Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan 26 2015

Familia y amigos

Otra semana en Lima ya paso. Tan rapido pasa el tiempo. se que siempre digo esto, pero en serio es loco cuan rapido pasa el tiempo. a veces parece como el dia nunca va a terminar, pero al fin de cada dia estoy soprendido a cuan rapido paso.

How are you all doing! Another week in Lima Peru.

First before I say anything else. Thank you!! to Sister Geil for the shirt you sent me. I’ll include a picture of it. It’s a super cool Auburn California shirt. I’m totally gonna rock it next p day. Thank you! You have no idea how happy it made me. 

This week I learned a little bit about following the spirit. haha I’m laughing right now after typing that. As missionaries we learn every second of everyday how to follow the spirit. But this situation in particular.

On Tuesday we were walking down the street and we had like 30 minutes until our next appointment. We didn’t know where to go when all of the sudden something hit me. Just a feeling. And I remembered a family that me and Elder Flores used to teach. They stopped reading and praying and never went to church and didn’t want to visit with us anymore so we stopped visiting with them. They’re the Fortunata Family. Well, when we were walking down the street I had the strongest feeling that we should visit them. So we go to their house and knock on the door. One of the family members answers the door and her face lights up. Elderes!!! she invites us in and the whole family is there. There is the grandma (Hermana Fortunata), her daughter Porfilia, and her daughter Brenda and her boyfriend Aaron. They’re not married, but we’re working with them. When we got into the house they all came and shook our hands and were so excited to see us and listen to us. We taught the restoration and they were so interested. Much more interested than they ever were before. It’s so cool to see how our Heavenly Father prepares different people at different times for this message. Before they weren’t very prepared but now they’re going to progress so fast. Every Thursday the youth play soccer in our ward at the church building on a little concrete court. Aaron went and played and had tons of fun. I’m excited to see how they progress and I’ll keep you all posted!

I love the spirit and the ways it helps us in this work. Without the spirit, we’re nothing. And the same with faith too! Something interesting that I learned in my personal study this week. I was reading in Ether chapter 3, when the brother of Jared sees Jesus Christ. In chapter 3 verse 19 of Ether is says, y para el, dejo de ser fe, porque supo sun ninguna duda. This means that for him, it ceased to be faith, because he knew without any doubt. This means that when we no longer have doubts, it stops being faith and becomes a perfect knowledge. The two are two different things. Faith and a perfect knowledge and I think sometimes we try to seek the perfect knowledge before we try exercising faith. We should all try to have a little more faith. If you can’t find it, pray and read. That’s where I’ve found mine :)

This week was really good. Elder Montoya and I work so well together. He’s like a brother.. from another mother haha. I’m so grateful for him and for the things that we’re doing in this sector.

Also this week I saw Hermana Loayza again!! haha it’s always so nice to see her. I’m grateful for the things she teaches me and for all the encouraging words that she gives me! 

Well that’s all the time I have this week. I hope you all have a good week. Remember that if you ever `lack wisdom` all you have to do is pray and you will receive an answer, as long as you pray with faith, real intent, and a sincere heart. 

Thanks for all the prayers and support!! I love you guys. :)

Elder Dahlin

Monday, January 19, 2015

Jan 19 2015

Hasta luego Elder Flores, Bienvenidos Elder Montoya!!

This week I received my 3rd companion. My second in the mission field. Elder Montoya is awesome!! Already we’re having tons of fun. Singing and working better than Elder Flores and I did even after 12 weeks together. This transfer we are going to do some awesome things. He’s also lider de districto! So I know that I’ll learn a ton from him. He’s the most humble guy I’ve ever met and he has an awesome story too. 

This week we were talking to un hermano just right outside his fruit stand in the street and it was dark so we couldn’t see super well. But we finished talking to him and we started walking away and I stepped on something. I thought it was just a rock at first haha but then a dog yelped and then it bit me!!! haha what the heck. That makes 2 for dog bites. Luckily is was just a little tiny dog, it could have been much worse. 

Elder Montoya and I are going to be working a ton with the members this transfer. The members haven’t worked much with us in the past but if we can get their support and more help from them, more investigators are going to come to church and tambien more menos activos. Really, the whole obra misional revolves around the members. Without the members, this work can’t progress. 

This week we had a little reunion with the zone. After the training I stood up and turned around and saw my teacher from the CCM. HERMANA LOAYZA!! Creo que esta es como se escribe.. I was so excited to see her. It sure was nice to see a familiar face here haha. Ella es la maxima y soy tan agradecido que ella era mi maestra en el CCM. Siempre Sere agradecido por las cosas que ella me enseño an el CCM. She truly is the best. And she helps the missionaries out so much it’s crazy. Thank you Hermana Loayza for always helping the missionaries in the CCM to keep their heads up. The world needs more Hermana Loayza´s.

I always remember that even though it gets hard sometimes, in the mission or not, all the difficulties that we face are for our own good. For our own learning. How we react to these difficulties is what really matters. I always try to look at things with an eternal perspective when I have trouble and it always helps. This life is so short. Always remember where we’re going and why we’re here.

