Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Charla Fogonera

For those who don't know, a Charla Fogonera is Spanish more or less for "devotional", and we had in our ward this past Sunday. About ten minutes before we began, Hno. Mejia, our ward mission leader, came up and asked me if I would give a talk! Granted, he had hinted at something about three weeks ago, but I thought he was joking! Just another day in the life here in City Heights!

Maria Juarez was baptized last Saturday! This woman is a miracle! She is loving the Gospel, and she was so excited for her baptism. It was honor to be there with her and celebrate this special day.

This week Jesus Fierro, Jesus Franco, and Ruben & Blanca Chantaka came to church! It was such an awesome Sunday because not only did they all come (and loved it even though we talked about family history work and tithing and we hadn't taught that yet to anyone), but Yadira, Maria, and a lot of less actives that we are working with also came. Wow we are so spoiled here!

Have I mentioned about the visitors that we are going to have next month? We have a stake conference next week where we will be visited by President Russell M. Nelson, and then Elder Jeffrey R. Holland will be in town as well and is going to visit our mission......WOOHOO!!!! Did I mention that I was super spoiled!

Last week we went to the Museum of Art on Pday, and we are going back today with our district! Balboa Park is so awesome- I'll try to send more pictures today!

Love you all! Thanks for your prayers!

Elder Dahl

1. I love my area! So many people have the "Disc of Destruction" and
they are all so nice!
2. This is us at Yadira's baptism! She is so great!
3. Look at that! Now that is a gift :)
4. This is a picture of our zone! Great to be back in San Diego Spanish!

 Maria at her baptism! Our bishop baptized her!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

MOBAT Miracle

2 Nephi 2:25 "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."
That is exactly what we had this week- JOY! I'm only going to highlight the BIG miracles, but there were a lot of more mini miracles all around us!

Jesus Fierro- He is one of our investigators that has been progressing pretty well! He has now come to church four times and really likes it. He had a baptismal date, but he just didn't feel like he had received an answer if the church was true. We had a miracle lesson where he really poured out his heart to us and told us that he is really searching to know if this is the true church. Such a great man.

Maria Juarez- She got married last week and is going to get baptized this Saturday! She is so amazing and deserves this so much. She has been coming for the past five months and has only missed one Sunday, and she is already reading in Alma in the Book of Mormon!

Jesus Franco- We took Franco to the Mormon Battalion on Saturday afternoon. He has been investigating the church for a little while, but hasn't come to church because he visits his brother who is 15 and lives with a host family in Tijuana on the weekends. He rents a room in the home of a member family who came with him. This last week he finally came and loved it! He wants to be baptized really bad too- he is amazing! After the tour we had a lesson about how to receive answers to questions and when we asked him if he had ever received an answer to a prayer before he said, "Yes. Actually when I walked into this building I felt like crying because it answered a prayer that I offered a year ago." He then went on t explain why, and it was a really spiritual experience for everyone.

Yadira Ortega- She is still doing great! I will send pictures of her baptism! Sorry I forgot last week. We are going over tonight to do some family history work so that she can go to the temple soon and do baptisms for her ancestors! :)

Blanca Toscano and Ruben Chantaka- This is the miracle that made me understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ a little bit better. I explained who they are a few emails again, but they have been super awesome ever since we first met them. We found out that they are not married, but after we told them they need to be married to be baptized they started trying to pick a date, but they haven't come to any real conclusion. On Saturday night we went to the Mormon Battalion and had one of the best tours I have ever been on because the sister that gave our tour, Hermana Trujillo from Honduras, was amazing. I had never met her before, but her tour was amazing and really touched Blanca and Rubens' hearts with her testimony that she bore throughout the tour. Elder Gunther and I were already super ecstatic at that point- but wait, the real miracle has just begun!

Ruben and Blanca were panning for gold together, and Hermana Trujillo was just talking with them (she had become fast friends with them and it was super fun to watch), and the topic of them not being married popped up. Hermana Trujillo bore a little testimony on how great it is going to be after they are married and baptized, but then she looked down at her hand, thought for a few seconds, took off the ring she had on her finger, and gave it to Ruben. She told them about how it was a CTR ring that her mother had given her at her baptism when she was eight, and how she wanted Ruben to have it so he could give it to Blanca and get married. I was floored. I wanted to cry. Typing about it right now makes me want to cry. It was so easy to tell that this ring meant a lot to Hermana Trujillo, and she had just given it to someone that she might never see again. Elder Gunther and I insisted she take it back, but it was easy to tell that she had been prompted by the Spirit to give Ruben her ring, and she followed that prompting immediately. I will never forget what she did. I have no idea how to explain how I felt then, and what I am feeling now as I remember that day, but I learned a huge lesson on what charity really is. 

