The Mystery Behind Dan the Man

(Dear Reader: please read to the very end. This post has an interesting story.)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,
While doing my genealogical research, I did come across Brent Fraze and the story itself, though the reason is unknown. I do have some good news about genealogical work; it is not something that I found or discovered. It is indeed a small world after all. But, I will get to that in a moment.
Transfer calls did happen; Elder Day and I are staying. Elder Hansen is leaving, which is quite unfortunate. It was not until that happened that I realized how close to home I am. It is a sharp, harsh reality, because, well, I love it out here and the work that I do. At the same time, I realize there is a time to move forward. I have goal to work hard until the end; I am making sure that I take pictures with families that we have dinner with, so that I do not have to go hunt them down on my last Sunday.
Thank you for not flipping out for my diet, or me striving to live the Word of Wisdom a bit more. I truly appreciate that.
It has been a good week; we have been pushing hard and trying to find. A lot of the time we were finding, but other things did happen.
Monday, we decided to go out to Verona, a nearby town in the Staunton area, to go visit an antique mall. That antique mall is absolutely huge, big. There was much to see and they had a huge book section (and different pockets of book sections). We spent a large amount of time there, exploring. So many good books there. After our preparation time, we had a lesson with a Ms. Mary student who has moved from the area for good. We encouraged her to develop her testimony, which will be an anchor for her, especially for all her questions. 
Tuesday, besides finding, we had four major less active visits. The last Ms. Mary student (the drama student) officially went home, though for the summer. We also encouraged her to develop her testimony. She is strong, but still needs to remain strong. From there, we saw a man and his wife, who had not been in church for over a year. Recently, he came to church (and yesterday, they both came to church). They are from Alabama and have a son. We shared Because He Lives and encouraged them to keep on moving forward. Then, we talked to this lady, who used to be in the area (or something like that), and she chatted for an hour straight. She had a lot to vent about. For the last few minutes or so, we told her to keep holding on. Last, a less active man for the day, is a man whose family left him and he is in a battle with his circumstances. I have to be honest; his face and mannerisms, slightly, remind me of Sean. (Elder Todd's older brother.) It is strange. I was able to hear the story; he had been ignoring us for a while.
Wednesday, we had a big day of finding. Then, we helped the young couple, who had complimented us the trio, move things in their house and open boxes. Some of their items were damaged by water. They definitely loved that we had helped. It was good to fellowship them. 

Thursday, we had district meeting; it was a lot about personal study and finding our own way to study. We had a lesson that day with a new investigator (referral given by the Spanish elders). She is a young mother who lives with her sister (and her fiance). She took time for us, even though she knew that she would be late to work if we stayed long. She seemed interested; she wants to raise her child in a Christian church, because her last church was, to her, less than Christian by their deeds. We did an overview because we were short on time. Then, we helped the one lady who we gave service to (where I cleaned chairs for the duration of time). She was getting rid of her bed, because her husband needed a hospital bed. She also got a hospital bed. As she said, "I do not want to give up snuggling." How sentimental. Later that night, we visited the less active who has back pains and, as usual, needs to come to church. He was excited to come to church, even when we checked up with him on Saturday. Sadly, he did not come. 
Friday, we planned. We had a lesson with the young mother who knows the Book of Mormon is true, but needs to come to church among other things. She is still at a standstill and has yet to progress even more. After that lesson, we had lesson with another new investigator, who is in her 60s. She had some negative experiences with church, but she is still seeking for the right place. She had run ins with missionaries in the past, but more recently with her son, who received a blessing while he was ill. She was excited to come to church and excited to learn more. She will definitely continue to progress. The bishop needed some help on his farm, moving some wood off of his truck. He has a broken foot, so he cannot do much. That night, we visited the recent convert and his family (the young man who was baptized when I got here). We finished the Plan of Salvation (and later, the Gospel of Jesus Christ); he recently was interviewed to received the Aaronic Priesthood. He is definitely going forward.
Saturday, we did the progress record. We checked up somebody in the hospital; not much happened there. We had lunch with the bishop. We had dinner with an awesome older couple. We learned that Elder Hansen is leaving. It was a slow day. 

Sunday, it was a lot of saying good bye to families for Elder Hansen. Some interesting things to note. Sacrament meeting. Those who were leaving (Elder Hansen and the Spanish set) said their final testimonies in the ward. A member gave a talk. Then, the high councilman spoke, somewhat briefly about the Sabbath day observance and family history work. He shared this story about one of his ancestors, who was a pioneer and was there in the beginnings of the Church, who when traveling did not observe the Sabbath day two Sundays in a row. He had tried traveling on those days and each time, something went wrong. Finally, the ancestor realized what he had done wrong and asked for forgiveness and help. Then, he mentioned the name of the ancestor: Benjamin Franklin Johnson. I was like (and I nearly shouted it), "I need to talk to that man." So, I did and mentioned we were, in a way, related. His parents were there too, so I got to talk to them as well. They came from LaBaron's children; they mentioned, I believe, that Benjamin had a lot of posterity and probably the most. I mean, after all, he had multiple wives (7) and had 30 something children.

Then, priesthood meeting, elders quorum. We were talking about flooding the Book of Mormon and the teacher gave us pieces of paper with certain Book of Mormon people and their teachings. It was to see how we could enrich our lives with the Book of Mormon. I was paired up with our befuddled man, who is going through cancer treatments. He requested Moroni (which he kept on calling Merona). Again, he mentioned the silver plates and the little lights. I kept on asking him, "Don't you mean the golden plates." No, he was quite certain that they were silver plates. We shared our thing and finally, Merona (or as it is, Moroni) M. (last name withheld) made sense. Moroni M. was the man who baptized our befuddled man; he is deceased (the silver plates is his grave tomb and the little lights are there to lead to his grave; no wonder I will never see them). He had a son also named Moroni M., who moved to Utah with his wife. Now, parents, I need your help and this is all directed to you. Daniel, the befuddled man, asked me if I could find this Moroni M., the son of Moroni M. I did some research on friendly Google; however, Facebook may be the best resource that I can not access. So, look up on Google/Facebook "Moroni M. Utah" and send a message to anybody that pops up asking if they know a Daniel S. from either Kentucky or Tennessee; this person's father was a bishop who, again, baptized Daniel. I hope this does not take too much of your time and I do not want it to take your time. I probably should not even talk to you or request this, but I guess I am. If you cannot do it, put it on me for when I return home. Thanks. 

(Briefly, Moroni M. was located and answered much about Daniel, a.k.a. Dan the Man. Moroni M.: Yes I served in the Tennessee Knoxville mission Sept. 2005-2007. I am the one who baptized Daniel S. a.k.a. Dan the Man, as we called him. I am alive and have no grave site.. lol.. So I'm not sure what he is referring to. Daniel is a very different person and can be a bit confusing. When he requested to be baptized I had the mission president come over to meet him to make sure he felt Daniel was OK to be baptized. He said he was!!! I really grew to love Dan the Man. I lost contact with him after he moved to Virginia, which was during the time I was still serving my mission, so it has been years. I have wondered from time to time where he was or if he was even still alive. Glad to hear he is still living and that he remembers me. It would be great to get back in contact with him.)

Good week. Good things are happening.
All is well.
Elder S. Todd

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