Monday, August 8, 2016

My Final Email: August 8 2016

Hey guys! Elder Dahlin here. Well this is it. Next week I will be home! Is this as unreal to you all as it is to me? Sometimes I feel like I'm going to wake up any second and I'm still going to be in the MTC getting ready to hit the field haha. 

I wanted to thank all the amazing people that have supported me during these 2 years of my life that were so important. Thank you for writing me, praying for me, encouraging me, making me laugh, brightening my day, and helping me along the way in this mission. I really am grateful.

There are so many things that we experience on the mission haha. We laugh, we cry, we see peoples lives change, we feel sorry for the people who don't let this message into their lives, we get sick! (like last week), we get cussed at, threatened, and spit on (sorry I didn't tell you about that one mom haha), we try new food, see new culture, and we LOVE. I can't even begin to express how much I am absolutely in love with the Peruvian people. I know that God has sent me here to recognize and to meet some of the people that I knew in the premortal existence, because I can feel it and I have seen it so clearly.

I always grew up listening to my dad's cool mission stories and I thought Wow one day I'm going to have stories like that too! haha I didn't know why I wanted to go on a mission when I was a little kid. I guess I just supposed it was where we see cool things happen and people love us and give us food haha. When I decided to fill out my papers and actually go I thought I knew why I was doing it. I knew that the church was true and that God loves us. Little did I know how utterly mind blown I was about to be for the next two years. Now as I approach the end of my mission I think back and realize why I have done all of this. I LOVE JESUS CHRIST. I love him. And I now know with a surety that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one and only true church upon the face of the earth, the only true and perfect church that Christ established when He was here.

The mission definitely hasn't been easy. Sure it has it's ups and downs but it definitely isn't play haha. It is fun and we do laugh till we cry haha. But there are times when we suffer, or get so discouraged, or sad because our brothers and sisters don't accept a message that they once knew so well. I've shed tears for this people and have prayed and fasted so that I might be a tool in God's hands in bringing them back to the true happiness. The mission has been 2 of the funnest and best years of my life, but also 2 of the hardest. It makes me think of Peter and John when they were taken before the court and accused. There was no fault found in them so they were whipped and let go, being told to not preach of Christ anymore. They left the court `rejoicing` because they were counted worthy to suffer in the name on Jesus Christ (Acts 5:40-41). I am so infinitely grateful that I have also been counted worthy to suffer for this great work and also for the Lord Jesus Christ. 

More than anything I am so happy! And grateful! That I have been able to serve here! God really did put prepared people in Magdalena, San Martin de Porres, La Libertad, Las Flores, and in Maranga. And it's been so important for me to be in each and every one of those sectors. I have made so many sacred memories and made so many friends in each ward. Friends that will be a part of me forever. I have seen people find happiness and see the look on their face as they emerge from the waters of baptism, clean and worthy. That's the best feeling :)

I have gained a real testimony. I know that this is Christ's church and that He directs it through a living prophet, Thomas S Monson. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. As a 14 year old boy he was visited by God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and was told of a heavenly mission that he was to undertake. A mission that would eventually end with his death (Hebrews 9:16,19). He decided to go to his grave testifying that he has seen a pillar of light exactly over his head and that he really did see Two Personages whose brightness and glory defy all description. I have learned for myself, independant of any other person, and only through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And if God needed me to, I would also go to my grave testifying that this is His church, and I would die for this gospel (phillipians 1:24). I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ that Christ is on our side and that in this work as a missionary He has been on my left and on my right, and that his angels have been round about me to bear me up and protect me. I have SEEN this promise fulfilled (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88).  I know with all my heart that Jesus Christ suffered and died for my imperfections. I know that as He fell on his face and cried out to His father in the garden of Gethsemane He thought deeply and personally of me and who I really am and what I would come to the earth to do. I know because I have felt His love, and I understand how much He cares about me a little bit more after having served a mission. I have gained a testimony of the importance of an eternal family. And the greatest blessing that I have ever received is knowing that I am sealed to my family in the temple and by the authority of the only true and real priesthood upon the face of the earth. The only true priesthood that was restored to Joseph Smith by 3 heavenly messengers, Peter, James and John. I know that through my faith and obedience, I can return home to my Heavenly King and there live with my family forever in a state of never ending happiness (Mosiah 2:41). It would take a while to testify because the church is perfect haha. But these are some of the things that I have found out for myself. I KNOW that they're true because I have tried their fruits, meditated, and then asked the source of all truth is these things are true (3 Nephi 14:20) and I have felt love, peace, and joy. Not to mention complete happiness and hope (Galations 5:22). I know this is his church and I am so grateful for this time that I have had to see other's lives change and to help them along their way back to our Heavenly Father. I testify of these things in the name of my Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

