Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chelsea - August 24, 2015

Our zone activity at Dariok Hills

The zone! Minus two elders, and Elder Higgins

My fam!!  So the one in the middle is Elder Franzuela, our District Leader.  He goes home tomorrow.

Hello everyone! Wow, what a week!

So... I didn't try balut yet, thank goodness... Haha I am literally so scared. Since transfers are on Wednesday, Sister Mariano is buying me some that day to celebrate the end of my first cycle! So I am trying it in about two days. The other Americans in my zone haven't tried it yet and they've been here for about a year. Haha they are too scared. So, I ate sheep this week. Not a fan...  And like the skin was all attached to it and there were  intestines in there too. Ya it was gross!

Haha so funny story. We were just contacting and we got invited to this house. After we were done with the lesson, nagbigay siya ng merienda sa amin [Chris here…I looked this up and it means “she gave us snacks”  I think Chelsea forgets what language she is using!] and it looked like tea. Haha but we weren't sure but we were both freaking out. So she set it in front of us and we both looked at each other, and then she looked at us. And since we didn't want to offend her we both just closed our eyes and took a sip. Ya.... it was tea. Haha after we walked out of the lesson, we were laughing so hard. Don't worry, we already repented! Haha omg so funny.

Haha literally every time Sister Mariano and I do CLS (language study) we are both just laughing. So she had to pronounce meager to me and she pronounced it meeajer. Hahaha I was laughing so hard. But then right after I pronounced a tagalog word so wrong that she was laughing at me for like five minutes. Oh the joys of language study!

So it's pretty much been raining all week. So we were in the middle of Guribang on Wednesday and it's in the middle of nowhere. And so we were walking and these huge thunderclouds come up and we were like, oh no... haha so it started pouring and the wind was so strong that we couldn't use our umbrellas because they would start to break. So we got soaked! It literally looked like we stepped out of the shower, haha! 

So I pretty much received the best compliment of my life this week. Every once in a while, we teach Tatay Belon. He is about 74 and he had a stroke so its hard to understand him, but he is the cutest thing! I will get a picture with him later hopefully. So I was teaching part of the lesson in Tagalog, and after, he told me that I had better tagalog then Sister Mariano's last companion. And get this, Sister Mariano's companion's LAST area was Diffun so she ended her mission there. HAHA oh man, that sure made me feel good!

So I got about 80 mosquito bites on my legs this week, yes I counted.. haha We even had to stop proselyting because I could barely walk. My shoes were rubbing against them on my feet and they were bleeding and so now I am on a steroid and antibiotic! Super fun!

Transfers are on Wednesday. Sister Mariano and I are still staying in Diffun! But we need another pair of missionaries oh my guli. We have 33 villages we have to get to and we only get to 10! Ahhh its driving me insane. Literally our planners are jam packed.  I will send you a pic!

So we had some really amazing lessons this week. One was with the Carillo family. They are less active and Tatay is addicted to alcohol. But they are really a good family. They just don't go to church, etc. So we were teaching about temples and families. Right as I started testifying, I started BAWLING. like bawling! It was so embarrassing, let me tell you. Haha so in between cries, I was trying to choke out what I wanted to say in such broken Tagalog, but the spirit was so strong. Nanay started crying and tatay was super touched. Right after the lesson, Tatay was talking to us super comfortably which he has never done before. So we really felt like we were able to connect with them! Pero, hinda sila nagsimba... 

Another amazing lesson we taught was last night! A lesson to remember! So there is a family in the ward, the Martinez family. They have a maid who has two kids, Alvin and Rennabeth who are both 14. And then there is another kid always at the house, Elcid, who is also 14. So they came to church yesterday randomly! They also stayed all three hours! And then yesterday, we taught them about the book of mormon and praying to know if it is true. And then Sister Mariano extended the baptism invite and all three said yes super fast. And then I was crying, and Sister Mariano was crying, and everybody was crying. I am just so amazed at these three kids. Three 14 year olds, going to 3 hours of church, starting to pray and loving it and wanting to get baptized. Really, watching them go through this experience has shown me how much everyone needs the gospel in their lives. When our investigators begin to hear about the Restoration and the plan of salvation, etc. its like it fills up a missing piece in their life. So ya... such a strong lesson. And all are super excited to get baptized September 26th!

So that's what happened this week! Sister Mariano and I are doing great! The church is so true and each day I realize more and more my purpose here as a missionary. I love you all! 
Love, Sister Dunn

Literally our planners are jam packed!

These puppies were just born! Oh man I wanted to hold one so bad!

This puppy was so cute!!! And I got to hold him! I dont even care if he is diseased!

This is my favorite meal! Fried bangus! (fish)

Taylor - August 24, 2015

Elder Wilhite, Elder Dunn, Elder Heath
Hey! So ya zone conference was this week and it is different than zone training. Zone training is by the ZL's and Zone conference is by the AP's and President and Sister Richardson. The ZL's are pretty chill, elder kwon and elder mason. I work with them a lot because I'm DL, and they really help me out a lot. Sometimes it's intimidating though because I've never been a DL and sometimes they expect me to know things or do things that I don't really think of, but usually it works out! Oh ya my District Training was on listening to our investigators.  They are disguised as baptismal statistics but like Jeffrey R. Holland said they are real people. We did a pretty good role play as well. The “investigator" would close their eyes and we would start teaching, and they would keep their eyes closed until you addressed what their need was. It was pretty fun! 

