Monday, July 27, 2015

Lindsay - July 27, 2015

Me driving with Sister Mizell and Sister Moe-Tufaga

We drive on dirty and VERY bumpy roads a lot!!!

Hey Mom! I'm doing great! My new companion is amazing! Her name is Sister Moe-Tufaga and she is from Hawaii. She lives on the island Oahu. She worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center and she has 5 siblings. She is so cute!!! She is a positive, funny, and encouraging missionary! I love her already! Haha she literally makes me laugh! So I'm driving!!! Ahhhhhhh scary:) I have almost gotten killed like 5 times, but its ok! The Lord knows I'm an unaware driver, and he definitely has saved me from crashing into cars on the street!! :) haha! Sister Moe-Tufaga is also helping me with my parking skills, so yeah! I have a lot of improving to do:) 

This week was awesome, but of course it took a while to get used to the big adjustment. On Monday we had P-day. We played Sports as usual, and then Sister Mizell had her last lesson with the Ammons. We taught the Plan of Salvation. It was so good! They are so responsive to the lessons, and we have such good discussions! We invited them to church this Sunday, and they said they would come but, Brother Ammon has a busy work schedule, and was suddenly called in. But it's ok! It is the Lord's timetable not ours!! On Tuesday, of course it was transfer day, that was hectic! And Sister Moe-Tufaga and I got lost for a while, and finally got on the freeway towards our apartment! :) On Wednesday we had a Zone Council meeting. They have started this thing where they have Zone Council meetings before we break off into our district meetings. I think it is such a great idea because we get to bond and get to know our Zone better. Later that day, we tried a less active. She wasn't home, and Sister Moe-Tufaga turned to me and said, "How do you feel about knocking?" My stomach literally dropped, and I felt like puking. Sister Mizell and I hadn't done any of that so of course I was scared out of my mind! But I willingly agreed that we should go knocking. I am not kidding you, we contacted two people that were so open to our message of the Gospel. We gave one guy a Book of Mormon to read, and a pass along card with our number, and the other contact, we gave her a Restoration pamphlet!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh:) It was amazing! Confidence booster!!! So yeah! I truly believe that the Lord is aware of us, and he knows what we need to do. But it is our responsibility to be willing to follow Him, and not go against what he asks us to do!  On Thursday we had breakfast with one of the less actives we visit. She is the sweetest lady, and she makes her own dresses! Her fashion style is so cute! We then went to ASL (American Sign Language) class and practiced our signing. Sister Moe is really good at ASL so she is going to teach me more, so that I can actually contact a deaf person! We also taught the Ammons again. Except Sister Moe was with me! It was a great lesson, and it took a while because we taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But its ok! I just hope and pray that the Spirit has touched them in some way, and that they have the desire to learn for themselves the truthfulness of this gospel. Sister Moe-Tufaga was very dedicated at weekly planning. She really wanted to make sure that we knew everyone in the two wards. We made lists on LDS tools separating the Countryside and Tortolita wards, and putting them into categories like: actives, less actives, recent converts etc. It took a long time, but it was worth it!! On Saturday we were invited to a Stake Baptism. There was a family that invited us because they had invited a part member family to the baptism. So it was nice to get to know them, the ward, and to feel the Spirit as we witnessed the sacred ordinance of baptism. On Sunday, we went to Countryside Ward, and we were asked by the bishop at the end of the meeting to bear our testimonies!! Ahhh!! It was amazing! Sister Moe of course said "Aloha" at the beginning:) I seriously love her!! She is so sweet, and her testimony of this gospel is strong. I bore my testimony after her, and of course I cried. I said, "The gospel has blessed my life, and it has blessed my family's life". I had a realization of how much the gospel has blessed my life. I am truly happy being a missionary, and I love being a member of this wonderful gospel. It has truly kept me on the strait and narrow path. I hope all of you have a great week! Put the Lord first in your life, and you will be blessed, I promise you that. 

Thanks for your letter Daddy! Yes, I received the GPS thank goodness!! We got lost many times before it came, but its ok! I'm doing great! I truly feel like this transfer is going to be a good one! Sister Moe-Tufaga is very obedient, and she LOVES knocking doors (hahaha: shaky laugh). I get really nervous when I knock doors. Mainly because I'm scared of rejection, but its ok! By the end of this transfer, she will help me become confident in tracting!! So in the mornings I study a chapter of D&C, a chapter of the Book of Mormon, and I usually read Preach My Gospel, and study topics that we are going to be teaching investigators. I literally LOVE studying! It is my favorite, and when I get home from my mission, I will definitely keep the Sabbath day more holy by studying all day. I LOVE going to church for 9 hours!!! Does that sound weird?? We cover two wards: Countryside and Tortolita. There are amazing people in those two wards, I love them all already! And yes we meet with the ward council in both wards. The Tortolita bishopric is very missionary minded, and the Countryside ward fills up the meal calendar every night for their week! I am just so excited to work with all these dedicated priesthood leaders and other leaders who work hard in their callings, even though they have busy lives. It is so great how dedicated everyone is!! I miss you and I hope you have a great week! Love you to the moon and back!!!!

Sister Dunn

Holli - July 27, 2015

Hello everyone!

So it's been a pretty awesome week! Sister Duncan and I are still alive so we are counting our blessings! I was going to make up a story about what happened during the earthquake - something about us clinging to the doorframe while the whole house shook and screaming our heads off, but really it just sounded like a huge dump truck roaring by. We didn't feel anything :) Sister Zylstra gave us a whole run down on what to do during an earthquake so now we are better

Yesterday evening we found out Sister Duncan had been riding her bike up and down this incline all day on a flat tire with like 50 water bottles in her bag :) We were at a less active's house when we figured this out and the husband who isn't active totally fixed it for her - super nice!

I absolutely love Sister Duncan. She is like the best companion ever. We have so much fun but we are working hard. We have to do a lot of work on our street contacting though - we can say hi, but we need to work to actually get in front of them - awkward stuff but it must be done!

