Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 30, 2013

Hello!

 Well, it's that time again for transfer news. I wish I could say that everything is staying the same but the opposite it happening. Sister Sparhawk is getting a new companion and I'm training a new missionary fresh from the MTC again. I'm also white-washing a family ward. Also, I'm going to be a solo Sister Training Leader! Talk about a change! On Saturday we ended up missing a call from President Jenkins! Biggest mistake ever! Then I got to do the dreaded call back. I could see me training again, but I didn't see the leadership position at all, and I was blindsided with a new ward. The Lord sure is a funny guy! I'm more scared to train this time than I was the first. I'm scared to transition back into "family ward mode." I'm scared that other sisters are going to be looking at me as an example. What if I'm not good enough! Those are just some of my thoughts after getting transfer news. But I humbled myself and turned to God in prayer and told him that I will do whatever is asked of me; no matter how hard it may be or how unqualified I may feel. The Lord and President Jenkins have confidence in me, so I need confidence in myself. Thank goodness for the Atonement! I've received so much strength from it in the past few days and I know I'll need it as this transfer goes on. The strength that I have to go on everyday is not my own, it's the Lord. It's always been him. I don't know what I would do without him. He's my rock and anchor in a constant sea of change. I feel so blessed to have had Sister Sparhawk as my companion. She's a wonderful missionary and my best friend on my mission. Luckily we'll still live in the same apartment complex and we will get to see each other often!

I had a really good Christmas. A member forced us to borrow one of their trees. She even gave us lights and ornaments to decorate it with! This same member also gave us TWO laundry baskets full of presents for me and Sister Sparhawk. I feel so blessed to have been in this ward for 12 weeks. Abe gave us the worlds softest blankets in our favorite colors along with a super sweet letter. He's one of my best friends here in Mesa as well. I'm sure going to miss my little Asian friend! It was really good to see and talk to my family. I can't believe that I haven't seen them for almost 6 months! Time really does fly when you're having fun!

Christmas lights are going to be over tomorrow! I can't believe how fast December has come and gone. I keep praying for miracles! There's been plenty!

Well, besides transfer news, nothing too exciting has happened. After getting really sick I've needed a lot of sleep to be able to recover.

So, there went half the week! Then there was Christmas. I guess the week was pretty mellow so the Lord could prepare me for what he has planned for me :P Also, after sacrament meeting yesterday Bishop Peterson literally PULLED me into a hug. It was the weirdest experience ever. Hope to not have too many of those in the next year!


Anyways! Happy New Year! Hope 2014 ROCKS!

Love, Sister Dunn

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Well, this week didn't go exactly as planned. Nevertheless! It was a
very good week!

Zone Conference was amazing and inspired. The Assistants training
really struck a chord with me. I needed to change the way I worked
with members. I had been feeling that for a long time but I didn't
know how to proceed or what to do. I was making things so much more
complicated than they actually were. The Elder's training was so
simple and I was called to repentance for making working with members
so complicated and hard. I'm working in a YSA! This ward should be
having a lot more success than it is! I'm changing my ways now. After
Zone Conference Sister Sparhawk and I talked for a while about what we
learned and what we could do differently. I have never felt such a
drive to go and work with the members and help them have success in
helping others come to Christ. From that moment on we always
considered who we could take with us when we tried to contact
potential investigators or meet with less actives. Although we weren't
always successful, we tried. I have a feeling that the ward is going
to change if we can involve them more. Also, at the beginning of the
meeting President Jenkins said that this meeting was to comfort the
afflicted or afflict the comfortable. Well, I as definitely afflicted
and got my act put together. I wasn't disobedient or anything like
that but I was getting comfortable with what I was doing (once I get
comfortable with something that is where I get lazy). I was not going
to let myself get that way. I took a good look at my life with a
microscope and saw potential areas that could lead to problems.
Something that I needed to change was my attitude towards things like
planning or studies, etc.. Even though it wasn't bad it could be
better. Right now I feel like I have a good life, but I want a better
one. I hope to keep improving every week. I know it will be hard, but
in the end it will be so worth it.