So in zone conference they changed the way we do Sunday night accounting to make it more effective. Instead of a lazily choosing the highest KI (Key Indicator) that we got for our strength and our lowest KI for our weakness, it's a little more detailed. Basically we account now on how our area progressed this week compared to last week and then we see what we need to do in our area to achieve our baptismal goal and what is the solution to doing that. As well they focused on being exactly obedient . They weren't saying that people were being completely diso but just little things, like leaving the house on time or updating the area book, or ending lunch on time, stuff like that. Basically just focusing on doing the little things to see big changes and see success. The format of the meeting was 1. Hymn 2. Prayer 3. Our purpose 4. Birthdays 5. Senior couples training 6. AP's training 7. Lunch 8. Sister Richardson's Training 9. President's training 10. Hymn 11. Closing Prayer. President's training was more or less on qualifying for the miracles, being obedient and having that desire to bring souls unto Christ, not just finding someone to teach. Sister Richardson's was on just being diligent and not getting frustrated. There was a missionary that said he was doing everything right, being exactly obedient and working as hard as he could and he wasn't seeing success so he was kinda mad at the Lord. He said he felt like he deserved success. So she said "Well in all reality, we don't deserve anything, in fact we deserve to be punished for our sins and wrong doings, but we are just lucky enough to have a loving Heavenly Father who cares enough for us to send his son Jesus Christ to atone for us." So ya it was a super good training, I learned a lot! And truly I got from the training that this is His work and we need to appreciate that we are a part of it and it truly is a great opportunity. 

To address your question Dad, I am the happiest I think I have ever been. I love the work, the people, and the opportunity to grow. It's definitely hard but I love doing it because I'm serving him. I definitely need his help ALL the time to be able to make it through the day, and when I make it through, I'm happy and when I see other people's happiness from the gospel, that is true joy! Oh and trust me I'm always smiling and laughing, it makes the work faster and easier! Oh and speaking of laughing, my comp had an idea that we should both eat a green chili pepper thing, so we both ate a whole one at the same time. It was pretty spicy but man I think he thought his mouth was on fire haha. It was super funny!

Anyways this week Felicia is going to be baptized as well as we are hoping to set Christian for this week as well! Felicia I mentioned before is the older cuban lady, who actually is jehovah’s witness but now is gonna be Mormon! She's super awesome and with the help of the Lord and the members we have helped her progress. Christian is the Bishop's son from his first marriage that just got here from Germany. He's super cool and he went to the adult session on saturday as well as sang in the choir for the general session of stake conference. We hope to set him with a date tonight! We definitely were able to get a lot of members out with us and see miracles from it. We definitely want to continue to work with the members! 

Anyways thanks for the emails, love you guys!

Elder Dunn

Haha a pair of my destroyed socks ;)

Holli - August 24, 2015

Hello Everyone!!

This week has been pretty great! We were able to teach a lot of different people - still working on the actual investigator part but we are definitely learning how to be better teachers that's for sure!

We met this homeless guy named Marshall the other day. He asked us for $1 for McDonalds but we gave him eternal life instead. Haha, jk, it was the Book of Mormon :) He had a crazy near death experience so he believes in God and everything. We had a good conversation and hopefully he hangs onto that Book of Mormon! Right after Marshall, a
few members of our Ward drove by and asked if we wanted some frozen yogurt and we were like . . . That sounds great. We are seriously so spoiled here in Claremont.

We also went knocking on potential investigators doors and we tried this one girl named Clarissa. Just as we pulled up, her dad walked out the door to grab something from his car so we asked him if Clarissa was home. He told us he would go check. We stood outside the door for a few minutes and then her younger brother appears and he told us she was in the shower. We were like, oh shoot - guess we'll try again
later! Then the youngest brother who was like 3, peeks out from behind his older brother and says, "She's not in the shower!" And then we hear Clarissa telling him to be quiet. Laughing internally, we looked at the older brother and he was like, "He's just a kid, you know." I guess there was a reason Jesus commanded us to become as a little child ☺️

We had Navajo tacos with this one member (the Fosters) - holy smokes they were so good. We had dinner with them and our Zone leaders and it was super fun. They were huge and I had  2 of them, so I think everyone was kind of surprised but they were seriously the best food ever! *just for future reference mom :) haha. We stopped by this less active's house to try to find out why they had become less active but he ended up talking to us for an hour about meat. Yes, meat. Needless to say, Sister Duncan and I are working on our conversation skills and how to get directly to the point, or at least keeping the conversation focused on Jesus Christ.

We knocked this one potential's door the other day (Julie) and it was hilarious. She has this big door with a square peep hole and we talked to her through that peephole for about 20 minutes. I guess we were establishing trust. As we were talking she told us all about some insane dreams she's had about relatives that have passed on. We managed to relate those dreams with Lehi's vision and that was when
she let us in! Power of the scriptures is real! We managed to give her a plan of salvation pamphlet and she told us we could come back which is great! She said the picture on the front of the pamphlet looked exactly like Jesus in her dream. Crazy, right? She also showed us her birdbath for the bees in her backyard. Apparently bees get very thirsty so that was interesting.

So crazy story! A few weeks ago we met this guy named Robert. He was the one who flagged us down on Mountain because we looked like dead fish and he wanted to give us water. We gave him a Book of Mormon and thought we'd never see him again. Well a few weeks after that we were walking up towards Mountain and ran into him again. We were both headed the same direction so we were able to talk with him for awhile. He gave us his number but he told us he had personal issues with God - so he's not super religious but he's pretty nice. Then this past week, during weekly planning, we had planned to go looking for Robert on Thursday but we ended up being super busy. Then Friday night we were walking in this neighborhood and who should we run into but Robert! We talked about church this time - apparently Sunday is his day of rest literally - but we had a good conversation. Hopefully we run into him this week and commit him to do something!