Our first day we had been out and about visiting people in our area book and we came home a bit after dinner and saw we had a referral. Her name is Brandy and she is awesome! She is very open to learning about our religion and she has 4 sweet nephews that she lives with along with her sister and brother in law and father who all encourage her to "get saved". The sister loves and found some
Mormons in their genealogy so she took this as a sign for Brandy to become LDS :) hopefully!

We met this awesome lady named Sally the other day. She's less active but super sweet. She grew up in the church but never gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon - so without the iron rod she kind of fell away which is super sad because she's awesome. We'll keep going over there, hopefully bring a bit of the Spirit with us :)

We met this guy named G in a trailer park. He stopped us and said we were super awesome because we were the only ones who did the hand signals for riding a bike properly. He said that he gets all his information about Mormons from Southpark and the musical. After we internally face palmed he said that he would go on a "Southpark fast" so he would be ready to talk with us when we come by next week. He
said he might come to church but it would take baby steps. G said I look like Taylor Swift - even though we were both super hot, sweaty, and had bike helmets on . . . I guess I'll take it! 

This week has been chalk full of testimony building experiences. Really I've just been thinking about how vital it is to study the Book of Mormon each day. People who do so, even if they have lots of doctrinal issues or questions, put their trust in the Lord rather than in themselves. They know they will receive answers some day and have faith that they will receive them, even if things don't make sense now. By holding to that iron rod, we can look forward with faith and
determination, not letting go of what we know to be true and receiving strength to resist the voices swirling like the dark mists around us. We can find true happiness by reading the Book of Mormon and following the principles taught there. This great gospel is the only way to true and lasting happiness.

Thank you so much for the pictures and the letters. Love you all!

Love, Sister Dunn

Taylor - July 27, 2015

Ok so  I got transferred to an area called Lake Worth! It's near Palm Beach and is a super boss area and there is a mix of Black, White, and Latins! I'm the District Leader now so that's definitely interesting and nerve racking but also super awesome! My comp is Elder Wilhite, he's from Eugene, Oregon and he's super boss. He's been out for a bit more than six months! He is super hard working and obedient which is awesome! We speak Spanish all day every day and his Spanish is pretty good! I have two companionships in my district, they are both sisters. There is Palm Beach North... English... Sisters Morrow and Erickson. Sister Morrow is training sister Erickson! Then in West Palm North.. Spanish.. there is sister Endemano who is training sister Hatch! They are super good as well! 

I actually had my first District Training meeting the day after transfers which was scary but it worked out! I taught it on Unity and Love. I even did an object lesson where I gave each companionship a minute to get as many skittles from one plate to another across the room. They both had straws and they had to link arms and use the straws to move the skittles! The prize was a big bag of skittles! Elder Wilhite and I won though haha! ;) 

This week we were really trying to get to know the area and find places where there are Latinos. It's different than Hialeah where everywhere there are Latinos! The ward really likes missionary work and they want to come out with us a lot this week and we want to gain their trust so that should work out nice! The Zone Leaders are elder Kwon and elder Mason, they're creole and they're pretty cool! 

Phillip Stafford is engaged? That's crazy! Mackenzie Kerr is going on a mish, that's super cool! Haha sounds like it was kinda an emotional week for you guys... well at least you mom, dad seems like he's doing pretty good ;) How was your trip, sounds like fun, thanks for the pics! I'll make sure to pray for Val and the fam! And ya don't worry I'm reading the girl’s emails, they're super good! Well I have to go, I will send pics next week! 

Oh the address to my house is
2359 Caroma Lane
West Palm Beach, Florida  33415

Love you guys!

Elder Dunn

Chelsea - July 27, 2015

Sister Mariano and me

Heyyyyy...Okay so this week has been a busy week! We have so many people to teach, it's crazy! We also commited 5 people to baptism this week and four came to church! Sister Mariano and I almost cried when we saw all of them. One of them is a 9 year old boy named CJ and he is the cutest! The other one is Joy and she has two kids and her husband is less active. She has totally given up coffee too which has been a miracle! We also have a family of 6 preparing for baptism! The situation is really sad though! So the family lives in Maria Clara-my favorite area to teach in! This family has next to nothing. They can barely afford to come to church because they have to take a tricy. But they are such a great family! They said that they love the church's concept on families and they know that the gospel will bless their life. The only thing is that they aren't married!! Haha after Sister Mariano and I found that out we screamed to the heavens, why?!?!?!?! Haha. Marriage is really expensive for some people so this is gonna be hard. So it broke our hearts to tell them that they have to get married before they are baptized. I am praying to the Lord that it will all work out!!

So on Wednesday this week we got to go to Cauayan to get immunizations. And I saw Sister Turley! It was so great to see her!! I felt like it had been forever! I also got to see Sister Peart and Sister Baker which was really good! So I found a favorite food in the Philippines! For FHE last Monday, we went over to the Gonzales and they made this fried milk fish. It was amazing.. oh man, mom you would love it. Oh but also, they made me try avocado and it was nasty!!! 

So we had dinner at the Busania's again and she wanted me to play the piano and sing. So she pulled out her sheet music for lds arrangements and we played the piano and sang. It was so fun!! She also has a beautiful voice! Definitely my most favorite person in the ward. She is such a sweetheart! Oh and mom, she said she is going to try to friend you on facebook haha. 

So we had such a huge rainstorm this week! It was pretty much like a typhoon. We had a brownout and then our water stopped working! It was the worst! Oh haha and also we forgot to shut all of our windows so the whole house was flooded. oh man hahah. 

Haha what's really funny is the karaoke that is here. So we will be walking somewhere random, and you will hear a karaoke machine and someone singing. and you can probably hear it from a 10 mile radius cause they  just blast it. Haha so we were in our apartment and you could just hear someone belting to karaoke and what's funny is that everyone is a horrible singer so I just laugh and laugh haha. 