Well, the first half of the week rocked then came Thursday....... Up
until then I had been feeling fine. That ended as soon as we had
dinner. After dinner I felt like I needed to throw up but I pushed
those feelings away because I thought that was just my mind speaking
because we had eaten something really nasty that should never be made
ever again. So we worked until we got to the late shift at Christmas
Lights. About 20 minutes into it I got this feeling we needed to go
home. I wasn't feeling quite terrible yet but I knew we needed to go
home. We told our shift leaders and went home. Well, to keep this
short I ended up throwing up every 15 minutes for 7 hours. It really
sucked. I didn't have the strength to do anything and I could hardly
keep anything down. But we have some really amazing members. Some came
and stayed with me so Sister Sparhawk could go and teach a lesson or
go to a meeting. Looking back, if we hadn't reached out to the members
earlier in the week I don't think we would have gotten the same kind
of help. What goes around comes around, right? I also got a blessing
from Abe and I swear it made all the difference. I'm still amazing by
the Priesthood and the amazing power it has. A couple hours after he
gave me the blessing I sent him a quick text saying thank you and for
always being worthy of his priesthood. This was his response: "Sister
Dunn, I'm glad I could help. I can tell by the inspiration that I
received the Lord has a careful watch over you. The revelation come
quickly and through it I can feel the love that God has over you. I
think it's because you're so obedient and submissive to him. I hope
you feel better!" This response made my day and made me feel a
thousand times better about myself. For a while I was wondering how
much The Lord trusted me and the ward. This simple text reassured me
that I'm doing ok. This is by no means an excuse to not work hard or
be complacent with where I'm at, but it made me feel better and gave
me a little more confidence.

Kyle got baptized! It really was a miracle! We were able to see him
almost everyday this week <----- MIRACLE! His interview went very
well; he said he even got emotional and he's not a very emotional
person. It's been a wonderful blessing to have taught him and to see
the Lord change him. That power to change that we always talk about is
real. Seeing it in yourself is one thing but to see it in another
person is.... a privilege. His baptism day was an adventure though! I
still wasn't feeling all that well and I was wondering if I could even
go because I was so weak, but the Lord let a miracle happen and I
managed the strength to go. I may have looked like the walking dead
but I made it! This is only part of the adventure though..... So
Sister Sparhawk and I got there 30 minutes early to make sure
everything was in order and that the font was filled. Well, when we
got there the font was not filled and the building was basically
empty. We immediately called Abe and let him know and many phone calls
and miracles happened where we got a key and filled the font. We did
have to start the baptism 20 minutes late because of the set back, but
we got it done and Kyle was baptized. His dad even came, and his dad
is still very against Kyle joining the church but recognizes that this
is something that he loves so he's going to support him. Another
miracle!

Well, that pretty much was my week! Half of it was spent in bed but it
was really good. I've learned a lot and hope to never, ever, ever get
sick on my mission EVER again. Merry Christmas!!!
-Sister Dunn

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013


Greetings!

This week has been so good. There were many miracles (most in unexpected ways) and I feel... Happy. I  haven't felt this happy since before my mission. Actually, I haven't felt this happy ever.

Kyle is set for baptism this Saturday! Our ward mission leader thinks that we should postpone the baptism until after the first of the year, but we've decided that him being baptized this Saturday would be best for him. But we did listen to him and pondered and prayed about what we should do. I spent a lot of time studying and praying personally to know what we should do. I honestly didn't know what we should have done. During our weekly planning session, we took an hour to decide what we should do for him. We said a prayer and we both felt that Heavenly Father was telling us that both of these options, baptizing him on Saturday or postponing, were both good options for him and to make a choice. We went through the pros and cons of both,  and after 45 minutes we both decided that baptizing him would be the best thing. After our decision I've gone back and forth and I've second guessed myself a couple of times, but I have been reassured that this is the right path for Kyle. As we were planning what we still needed to do for him, I saw the hand of the Lord in our planning. This is going to happen for him! He's had so many setbacks because of his dad, but I feel that nothing is going to stop him except if he succumbs to temptation. So his baptism is December 21, 2013 at the chapel next to the mission office at 4:00. It's going to be an awesome baptism! I'm super excited!
Scorpion in our car!!

Ok, this is a crazy experience we had this week. We had a scorpion in our car!! It was on our dashboard and it crawled out of an air vent as we were driving to Christmas lights and it fell off the dashboard as we were driving and I had no idea where it had gone! YUCK! I've never been so scared in my entire life! It's a miracle that we were able to pull over into a neighborhood. We were out of the car before I could put it in park! After we parked, we took a look inside and found it in the vent in the front of the dash. I didn't know how to get it out and I was too scared to try. So we did the logical thing and ran to the closest house for help. No one was home at the first house so we ran to the next closest house. Luckily someone was there and he was a member. Frantic, we told him our situation and he was more than willing to help us. We went to the car and showed him the scorpion. After some thinking, we got it out of the vent. It was a decent sized scorpion. After the traumatic event, our wonderful savior went back home. We didn't even get to ask him his name! But Heavenly Father blessed us with this man. Another miracle for the week!