We had to run to the bike shop to get Sister Duncan's bike fixed and we met Eric and Caeser. Eric's roommate had been taught by missionaries before but they moved and left their Book of Mormon so he already had one! That was cool. He loves his Bible study and Jesus Christ and had lots of questions so that was awesome. We also met this guy named Ruben walking across the street. He was having knee problems and asked if we had a moment so we could pray for his knee. We were like . . . Ok. We'll pray for your knee.  But we managed to teach him a bit about the Restoration and give him a Book of Mormon so hopefully he starts reading!

We met this guy named Julio in a park and that was pretty awesome! We were sitting at a table doing some planning and I saw him kind of looking at us with his dog. He eventually stopped a ways a way to let his dog sniff around and then he started moseying over to us. Weird,
right? I waved and complemented his dog and then we started talking for probably 45 minutes. He has LDS friends and has seen the Salt Lake Temple so we invited him to check out the LA Temple's visitors center. He also talked about church and invited us to drop by his house
sometime - don't know how interested he is but we talked a lot about God and the importance of God and keeping His commandments in order for the world to be a better place.

Sister Duncan and I played the duet My Heavenly Father Loves Me in Sacrament Meeting and I guess it was a "like mother like daughter moment” Mom because the same thing that happened to you on Sunday happened to us.  Half way through the song, right at the most dramatic moment, half of our music fell down. We gracefully gathered it up, hoping the Spirit made our silence very profound. We only heard a few snickers from the congregation.

Missy is doing very well! She is trying to start her own landscaping business and wants to call it: The Promised Landscaping. Funny, right?

Well that's about it from Claremont! I've officially been told by 3 people that I look 17 years old 😐 I guess it's a compliment. I'll take it like one at least! The Lord is teaching Sister Duncan and I so much about how to be better teachers, listeners, and servants. We've been studying Christ-like attributes lately and there's so much hope and happiness that come as a result of developing them. I was reading
in Moroni chapter 9 today and this is Mormon's letter to his son Moroni who is serving a mission somewhere. Mormon encourages his son to keep on laboring and working hard but also lets him know of the horrible things going on back home. That must have been so hard for Moroni! He probably knew many of these people who had turned so wicked and were doing terrible things. Despite all of this opposition I love how Mormon ends his letter: (v. 25) My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body into our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.

Holy cow that's powerful and I know that's true. Christ has an
infinite ability to raise us up above all despair, doubt, and fear. I'm so thankful for Him and his sacrifice! Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, Sister Dunn

Lindsay - August 24, 2015

Thank you for your letter today!! I wish I could just call you and talk with you for hours. That would bring me so much comfort. Missionary life is really hard! I love being a missionary and doing the work of the Lord, but I miss you guys!! I just want to Skype with you every week!! haha:) But I know that by making this decision to dedicate my whole time to the Lord, that I will be blessed later on in my life. Plus, I can look forward to spending eternity with my family after this life, so I am grateful for that! 

This week was a great week! We did a lot of knocking on Tuesday which was good for me. I am still in the stage of not being fond of it. But I think most missionaries don't like it either!! :) But I know that the Lord wants to bless us as we are obedient. On Wednesday, we had Zone Conferences! I literally LOVE Zone Conferences!! Ahhhhhh!!! So we were asked to prepare a 3-5 minute talk on one of the recitations: My Purpose, Doctrine and Covenants Section 4, or the Standard of Truth. During the conference, we talked about revelation through prayer, and the power of scripture in lessons. At the end of the conference, President Passey asked me and an elder to talk about the recitation that we chose, our understanding of it, and our application. I chose the Standard of Truth. This is The Standard of Truth: 
"Our missionaries are going forth to different nations.
The standard of truth has been erected;
no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing.
Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine,
armies may assemble, calumny many defame;
but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent,
till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime,
swept every country and sounded in every ear,
till the purposes of God shall be accomplished,
and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."
- The Prophet Joseph Smith

I gave a simple testimony about how this recitation has given me hope for the future, and this mission. I also referred to a scripture in Alma 29:1 where it talks about speaking with "the trump of God", and declaring repentance to others. Of course, I got emotional. I don't know why, but I always get emotional when I talk about the gospel! I don't know if it is genetic, (it probably is), but I feel the Spirit, and when I testify about the gospel, my confidence increases. Sometimes I feel as though it isn't me speaking, but that God is giving me the power and authority to declare and boldly testify of this gospel. I could not do this work without the Lord. I wasn't really stressed to talk during zone conferences. Plus I knew it was coming cause President was eyeing me the whole time before saying my name. Haha:) I actually got up there and turned to President Passey and said, "Thanks President!” 
(with a sarcastic tone). So President said he would call on some of the missionaries to give their talks that they prepared. So we all had to be prepared! 

After Zone Conferences, we went on exchanges!! I went with Sister Grange and Sister Poznanski. And Sister Adams (my MTC roommate) went with Sister Moe-Tufaga. It was so fun! And I know Sister Poznanski's cousins!! Ahhhh!! Mom, do you remember Manon Poznanski?? The girl that attended Girls Camp with Christina Walker? Manon is Sister Poznanski's cousin! How cool is that!?!!!?!!!!! The three of us had a blast together! I really got to practice teaching the missionary lessons! In our area, we mostly work with less actives, but in Sister Grange's area, they have a lot of progressing investigators!! I thought that it would be hard to teach, because I was in a trio, but I am not kidding you, it was so natural, and we all got to say what we wanted to say! The Spirit was present at every lesson that we taught, and I could feel the peace and comfort that was there. We taught an investigator the Plan of Salvation which was good! That lesson is kind of hard for me to teach. Mainly because there are so many details and things to explain! But I know that my simple testimony of the Plan of Salvation is something that I hold dear to my heart, and I strive to share with everyone. 