I will be home on Monday August 15! I'm excited to see you all when I get home. I have missed you all especially my family :) Mom and Dad you guys made me cry today with your letters haha. I miss you family! and friends! This is the most important thing I have ever done and I am so grateful to have been able to serve in God's Army for 2 years :)
See you all next week!
Love Elder Daniel Dahlin

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1 2016


Wow this is the second to last time I'll be writing you all. 
This week I almost didn't write anyone so sorry about that! It's just that I've been kinda sick today and so I'm feeling really out of it. I'm not exactly sure what I ate but I have a super super funny story haha.
So today we had a multi zone conference. So we went there and we were all participating and everything and it was awesome. We were learning a ton about humility and how important it is to be humble like Christ in this work. Anyway so we go and eat lunch. We ate pollo a la brasa. Which is like a rotisary chicken with french fries and some super good sauces. I think that's the thing that messed me up.. cause we ate and about 2 hours later I started to feel horrible sick. There were like 60 misioneros there and me and my companion got up in the middle of the presidents wifes message and ran out the door. Ummmm.. lets just say the pollo a la brasa ended up in the bathroom trash can. Haha I threw everything up and was feeling much better after. We went back in to the reunion and everything was normal and the reunion ended. Yeah so we took the bus back and here is the funny part haha... and kinda gross so if this type of thing grosses you out lo siento! We were on the bus and if you haven't been to Lima you have no idea what a crazy driver is.. the bus driver was swerving all over the place as usual and I began to feel nauseous again.. haha I was trying soooo hard to not throw up on the bus cause we were going to get off in like 10 minutes when all the sudden and almost like instinctively I just stood up and threw up EVERYWHERE! The good part is that I was like in the back next to where the door opens up to let people off. so I was about to aim for the door haha but it was so horrible seriously. There I was on a crazy Lima bus sitting on the floor puking haha. I looked up and like 30 people that heard or saw me throw up had gone to the front and were getting off the bus haha. Wow I will never forget this experience. So funny :D but yeah I've been kinda sick all day and even right now I'm sitting at this computer with a trash can. It's been pretty rough. So yeah if you're wondering why I didn't write you today it's because I'm utterly exhausted and I have like no energy and every 30 minutes I'm making good use of the trash can at my side. But I read all the emails and thanks everyone for supporting me still and for keeping me so excited about this work. I love you all.

So this week the zone leaders called us freaking out saying that they had a referral for us that is such a miracle from God. We were like what? haha we called the guy and set up an appointment with him. We get there and WOW. It honestly was the most prepared person that I have seen in my whole mission. We start to talk and he tells us that he wants to put his faith into play and repent and be a better person. He said that he has seen how we baptize in the church and he can understand that it's how Christ was baptized and he said that as part of his repentance he would like to be baptized. And then he expressed how he would love to always have the constant guidance from the Holy Ghost in his life to be able to endure to the end and live a good worthy life.... I WAS LIKE WHAT!!!

I was so surprised because it honestly really is a miracle from God. And the best part is that he has already gone to church 3 times in a different ward and he recently has moved here. The missionaries never taught him in his old house so we are taking care of that now :) It would honestly be such a great blessing to see Misael be baptized before I go home. But either way this whole experience has strengthened my testimony so much that there are SO many people out there that need us. People like Misael. People that would be so willing to accept this gospel in an instant if they could just have the chance to hear it. That's why we are here as missionaries and Misael is part of the reason why I am specifically here for my last transfer. I know that God prepares people and I know that angels are helping people to prepare themselves to accept this gospel.. I seriously love this work so much :)

Well I will home in 2 weeks. I'm excited but also I feel sad and nervous and happy and just a mix of emotions. I'm sure any returned missionary knows exactly how this feels haha. But more than anything I am still in love with this work and with the Peruvian people and I will be forever :) 

I love Jesus Christ and all that He has done for me. I know that He suffered for me so that I can be perfected in Him and and have a celestial family with him. That's the greatest blessing that I can imagine :) En el nombre de Jesucristo. Amen.

Sincerely Elder Daniel Spencer Dahlin
Ps. Please pray for me so that I can get better soon and serve with all my heart might, mind, and strength! :) Gracias

We had a cool ward party too and it was really cool to see their traditions again before leaving this beautiful country and people.

