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