The next day, we rode our bikes, ( yes, rode our bikes), to a football field to play soccer! It was so fun!! So in Sister Grange's area it is a car area but she loves to ride bikes, and so it is partly a biking area too. So I had to ride a bike in downtown Tucson. It was fun!!! And the seat was really high so I had to jump off my bike at stop lights and hurry up and get back on when the light turned green. I didn't biff it though!!!!! But my behind was sore by the end of the day!

Funny experience of the day: Elder Farnsworth ( a tall and burly) dude totally nailed me to the ground as I was trying to get the ball away from him while we were playing soccer. I bet from a distance it looked like a train obliterating a rag doll. Wow, was that impact shocking!! But I didn't get hurt!!! YES!! 

We had a lesson with a couple named Lexi and Pedro. Lexi is less active, and Pedro is investigating. They are so sweet, and I can tell that they know the church is true. We specifically asked Pedro to say the prayer at the end, and to ask if what we are teaching him is true. After the prayer we sat there and just felt the Spirit. He said that he felt good about it!!! Ahhhhhh! I love spiritual moments!!!! 

At 2 we ended our exchange, and we went to go see a referral that our bishop gave us!! Her name was Julie and she told us that she was a Catholic. She was very open to learning about the gospel. She is really struggling with her faith right now, mainly because she has lost many loved ones in her life. I truly felt her pain and I wanted to help her so bad! I started to cry as I explained to her that I had struggled with my faith many times. I told her that when I  had experienced specific trials in my life, sometimes the pain that I experienced was too hard to bear so I asked God to take my pain away. But I just simply testified that we need to press forward, and that if we ask God for help, he will comfort us and help us through our afflictions. I don't know if she will accept or reject the gospel in the end, but I know that she was touched with us coming over and listening to her. We ended up teaching her about the Restoration, and we gave her a Book of Mormon. We also invited her to read a specific chapter and then to pray and ask if what we were teaching her is true. We have a lesson with her today, and I hope and pray that it goes well! 

On Friday, we took a sister out with us to teach a less active in our area. He was such a sweet man. He served a mission in Iowa, but he has had health problems lately, so he can't come to church a lot. But the sister that went with us was very straightforward and asked if he had been coming to church. So that was great! Because of that great sister and her bold personality, he came to church on Sunday!!! Yes!!!! 

Saturday was such a fun day! We were invited to participate in another mini missionary experience! So in the Stake that they were holding this activity, there weren't enough sisters, so some other sisters from different stakes got invited to be a part of it! We drove to the Tucson Stake Center to meet with the prospective missionaries at 8:30. We had a quick meeting and then we headed home to do personal study and companionship study. The Young Women's President actually went with us since all the girls went with other sisters! So that was amazing! Our investigator Julie had to cancel our appointment with her until Monday, and so we just visited less actives and went knocking! We visited the Blancos, and guess who showed up? Sister Mizell and her companion! She had an appointment in Tucson, so they had to drive all the way from Sierra Vista for that. But she decided to stop by the Blanco's to say hi. So it was awesome to be able to see her again. We talked about Personal Progress and the temple with some of the family members, and we have a returning appointment with Jessica to work on Personal Progress! Also, Nadine (our investigator), wants to work on Personal Progress too! And Sister Deroast, the Young Women’s President got to help Jessica understand Personal Progress, so that was great! 

At the end of the day, we traveled back to the Tucson Stake Center and all shared our experiences. Some of the elders had some interesting tracting stories. haha:) It was awesome to see all of the prospective missionaries smiling from ear to ear! They were so happy! and I could tell that they had a great experience! We took a lot of selfies and pictures, and talked and laughed about our experiences. It was  a great night!  Hey mom, we should do that for our ward!! I bet it would be a great experience for those that are preparing! 

Anyways, sorry for the long letter but I wish you all good luck this week! I love all of you!! Thank you for your prayers, letters and support! 

Sister Dunn

Monday, August 17, 2015

Holli - August 17, 2015

Painting Missy's door

Hello Everyone!

This week I have seen so many small miracles and I've felt the Spirit so much! We are working hard but investigators have been thin on the ground lately. Sister Duncan and I are learning so much, especially how to support and encourage each other. Street contact has been a struggle (I'm not sure if it will ever be easy!) but the Lord is teaching us so much each day. I've just felt this increase of love for the people here in Claremont!

We have a less active family in our Ward and two of the kids (Jazyln and Devin) come to church with another member but the parents and the two older kids never come. We try to teach them every Sunday but usually it's just Jazlyn and the dad - everyone else is sleeping because their work schedules are crazy. We stopped by on Wednesday and everyone but the mom showed up! It was a great lesson - we usually just read a chapter of the Book of Mormon (and everyone is half asleep
by then) but this time we felt prompted to teach them the Restoration and we got some pretty good participation. Great lesson we just need to keep building faith!

We had this Relief Society activity on Thursday night - the Spicy Sisters Salsa Social!! It was tons of fun and we got to talk to the amazing sisters in our Ward plus make our own tortillas and have lots of great salsa.