So really funny, yet sad story. On Saturday morning, Sister Mariano was clipping her nails and one flew right in her eye and cut it. So we had to go to the hospital and get it checked out. The hospital was super sketchy! Like half of it was pitch black, and the room that we were in was filled with spiders,,, uhhhh gross. Anyway, her eye was super red and she couldn't even move it. So all of Saturday and Sunday she had to rest! Haha it was kinda nice, not gonna lie. I got a ton more study time! However, I felt super lazy haha. 

So definitely the language is still getting at me. Yesterday in church, I couldn't understand anything again! In fact, I felt like I could understand LESS! Haha. It's definitely irritating. Also, because I have to memorize the lessons-which takes a ton of time! And its frustrating, because I can't say what I want to say. uhhh dad, how did you teach at first?! Did you just memorize the lines in Japanese and then didn't know what you were saying when you taught it? 

Oh haha funny story. So we have a new investigator and she came to all three hours of church. We were talking to her during relief society and she was looking at the gospel principles book and was like I want to read this! And we were like, sure go ahead and take it! And she was like, Oh my gosh I love you! Haha then she was looking through it and she said, "How can I get baptized? When?" Haha we found the golden investigator! She was so happy when we told her that we can come and teach her. So that was funny! Sister Mariano and I were laughing after because she was just so enthusiastic!

Oh and mom I can find peanut butter here, the american kind! The filipino kind is nasty! Haha I literally live off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are the delicacy here. Haha literally the only thing they have from America is jiffy peanut butter. There is no campbell soup anywhere! But they do have this weird cup of noodle thing and it is pretty good. I also get apples and oranges and some mixed fruit thing. Oh and I can’t take pictures at the grocery store. You can only have your wallet with you. They take your bags before you go in. Kinda weird haha. 

So, about my companion's story. So she’s done with college and she’s a pharmacist. She didn't feel like she was doing anything with her life so she really prayed about it and felt like she should go on a mission. Oh and she went to college up in Baguio. She has been a member her whole life and the only member of her family who is less active is her sister. Her dad works in Saudi Arabia I think. So ya that’s about it from here!  Love you all!

Sister Dunn

The Manila Temple

Our sketch shower

Fried White Fish

The Philippines is so beautiful!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chelsea - July 20, 2015

Yay!  Our luggage arrived!!
Teaching in Quezon City
My companion Sister Mariano

AHHHH I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M HERE! This mission has been crazy! Okay, so Manila was just crazy. We actually proselyted in Quezon City North. Sister Turley and I got assigned to one of the sisters out in the mission field and we actually had a lesson. It was straight in the slums. There was mud everywhere and a ton of stray animals. We climbed up these sketchy stairs to the house and sat on the dirt floor. The other sister then talked about the Sabbath Day and she had Sister Turley and I testify. Ahhhh it was super powerful and I think they understood me! Haha. Our luggage finally arrived on Sunday Afternoon. It seemed like a lifetime they were gone. Also, I was sick the whole time in the Manila MTC. It started with the bus ride into Manila. Driving here is crazy. There are no rules here. Haha if our whole family was on a bus to Manila, I can tell you right now, everyone would be throwing up. It's like the mouse trap, super jerky every second haha. So I got super sick and it never really went away. Then I got this terrible cough! I've never had a cough like that and it was so bad. It was really embarresing, cause I had a coughing attack during our temple session, so embarressing.... 

Oh, so mom, I became a true Filipino.... hahaha. So we were in immigration and I really had to go the bathroom so we went. And there was no toilet paper and no paper towels! Hahaha I can say that it wasn't that bad though! We also got to go the Manila Memorial. It's all the people who died in WW2. I'll send you some pictures! Saying goodbye to the district was really hard. I was definitely crying. HAHA Elder Kofe was like, "I'm about to break the mission rules and give you all a hug." Haha so he did! I was crying like a baby haha. 

So the plane ride to Cauayan was super sketchy. Worst turbulence ever. I thought I was going to die haha. And then I almost threw up. We ate lunch in the mission home and then did some orientation. My new companion is Sister Mariano. She is such a sweetheart! And she's such a hardworker! She is from Urdaneta. I learn so much from her every day and she is such an amazing teacher.

So it's been kind of hard getting used to Filipino culture. So I was throwing up in the van to my new area and a member that drove us was feeding us dinner that night. He asked me if I wanted soup. I was like sure! He then went and bought me some. Super annoying! Haha. Most awkwardest thing in the lessons: When the women breast feed right in front of you. That was definitely a shocker at first haha. Now I'm kinda used to it. There are so many distractions during the lessons though. This is a typical lesson: we are buy the road so there are a ton of motorcycles and tricies so we can't hear anything, children are running around screaming, mosquitos are biting our faces off, other people walking by that stare, breast feeding, dogs and cats running around everywhere. So many distractions!!! It's hard for them to concentrate haha. 

So my area is Diffun! It's about 45 minutes from Santiago. Oh also, my companion and I are the only missionaries in Diffun. And it's a big area. Haha I was meeting with President Ralph and he was like what do I need to know about you. And I was like, I'm a hard worker and I don't back down from a challenge. I shouldnt have said that! haha cause he put me in the area where there are no missionaries! Haha  We spend our P Days in Santiago because there are restaurants here and malls and grocery stores. THERE IS NO AMERICAN FOOD HERE. I AM DYING.  Definitely the hardest thing is the food. Every time we eat at a members house, we have chicken and rice. Except the chicken is kinda gross. And they get really offended if you don't eat everything. And then they always offer more! Haha so I took a tiny bit of chicken and rice and then I was done. The sister was like, take more and I was like no, I'm full and she was like, you didn't take enough to be full! Darn it those filipinos. They are observant! haha. I got to eat squid and pig liver this week! Squid is gross! The texture is like a stale twinky.... so gross. Pig liver was nasty too. When we go to the Bishops house for a dinner appointment, he said that he is gonna cook bat, dog, and balut. Yay.... 

