again on our missions.
Bedroom in apartment

Their study room
For now things are going alright, times aren't fully smooth and I struggle adapting to the whole new environment but I'll push through and be the best I can be. I hope all is going well with all of you. I appreciate any emails or letters you write me and I look forward to hearing from you.

P.S. This zone conference we get to watch a movie on our missions!!! We get to watch Meet the Mormons!!! THAT'S AWESOME!!!!

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

Elder Martineau

Transfer time again... Good bye Ascutney, Vermont (from Sept. 22, 2014)


 Well I got transferred... I am going down to Manchester at 7:50 am Tuesday morning and I will be sent somewhere from there. IDK where I'll go and it's hard to guess. I am going to be a Co-Senior Companion, which is pretty much like being Junior companion just in different words haha. I'm cool with it. All I care about is if I'm doing my job as a missionary by helping others to learn more about Jesus Christ and what he did for all of us. Looking back on this area, I was here for 3 months and we were able to find a total of 6 new investigators! That's HUGE for New England! This area was so prepared to hear the gospel and it's sad to say good bye to it and all the awesome people here. I said lots of Good byes yesterday and I have more to do today... Plus pack all my bags again for the 7th time in 1 year.

     I got a lot of pictures of the people we went and taught and now you can hopefully put a face to the names. This past week we were able to go over to Glen's house and we taught about Faith and Belief. He had tons of insight and I think I learned more in that lesson than he did! Which I think is how all lessons should be.
The Ward family

Anthony Halley-- Ill miss that kid!

The Macenfish family

I am going to miss Glen a lot, he is a solid investigator and he is so legit! Yes looks can be
deceiving but under all that biker garb is a man with a big heart! 


      This past Monday we had district P-Day and we were invited to a members home in Lebanon where they had a whole obstacle course made up in the woods. There were trails and obstacles and ziplines and trampolines and tire swings. The whole 9 yards! That family had a lot of younger kids and they were doing it with us and they literally are jungle monkeys! So quick and agile, I tried my best to keep up with them and realized that at 19 years old I can't do everything they do. Which was sort of an eye opener for me. I want to be able to do all that stuff just as agile as they can!

     This week we also had zone conference at the JSM with a general authority. He is a 70 and his name is Elder Larry Wilson. He is from California and used an analogy about Half Dome. I felt special because I was probably the only one in that room other than Elder Max Jensen who has seen it. Elder Wilson taught all about the Book of Mormon and its importance in our faith. It is pretty important because logically, if the Book of Mormon isn't true than this whole Mormon religion is claiming false claims and is false.  I'm really glad that I had that powerful spiritual experience when the missionaries came over to our house and taught about the first vision. If I wouldn't have had that I don't think I would be sitting here wearing a name tag that says Elder Dahlberg.  It was also really cool to be able to talk about the Book of Mormon with the General Authority in the birthplace of Joseph Smith. It was pretty awesome thinking about how much history was made in the New England area and I get to serve here.

     We also did service for Bob Porter this week and he took us out for ice cream. Bob Porter is a great man. To give a little bit of background on him he:
-Was the mayor of Claremont when he was 33, and is now on the city council board and pretty much is like the mayor now.
-Had a stroke and is half paralyzed on the entire right side of his body
-Served in the Army
-Owns a self sustaining farm, meaning he cuts his own wheat, grows his own vegetables, and raises his own meat.
Bob is a great guy and I'm going to miss him when I leave. I'll actually miss a lot of people in this area.  I have enjoyed this area so much and it is by far my most favorite area.  I hope I can love my next area as much as this one.

Gretchen, 900 lb pig.  Date for slaughter:  Oct. 29 
Enjoy this funny story ; Out here in the mission field we were told to go contact this guy out in the boonies of Vermont and so we went. Out in the middle of the forest there was this huge apartment complex off of a dirt road and we came to the house number and when we knocked on the door this guy answered. (We were looking for a black guy named Vinn) Well it wasnt Vinn, how could we tell? Well this guy wasn't black and this guy just looked at us in the most surprised/ concerned look. Here we were in our suits out in the middle of nowhere in Vermont and his face was priceless. He was like WHAT THE HECK?? On top of all that, we asked him questions and he didn't speak. He just shook his head with a yes or no and would NOT break eye contact. As we left he said "Have a nice day" in the most calm normal way ever. Strange yet funny. My companion and I got in the car, looked at each other and just died laughing for a good 5 minutes. It's moments like those that turn the semi-sucky moments into memories that you will NEVER forget!