We got to go to the temple this week! YAY! It rocked! I got to go with half of my mission. It was a really special experience seeing over 100 of the Lord's anointed in the temple. That was a very powerful experience. After the temple trip we had a mission Christmas party! It was so fun! President told us at the end of the activity that it was a present to us. He and Sister Jenkins didn't want us to work for that day to have a happy day. It was the best Christmas present ever! We had a DELICIOUS lunch of steak, greenbeans, potatoes, and green salads with desserts that were so heavenly. Ugh. I would have been happy with the food but we had a lot more awesomeness! We did service projects for local charities in Mesa. What would have taken a good sized group an hour to complete the projects there it took 220 missionaries 20 minutes to complete. It was so awesome to help give back to the community. The family that put this party together then had a performance for us! They played Christmas music using chimes! It was so fun! After their beautiful performance they gave the missionaries a turn! I got to play an F natural in "Hark The Herald Angels Sing." It pretty much rocked my world. After all this fun we had more!!!!!!!!!! Clyde Bawden and Freddie Ashby came and gave the mission a concert of music from "Reflections of Christ." I thought I died and went to Heaven! I've never felt the Spirit so strong before because of music. It was so powerful. Freddie sang my favorite song "Come See The Light'." That song changed my life. Listen to it and find out why! 

Well, that's my week! Little random note: I've been out in the field for 5 months as of today. It weird how fast time flies!

Love, Sister Dunn
 




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 9, 2013

What a week... A very cold week! I've actually really needed some winter clothes down here! Who knew that it would get into the 30s in Mesa Arizona. But I'm still alive! There was also frost on our car! It wasn't a lot but it was there!
A lot has happened in the past week. On Friday I got a blessing of comfort and peace from our Ward Mission Leader Abe. Even though these wonderful miracles were going on, I felt a little alone even though I knew I wasn't! It was just one of those days when I really needed to hear from God. The blessing was exactly what I needed to hear. The blessing was packed full of love from God. Most of the blessing was reassuring me that He is there and is mindful and knows everything that I'm going through. One part of the blessing said that many things may go unnoticed, but He notices them. That meant a lot to me. We go every day to contact potential investigators and less actives and most of the time the door remains unopened. After doing that for a week with little success can be discouraging but hearing that in my blessing reassured me that all the things that I'm doing to help the work progress doesn't go unnoticed. I feel so reassured that God and Jesus Christ are there working right with me and that everything we do has a purpose. I may not understand that purpose but I have to keep going!

Christmas Lights is exhausting but so much fun! It's neat to see people light up as they see the lights and displays! We had a really cool experience this week. We were roaming around the grounds near Joseph and Mary. There was this family walking the opposite direction of us when this older gentleman walked up to us and said he'd like to have the missionaries come and teach him. His name is Toast (aka Anthony) and he said to come during the evenings Wednesday through Friday and to come before Christmas because that is his birthday. It was a crazy experience. He's out of the mission though :( But we got him referred! He's so great and eager to learn. Christmas time is the best time to find people who are prepared!

So a really crazy thing happened during Christmas Lights on the 6th. Sister Sparhawk and I were walking around near the White Nativity Statue when I saw my dentist, Dr. Baugh. It was really strange seeing someone from home here in Mesa. But it was really neat as well!

Kyle is progressing to baptism! Yay! He's still set for the 21st of December. He's doing awesome. He's really trusting us. We taught him the Word of Wisdom the other day and asked him if he struggled with anything and his initial response was no but then he hesitates and said that smoking was something that he had struggled with. He worked in an environment where smoking was the thing to do so he did it but he hasn't had a cigarette in 4 weeks! He and another member are going to clean through his belongings and remove any evidence of tobacco. He said that he trusts us a lot because he told us something that he hasn't told anyone. He's awesome :) We know he has a testimony of Jesus Christ, the  Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. We're praying extra hard that nothing comes up that will have his baptism postponed!