Our recent convert Missy is so sweet. We had an amazing lesson with her and the Hansens (older couple in the ward who are the most amazing people ever). We read Alma 32 and Missy just has the strongest testimony. She comes from a really rough environment and she has to move out of this house she has been in for 30 years. Despite all of
these trials and everything going on she faithfully attends church, reads her scriptures, and pays her tithing. It took her about a year to actually get baptized but the changes in Missy are absolutely amazing - and the blessings she's received, including her positive outlook, is just a testimony to me that the Lord blesses those who keep His commandments. He doesn't want us to be miserable - that's Satan's job. But the Lord wants us to succeed, to learn from our
trials and mistakes, put our trust and faith in Him, and do what He asks of us. Then the blessings come :)

We painted Missy's door the other day - yes Sister Duncan and I have crazy painting skills just in case you were wondering. The painting job 
looked terrible at first but once it dried it looked much better :)

We ran into two ladies this week who were really interesting. One was named Terry and she had lived next to missionaries for a long time. She was super sweet but told us emphatically that she wasn't interested - yet she talked about Jesus Christ for about ten minutes and how he was her best friend and everything. Kind of made me wonder what she thinks we teach? It's so interesting the misconceptions
people have. 

The other lady was named Donna and we met her trying to contact a HQ referral. She was this referrals neighbor and was out watering her plants. We asked if we could help and she was very abrupt with us. She asked us what we were selling. Of course we said, nothing! What we have is free! Then she asked what church we were missionaries for.
When she found out we were LDS she said, "thanks but I am definitely not interested. Your religion is a false religion. I tried going to your church for a few years - I admired the family structure and the members are really nice  but then when I really got into it, when I really started researching, I found out that it's false.” 

Of course we then asked "Well have you read the Book of Mormon?"

She told us she didn't want to be brainwashed. Heavens to Betsy. If you haven't read the keystone of our religion, with a sincere heart and real intent, how can you claim that our religion is false? 

Well that's about what happened during our week. It's been a testimony building week - I just love those! I was reading a few talks from the most recent general conference and they seemed to address my concerns to a T. The talks were by Elder Christofferson and President Uchtdorf and I encourage everyone to read them! They are entitled: Free Forever, to Act for Themselves and Receiving a Testimony of Light and
Truth. So good!

Love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Love, Sister Dunn

Sister Hansen doctoring my foot

Chelsea - August 17, 2015

CJ's Baptism

Joy's Baptism

Hello Everyone!

Okay so this week has been such a great week! So many ups and downs constantly! 

FOOD: So Sister Mariano got some balut on Tuesday. (Balut is a developing duck embryo that they boil and eat in the shell). I barfed just watching her. The next time you hear from me, I will have already tried it. Oh man, I am literally so scared haha. I have found my favorite fruit here! Its called dragonfruit! So amazing! I sent a picture of it! So I tried tofu this week. Haha it was the nastiest thing I have ever eaten! And then Sister Mariano and I tried santol. Its this fruit that sits in like vinegar. We both almost threw up haha. But, Sister Mariano and I made some chicken curry this week. I have been eating it for days. So far, my favorite thing here! 

LESSONS: Haha okay, so we were visiting a less active and she was so amazed that I was an American and she kept thinking of people who I could get married too, no joke. I would not be surprised if I got kidnapped and forced into an arranged marriage here!

So really sad. So I think I told you about Brian. 15 year old kid, wants a change in his life. Well we visited him on Saturday and he doesn't want to be taught anymore. I have no idea what happened. His Aunt threatened to send him back to his parents in Santiago if he stops taking the lessons. He was bawling when we were over there. So kinda sad. Hopefully it was just a mood swing. We are going to try again next Saturday.

SUCH AN AMAZING MIRACLE WITH THE ENGARAN FAMILY. So I dont know if I told you about them. They are this great family. Every week, they go to church even though they are so poor. But they have so much faith in the Lord. Last Saturday, they still didn't have money to go but Sister engaran prayed for the Lord to provide and soon after, their daughter who works abroad had sent them money. And so about 3 weeks ago, we found out that they couldn't get married. We were devestated because they want to be baptized so bad. And then they have no money, so it was just a really bad situation. Pretty much for about 3 weeks now, we have just been praying and praying for them. And this week, they called their daughter and told her about their marriage, and she is able to send them some money to get married, so they are trying to get married this week! And then baptized like the 29th of August. When they told us that, Sister Mariano and I were almost crying. Such an amazing miracle for them. I'm just hoping it works out. You never know over here in the Philippines!

Oh so, so cute! We were teaching three 14 year olds the restoration yesterday. We then asked one of them, Elcid, to say the prayer. Literally, the cutest boy ever. He looks like a little mouse! So cute! So anyway, he was saying the prayer, and then after he just starts crying. So cute!

BAPTISM: Ahh CJ and JOY got baptized and confirmed! So amazing! Haha even though the baptism didn't start till an hour later than we planned (filipino time) it was so amazing! I cannot describe to you the feeling that I felt as they were baptized. I felt so much love for them and I felt like Heavenly Father was just so happy with them for this decision they made. Kinda sad though.. there was like no one there. The bishop was too busy in the field, the RS President was I have no idea where, and there was just no one from the ward though. So definitely missionary work has been a struggle here because the members really dont work with us. Pero, we had a coordination meeting yesterday and were able to drag a couple of the leaders to it. So its getting better!

RANDOM/FUNNY: So after teaching the Engaran family, we were waiting on the side of the road in Maria Clara waiting for a tricie or van to pick us up. It was dark outside and kinda scary! So this van stops and the guy is waving at us to come in and Im about to walk in and Sister Mariano was like, Sister Dunn, thats not an official van. I then looked at it, and there was no one inside, just those two guys so we had to say hindi like three times before they went away. SO scary!! 