     I hope everyone is doing okay and from all the emails I'm getting it sounds like everyone is doing just that. Remember that I'm getting transferred so Winter street is no longer my address.... sadly.... Well, fall is coming up and it's getting colder and colder as the days go on. Pretty soon I will be putting my winter jacket on and carrying a snow shovel around to help people.
We went to a hibachi restaurant

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

So bad news....... I broke my camera this week while stacking wood....

SO this is the wood stacking service where I broke the screen on my camera.... Hence explaining the frown on my face.

(but it's OK, we ordered him a replacement...)

     This week didn't start off great but it ended up being a pretty decent week at least.  Among our 7 cancellations with lessons with our investigators, we found a new investigator named H*****.  He is in his late 60's and isn't all that interested in being baptized into our church but he wants to find out more about our doctrine and what we as LDS believe. He has talked to Jehovah's Witnesses missionaries and The Seventh Day Adventists and now he is talking to us. He told us that among all the religions on earth, he finds ours the closest to what the Bible says a church should be. SO that was a big compliment. He is very smart, smarter than me plus my mission president combined. He also is one of those kind of people who will tell you anything and everything about anything. He will tell you all the info you need about Babylon, or the Assyrians. He is like a human Google search bar haha. Best way to explain it.

     Also this week we had one lesson with one of our investigators, R*****. This was on Saturday and it was all rainy and the classic New England groggy overcast look and we had to do a lesson with her outside on her porch since she is a single woman. We were on her porch, huddling under the tiny overhang of the roof so that we didn't get drenched. if you want a real image of her house  go on Google earth and look up 44 Jarvis st in Windsor Vermont. You will get a image of what we were attempting to use as cover. Well that lesson went really well even though we ended up getting completely soaked from head to toe. She said she would come to church but didn't... She will someday :)

      Among all the lesson cancellations Elder Hansen got sick and didn't feel good at all. It was kind of out of nowhere and then he saw this white pimple looking thing on his arm and turned out he got bit by a spider and it got him sick. We think he is allergic to them because the bite wasn't all that big. But during the time he was sick I had some time to read scriptures and kind of recuperate my energy for the rest of the week.

     We also did service for a Less Active lady in the ward. She is selling her house and needs it to be repainted in parts. So in order to repaint, you need to scrape the bad paint off. So that was our job! I think I found the service that I will have no problem never having to do again. Scraping paint off a house with a manual scraper. It is so tedious and I've done it so much already on my mission.  I wasn't getting angry about it or mean about it, but I made a joke to Elder Hansen about the scripture Mosiah 2:17. in short it means that serving mankind is serving God. So my joke was every single time I scraped the wall I said "I'm serving God" in an exhausted voice. I scraped the wall about 40 times a minute so you can just imagine how often I was saying that-- haha.

     We weren't able to meet with A***** P**** or anyone because of all the cancellations but we have plans to have a great upcoming week. This upcoming week we have member meals every single night, we have 4 referrals to contact, we have zone conference this Wednesday with a member of the 70. (Elder Wilson?), we have transfer calls this upcoming Saturday at 9 PM so set the date! I'm pretty excited for this upcoming week and I hope it turns out great!

     Random story: I went to the bathroom at church and after coming out of the stall and looking in the mirror I was shocked. I finally saw myself more grown up than I was when I left on my mission 11 months ago.  I looked in the mirror and saw Elder Dahlberg the 19 year old missionary, rather than Drewbie the surfer from California. I thought it was a cool realization and I know its true.  Elder Hansen and I were talking about this last night how we both can't fully remember what it's like to be back home and what we were like. We both said we were proud of who we are becoming and what a blessing it is to go on a mission, because we are learning WAY more than if we were to have went right to college. I can't put it into words how much I've learned over my time being a missionary; I just know I won't ever regret it :)

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg
I think he's still pretty silly...

Here is our District-- all the people I see every Wednesday for District meeting.

Elder Robison, who is going home next week

This is my hand regrowing its own skin after my stupidity of squeezing ice for too long. But there are 2 things to notice. 1. My hand made a heart out of its own dead skin  2. My hand is white as snow!

  Yes, he's definitely still silly....

Monday, September 8, 2014

Another miracle about fishes...

We had a very busy week, so we were a bit tired...