So yes, I was sick my first week here. I didn't go to any class in the Manila MTC cause I was having these horrible migraines like I've never felt before and I was still throwing up. Also, getting in the field, I've thrown up like 4 times. Pretty much every time we ride in the bus. It's the worst! However, I think I'm getting used to it cause I didn't throw up today! Haha

So the people here are really great! A lot of them are super shy. Sister Mariano says its because you have to gain their trust and talk to them and also because I'm American. I can't even speak in Tagalog so it's super hard to build that relationship! Oh well, I'm trying! So we went to one lesson and I was the first American the kids have seen. I'll send you a picture of it. All the kids sat down on the lesson cause they wanted to hear me speak. haha. I don't like it though cause they just laugh and I hate it! Also, a lot of people honk at me. Sister Mariano said that they honk when they see pretty girls hahaha. Sister Mariano said that I was her best asset hahahaha. She said that everyone wants to listen to the white girl speak! haha. 

Oh, so Elder Sirata is in my district!!! So I get to see him every Tuesday! All the other girls are split up. I was two hours away from Cauayan and Sister turley is about 3 hours. Sister Porter is in Cauayan so she didn't have to travel which was super lucky! Sister Peart is in the Banaue Rice Terraces Zone! Super lucky! Last thing I heard was that they are doing great! 

Filipinos are pretty nice. Even if they aren't interested, they will talk to you which is super nice! The only thing that frustrates me is that Filipinos are lazy! They never come to church or read or pray no matter how many times you tell them. I don't know how we ever get baptisms! Whenever we set a baptism date, it will never go through because they will miss church or have a problem with something else like the Word of Wisdom or the Law of Chastity. Most of the time, the problem is that they can't go to church because they don't have money to get there. And it's only about 20 cents. I'm telling you everyone, we are all so blessed to live in America. People have nothing out here. They sleep in dirt huts and make a couple a dollars a day. A marriage license is only about 20 bucks, however, no one can even afford that here. So its super sad. 

Our ward is great! My favorite one is the Stake President's wife! She is so talkative and loving and I just love her! However, she runs a music school and she wants me to play the piano so her son doesn't have to, so he can pass the Sacrament. Haha oh well! However, in relief Society, Sister Mariano volunteered me to lead the song. So I did. However, in the Philippines, before you lead, you have to sing the first line. So that was not fun. Now Sister Mariano wants to volunteer me to sing a musical number in sacrament meeting. Oh I just love her!

The Philippines is beautiful and so is Diffun! It's super mountainous! And when it rains, its not even that hot. Like, I don't even mind it! Haha but yesterday though.. it wasn't raining and we stepped outside and it was so hot!! Sister Mariano's last area was the hottest place in the Philippines and she said that she cried when they would proselyte every day. And she's a native Filipino! hahahahah I'm scared. 

So the shower is freezing! We just use buckets because the shower is too cold. It's not that bad. However, it's bad when the cockroaches come out. I was shaving my legs and then I saw one behind me and I freaked out and then I stepped on it like a thousand times! I hate them!!! They are so scary. Sleeping here isn't bad at all. It's hot but we have fans so I'm fine! Plus, I konk out so fast. Haha Sister Mariano was saying the prayer last night and she had to say amen like three times because I had fallen asleep haha. 

So we had to speak in church yesterday! Not fun! I can't even speak! So I just shared a scripture and my testimony. I don't know if the people understood, but I did know I spoke with the power of the Lord cause it definitely was not me! 

Something that has been hard is that I don't really enjoy proselyting. In fact, I dread going out and teaching. I think the biggest part is the language. I can't say anything and when I do, they don't understand so it's really frustrating. Hopefully it will get better. Dad, did you enjoy proseltying and teaching at first?! 

Okay, well that's about it! Haha mom, if you send anything, please send like mac and cheese, chili, bean soup, and american food. I am dying! Oh and its okay to send packages. My companion gets some from her mom. Also, dont use fedex or ups because they will charge me a lot when they get here. 

I love you all! I have learned so much this week! I could definitely not be doing this without my Heavenly Father! The Spirit is so real here! Be safe! 

Sister Dunn

Taylor - July 21, 2015

Hey Mom and Dad! 

Wow sounds like you had a busy but super fun week this week! Thanks for all the details! I can honestly say my email won't be as long as yours haha! You got to ride Segways, that must have been fun! And oh man the San Diego temple is gorgeous, that's one of my favorites!  Sounds like Spencer is having an awesome time as well going from one trip to the other, he's probably loving it! 

Okay ahora voy a escribir mi email en espanol! Entonces por esta semana tuvimos mas miembros salir con nosotros. Tambien tuvimos muchas oportunidades para ensenar durante el tiempo teniamos que tocar puertas. Haha so ya it was pretty effective and it really helped us out during the week. I'm trying to work on my Spanish as much as possible and I hope I will be able to improve faster! Also, we have been running almost every morning to the church and back which is a total of about 2.3 miles which is awesome! I still have a ton more fat than muscle on my body though haha. 

So our week was great! We had a chance to go out with more members to teach our investigators which was super nice! I felt we did really well teaching this week which really helped us to determine who was willing to change and who was not. You are right, just getting in front of people is the best thing to do. A good analogy for that is having our lines (or I guess nets back in the old days) in the water. As long we are out there with our lines in the water we have the best chance to find  someone. If we don't have our lines in the water it's impossible. 

So with Maria and her husband, they didn't come to church this week so we were kinda sad since they seemed so solid. We visited them later that day and figured out that they felt pressured to go to church and do all these things. We testified that as representatives of Jesus Christ all we do is invite people to come to church and to do the things necessary to be happy. We aren't forcing them in any way. I think they had been studying with jw's and felt forced to do everything to become a member. Truly though it is their agency, it's up to them whether to come to church or not and I think that made them feel better for some reason. So, they committed to come to the Wednesday night activity as well as church this week which is boss! 