Well, I'm having a wonderful mission despite the cold ;)

Love, Sister Dunn

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

The Lights, light up my soul!


Greetings!

This week has been a whirl wind.

Thanksgiving was so good! We had two dinners. One was at the McAllister's (Brother McAllister is the ward clerk) and the other was at the home of a less active named Kambria. I have never eaten so much food in my entire life! Since we couldn't be out proselyting unless we had an appointment, President gave the missionaries permission to have our own Turkey Bowl! Our zone leaders arranged it all. We got to play touch football and I actually caught the ball 3 whole times and scored twice! That's pretty good considering that I don't like football nor do I know how to play it, but it was fun being with the zone. We always have fun together.

So the people who "gobbled" President and Sister Jenkins door were..... Me, Sister Sparhawk, Sister King, and Sister Willahan! It was so much fun! I've never felt so sneaky in my entire life! It was so fun being able to do something so sweet and nice for them. We also gobbled the mission office :)  (They made turkeys from hand prints and wrote thank you notes on them. They also made two turkeys out of  pumpkins, complete with missionary name tags for Pres. & Sister Jenkins. They taped the handprint turkeys all over the door, put the pumpkin turkeys on the door step, rang the doorbell and ran!)

Christmas Lights is a lot of fun, but it is also physically taxing. We are standing for 2 hours, but it's so worth it to see people's faces light up when they see the lights. It's a really special experience. On the temple grounds we hostess and we welcome people. But we also collect referrals and invite others to come unto Christ. We are doing missionary work, but in a more subtle way that isn't as aggressive as working in our areas.

I had a small miracle happen last night. The place where we had our shift wasn't the most exciting place on the grounds. Actually, it was quite boring. After an hour of not really talking to anyone, I saw this family and I felt inspired to talk with them. I met the Slack family from Woods Cross! They are in the other stake, but they know President Traeden. Their son knows Jamison as well! They're in Jazz Band together! It was a very sweet experience meeting this family. They have a wonderful spirit about them. This family really lifted up my spirits and helped me remember my purpose of being on the temple grounds.

There's so much more that happened this week, but I don't have a lot of time and I still have to write President.


Love, Sister Dunn

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

Greetings!

This week was so good! The more I just dedicate everything I have to
the gospel and the Lord the happier I am. Losing oneself is definitely
a joy beyond comprehension. So I got two big packages today. One was
filled with some things I needed for Christmas lights, like my coat, and
the other one was filled presents for me and Sister Sparhawk. There's
a gift everyday from December 1st to the 25th. I started crying when
we went through the boxes! There was so much thought and love put into
these packages. I feel so blessed to have a family who loves me and my
companion so much. I think my mom did this because she knows how much
I love Christmas and that I would struggle not celebrating it with the
family. So, I guess this is what she came up with! I love her so much!
I also got a letter from my Grandma and Grandpa Cornia that had their
testimonies in them. Their testimonies really touched my heart. It's
really amazing how the Lord gives you exactly what you need exactly
when you need it. I feel so blessed!

Our investigator Kyle didn't make it to church on Sunday :( We were
super sad. But he texted us and said he needed to think some things
through and make sure he really wants to be baptized. We got word
today that he still wants to be baptized! We are praying for him so
much! We hope that he can make the necessary choices so he can be
baptized. Right now he's struggling not working on Sundays. But we
always encourage him. He's also developing a lot of friendships in the
ward and they're helping him also.

We also had a miracle happen this week! There's a less active named
Callie. I met her when I day trained with Sisters Homer and Bolliger
the day I got to Mesa and I knew that I would see her again. As soon
as I got into this ward and found out this is where Callie is, I
literally jumped with excitement. We've been meeting with her and
helping her read the Book of Mormon, pray, and come to church. On
Thursday we went over and this is the first thing she said to us: " I
want to serve a mission." I felt like I couldn't move because I was so
shocked! She's already talked to the stake president in the family
stake. We're going to introduce her to Bishop Peterson and get things
started there. She has some things to work on and she recognizes it
and is already working on those things. She came to church for the
first time in over 4 months. I feel so blessed to be working with her.

Something that I'm doing now is studying a single chapter of Preach
My Gospel every week. So last week I studied chapter one and this week
I'm going to study chapter two. I really loved doing this. I got to understand
Preach My Gospel more and my purpose as well and I get to do all the study
activities! I feel like I'm beginning to understand my role as a
missionary more and my responsibilities as well. My goal this week is
to improve my personal studies which goes right along with what I'm
studying in Preach My Gospel.

