Monday, October 13, 2014

I have learned so much and wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world. (From Oct 6th)

This is Elder Dahlberg listening to General Conference, Rough!!
Elders Martineau and Dahlberg

     So this week in Gardiner, Maine with my companion, Elder Martineau, who is from New Mexico, we had a really busy week doing a lot of service and trying to find people to teach. <--- (We do that one every week even though I don't always say it.) We didn't find anyone new to teach and we actually didn't have any lessons with our investigators this week because they all cancelled on us... But we were able to give tons of service to those who needed it. We helped build a ramp for an elderly lady in the ward. That was really awesome being able to see the ramp go from 2x4's and individual screws to a nice solid ramp. I got to do a lot of the physical labor and placing and digging and putting the screws in with the drill.

     We also helped a member of the ward split 4 cords of wood. That is a ton of wood. I don't know the exact measurements of what a cord is but google does so look it up. While we were splitting wood his son arrived home from school and next thing i know his backpack is flying off and he is on a small go kart racing around his front lawn! He is doing doughnuts and all these fast movements on this sketchy looking go kart! HOW AWESOME IS THAT! This kid is like 8 years old and right after school just goes straight for a nice little go kart drive. I thought that was super awesome, especially since he was wearing board shorts while doing it :) That's my kind of kid!

     We also went over to a family called the Tarboxes. Her husband is in North Dakota doing work on the oil rigs out there and she is all alone here in Maine with her 2 sons, Noah (11)  and Reid(12). Her sons are hilarious and Reid should be a stand up comedian. He just picks a subject and rolls with it and Noah is full of energy and runs all over the house and flails all over the ground. At one point of our visit I was using him as a human mop to clean the kitchen floor....

     Friday we did service at a food pantry which is at a Christian Fellowship church. Really nice people and they really enjoy our service there. While stocking the shelves and helping people go through the process of picking what food they would like. We finished up with this one lady and she had a huge box of food and i offered to help her bring it to her car but she did the classic New Englander, "I'm all Set."  So I went to go help the next person in line and I hear a big slam on the floor and for some reason I'm the only one who heard it. I turned around and that lady tripped and fell and the stuff in her box went out  and she was in a little bit of pain.  I could tell she was humiliated and upset at herself. I helped her get up and she walked off. I took a small life lesson from this experience. In life some people can't see or don't know that they need help, and even when help is offered they are 'all set.' I thought of it like Jesus Christ and how his hand is always extended to ALL. His hand of help is extended to us our whole life. We just need to realize that we aren't "all set" in this life and humble ourselves and accept his help. I wondered if I was ever like the woman who fell because she didn't accept help. After wondering that I came to the conclusion that yes, I was and still am like that lady who fell. I will forever need Jesus Christ in my life and so does everyone else. Okay I'll get off my soap box now.

     This week we also helped out at a 'Historical' community theatre called the Johnson Hall. This used to be the big thing in town back in the late 1800's and everyone would go there and get their entertainment fix. Now a days we have iPhones that do that. But back then it was the highlight of their day/week. We helped put chairs away and asked how else we could help in the community. They said we could help by going on a tour of the place. Being as curious as I am I said sure and we got to go on a private tour of the whole building.  At the end of our service there the main volunteer coordinator talked to us and was fascinated that I was San Diego and she loved it there. She was in La Jolla surfing last March with her husband who is an avid surfer out here in Maine. She wants us to come by again and get to know me and what we do as missionaries. So that's a possibility!!!

    Winter is coming and the leaves are falling off the trees.... It's getting colder in the morning and I am starting to see my breath. So that is a definite sign that winter is coming.

    Cool story of the week. we were walking back from a dinner appointment and on our way back almost to our apartment. These skater kids were up ahead of us and you could tell they saw us in our white shirts and ties and were getting ready to 'pound' us with absurd comments and stuff haha. So we got to them and they all chickened out except this one kid who was holding his skateboard said "Hey you! Got any Book of Mormons by chance?" Elder Martineau said yeah here. Right as he got it he looked at his friends as if to be satisfied with his little game. I then said, "If I kick flip on your skateboard will you actually try and read it?" Right when I said that the kid immediately was excited and couldn't wait to see me fail. He said, "Sure thing, dude." So I got the skateboard and rode it around a tad bit. Mind you I'm in the worst clothes to even attempt doing this and on a red brick walkway so I was hitting cracks and stuff.  PLUS,I still to this day haven't been able to nicely land a kick flip of any sort so right as I bent down my mind came with a thought of "Wouldn't it be cool if this was the first time you landed a kick flip? That would mean this kid really needs to read the Book of Mormon." So I popped the board and kicked with my foot and I landed it. I didn't land a kick flip; I landed a varial!   haha! The kids jaw dropped and I apologized for not landing a kick flip and tried again but the board flew away from me and went to the kid. He just said "You did more than you said you would and I'll give that book a try, I'm a man of my word." We talked about Nirvana a little bit since that's what was on his shirt and parted ways. I don't know what happened to him after that but I thought that was pretty cool.

     That's all I got for this week. I officially hit my year mark of being out on my mission this Thursday. I have learned so much and wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world.

All Smiles,
Elder Dahlberg

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