-Haha we have had so many rainstorms this week! We were out proselyting and this rain just starts pouring down. The water was up to my legs and my skirt was so muddy. Haha the rainstorms are crazy here! 

-Hahaha so were in Rizal. And I see this baby cow sitting on the grass. And then i see his mom tied up to a tree so Im like no harm right!  So we go to take a picture with it, and the mom gets super mad and comes right up and we back away. So they are blocking the middle of the road and the mom is so mad. But we had a lesson on the other side! Haha so we had to ask this Filipino girl to lead us across. We walked super slow and when I walked right past the cow, it just stared at me and I was like, I am going to die. Scariest thing ever. Oh and its not just a cow, a cow with really big horns so that it why I was scared haha

-So its pretty much the worst when youre going to the bathroom and a cockroach or a lizard runs right across over your feet. Almost died of a heart attack haha.

-So for service all we do is weed! Every week! Haha it is so exhausting because it is so hot and we dont really have any tools other than machetes and knifes, which I cant really use because I dont know how to! That little girl was such a cutie though! Everyone is like, speak to the children! You can understand them! Well, the little girls cousin who we see once a week, oh my gosh. she is like three years old and speaks a mix of Taglog and ilecauno super fast. I cant understand that! Like what the heck! I can understand adults better! haha

So right as Sister Mariano and I were walking in the chapel yesterday, the bishop was like, sisters you are giving talks today! Almost cried.... So I chose to share 1 Corinthians 10:13. I said that I know Heavenly Father doesnt give us trials that are too hard and that we cant handle. Sometimes, it may feel like we cant do it, but we can. And he has given us so many tools to help us get through those hard times. I then talked about the power of prayer and how it has helped me in my life. I have no idea if they understood anything because I did it in half Tagalog half English. But I thought it went allright! 

So thats about it for this week! There is so much work to be done! Every week, we just a new pool of investigators. It is crazy! But I am really growing a love for this work and the people! INGAT! 

Sister Dunn


Weeding for CSP

Lindsay - August 17, 2015

Tracting in the desert
 Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a great week!! I love and miss all of you!!

Here are some of the highlights from my week! If I told you every detail, this letter would be a novel!! haha:) 

So on Wednesday we had Zone Council! We are supposed to have our district meetings after that, but our district leader and his companion were at the temple. So we moved it to Thursday. Then we tracted out in the blazing sun ( 107 degrees) for an hour!! We didn't have much success but its ok!! That is missionary life! And we keep pressing forward! 

We then went over to a members house for a New Testament discussion with a former investigator Kathy. Sister Richardson is good friends with her and so at one point, she talked about seminary, and Kathy was interested in learning more about it and having the group discussions about the seminary lessons. So we taught the first lesson in the seminary manual. It was about Jesus Christ, and we ended up having a wonderful talk about it! I truly felt the Spirit as we expressed our thoughts, and testimonies. Kathy is very spiritual, and she has a way of saying things that helps you think. I really enjoyed learning from her. 

After that we met with one of our investigators Maryanne. We were planning to talk about the Restoration, but she had some questions about the Plan of Salvation so we taught her more about that! We had a great lesson with her! And we truly felt the spirit. She is such a sweet and tender lady, and I know that she will eventually get baptized! We are going to meet with her again and talk about the Restoration, and resolve any concerns or questions about that. Then we will invite her to be baptized! I am so excited! 

We also decided on Wednesday that we would visit a less active in one of our wards. This lady was engaged to this man, but then he broke it off. So we felt impressed to visit her. When she opened the door, she said that it wasn't a good time, but then she started to talk to us and explained the whole story. We just listened, and then showed her the Mountains to Climb Mormon Message. She was crying by the end of it and said that the message we gave her was just what she needed. She hugged both of us and thanked us. Then we watered her plants:)  After we went to the Evans for dinner, and then we went to Ward Coordination. After that meeting, I suddenly got dizzy and sick, and we left for our apartment. 

On Thursday, we had district meeting! Our district leader, Elder Beckstead involved all of us in the trainings. Each companionship in the district gave a 5-10 minute training on different topics. Sister Moe-Tufaga and I gave a training on the Power of the Holy Ghost. I thought we did a pretty darn good job! :) Then we went to Panda Express for district lunch! (#districtunity!!! heck yeah!!! :) I got the Kung Pao chicken with chow mein. I literally regretted choosing that when I started eating it. It was so spicy and hot!!! I literally could not eat it all!!! 

Then we visited some members who we thought were less active:) haha:) but they weren’t.  But we shared a message with them anyway, and then made an invitation for them to invite others to the gospel. It was good! I got really sick after that meeting. I think it was a combination of the Panda Express meal, dehydration, and stress! So I slept for an hour to recover. But I didn't really get better. But we went to dinner anyway! Then we met with one of our ward missionaries in the Tortolita ward to visit 4 less actives in the area! It was nice to have another member with us. We ended up visiting with only one, but that is still something! We visited with a wonderful family who were so positive and happy. We shared a message with them and we plan to meet with them again! 

On Friday we had lunch with Sister Etzdorf. She took her Ensign magazine and told us, "Maybe we can convert someone at lunch!" haha:) I seriously love her. She is the sweetest lady. Then we went to contact some referrals. While we were driving to go visit one of them, I missed the street so I had to turn around. Me being the clueless person that I am:) , decided to turn around in a sandy part of the side road. Well, to make this long story short, our car sank in the sand. I tried gunning it and reversing, and we got stuck!! Thankfully, (while having a prayer in my heart), 10 seconds later after we got stuck, a tow truck happened to be driving by!!!  While Sister Moe-Tufaga was outside of the car taking selfies, the tow truck guy hooked up a chain to get us out! :)  Good times!!! 

