Welcome to the Dunn Family Blog. Nineteen years ago we were blessed with quadruplets (Holli, Lindsay, Chelsea, and Taylor) and two years later one more son (Spencer). Quadruple the fun plus one! We started this blog to share the experiences of our children serving LDS missions!
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!