We also met Olga last week who is a member but hasn't been to the church here in Florida. She used to go to church in Peru but then she moved here and has been sick. She came to church on Sunday and we visited her yesterday. She also has a daughter in law who used to go to church in Peru with her cousins and other family but hasn't gone here yet. She said she would come to church this Sunday and we are excited to visit them again. The husband isn't as excited about it but we haven't really been able to meet him officially so we'll see if he would like to hear the message of the gospel as well! Although, I'm actually getting transferred so I won't be able to see their progression! So one and done in Hialeah which is crazy! Elder Nielsen is staying and training. They are taking the car away from him this transfer so basically he's having a nervous breakdown in every way possible. Haha I just keep encouraging him and trying to pump him up. He's an awesome missionary, he will do great! So since Im being transferred I dont have the address yet so I will give it to you next pday!  

Anyways, ya so that kinda sums up the week! By the way did I tell you Elder Johns has been in my zone this transfer? He's pretty boss haha he says he regrets not hanging out with me before the mish, haha man I must be a cool kid ;) 

Love ya Mom and Dad thanks for everything!

Elder Dunn

Lindsay - July 20, 2015

Thank you so much for the letters!! I truly needed that counsel! :) so transfers.........  So my trainer Sister Mizell is being transferred!!!! She is going to Sierra Vista!  It's kind of confusing but yeah! So Sister Mizell isn't finishing my training and she is going to Sierra Vista. But I have been asked to drive and take over the area even though I have only been here for 6 weeks!! I am excited! But of course I'm scared out of my mind. When I got the call I literally felt like throwing up. Usually when a new missionary is left by her trainer, the new missionary is prepared to take over the area because the trainer goes home from their mission, so it rarely happens that someone isn't
prepared.... Which is me! So yeah! And Sister Mizell is taking her GPS so I have no idea where I'm going!!! Haha:) my goal is to be positive because I know that I can't do anything without the Lord. It is definitely going to be a challenge, but my new companion is from Hawaii, and everyone says she has a really positive attitude for missionary work so I'm thrilled to have her as a companion!  So I'm excited! So out of all the missionaries in my zone, 5 of them will be staying here. I'm soooooo sad about that! I will truly miss all of them. I'm not even kidding, Sister  Mizell and I had crying breakdowns in church the other day. Even though we have  had our rough patches, she and I have truly loved teaching and serving together. She has told me that she has never cried when a companion left her (or cried in general)  so I must have made an impact! I'm truly going to miss her!  

This week was great! I feel like this letter is going to be a novel so bare with me! :) 
So on Monday I told you last week we went on the hike! That was exhausting! Then on Tuesday, Sister Mizell and I participated in a Missionary work mutual activity. There were three groups of youth and they would rotate doing different stations. We taught a mini lesson on using the basics of Preach My Gospel. It was great, and we had a fun time discussing missionary work with the youth! On Wednesday we had a District meeting. We talked about helping our investigators feel the Spirit. I love district meetings because we all are united as missionaries and we discuss things and strengthen each other as we share our testimonies. Then after the meeting we had a Zone breakout meeting. This is when all of the missionaries that are leaving bare their testimony. It was very powerful and the Spirit was definitely there. Thursday was great! No one seems to be home on Thursdays but we visited 4 less actives!! It was a miracle!!! On Friday we visited a couple of people and then we did weekly planning! I love weekly planning because we focus on every individual we teach and what our goals are for them. On Saturday we had a mini missionary experience. In the West Stake, all those who are getting ready for missions or want to serve a mission go out with the Sisters or Elders and teach with us! I think that it is great to get the youth involved! We received a sister who had gotten her mission call already! She is so excited to go on a mission, and it was amazing to have her go with us and proselyte! She seems very enthusiastic about serving, which is great! 

On Sunday, we went to the Tortolita and Countryside wards. The speakers talked about pioneers and how we can be modern day pioneers. Then in Relief Society we talked about Temples. Sister Mizell and I taught the Restoration to one of our investigators Maryanne. She is so close to being baptized but she still hasn't gained a testimony of the priesthood authority. But it's ok! I truly believe that one day she will discover for herself that this is the true church!! In Sacrament meeting Sister Mizell and I were literally crying! We do not want to leave each other! I feel like I can teach very well with her, and we balance our lessons pretty well! I just hope that it will be like that with my new companion! Well that is my week! I love you all and I am so grateful for you and your examples! I hope you all have a great week!! 

Much love,
Sister Dunn

Holli - July 20, 2015

This week has been pretty good. We did a lot of knocking, trying to find some investigators and that was tough but we found a promising family. We walked up this one street called Mountain and seriously, you are climbing up a mountain, to find a referral but she wasn't home! So we knocked doors all the way down and that was fun. Thank goodness it was downhill. We stopped by a members house at the bottom
of this mountain and she is just the sweetest. She served a mission in Italy and made us laugh with all of her crazy stories!

We were doing lots of service this week and that was insane. A member was having her floors redone so we had to basically cram the contents of her entire house into one bathroom. That took some major packing skills. Our whole district ended up having to help so it was a district bonding moment for sure. After that we ate at KFC and I was
so excited but my poor companion told me "Never again!" - she doesn't eat much junk food.

We went to visit an investigator this week and her mother in law is a member but doesn't speak hardly any English. The investigator (Linda) wasn't there and we saw her mother in law (Ophelia) pulling weeds so we offered to help. She kept saying "No, no!" (She didn't want us to get our dresses dirty) but we persevered! She grew these gorgeous roses so she gave us a cute little bouquet afterwards and hugged and
kissed us - so sweet!

It has rained for 2 days straight here - weird! We biked the first day and got so soaked! (Sister Robinson has lots of pic.'s so we'll get them to you soon :). ) we also taught this guy named Jose who doesn't live in our boundaries - we are a bit concerned that he likes the Sisters more than the message - but he has lots of questions and knows
the Bible front and back so that's good. We are encouraging him to read the Book of Mormon. At the end of he lesson Jose asked if it was ok to hug us as a thank you. I told him no, but we could give him a meaningful fist bump :) that was cool.