This week we did a service project and moved all of this from the 3rd story to the first story! I love service :)

Independence Day!! On the 28th and 29th there are just tons of parties haha
Hermana Loayza has yet AGAIN proved to be my favorite teacher from the CCM. She took us and 2 other companionships out to dinner :)

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25 2016


I LOVE MY NEW WARD!! It makes me sad that I won't have much time here. But wow am I grateful that I have been able to come here and meet all these new awesome people :)
So contacting people in this new area is a little bit more difficult than it was in my last sector. It's a bit harder because this new zone that I'm in is a bit more advanced and wealthy than my last zone. So I think these people maybe just have more distractions in their lives and maybe pride. This week we studied pride in our zone conference and wow I learned so much! Pride is all around us and it's probably one of the most underlooked sins. There's a cool talk by President Benson called 'Beware of Pride' that has taught me a ton too. But yeah so being more humble is something that I'm constantly working on now.
So since contacting isn't tan effective here we really are learning to trust in the spirit. It's so cool because everytime we really feel like we need to contact someone we either meet them and they are super awesome and want to meet with us, or they are super super Catholic and don't want anything. Either way it helps me grow because I either see how important the spirit is and I can see how it helps us to find those that are prepared, or I see how confused the people are and how desperately they need us. The truth is that if they can't be humble enough to accept us, learn and receive an answer of the truthfullness of all these things, be baptized like Jesus Christ was by someone who has the authority from God, the same authority that was restored to Joseph Smith, and then stay faithful till the end, they can't enter into the kingdom of God. So even at the end of my mish I'm seeing how important we are in this work and how much it can help us to grow. 

So me and my companion go out to run every morning and dang is it rough! Not only because we are in the middle of winter, or because we are breathing like 98 percent humidity, or because there are crazy dogs that chase us as we run, but also because it's been forever since we ran and I'm getting used to it. Plus I'm pretty sure I've grown and eh I think it's gonna be kind of rough to get used to sports and what not again haha :) I love the mission and I cherish every day that I have left. It's teaching me so much.

Oh! This week we felt a few earthquakes!! Haha people always freak out here when they feel little earthquakes. It scares me too but I think it's cool haha. Until there comes a big one.. that's going to be scary. But yeah it was cool to feel another earthquake haha. The first time was when I had 2 months in the mission! That's probably something I wont feel again for a while!

I'm out of time but have a good week! I love you all! Keep praying for my companion and me so that we can be protected and have success :)
Elder Dahlin

Two of my favorite foods here!
Aji de pollo.

Bistec a lo pobre

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18 2016

Well I got transferred! I was definitely NOT expecting to get transferred my last transfer. We had some awesome people that were progressing and doing well and I have grown to really love so many people in my old ward and my companion. Wow saying goodbye to Elder Morales was rough. I have grown to love that guy and it was the first time I have cried with a companion saying goodbye.
So this week I was kinda stupidly getting down on myself wondering why I had been transferred. I decided to see what God has in store for me here. My new ward is called Elio and it's in the stake called Maranga. I'm not gonna go into detail but lets just say this week I had the most powerful spiritual experience of my whole mission. Of my whole LIFE. And was able to help a few people have a spiritual experience as well. I think it would be much better to tell the story in person to be able to explain it well (that is if my English starts to work again haha). But wow I know that I am specifically needed here. Let's just say I pretty much recognized some friends that I had before coming here to earth. And we felt the spirit so strong together and cried together. haha it's kinda a general explanation but I will tell the story in like 4 weeks in person! Wow only 4 more weeks....

So my new companion is Elder Quispe. He is from Peru from a place called Chiclayo. He is my 12th and last companion. I'm excited to be with him here too. It's weird how different every companion is ya know? We are all so different. We all have different strengths and different weaknesses. He is going to help me and teach me in these last few weeks. I'm grateful to still be here as a representative of Jesus Christ. and I know that God still has miracles for me to see while I am still here. and he still has some special people that he wants me to meet. This mission is 100 percent inspiration that's for sure and I'm loving every second of it :)

So yesterday I was at church for the first time in this ward and I was walking down the hall when all the sudden I hear someone from behind me say Elder Dahlin is that you? It was a familiar voice and I was like who could that possibly be? I guessed it might have been someone from my first ward cause my first ward is like 15 blocks from here haha. I turned around and it was Hermana Loayza!! No se como se escribe su nombre.. jaja lo siento hermana! It was my teacher from the CCM! It was such an awesome moment to see her and catch up after almost 18 months! She isn't in my ward but we share the church building haha but it will be fun to see my teacher from the CCM every week. It was so nice to see a familiar face. Someone that I met right when I got here and someone that has helped me so much to get used to being here and to learn Spanish too. So yeah that was a cool experience. Then after church another hermana named Marissa comes up to me and she's like 'Hey are you Eric's brother?' I was like what! Yeah! I guess she met Eric in Utah haha so that was fun too! 