God is a God of miracles. How does he work these miracles? It's through us. He gives us the privilege to be instruments in His hands and work HIS miracles here on the earth. I love being a missionary!

Elder Dahl

1. Us and the Gonzalez family! W have family home evening with them on
Mondays and they are the best! They bought us the Mexican version of
carameled apples!
2. This is us at the MOBAT with Jesus Franco and the Magadan family!
Franco is the one standing next to me.
3. Us again with Blanca and Ruben. I promise they had a good time even
though they aren't smiling.
4. We had interviews with President Schmitt this past week and he
wanted to take selfies with everyone! He is the best

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Failures on Frida

 I am not going to lie, that was one stressful baptism! But hey, at least Yadira was baptized! She is such an awesome lady that really desires to follow God. She was baptized even though her immediate family wasn't the most supportive- luckily the ward showed a lot of support and so did her extended family that are members.

Now for some details! Our Bishop made it very clear that in this ward we do not have any kind of food or refreshments after our baptismal services. We told that to Yadira, but made the mistake of not mentioning anything to her extended family because they brought sandwiches and pan dulce and that didn't float super well for Bishop, but he didn't mind because he understood it wasn't our fault. The other big mistake concerns who baptized her. She wanted her uncle, who has been a big support to her in this whole process, to drive from Calexico (bless the Imperial Valley) and baptize her, and so we called him and he said he would. We double checked a few days before and he said he was still good to do it. He showed up about four minutes before the baptism started and said, "So who's going to baptize her?" AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

We almost died! We explained how we had asked him and he kept on saying that nobody asked him and things were almost a little dramatic, but in the end we just ended up apologizing and saying that it was our fault and then everything was ok. Yadira was totally chill the entire time, but wow I felt like I was in a supernovela or something. But she was baptized, loved it, and bore a beautiful testimony at the end which made it all worth it.

I also got to go on exchanges this last week into my old area in Logan Heights! That was so cool! One cool miracle was that some prayers of mine that I offered a year ago were finally answered! While I was there we found this young man named Hugo that said he was a member, but just less active, but he didn't know his address and didn't have a phone. I prayed so hard that somehow we would be able to find Hugo again and that we would be able to help him come back to church. Well when I went back this past week my companion for the day told me we were visiting a less active family whose name I didn't realize. When we showed up, none other than good ol' Hugo answered the door! My jaw hit the ground! We were able to teach him the Restoration and he said he would come to church! Prayers are ALWAYS answered.

Things are still going great here in City Heights! Elder Gunther and I are having a blast! My dad just sent me an email saying I only have 105 days left of my mission! These two years have flown by, and I'm grateful for every single day the Lord has given me here in San Diego to teach repentance to these wonderful people. I love you all!

Elder Dahl

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I Love to See the Temple

I have been waiting for this day for the past ten months! That's like
300 days!!!!! Today I was able to go to the temple here in San Diego,
and wow after that conference weekend we just had I just couldn't wait
to get inside! I was getting a little nervous on the drive up there
because it had been so long, but as soon as we walked in I knew that I
was truly in the House of the Lord. Oh how I love to see the temple.

But alas, temple trip means that I have no emailing time! One of our
investigators, Yadira, is having her baptismal interview tonight, and
will hopefully be baptized this Friday! Woohoo!!! She is so smart and
is totally awesome for going through with this. At one point her whole
family was being taught, but they each decided that they did not want
to continue. She has stayed faithful and is loving it.

Yadira, Maria, and Blanca & Ruben all came to General Conference this
weekend! Woohoo! It was awesome to see how many Spanish speakers came
to the stake center to watch conference- the Relief Society room was
FULL! This past week was really a miraculous one as far as teaching
wise goes. We taught almost every lesson with members present, and it
has really been making the difference here in this area, which was
already doing awesome. Now it is exploding! Please pray for the
wonderful people here in City Heights!

Have a great week! Love you all!
Elder Dahl