I can't believe Christmas is a month away! How time flies when you're
having fun!

Sister Dunn

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hello!

I'm not being transferred! It feels so nice to not move or learn new
names and get used to a new companion. I definitely felt like my work
was not finished here and that there's so much more for me to do here.
Not gonna lie, the past few weeks have been rough. I went through some
serious changes and I realized that it was time for me to become the
consecrated missionary the Lord needs me to be. I went through a lot
of emotional storms because my "natural man" didn't want to let go of
what I thought made me me. But I'm giving all of that up now because
none of that stuff matters! All that matters is me devoting everything
I have to the Lord and the work of salvation. This isn't about me. I
had an idea of what that meant when I came out on my mission but now I
know what it means. I'm grateful for all the experiences I've had in
the past 4 months because they have molded me and shaped me and
prepared me to become the tool that the Lord needs to harvest the
fields. I know I won't be perfect and I'll make mistakes but I will do
everything in my power to devote all my time, energy, and thought to
the Lord.

Besides me changing my life, this week was wonderful! We had Stake
Conference and it was AMAZING. The adult session was my favorite.
President Jenkins and Sister Jenkins came and spoke.... They're so
awesome! That session was all about the Work of Salvation, just like
the rest of the world's. It was awesome! The general authority that
came was Elder Foster from the second quorum of the Seventy. He was
spectacular! But my favorite talk was by President Jenkins. He talked
about a lot of things but the thing that he said that stood out to me
was this: Repentance symbolizes happy endings. What a powerful
statement! Repentance isn't a bad thing. Yes, it is hard but it's a
great thing that brings happiness and joy. Think of a fairy tale
ending. The ending is always happy because the characters had to
experience some hard things  in order to appreciate the happiness.
Repentance is just like that. I'm so grateful that I have an
opportunity to repent daily and change to become more like Heavenly
Father and Jesus Christ. I love the Atonement and I love repenting!

Many wonderful things have happened this week and this transfer. I'm
excited for everything that is going to come. I hope to stay in this
area for a long time. I think now that the big wave of missionaries
has passed we will begin to see people stay in areas for a while. This
mission rocks!

Love, Sister Dunn

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013


Sister Dunn and Sister Sparhawk (at the Mesa Temple by Mary and Joseph)


This week was much better than last week. Even though we had a temple trip and lots of meetings that took away from our proselyting time we got a lot done.
 
We had a really cool experience on Wednesday. We were driving to go to an appointment but we had 15 minutes before we needed to be there. While driving to the area where the appointment was I got a very small prompting to go to this town home complex and try and contact a YSA. I decided it was something that I should act on, asked Sister Sparhawk if she wants to go there, she agreed and we went there. This YSA ended up not being home but there was this woman sitting by herself and she looked so sad and lonely. I got an even smaller prompting to go and talk with her. Sister Sparhawk and I looked at each other and went over to talk with her. Her name is Tessa and she had just lost her job. She was smoking, trying to drown out her sorrows. As we were talking we eventually got to the point where it felt right to talk about the gospel. We taught her about Jesus Christ and testified of the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon. We invited her to learn more and she accepted! She lives in the Assistant's area and we told them about her and hope that miracles happen for her. Running into her and following the promptings of the Spirit was such a miracle. This testifies to me of the amazing things that happen when I follow the small promptings of the Spirit. I know I'm not perfect at it but the more I do it the better I'll become. I'm learning to not expect perfection, only progression. I have faith that the Atonement will help me as I work to overcome this weakness and turn it into one of my strengths.
 
We have a progressing investigator! Yay! I am so happy!  Sister Clemons and Sister Robbins were going to teach him but they thought he would do better in a YSA ward so now we're teaching him. He's been taking the lessons for over a year and really wants to be baptized. But we're worried that he isn't serious about being a member and thinks that baptism is a one time thing and that he doesn't have to do anything afterward. We're also concerned that because he's had so many spiritual experiences that have told him to be baptized that he's just doing it on blind faith instead of having the knowledge of why we need to be baptized and the significance of it. We're making sure he understands and we are teaching him very slowly. He also needs to start reading and praying everyday so we make sure he had something to read and we text him everyday. We set a soft baptism date of December 21 and told him that he needed to work to be ready for this day. I think that made baptism very real and is going to get him to make necessary changes in his life.
 