Thank you all for all of the prayers and support. Please continue praying, they seriously do help so much. I love you all! CTR.

Elder Dahlin, over and out.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Jan 12 2015

Hola once again!

I have no idea where all the time is going. Tomorrow marks the end of my 3rd transfer on my mission. Crazy fast. 

This week we ate some weird foods. Haha I didn’t know what it was before eating it, or else I would have taken a picture. But we ate cow heart and testicle!! Haha seriously it was actually pretty good. I’m glad I didn’t know what it was before eating it though. The testicle was like mixed into a sauce and put on spaghetti. And the cow heart was just like a piece of steak. Haha maybe when I get back to the states I’ll make some of these foods :)

We also had the opportunity to go to EFY this week!! We were there helping them with family history. Dang that brought back memories haha. There were like 500 kids. But it was so different being a missionary helping them. It's cool how I could just tell that they look up to us. The leaders said that this was the first time that Missionaries have EVER attended efy and helped with efy. So that’s pretty cool. There is a Facebook page called fsy. And I should be in a video on that page in a couple of weeks!! Let me know when you find it!

This week I had a really really cool experience. So the Hermana that we baptized a few weeks ago, her son is a member. But he isn’t a member. He works in a bar and he has hecka tattoos and ear rings. We were there because his mom, the Hermana that we baptized, was there visiting him. She went to the bathroom and so it was just me, Elder Flores, and him. He started talking to us about how he doesn’t think that God exists. This was super sad. To see someone that has been baptized, who has made covenants with God, to say that he doesn’t exist. He was talking about how there are children starving in the street and there are so many bad things happening. Where is God? He was mad. Not like violent mad but just frustrated. I was able to share with him a scripture. I shared D & C 121,7 and 122,7 and 8. These scriptures really hit him. And I could see that he was really thinking about what they said. You guys should all look them up, because they talk about going through trials and how everything that he go through is for our own understanding. 

I told him that Heavenly Father will never give us something that we can’t do. And that the children that are starving in the streets are so special, and that they have a special place in the kingdom of heaven. I bore witness that God Lives. And that we are all his children. During the visit I was testifying to him and looking him dead in the eye. And he started crying. This just goes to show how the spirit works. I know that last week I shared a story like this too, but this was different. This guy was so mad and his heart was just closed. But the spirit was able to touch him. And that made the difference. I’m glad he was able to feel the spirit that day. We invited him to pray and ask if God was really there. I know that he lives. And he loves each one of us sooo much more that we can understand. I know that the only way someone can find out is by really asking him. And being open. The spirit can testify of all things, especially that you are a child of God. This is something that we should never forget.

Well tomorrow we have transfers. It looks like I’ll be staying and my companion will be leaving. But we haven’t found out yet. I’ll let you all know what happens next week! I love you guys! Please keep praying for our safety and our success out here in Lima.

Love Elder Dahlin

This week we also went to the zoo. And here is a picture of a car here the size of a normal SUV: but 20 people or more can fit in there. Trust me. I’ve done it. And we had a service activity and we painted. You can’t tell in this picture too well, but I’m COVERED in white paint.

Well my videos won’t send. I’ll try again next week. I love you all!! 

Elder Dahlin

Monday, January 5, 2015

Jan 5 2015

Feliz Año Nuevo!!!

Wow I can’t believe how fast 2014 has gone. I remember SOO vividly counting down the seconds till 2014. And now 2015 has begun. It’s gonna be a good year, I can feel it :) I hope everyone has set goals and is siguiendo adelante. 

I’ve set some goals too! And ill share them with you Haha. Well, as you all know I’ve been gaining weight like crazy. And it’s true, I now weigh 190 pounds!! I don’t know if it’s because of all the food paneton and chocolatada, or if I’m full of the spirit ;) Haha but yeah I’m 20 pounds heavier than when I left the United States!! So I am going to lose 15 pounds in January no matter what. And to complete this goal, me and my companion run every morning for about 30 minutes to the chapel and then play basketball with about 10 other missionaries for an hour. And I’m eating better too. I’ll keep you updated! 

Also I am going to read the Book of Mormon 4 times this year. I’ll probably need to adjust this goal as the time goes, cause reading in Spanish is a little different Haha. 

New Year's was crazy!!! All the way up until 1145 it was pretty calm and quiet. But right at 1145-1150, BOOM! There were literally thousands of fireworks everywhere!! And the city is so tightly packed, every direction in the sky you could see fireworks. I’m going to attach a photo, I didn’t take very many pictures, mostly videos. But in the picture there are like 20 fireworks going off haha. Pictures never do justice I swear. Ill also attach a video. 

So a few of you told me that you liked the little video I sent last week! I’ll start doing that every week. It’s just had cause it has to be less than 15 mb. So it can only be a few seconds long.  But yeah New Year’s was great. The members took care of us and gave us tons of food and made sure we were happy haha. I’ll never forget this New Year’s. Sooo many fireworks. So loud. Looking at the sky it looked like all the stars were falling haha that’s the only way I can explain it. So awesome! Goodness I love Peru.