We went to the Blanco's after we contacted some referrals which was awesome! Their family is great! We have two investigators in their family that we are working with. We want to get them to the temple so badly!! We went to the Marchant's for dinner. Their whole family speaks Spanish, but they speak very good English too! They are amazing! Sister Marchant asked if we could come in and help with a Sunday School lesson on teaching the gospel simply. We gladly accepted!! 

On Saturday we went and cleaned the church. It was awesome that we showed up because some of the families coming were out of town. So it was nice to be there and serve! For two hours we went tracting! I am not fond of tracting! Mainly because it isn't very effective, it is discouraging, and I lack confidence! I am definitely working on being more bold (but loving), this transfer, and the following transfers to come! It was really good to get out and talk to many people. Some of them weren't interested, but we had some great conversations with some people, and we have a few potentials!!  On Sunday, we had a very busy day! We went to Countryside Ward Council which was amazing! Then we went to Countryside Ward for the first half of it, and then went to a stewardship meeting for Tortolita ward. We met in the bishop's office, with his counselors and the ward mission leader. We discussed the area, and how we can be more effective in finding more people to teach. It was a very inspiring meeting! 

In Young Womens and Relief Society, we introduced the Lord's Game Plan for our ward mission plan. The Lord's Game Plan is a group text where we send a message to the members of the ward, letting them know who we are working with, what we are teaching them, and to pray for them! That way we can unify members and missionaries in the Lord's work!! It is amazing!!!  In Tortolita ward, we helped Sister Marchant with her Sunday school lesson. One sister would be in charge of one group, and the other would be in charge of the other group. We were given two topics: Eternal Marriage, and Temples/Family History. What we did was we discussed how to simply teach these principles to a non-member. Then we put it into practice by having one group pretend to be non-members by asking questions about the topic, and then we would answer them and vice versa. It was an awesome experience! And the youth of the Tortolita ward are really good at being so simple in their explanations of the gospel! 

After church we went to the Posey's for dinner. They both asked me what we were struggling with about the mission, and I specifically told them about my confidence, and tracting. They are so good at giving advice! I seriously love them! When Sister Posey was giving me advice, she looked directly into my eyes and gave me the most sincere testimony about missionary service! It was amazing! The Posey's have truly helped me in my missionary service. I was really shy with them at first, ( me being a new missionary:) and then once I got to know them, I opened up! So this week has been amazing! I have learned so much from this area, my companion, the leaders in the church, everything! I love Tucson! It is a great place to be (despite the heat:) 
I love all of you!!! I hope you have an awesome week!

Sister Dunn

P-day Sports!

District Lunch!!!!

Taylor - August 17, 2015

Hey! So last district meeting kinda was super short because the ZL's were late and then they did a super long but pretty fun hurricane training. Then this old latin grandma needed help with those ancient machines I think used to read lines for family history or something. So, I just went  quickly over opening your mouth and being excited about the work. This week though I still have to do a district training even with zone conferences but it will be good. For zone conference, they hold them in three different sessions so that they don't have to get the whole mission together. They hold ours in some chapel I can't remember where, I'll figure that out later haha. 

We did have a lot of teaching opportunities this week. We also were doing a lot of finding this week, trying to find those who desired to be baptized, as well we were working with some investigators that seemed really cool. A pattern this week though is that we had a lot of appointments fall through and the investigators we had committed to church weren't the ones that came. 

I realized, one, that we need to make sure we are working with the elect, those who are willing to meet with us/stay in touch with us daily and are willing to come to church. The other thing I realized is that we didn't work a lot with the members this week so we want to do a better job with that. 

We were really diligent this week in trying to see what we needed to work on to improve. The major thing is that truly we need to align our will to the will of the Lord, we need to stay away from getting discouraged because we are on his side, we just need to do all we can and rely on him. Truly the Lord is letting us help him in this work, he is allowing us to grow. We are all so imperfect and weak but when we draw closer to Him and lean on Him, he WILL help us. 

I was thinking about this week and I'm trying to figure out how I can develop Christlike attributes and have success at the same time. We are working our behinds off but for some reason don't see a lot of success. We knock a TON as well which is hard. However, I have realized that most of the baptisms here were from member referrals so we are going to be working with that more! 

Oh, Dad you are exactly right, one of the goals we made this week, actually I challenged my District to do it, is to look for the little miracles, we aren't always going to see huge things happen but if you look for the little things it's easier not to get discouraged and keep doing the work of the Lord. 

Crazy little miracle, so all the people we had committed for church kinda of all canceled so that was super frustrating, and we were both quite frustrated. So, about an hour before church we decided to just go knock doors in a random place. We didn't really know how to approach it because we had never done it before but after 4 doors or so we ran into this lady who had been taught by the missionaries before. Somehow something got messed up so they weren't really able to meet with the missionaries. We invited her to come to church and she said she would try but we got their info. so we can visit them this week. Not a gigantic miracle but a tender mercy of the Lord. 

Sounds like Stake Conference was real good. That's super cool how Temple attendance has skyrocketed! President Monson was definitely inspired on that one! 

Sounds like you guys had a great last couple of days in Island Park, and had a really fun time! Thanks for all the pics mom they're great, I'm doing terrible at taking pics, I'll try better, there's just so many things to do that I forget about taking pics! Love you guys thanks for everything!