This week was just better. I did an "attitude adjustment" and reevaluated myself and realized that I do have a lot to learn but I shouldn't expect perfection. I'm expecting too much of myself and as a result I'm not doing to best job I can. I rededicated myself to work on small things that will make a big difference and to always laugh. 
 
I can't believe transfers are next week! Transfers are hard but I will do whatever is asked of me and I will do it with a smile and the world's most positive attitude!
It is so crazy how fast time flies! I can't believe that I've been out for almost 4 months! I'm beginning to understand what it means to lose myself in the work and when I do time just flies by! It's really crazy! I'm so grateful to be here with so many amazing tools to do the Lord's work. I feel so blessed to be on Facebook and to have an iPad to help. The Mesa Mission is the 7th mission in the world to receive iPads! How cool is that! It's really neat. 
 
Life is really good here. The weather doesn't go above 95 and all the snow birds have arrived! It's super fun!

Love, Sister Dunn

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Hello!

What a week! Nuff' said!

We saw a lot of less-actives this week and members this week. We had 16 lessons that we set up on our own or had when we just stopped by to see someone. Even though our key indicators don't show it, we're having success in our area. Facebook is amazing! I'm friends with my ward and I can see what is going on in their lives. I feel like I'm becoming a member of the Highgroves YSA ward :)
 
We might a have a new convert coming to our ward. Her name is Alexandra Hawn and she was taught by Elders Parker and Despain. She lives in the Countryside Park YSA ward but was coming to church with her aunt in the Kensington ward and was baptized into the Kensington ward on Saturday. She might move in with her aunt so she'll be in our ward. Not gonna lie.... I really want her to move and come to our ward. This ward is having a hard time thinking about doing missionary work and I think having a recent convert of 7 days in the ward will really help.
 
We really need to find an investigator! This ward needs a baptism and I can feel that we need to find one but it's harder to find them in the YSA. Brittney and Scott aren't interested (right now) so what we're going to do this week is meet ALL of our former investigators and ask if they're interested in learning. If they are then hooray for us but if they're not we will ask for referrals. Going through the Area Book I can feel that there's someone in there that's ready to receive the restored gospel. 
 
We had an awesome training just for sisters on Thursday and I loved it! It was nice to have concerns that only sisters have addressed. I know what I need to improve on (wardrobe, diet, exercise, etc.) and I know that if I diligently work on this, I will be happier, healthier, and I'll be able to work longer and harder. I'm going to try even harder to be more exactly obedient. It will be hard but the rewards will be priceless.
 
I have a lot that I want to work on to change or to improve and I'm working on not overwhelming myself with everything that I want to do. I'm so grateful that I have the world's best companion. I feel like I can share everything with her and she supports me in all that I set out do. I also know that Heavenly Father is right there as well cheering me on and extending His arm for me to grab hold of.

I love the Gospel :)

Love, Sister Dunn

P.S. Rumor is we might be getting iPads this week or the following! YAY!

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013


My nerdy side was fed. I died and went to heaven when I saw this.

What a week! I can't believe it's Monday again. Where does the time fly?? This week, to me, has been stellar! We've been meeting with a lot of members and teaching them and sharing messages and extending commitments that will help them exercise their faith and much more!

 We had an amazing thing happen to us this week! We were going through a list of YSA, whose records are not in the YSA ward, trying to contact them and find out where they are in their life. We were going to go and see a brother and sister, Jose and Maria, but they didn't live there anymore. But there is an engaged couple who lives there! We talked to one, Sean, and taught him about Jesus Christ and a little about our church. He said we could come back!! YAY!! Sister Sparhawk tried to give him a Book of Mormon before we left but he wouldn't take it, but he did say that we could give it to his fiance. His fiance's name is Bethany. It definitely was a miracle from the Lord because we were putting ourselves out there, working hard, and talking to everyone. We did go back when we said we would but they weren't there :( Sad. But we were walking back to our car when we saw Elder Rountree and Elder Van Noy talking to someone. I thought that maybe the lady they are talking to would know her neighbors, Sean and Bethany, so we went and talked with her! When we introduced ourselves she asked if we were there to talk about her son Zed Rodriguez. Just then I remembered Bishop Peterson talking about having us find a less-active named Zed Rodriguez. We just found his mom and his mom wants him to come back to church! What a miracle! We've had a lot more experiences like this one but there's too many to write in a short letter. :)
 