I'm out of time. But wow am I excited to be here to finish my mission. I love this work. I love the mission and I love this country. Most of all I LOVE Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father. And I know that they care so much about us.

I included some cool pictures haha.
Have a great week! I love you all!
Love Elder Dahlin

My new companion Elder Quispe

When I was carrying my suitcases down all those stairs my pants ripped AGAIN!! They dont call me sewing Spencer for noting!

Jhostin, one of my best friends in my last ward.

Just before getting a taxi to go to my new sector. It's amazing how many awesome friends we make in the mission. I love it!

HERMANA LOAYZA!! My teacher from the CCM!

Eric's friend Marissa

A few of the Elders in the new zone!

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11 2016

Hey everyone!

The other day we were walking down the street just contacting everyone we could come in contact with. It's so fun to talk to just EVERYBODY like Preach my Gospel says because we meet so many different types of people. They all have different questions and it really makes us think and understand the gospel. The more questions people ask me, the more I realize and gain a testimony that the gospel seriously makes so much sense. We returned a few days later to a house of one of the people that said we could come back and visit them. We get inside and we were talking to a grandma, her son and her daughter, and her granddaughter. Turns out the grandma and the mom are members but haven't been to church in forever because they didn't understand temple work and it freaked them out haha. We explained it to them and it was such a spiritual experience. Because at the end the spirit could teach them so much and they learned that they shouldn't be afraid, but that they should have hope and happiness because temple work joins together families. I'm so grateful for temples and for the opportunity that we have to be together with our families forever. 
So the grandma ended up coming to church. I don't know how old she is.. probably like 75. And while we were in the Gospel Principles class we started talking about the baptismal covenant and what it means. She was silent during the whole class but when we started to talk about the covenents we make she raised her hand and said ´I have been baptized in this church. I am a member of the promise but I was inactive for a while.´ Then she said something that really struck me. She said  ´Thanks to the Elders I am here. Thanks to them I now have the right to receive blessings based on the promise I have made with the Lord´. She was crying her eyes out when she was saying all of this and it made me a little emotional too haha.. I am here representing the most sacred important person that has ever lived. I know that we as missionaries are assigned to a specific place because God has a perfect plan and based on that plan there are people here than need us to talk to them. I don't know if that grandma would have talked to another Elder. Maybe, maybe not. But I'm grateful that I was able to help her come back to church and have such a spiritual experience there. In one of the lessons we had with her she made us a super good plate of food called Tacacho. It's pretty much fried banana and then you mash it all up and put salt and oil on it haha. It's super good though. 
I'm running out of time. Today marks the beginning of my last transfer in the mission. I'm so grateful for the things I have learned and the things that I am going to learn still. I love the mission :)

Have a good week! I love you all.
Love Elder Dahlin

4th of July! #Gringo

This is a chicken foot!