  This week literally flew by, it was great! So first things first is Elder Hansen and I are trying our best to be 100% obedient to the mission rules because our mission president promised us that miracles would happen if we did so. Also as a side goal we have been praying for prepared people to be placed in our path so that we can have more people to teach. So with that being said this past Tuesday we had loads of things planned and lots of Members were going to come out with us to our teaching appointments and it was just going to be fabulous. Well turned out that every little thing possible canceled and that left us blank... It kinda destroyed our motivation because we did the classic "How could you do this to me GOD?" But we both have strong enough testimonies and smart enough brains to just move on and not dwell on the negative. So we called some people that we were going to stop by and hopefully set up return appointments and just started on our back up plans which was finding Less-Actives and seeing whats going on with them. Well no success and we knew we were trying our best to be productive with the time we have been given. Then a Less-Active lady named Sister Bullis, (Her husband is one of our investigators named Allen Bullis) called and asked if we would like to come over for dinner and it would be fresh fish. We of course accepted and went on over and had a great dinner with corn and fresh tomatoes and potato salad and homemade blueberry pie. We then read scriptures with them after dinner because they told us they needed to start getting into the habit. That was such a great way to cover the cruddy day of cancellations.  Then, there is more to the story which really impressed both Elder Hansen and I.

     So this past fast and testimony Sunday, Sister Bullis went up and told the background story of having us over. She and her husband were fishing on a lake and her husband asked if they could have the missionaries over for dinner to share the 8 fish that they had caught. Sister Bullis said that she didn't really want us to come over because she didn't want to cook and then said "We don't have enough fish to feed them and unless the Lord gives us more fish we can't have them over." Well in the time they had left on the lake they caught 40 fish total! She said she laughed and knew that the missionaries needed to be fed. So they called us and invited us over. After that story she bore her testimony about us and she talked about how she loved the lesson and spirit we brought with us. It was so great to hear that. Also Anthony Halley, went up and bore his testimony about us and it was just great to hear the appreciation of all the ward for us.

     The ward reacted by signing up like crazy for meals this week and next so we are almost completely booked this week for member meals!

     Also this week we were able to pick up a new investigator named Sean E*****, his wife is a member and he wanted to meet with us weekly because he likes what we do. SO that was great. With all the cancellations this week we weren't able to meet with Andrew P**** or Glen or Rebecca. So hopefully this week we can get some good lessons in and help them progress in the gospel. We have a great week this upcoming week and I'm excited for what lies in store.

     I am loving every moment of my mission, (Even when your whole entire day cancels on you) and I wouldn't trade this experience for all the money in the world. And when I say that, I'm serious. I wouldn't do it. :) Mosiah 2:17  
(For behold, I tell you things that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.)
They ended up with a stalemate

A very cool General Store!

Very funny clown glasses!  It's the inner Drew...
I bet he's saying, "YOU didn't write me a letter, did you?"

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Labor Day on an uber slow computer...

Big letter.
I'm writing this letter on a uber slow family history computer in the library at the church, Since its Labor Day all the public places are closed which explains why I'm writing on this computer... :)

So this week hasn't been the best week ever for me but it hasn't been the worst so that's a plus. This past week in Elder Dahlberg's life we got to have interviews with the mission president. These only happen every 3 months so it's a bit of a treat to be able to be one on one with President Stoker. In the interview we talked about what he wants to see from me. He says he sees a senior companion and that he couldn't make me senior the past couple transfers because there hasn't been enough elders coming out. With this upcoming transfer 15 elders are coming out so he has no excuses now!! In the meeting that followed the interviews we learned about ITLs. They stand for Invitations To Learn. We go out and whenever we pass someone on the street we ask them if they would like to learn more about Jesus Christ or the Bible. If they decline than we get to tally an ITL, if they accept than we share a  message and ask for a return appointment, (We're still waiting on someone to say yes.... sadly) We try to do 10 ITLs a day but some days we don't see anyone out walking.

     This week Bob Porter took us out for a treat. He took us out in a 1931 Packard. I had never heard of it until he told us about it. It was a sweet looking car. While we were driving to go get ice cream, we would be passing people on the roads and their jaws would be dropped and they would just stare in unbelief. The awh factor was just as cool as the car itself in my opinion.

So in this pictures is a 1931 Packard. That is BOB P***** driving us. he wanted to take us out for ice cream one night and so he picked us up in that and it felt like i was a king being cheufufuerred (OK, I had to leave that one cuz it was so funny!) around. 