All right, ready for the big news? So it was transfer calls this week and we didn't think Sister Robinson would be transferred because she has to finish my training. However, she is being transferred to Azusa which is about 20 minutes away and is going to be the Sister Training Leader over there! So she will be my STL and she is in my zone so I
should see her often. Lots of people in my zone are training... 
Including me!! Haha, kind of jk :) So my new companion will be . . .Sister Duncan!! She was my MTC companion!  So we both have been out six weeks! Holy cow we are going to die! I just barely learned how to ride a  bike and now I'll have to orient her around Claremont and Pomona! I'm just a teensy bit nervous. So technically we are finishing each other's training - this doesn't happen very often but it's kind of cool!

That's about all from here in Claremont. Thank you for your prayers - definitely appreciated and needed! We will be relying on the Lord to train us this week - He knows the area and the people much better than I do but I'm stoked to be with Sister Duncan again. President called Sister Robinson and I on Saturday to tell us and then Sister Duncan
called us later that night and thought Sister Robinson would be her companion until I told her I was. We both freaked out :) Love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Mom: I did get your package this week - thank you so much! 
The m&ms were life savers!! And so was the camera cord :)
I'll try it out today. Loved the pics of you and Christy - super 
awesome! Sounds like you had lots of fun :) Glad the funeral 
went ok and I'm sad Bro. And Sis. Davis are moving :( 
Glad that they're happy!

Dad: Thank you for all that you do for our family! Love you so much :) Glad I could make Grandpa laugh, though he did take me down to Simplot offices one day and I couldn't tell him which way was North and which way was South so not knowing what a graveyard shift is sounds like me.

Spencer: Dang you're having such a fun summer!! I hope EFY was good and you learned something :) Looks like you've been having tons of fun with the cousins! Thank you for the letter - I'm glad you got my letter! I was so worried someone had like stolen it or something! Love ya Spence, and have a great week!

Love you all so much! Thank you for the letters, prayers, pictures and support. Have an amazing week!

Sister Dunn

Alma Court...The Book of Mormon is true!

Happy 4th of July!

Got a little wet riding bikes today!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lindsay - July 13, 2015

Dear Mom,

Sorry I didn't email earlier but we got up at 5:30 in the morning to
go on a hike. I'm not even kidding you, I almost got heat exhaustion!! I brought a lot of water, but I get dehydrated fast so it was tough! We were literally climbing on our hands and knees to get up the mountain of rocks! It was a great view though! One time during the hike, we got off trail and we were literally climbing up so many rocks to get up on the right trail! It isn't paved very good for about 3/4 of the hike so I just followed those that were in front of me:) (the hike is called Sombrero). It took 2 hours to get up and 2 hours to get down. Whew! It was hard, and HOT!!! I'm never going hiking in Arizona again! We were so dead by the end! But it's ok, it was an adventure!!!!

So this week we visited a lot of less actives and we did a lot of
service projects. On Wednesday we had a zone meeting. It was really good, and we had a lot of participation throughout the meeting. Thursday's for us are kind of slow because no one is home but we came in contact with some of them and we have returning appointments this week! On Friday we went to the Blanco's and painted their kitchen! It took a long time but it was fun!! I seriously love our area!! The people are so sweet and I love getting to know all of them! 

Sunday was a great day! We went to many meetings and enjoyed our time learning more about this gospel. I seriously love the Gospel Principles class!! It is so nice to just learn about the basics and strengthen my testimony of the gospel. I love my mission! It is so hard, but I have learned so many things while I have been here: I have learned patience, I have learned how to have true charity towards others, and I have learned that my testimony is so vital to hastening the work of the Lord. I truly believe that when I bear my testimony of this gospel, that is when I feel the Spirit the most. I am so grateful to be a missionary, and to share the light of the gospel with others! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement! I love you all!!!

Much love,
Sister Dunn

Holli - July 13, 2015

Hello everyone!!

It was a good week this week! We dropped like 5 investigators and our teaching pool is more like a kiddie pool but that's ok! Sister
Robinson is determined to go door knocking this week in the wealthier parts of the area and So that's what we'll be doing a lot of - pray for us. We tried a bit of door knocking yesterday and it wasn't too successful but that's ok.

So guess what? I figured out what a graveyard shift was this week. Ok, just think about this logically - graveyard shift. Shouldn't that mean they work in a cemetery? Well that's what I thought until we were talking to a less active family in our ward and he was talking about putting loads in the truck during his graveyard shift and I was like (loads of what? Dead bodies? Dirt for the dead bodies?) Sister
Robinson laughed for like 5 straight minutes when I finally tried to
clarify, and so did the family.

This was like last week I think but Sister Robinson and I were riding our bikes back from a District meeting and we were going up this insane hill and we passed a lemonade stand. We try to say hello to everyone so we kind of gasped out a hello to this couple parked in front of the stand. We finally got to the top of the hill and then
started cruising back down it towards the Zylstras. Sister Robinson
was flying ahead of me but out of the corner of my eye I see this car pulling up beside me so I look over and it's the couple from the
lemonade stand. They are waving to get my attention so I pull to a
stop and glance forward to see that my companion is too far away and is still flying down the hill. Anyways, I must have looked like a dead fish because the couple gave me some money so we could grab a lemonade - I ended up giving it to Sister Zylstra to put in the missionary fund because we aren't suppose to accept money but I didn't know that since my companion had abandoned me . . . We are working on that :)

One last funny story. So the other day we were walking down to an
investigator and we see this lady (Mother Holloway) sitting on this
porch swing outside her house. We go over and ask how she is doing and it turns out that she's locked herself out of her house! I looked through the dirt and miracle of all miracles found a bobby pin! Being the Representatives of Jesus Christ that we were I graciously volunteered to pick the lock to her front door and she accepted the offer :) She had windows but the big ones had screens that we're screwed into the frame so we couldn't get those off. The other windows she had were up pretty high and kind of small - she said she was trying to get a child from the neighborhood to come over but she had left her phone inside so she couldn't get ahold of anyone. Sister Robinson figured she was small enough so we got a chair, wiggled the screen off, and then I stood on the chair while she began lifting herself to get inside. When one leg was through we stopped and said we should probably say a quick prayer so she doesn't die. Anyone driving by would have been so weirded out by this scene. Mother Holloway gave the prayer and it was . . . Interesting. But it worked because Sister Robinson managed to get in the house and unlock the door!