This week I had a super spiritual experience. We were meeting with an investigator that wants to get baptized. I’ve talked about him before. His name is Alberto Lopez. His wife is legally married to another guy but they are living together. So to get baptized she needs to get divorced and then marry her husband that she has right now. It’s complicated. This week we visited them and he told us that she doesn’t want to pay all the money to get divorced and married. He was super sad and crying. It’s crazy to see how much of a desire to get baptized he has. My companion was talking to him and I just had the strongest feeling that I should say something. I didn’t know what to say, but I started talking. I don’t know exactly what I said. But I promised him, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that one day I am going to baptize him. It was amazing because right when I said this, he stopped crying and he just looked at me. I could just see the peace that came over him. That is the Holy Ghost testifying of what I said is true. 

I know that if we just follow the spirit, and trust that everything will be okay, we will be happy. And in the end everything will be okay. Just trust, obey the commandments, and see what happens. 

It’s cool to see the gifts that I have in my pátriarchal blessing too. I can see them so clearly helping me on this mission. 

I had another cool experience! I was teaching a member about prayer. And the spirit was super strong, they were crying and I was tearing up haha. Even just talking about a simple thing like prayer the spirit was there. Anyway, at the end of the lesson they wanted me to pray so I was like yeah sure! So I was about to pray and la Hermana was like no no pray in English. This caught me off guard haha. I haven’t prayed out loud in English in 4 months!!! So I prayed in English and right away it was like something hit me. The spirit just filled the room. All my hairs stood up and you could just feel the spirit so strong. Not gonna lie I kind of forgot how to pray in English a little bit, haha but it was so powerful. I love this mission. There is no other place where I would have experiences like this. And I’m going to remember this all forever.

I know that prayer works. It’s a direct communication with our Heavenly Father, who knows us inside and out. And through prayer we can receive answers to any question. It just takes a sincere heart, a true intention, and faith. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I hope you all have a good week!! Be safe and I will talk to you next week :)
I love you all and thanks for all the letters and the support!!

Love Elder Dahlin

These pictures are me and my two companions, Elder Christensen and Elder Flores. And then Elder Christensen’s companion. Son heavenly paneton. The most perfect picture of the average meal here, and the group of missionaries that play basketball together in the mornings!! Enjoy! I have a video of fireworks that I’ll send next week!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dec 29 2014

Family and friends,

Wow this week has been so amazing. I’m just gonna say it right now, I have the best family in the world. Thank you so much for all of your support and for all of your prayers. I had the opportunity to talk to my family on Christmas and it was an experience that I’ll never forget. I can literally feel your guys love. You are so awesome and I could never wish for a better more supportive family. I’ve been so blessed to be placed in the family that I have. Thank you guys.

Things are different here for Christmas. They have all their parties and dinner on the 24, and on the 25 they don’t do anything. Everyone stays up till midnight and at 12 midnight they have dinner and have fireworks and all sorts of cake and paneton and chocolatada. Mmmm so good. The food here is so amazing haha but I need to start being more careful cause I’m seriously going to die if I’m not careful.

I opened my Christmas package that I received a month ago from my family. I’ve been dying to open it and I finally was able to! My favorite gifts were all the letters and the photo album. It just goes to show that the things that matter most in this life are family and the gospel. But thank you so much for everything in the packages. I’ll put it all to good use :) 

This week we pretty much had p day every day. It was kind of frustrating cause we didn’t really teach lessons. We just visited families but it was still really fun. On the 24 we ate 2 dinners. I was seriously afraid that my stomach was like going to rip open inside of me. I ate so much food. When we got back to our apartament I couldn’t even reach down and untie my shoes. I was dying haha. It was really fun though. One tradition here is that they don’t put baby Jesus in the manger until midnight and the youngest person in the house gets to put Jesus in the manger. We visited a family and they let me put Jesus in the manger cause I was the youngest. I attached a picture of me putting him in there haha. It was kinda scary cause the sister was like hugging me. Haha after the picture I got the heck out of there. 

It’s amazing how much the people here love missionaries. It’s amazing how much I love the people here. I’m literally here to save them. How great is this calling. 

One thing that I’ve thought of this week is this time as a missionary. I’ve made the choice to come here and teach my brothers and sisters. But this week I’ve realized that it isn’t as much of a choice as it is a chance. This is such an awesome experience. This opportunity that I have is a once in a life time thing and I’ll never be able to do this again. I’m glad I have this CHANCE and this OPPORTUNITY. And instead of looking at it as something that I have to do, I look at it as something that I get to do. This work is amazing. This time is something that I’ll never forget.

I love you all! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and I hope you have a happy New Year! Be safe and drink some Martinellis for me  :) 

Ps. you can’t really tell, but in the picture above of the city, there are about 100 fireworks going off. Fireworks are huge here for Christmas and I heard there are even more on New Years.

These are the pictures that I wanted to send this week. Haha Christmas is such a fun time of year. 

Before I go I wanted to say one more thing! While bearing my testimony in Spanish to my family over skype on Christmas, it really hit me how important families are. We are able to be together for ETERNITY. Think about that. Never ending time. I’m grateful for my family and over skype it really hit me how much I love you guys. I was blessed with an amazing family. Thanks for everything :)

Love Elder Dahlin