    We were also able to get in with a less active family called the mac******** and they ordered Chinese for dinner! After dinner we taught them the restoration and committed them to teaching it back to us on our next visit. :) those sneaky missionaries! We didn't get a whole lot of lessons in this week because all our scheduled appointments fell through... typical life of a missionary.

     Anthony Halley was confirmed in church this past sunday so now he is no longer our investigator. He is a recent convert. (Also known in missionary lingo as an "RC"...)

For our pool of Investigators we have 5 people
Glen- 58ish, A biker dude who we teach regularly on Tuesdays at 10, he is a great guy.
Rebecca P***** and kids- 28, a Single mom who has 2 kids and we teach her whenever our schedules align
D******'s- late 69's, couple and we do service for them stacking wood on Saturdays and than teach them during the week
Andrew P*****, 58ish, very interested in our church and is taking care of his wife who is sick, try to teach weekly
Allen B******- 60's, wife is a member and wants to go at his own pace, trying to teach weekly...

     This week we uncovered a treadmill hiding away in our apartment and I got it all fixed and working and set it up and now I'm running every morning like I used to with Elder Lervold. (OK, how can you actually hide a treadmill? Aren't they kind of big????)    Elder Hansen has had both of his ACLs tear so he cant run. Also Elder Hansen challenged me during a lunch hour to do the ice and salt challenge. Its where you put salt in your palm and you squeeze an ice cube for a minute. Well i did it and now i have from what i can tell 1st degree burns on my palm from it. I brought this upon myself, he didn't force me to do it. I'll challenge him to do something else stupid, you just wait.

     Something cool that happened this week happened with Bob P***** haha. The title of this weekly summary should just be called Bob P******. But after having lunch with him he took us to the local bank appreciation day. Claremont Savings Bank was holding a customer appreciation day with free food if you were a member. So as you can guess lots of people were there. Bob was introducing us to people all over the place and we got to meet the president and CEO of the bank. I got talking with him and he gave me some advice on my career after the mission. Also there was a taco truck attending and Bob got us 3 free tacos each and they were the best tacos/Mexican food I've had in 10 months! MY WHOLE MISSION!
New England doesn't make Mexican food well and if you know its geography you can tell why....

Well I hope this upcoming week can be better and more lesson eventful.  Let me know if you have any funny experiences this week because i always enjoy hearing them.

That is  a picture of the chapel inside our church. Its all chairs and its a carpet gym. Out here in New England thats the norm. No pues (haha!) just chairs and carpet flooring.  (Hmm, I wonder what it's like to play basketball on carpeting...)Or do they???

I am really enjoying my time on the mission and i am never going to regret coming on one. (from Aug 25)

(I sent Elder Dahlberg a package with Banana bread and other stuff he'd requested, so of course, I wanted to make sure he had gotten it...)

haha yes i got the banana bread. AND my companion was sick that day so we were in the apartment for most of the day and around 3:30 i hear a thump at our door and immediately i was like "ITS MY PACKAGE!!!" so i ran to the door and there it was glowing like the stones that Gods finger touched. haha (Im having trouble relating real world examples when im always relating things to the scriptures) Here is a picture of the exact time i got the package. I opened it right up and the banana bread wrapped in foil  is ALL gone and half of the other one is. The rest is in the freezer saving it for later. I ate so much of that i laid in my bed and could have gone to heaven! wow good stuff thanks.

Here is some service we did this week at Bob's farm. He needed help with stacking hay bails and we helped him for a good 3 hours. That is some hard stuff let me tell you. Now i know why farmers are so buff.!

 We stacked those hay bails from the ground up. each bail was estimated at around 80-100 lbs and we stacked over 250 of them.... So we deserved that spaghetti!

Here is the dinner we ate after all of our hard work. Glen, one of our investigators made us home made tomato sauce and we made spaghetti with it. SO GOOD!

So we were at a member meal and they had this sketch pad. They bet i couldn't draw a good sunset. Did i prove them wrong?? (WOW!!!  That's pretty amazing, I think...)

And that little boy is in my missionary shoes and i could help but snag a picture because of how cute that was.

Weekly Kahuna

Very Productive week to say the least. We got a lot done this week and had a lot of fun doing it so there is no better combination than that! 