Haha so funny Spanish story (last one, I promise) We have an
investigator named Karina who has the 4 cutest kids and they all speak English but her husband doesn't and she wants them all to go to church together and we're like yes! So we call the Spanish elders to meet us at her house and kind of pass her and her family to them so they can go to the Spanish ward so her husband can actually understand it. It was late last night and my comp. and I were at the house waiting for the Elders and decided to knock. The husband answered the door and we forgot he couldn't speak English until he told us "no ingles" . It was super awkward because we stood outside their door for like 20 minutes waiting for the elders. Karina was asleep so that was no Bueno. We just started saying things like "Libro de Mormon" y "Jesu Cristo" y "Iglesia" y "Leche" - pretty good right? When the elders got there we just pulled out this tiny Jesus puzzle and tried putting it together with the kids on the porch. It was pretty fun.

So we were down near the bottom of area one day and we were on the side of the street, looking at our area book and deciding where we should go next. We were talking about it for like five minutes and when we decided, we got back on our bikes and looked straight ahead and there was this dog staring at us. Talk about creepy! It was in its cage and I think it was a Great Dane (it was huge!) and it had just been staring at us the whole time. Not one bark or growl. Weird!

We had a Potluck in the Park the other night and it was kind of a
small turn out. We had invited pretty much all of our investigators
but none of them showed up. Sad :( we had texted one of our recent
converts to see if she was coming and she asked if it would be over if she started biking up. We told her no! So an hour later we texted her again, wondering where she was! Turns out she had stopped at Walmart to grab a veggie tray and a coconut cream pie. We ran out to the Main Street to flag her down as she was riding up to the park and it was so funny. She is so dedicated. She lives at the bottom of the area and it's about a 5 mile bike ride uphill so she's exhausted, slowly biking up the sidewalk, wavering back and forth with all of the food she has in the basket on her handlebars. We turned to each other and were like, the Lord needs more people on his side like this - she was so determined! Almost everyone had gone home and the food was almost all gone but she came!

I know that when we put Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ first in our lives, above anything else, then we are blessed. They provide the strength needed and the help necessary to overcome trials, deal with temptations and stresses, and ultimately to find true happiness. I'm so thankful for this gospel and the opportunity we have to share it with others who have become burdened down with bad choices, both of their making and others. It's comforting to have this hope in kind of a hopeless world. Thanks mom and dad for all you have taught me! Love you so much!

Taylor - July 13, 2015

Thanks for the letter Dad you didn't go too deep, it was pretty simple and that really helps. I'm just going to do the best I can to serve the Lord. Obviously, I won't be complacent but I won't get down on myself for thinking I'm doing something wrong if we're not having success. If you keep writing the way you are you're going to end up as an apostle or something ;) That's definitely an interesting story from Jordan, I really like it and it kinda puts it into perspective for me. I also really like that quote from Gordon B. Hinckley, it definitely rings true! 

Seems like everyone has been ditching you Dad, you gotta take mom on a nice date night or something one of these days, relax a little ;) I'm glad that boat cover didn't nail someone's car when it flew off, that could've been bad. I'm really sad those trees had to go, are you going to put anything else there or just leave it. Maybe let the grass grow out a little more since it seems to be dwindling in that area ;) Sounds like Chelsea's luggage got lost on the way to the Philippines, hopefully everything will work out with that! Haha. Ya she will definitely have to branch out with the food there a little ;) 

Ok, cool miracle this week.  Even though it was tough at the beginning of the week we endured to the end and found Maria and her husband! We knocked into Maria and her husband and said a prayer. She really felt the spirit and went into a story of how her daughter had gotten into drugs and died on an overdose of heroine at the age of 26. She asked if she would be able to see her daughter again and we said "For Sure!" We testified of the Plan of Salvation and she later said that she wanted to be baptized in this Church! The next day we came back and showed her and her husband the "Because he lives" video and they were touched. They both want to be baptized and they both really wanted to learn more and come to church! Unfortunately the next day Maria got sick and they weren't able to make it but we are seeing them tonight so we are excited to talk with them about the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration! 

We visited Jenny again this week but she's really depressed and not doing so good. She has a lot of pain in her stomach so she's going to go to the doctor to check it out. We really tried to ask inspired questions and help her realize what will be able to make her happy. The visit went pretty well and we hope she comes to church this Sunday! 

Haha oh mom you let Tyson talk you into buying Cutco Knives?! ;) Haha I think that's why he called you up, he knew you would get some ;) Oh well I'm sure you're enjoying the knives! Oh man I heard about Jurassic World it sounds sick, put that on my list of movies I need to watch! Jk! Thanks for the boating pics, the wake looks boss, Spencer is getting pretty good at it, you need to tell him to try a backflip one of these days, he can probably stick it! 

And ya we didn't do much for my year mark but I can't believe it's here. Things are going by way too fast :( Oh and we drive a ford fusion, it's nice but doesn't really get good gas mileage. Anyways love ya Mom and Dad, enjoy your time with Christy Mom! Thanks for the emails! 

Elder Dunn

Friday, July 10, 2015

Chelsea - July 10, 2015

AHHH I'M IN THE PHILIPPINES! Just emailing you real quick to say that I made it! The plane ride was 14 hours long but it actually wasn't that bad and the plane food wasn't horrible! haha. I literally slept for 10 of the 14 hours we were on the plane so it was great! At the LA Airport some guy came up to us and cussed us out for being mormons so that was cool haha. Oh well fun surprise, my luggage is lost! Haha so I am literally living off of Turley's stuff and the stuff I brought in my carry on haha. Supposedly its in Hong Kong. So both my bags and then one of Sister Esplins and then one of Kofes and then both of Siratas were all lost. It took about an hour to report them and we couldn't understand anything haha. 