Elder Dunn

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lindsay - August 10, 2015

Gilbert Arizona Temple

Attending the Rigby's Sealing

Hey Everyone!! 

I hope you are all doing well! This week was definitely a week of planting seeds! We were able to contact a lot of people on their doorsteps and set returning appointments to come back. On Wednesday we had a zone meeting! We discussed a saying called BLT (Be bold, be loving, and testify of the Savior). We also worked on role plays. I feel like every missionary dislikes role playing! It is always awkward and for me, I always mess up! Plus the people that are the investigators just tell you what you need to work on so I feel like it is a little discouraging. But its ok! I need more practice! So Sister Moe-Tufaga and I are really working on improving ourselves in role playing! 

On Thursday we tried A LOT of people. This week was the first week of school, so in between 2-4 during the day, its hard to catch people at a good time. Thankfully we came in contact with some people and they told us to come back! On Friday, we had interviews with President Passey (SCARY!!) haha! Just kidding. It was great! To be honest, every time I speak with him I literally start bawling. He always has the Spirit with him, and it is so strong! He gives such good advice, and he is also really funny! On Fridays we weekly plan so that was fun! Sister Moe-Tufaga is a great planner, so I am glad that we have effective planning sessions.

So crazy story!!!! We were walking to one of our set appointments with a less active. We saw a family outside by their car just talking. I had a strong feeling that we should talk with them, but I didn't want to act on it because we were going to an appointment. But our appointment ended up not following through so we walked to another less actives apartment. Then Sister Moe-Tufaga blurted out, "I have a feeling that we should talk to that family over there!" It was the same family, and I said, "I had a feeling to talk to them to!" And so Sister Moe-Tufaga said, "Ok, let's go!" We talked with them, and found out that the guy was Catholic, and that he had a girlfriend and a son. We gave them a Book of Mormon, and sneaked in a pass a long card with our number in it! I am so glad that we acted on that prompting. Sister Moe-Tufaga and I have a goal about following promptings. Its called the 5 Second Rule:  When we get a prompting, spit it out before 5 seconds is out! Cause then we can act on it! So we are striving to accomplish that goal! 

On Saturday, we went to a sealing for a couple, the Rigby’s, who are returning members! They are the sweetest, and they have a little boy Aven who is the cutest thing! So my last companion Sister Mizell was invited to the sealing, and we got approval from our mission president to go so she traveled from Sierra Vista! We went to the Gilbert, Arizona temple! It is a beautiful temple! It was my first time attending a sealing! It was an amazing experience! Before the sealing, we went to Café Rio!! (Yes!!!) Then we attended the sealing, took pictures and ate dinner at Joe's BBQ. They home make rootbeer! It was amazing Dad, you would have loved it! So this week was great, and to top it off, I went to the temple! 

The Lord has truly blessed my life here on my mission! He has definitely given me sweet and peaceful feelings in my heart when I have discouraging days. I feel like Heavenly Father and Jesus are pushing me to press forward, and that additional knowledge and blessings will come if I keep persevering! I love this gospel, and I know that it is true! It has blessed my life, and I am so grateful for the foundation that the gospel gives me. I love you all, thank you to the Young Women in the ward who wrote me letters! You have no idea how much impact you have in my life! You girls are amazing friends! I hope you all have a great week!

Sister Dunn

Taylor - August 11, 2015

Hey Family,

So there was only Zone Training this week Zone conference will be on the 18th! Zone Training was pretty good, they talked a lot about promising specific blessings. Basically our goal is to focus on desires and instead of being general and saying "you will be blessed" or "you will feel peace and happiness in your life" even though those things are true we need to make sure they are specific so they have a reason to change, so they have that real desire. It was really good, I learned a lot from it! 

My life (attempting)😉 to be a leader is going good. I definitely have so much to learn though, but I'm doing my best! Yes it's definitely hot and humid, but more or less I'm pretty used to it. Exercise is going good, though Elder Willhite doesn't like to run, haha but we work out pretty hard so that's good, plus we have a bowflex machine in our house which is nice! 

So this week we got more members out with us which helped us out a lot and creating friends/fellow-shippers for our investigators! One of our investigators is going to be out of town until the 16th, but she has already read the first 6 chapters of first Nephi! Her favorite part was 1 Nephi 3:7, she said it really hit her which was super cool! Cindy and Danyo and the other investigators had some event that they had been planning for a while so they couldn't make it to church but the Noche de Hogar(FHE) with them went really well. The issue with Cinday and Danyo is that they aren't married so we will have to work that out. The ward has really friend-shipped them so with some work everything should be good. We also really did our best trying to find those who were ready to receive us. We found a couple cool milagros (contacting someone we had knocked into earlier) that had met the missionaries before but they were teaching her brother and not her. She wasn't able to make it to church but we have a return cita for Tuesday

For a lot of the week though we weren't having too much success. We picked a few spots out and prayed about them during comp study which was one of our goals to improve on. So we went over how we could improve and came up with some good ideas, like changing the door approach, being more personable, just basically have finding people be our focus. Also like you guys have mentioned, just following the spirit and relying on the lord, and praying specifically for those who are ready to make that step of baptism! 

I'm loving this work, there's so much to learn and improve on but that is one of the big reasons I'm out here! I love the Latin people and I definitely have a soft spot for them in my heart! The ward is super boss and missionary minded.  We just have to fire them up to look for missionary opportunities for themselves instead of just feeding the missionaries, haha jk.  I love gaining weight eating rice and beans! Anyways love you guys! Thanks for everything!

Elder Dunn
P.S. maybe pics next week ;) sorry mom