     This week we got a call from Bob P***** asking us to help him get some Hay Bailed in his field. So we dressed in our jeans and t-shirts and got right to it. We helped stack 80-100 lb Hay Bails and we counted that we stacked at least 250 of them. As you can see in the pictures we had to stack them at least 2 stories high. I had a pretty surreal moment while out on the field pickin up hay bails. I was sitting in that big red cage thing you see in the pictures but i was on top of a lot of hay bails.  I was there being pulled by a big green tractor, by a guy wearing a cowboy hat and denim jeans and a flannel. Keep in mind im the missionary that everyone calls the "Surfing Ken Doll from California" and it was just a cool experience being a farm boy for that short amount of time. It was also funny because E. Hansen and I were looking at the cars driving by and we were like 'Those people think were farmers!!! Isn't that cool!!' haha some people would call us posers but we were just doing what we were told to do. After that experience i now know why farmer boys have huge arms because throwing that Hay takes some serious arm muscle. 

     Also this week we were able to have Anthony Halley's baptism. E. Hansen and I were in Charge of the whole thing and it was my first time being 'IN CHARGE' and it was a great learning experience for me. When your in charge you can feel the stress come in and it can make you or it can break you. I let it make me and i stayed calm when problems arose and handled the situation calmly and smoothly. After the baptism the Halley Family invited us over for dinner and we had pasta with home made sauce again and that hit the spot! I really like pasta when its spaced out over the week, when you have pasta 5 days in a row, that's when it gets a little ridiculous. 

     This week we also officially gained a NEW INVESTIGATOR! He is Andrew P****. We went over to his house and taught him the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had no questions at all, he is so willing to learn and he even has that burning desire to learn more. He is a great guy and he agreed to be baptized if he found out that what we were teaching is true. So we urged him to not take our word for it, and to do as Joseph Smith did and follow what James 1:5 directs, that is to Ask God. So we have plans to meet with him this Saturday again and he said he would love to come to church. 

***Funny Story WARNING***
     So Elder Hansen and i get a call from a member to come over and have our weekly lesson with him and his wife. (Chris and Ashley) So we get there and sit on their super comfortable couch and the lights were dim and we had just eaten and everything felt great. E. Hansen initiated the conversation on Ashley and her mental disability
 and i sat and listened . I listened some more and than kept listening until before i realize whats happening im getting a tap on my shoulder from E.Hansen and he has this big grin on his face asking if i have anything else to add to the lesson. I was like what? We taught the lesson already?? Turned out i konked out on the couch and they just laughed and continued on with the lesson which was about Temples and why they are important. So from that experience i can honestly say that was the fastest lesson i have ever been too. 

     This upcoming week i am going to be hosting an exchange in Ascutney with the district leader and that will go from tonight to Wednesday. On Wednesday we have Interviews with President Stoker and after that we come home to a dinner with a member. That's all we have planned for this week as of right now, other than the normal service we do. 

     I am really getting the hang of being a missionary and its starting to become my normal life. Like i even think of my name being Elder Dahlberg and not Drew Dahlberg, and i even have dreams at night about teaching people and saving the world from evil monsters and what not haha. But I am really enjoying my time on the mission and i am never going to regret coming on one. I recommend any young man to go on one because it has opened my eyes as to what is MOST important in this life. Plus its super fun! 

All smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

One day this week my companion was sick so i was in the apartment studying....
I wrote a poem in my time hope you like it.
(I left it completely untouched, spelling mistakes and all...)

The suns going down in the world today,
no more can anyone feel its ray,
i lay awake imagining its upcoming dawn,
with no surfboard no phone no droughted lawn,
i can breathe i can feel i can smell i can live,
all while im out her preparing His gift to give,
seeing what ive learned now from then,
i can see how boys turn into men,
through the ice n rain then fire n flame, 
that drenched and scortched my life from whence i came,
loving and kind yet hiding in a shell,
are the people im trying to save from an aweful Hell,
people complain and people hate, 
not knowing my attempts to save them from their dreary estate,
sharing justice's hammer and mercy's grace,
can bring these people away from the devil's mace,
its not easy, its going to be hard,
our trimming the branches in the vineyard,
through trial and error treasures await,
kept up in store past heaven's gate,
angels declare and trumpets sound, 
when this earthly body meets the ground,
joyous and free my spirit can sing,
while upward ascending to meet my King.

(Wow, Momma's cryin' now!!)