We get stared at so much here. And some Filipino guys are creepy! haha. We haven't experienced the heat yet since we haven't gone outside during the day but we will today! I can feel the humidity though, ahhh i can't breathe haha. Manila is crazy! It's this big city and walking outside during the night was so cool. 

So I'm freaking out right now because we are going out
proselyting from 2-6. I am going with a missionary who is serving in Manila. And bad news is, is that I'm leading everything. I have to
approach the people, talk to them, get to know them, and invite them! Like I can't even speak Tagalog!!!!! Oh man I almost cried when they told us that. Wish me luck... The food is nast here. For breakfast we had hotdogs and rice and eggs. nast!!! It's been super rainy here and apparently we are going to get drenched out proselyting. And they were like bring an umbrella, and I'm like its in my suitcase which is lost haha Oh well! I went through customs okay so that was good! Also, the Hong Kong airport was so cool! So many Asians! I'll send pictures later if I can figure it out. The computers are kinda different here. I'm not sure when the next time will be when I email, but I love you all! Oh and Kofe says hi

Monday, July 6, 2015

Holli - July 6, 2015

Holli making indoor smore's
Hello everyone!

It's been a pretty good week! David, who is our investigator with a baptismal date was able to come to church yesterday. It was an amazing fast and testimony meeting and David was very touched by it. He stayed for all 3 hours and I think he was kind of overwhelmed by the ward and the Spirit. He is coming to FHE with us tonight so that's good!

The investigator that told us we had glowing eyes (Nathan) left us an hour long voicemail basically rejecting our message. That was interesting. We couldn't help but laugh as we listened because Nathan has just had a pretty hard life and I don't think he liked being called to repentance :)

We had interviews with President on Monday which was fun. They went pretty well. Yesterday was fast Sunday and holy cow I'm spoiled. Brother and Sister Hurtsler feed the missionaries every fast Sunday and they go all out. There was omlets, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and blueberry waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. Holy cow it
was good!

We invited Karina to FHE as well but it's been so crazy with her and her kids. Pray for her!

My watch strap broke this week so I was kind of like, guess that's what  $10 at target gets ya :) don't worry though because Sis. Robinson is a pro. With super glue! We glued the strap back together and then clamped it together all night. The next morning it was good as new! We seem to have a mechanical problem every week ... This week it will be the closet  door in our room (the doorknob broke and the door is shut) and the toilet  (Sis. Robinson got a little feisty with the flush handle and it broke off) so  tons of adventures here in Claremont!

It's going well here in California! The weather is great and we're staying alive and healthy. Thanks so much for the letters mom and dad! Thanks for the updates on the mission calls dad - you're the best! Mom, thanks for all of the pictures - I absolutely love them! I'll try to send you more :)

Spence, sounds like you rocked it up at tennis camp! So proud of you dude! Did my letter come for you yet? Let me know when/if it does!! love you all so much!

Love, Sister Dunn

Lindsay - July 6, 2015

1 month down...... 17 months to go!!!!! Yahoo! It was a slow month because my first area has been really slow, but the experience has taught me to have patience! All of you youth remember this: Every mission isn't going to be perfect! There will be some areas where they progress faster than others! Patience is the key to missionary work!

This week was amazing! On Tuesday we had a Trainer/Trainee Meeting with all the new missionaries! So I got to see all of my MTC roommates! It was amazing! Then the next day we had a district meeting. We talked about testifying and how it can affect those we teach. It was a great meeting and I loved contributing to the discussion. We role played with a couple who were senior missionaries.
They were so awesome and we felt the Spirit strongly! Usually in role plays it is awkward but it felt so natural! 

Thursday's are usually slow. I feel like no one is home on those days! We knocked on 9 doors until we visited someone! On Friday we taught the Ammon family   
(referral) we got from the Bott's. They had been busy so we finally got to teach them! We taught them the Restoration.  I was supposed to invite them to be baptized, but after I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon, I blanked!! I did not know what to say next! So Sister Mizell invited them and they accepted! Sister Mizell and I are so excited! They are such good people, and they were very receptive to the message that we shared! They were truly prepared from the Lord to
hear the gospel! We gave the parents Books of Mormon and they were looking through it and the father saw the  name "Ammon" in it and he said "It's a sign!" They are the best!!

On July 4th, we went to a church breakfast at 7 in the morning! We had a great breakfast, and the Ammon's showed up! (We had invited them). We weekly planned and then we randomly got a call from our Bishop in Tortolita Ward. He said that there was another funeral that they wanted us to speak at! The whole family weren't members, but the caretaker of the woman who passed away was a less active. The minister that was supposed to speak at the funeral bailed, and so the caretaker called the bishop of her Ward and asked if someone could come and speak. Apparently we were referred to speak because the bishop knew that we did a good job at the last funeral. So Sister Mizell gets freaked out by funerals, so I spoke again! This experience was the most spiritual and interesting experience of my life. We went to this house and we awkwardly walked in. No one talked to us so it was awkward at first but I can tell you that I felt the love of God for them. Most of them were smoking E-cigarettes, they were in regular clothes, and they were very casual about the whole funeral. Brother Janes was in the bishopric in the Ward where this family lived, and he knew the caretaker. So Sister Mizell gave a beautiful prayer  and I spoke on the Plan of Salvation. Of course I got emotional, and I just could feel this family's grief and pain. By the end of my talk, most of them were crying. I didn't think I could have influenced  them that much, but I hope that they felt the Spirit. We then took some balloons outside and some people read some poems and then we let go of the balloons. After that event we drove around to the scenic saguaro 
national park and then we went up to a high mountain where you can see  the whole city! We met some elders there and we watched fireworks from there! It was a great night!

On Sunday we went to the Hansen's for dinner  and guess what??? Their son knew Elder Potter!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhh!!!! They were really good friends in the mission and they saw each other a lot. He totally flipped!! Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful week!! I love all of you and I miss you all so much! Thank you to my family, my extended family and my Ward family for making my life so much brighter! Thank you for your prayers and support! :)


Sister Dunn

Sister Mizell and Sister Dunn