The name of the ward I'm in

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4 2016

Hey everyone! This week was so awesome. President Larson called together a quick meeting with half the mission on Thursday and the other half of the mission on Friday to have a cool little training about how to commit people to go to church. We talked a lot about giving specific promises and blessings as guided by the Holy Spirit. and I learned more about the calling we have and the authority we have to promise people things in the name of Christ. It was an awesome experience and we learned a lot about the blessings too. God literally promises us that if we keep the sabbath day holy, EVERY ASPECT of our lives will improve. Consequently if we do not keep the sabbath day holy, every aspect of our lives will get worse. All we have to do is trust in him, go to church, do other uplifting things on His day, and he promises to bless us and help us. How simple is that?
haha so on the way home from the meeting we were trying to catch a bus to get back home. and for those of you that havent been to Lima, to get on a bus you seriously have to be on your toes. The bus pulls up in the middle of crazy traffic, stops for like 10 seconds and a guy yells out the window the different bus stops that the bus goes to. He yelled 'Caja de Aqua!' which is our stop. I was with my companion and 2 other elders in my district. I got on first and paid the bus driver and started to make my way down the isle. when I got to a spot on the bus where there was a little more space and it was a litle more comfortable (cause the buses are seriously PACKED here too. The whole world can fit in a little bus here), I looked out the window and there I saw my companion and the 2 other Elderes. I was like what the heck! I motioned to them to get on the bus cause it was going to leave soon but one of them was buying some cookies from a street vender so they were taking a little too much time. They started making their way to the door to get on when BAM! the door closes and the bus lurches forward. I looked out the window and waved goodbye to my 3 companions. I was alone! After having a constant companion for 22 months here and always having someone to talk to and to be with, it was seriously the weirdest thing ever to be alone on the bus. It was a feeling that I didn't like at all. I immediatly called them and told them I would wait for them at our bus stop. I got there and like 15 minutes later they arrived too. When we saw each other we all laughed it off but wow it was such a weird experience. It was like an emptiness to be there alone without my companion. I think that it's a lot like how we feel when we distance ourselves from the Spirit. Maybe we don't pay too much attention and we do something that seems normal but really isn't okay. Like when I got on the bus and wasn't really aware that my companions hadn't gotten on behind me. When we aren't in harmony with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and spirit can't touch as strong, we are in a way distanced from God like I was on the bus. But there is a way to get back. Thanks to repentance and the love that Christ has for each one of us there is a way to get back. I had to wait at the bus stop for a while and honestly I was a little scared to be there alone without anyone at my side. We can repent and get back in touch with the spirit but it also takes time. And not only that but a broken heart and a contrite spirit. After that experience I will make sure every time I get on a bus that my companions are behind me. And in the same way, after a bad experience that distances us from the Spirit and after repenting and making things better, we are also more aware of the things that we do and we can be more careful. 

Well I'm running out of time. I know that the Atonement is real because I have seen it in my life and in the lives of my brothers and sisters here in Peru. This week a sister that we are visiting told us about some things that she has done in the past and she felt a little embarassed and wanted to be forgiven. She wasnt really sure if it was possible. I began to speak and then just stayed silent for a moment and the words were put into my mouth. I testified to the sister that Christ thought specifically of her and of each one of us while he was being tortured, whipped, spit on, beaten, and especially in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary. I know he thought specifically of me and that he loves me so much. I love this gospel :) and I love being here helping people grow a better relationship with our Savior. The truth is that he is 100 percent aware of us. He watches over us everyday and he laughs when we laugh, and cries when we cry. Even though I have never seen Him, I love Him with all my heart and I have the most perfect assurance that one day I will see him with a perfect resurrected body and somehow try to express my gratitude to him for all he has done for me. I know these things are true. And that the only true happiness is available to us when we belong to the same church that Jesus Christ established in Jerusalem and then in the Americas. It's only possible through the saving ordinances that are available through the priesthood of God that was restored to Joseph Smith and that have been handed down in an unbroken line to the current living prophet of God Thomas S Monson. I love the church. I love the blessings that I can help people recieve and for the things that I learn everyday. En el nombre de Jesucristo. Amen.

Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27 2016

This is going to be really quick cause I'm out of time haha. I really should manage my time better.
We'll I hope you had an awesome birthday Momma :) You're the best and I love you so much.
This week I decided to do an interchange with my district. I went with Elder Carbajal and while we were walking I saw this white guy that was in front of us. I was like whoa a gringo! But then I thought again cause there are a lot of people here that have light skin too. We got closer and he started to speak to his little daughter in English! I was like whoa no way! I started talking to him and he told me that he was from Utah! I was like oh cool he's probably a member. He said he used to be a member of the church but he joined the Baptist church. He kind of started to contend and I have never really taught anybody ever in English about the gospel. So I was thinking to myself ah this is going to be interesting. I am 100 percent shocked at how God puts the words in our mouths as missionaries. I dont like to contend and so all I did was bear testimony. There is a scripture in Nefi that talks about missionaries. I think it is quoting Isiah but it says 'Is there anyone who will contend with me? Come near and I will smite thee with the force of my mouth.' I know that we aren't the teachers here. The Holy Ghost works through us to convert people and it's just our blessing to be here to be his instruments. Anyway I bore testimony and this guy was just quiet. We gave him a card and left.
Later we were talking to a different family and they said that there was a pastor from the Baptist church that is from the United States and he has like thousands of followers haha. I talked to that guy and thankfully the Lord worked through me and he was able to feel the spirit.
I love the mission and I testify that Christ talks through us as His servants. He literally fills my mouth with His words everyday.
Have a good week!
Love Elder Dahlin