We got in contact with a lot of less-actives this week as well. We're going to start teaching them the lessons. We had a really special experience this week with the mother of one of our less-actives. We went to his house trying to contact him and set up a time when we could come and teach him. He wasn't home but his mom was and she invited us to come in. We did and started talking about how her son became less-active and we started talking about enduring and having faith and hope. While she was speaking, 2 Nephi 31:20 came into my mind immediately and I knew I had to share it with her... and I did. After I shared the scripture and shared my testimony of having faith she had tears in her eyes. I could tell that she was so thankful that we came and shared the gospel with her. The next day we went back to see her son (who wasn't there for an appointment we set up) and she answered the door and was so happy to see us. Before we left to go and contact another person she gave us a thank you note and started crying because she was so thankful for our visit the previous night. We read the note and started crying ourselves. She wrote that we were an answer to many prayers and that we could never imagine the impact that we just had in her life. I feel so humbled!! Small miracles like this make going on a mission worthwhile. I have never had the experience of being an answer to someone's prayers before; it's definitely a humbling and fuzzy feeling. 
 
I'm in an awesome mission choir! Sister Beckstrand (the Vistitors' Center director) invited Sister Sparhawk and I to come and sing in a choir that will perform for Christmas lights. It's amazing! This was an invite only choir!! I really missed singing in a choir. 
 
I can't say how thankful I am to have Sister Sparhawk as my companion. She is so wonderful and I learn from her every single day. She pushes me to be the best trainer I can be. I pray for her all the time and I study just for her as well. I worry about her so much!

 
-Sister Dunn

 

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Greetings!

I love this transfer! I have an amazing companion! Sister Sparhawk is from Boise, Idaho and is as fresh from the MTC as you can get. She is wonderful and is absorbing everything like a sponge! I've been working really hard to get to know her and really know who she is. That's one thing I felt like my other companions didn't really do. She has an amazing spirit and loves to work (what an amazing quality to have!). During lunch, evenings, and when we're driving we're asking each other questions; it's really awesome! I'm trying to see where her limits are so I don't push her to her breaking point. She's an amazing worker and is just..... awesome! :) I'm definitely making 12 Week a higher priority than ever before along with practices! I sure do not like practices but they're wonderful and love them at the same time! Being a trainer is a huge responsibility and I'm not taking it lightly. I need to set the example that she will remember forever. No pressure right? ;) She's definitely my number one investigator and I'm always thinking about her and asking Heavenly Father what she needs to grow and improve and become the wonderful and powerful missionary that I see her becoming. I really see her as someone who is confident and goes out of her way to help others and share the gospel with anyone she comes in contact with. I'm going to work my tail off to help her become the daughter of God I see her becoming.
 
White-washing is really hard. We currently don't have any investigators, 2 new/other investigators that we have not been able to contact, and 4 referrals. We work with less-actives a lot but they're never home! It's hard trying to fill our time with activities that will use the Lord's time wisely but I have so much hope for this area! The other day we got a referral (his name is Seth) from a member and the feeling I got when she started telling us about him was unforgettable! I can feel that miracles are going to happen in this ward and there are going to be baptisms! The members are absolutely fantastic and are so willing to help and to go out with us when we try and contact potentials and visit less-actives. I really love this ward. It's really amazing how much the members will go out of their way to help the Work of Salvation. It's so wonderful!
 
One activity that we're doing is called "Operation Noah." We go out to everyone and give them a proselyting copy of the Book of Mormon, a marking guide created by a member, and a mormon.org card. We invite them to mark the Book of Mormon, write their testimony on the front page, and pray to Heavenly Father and ask who they should give it to. It's a really neat thing! We've done it with a few members already and when we were speaking they received revelation as to who they need to give it to. We give them a week then we follow up with them to see if they had done it or not. If they didn't do it we recommit them and follow up a week later. We're giving out a lot of these and we're following up with those who received this wonderful challenge from Sisters Esmond and Hillam. Miracles are going to happen from this!
 
We're also going to start working with the YSA Representatives from the home wards in the stake to go and "rescue" those whose records are not in the YSA ward. I feel really strongly that we'll be able to find those individuals and help them come to the ward and that we'll be using the Lord's time wisely.
 
I'm doing great! I feel a healthy level of stress; a level that motivates me and pushes me to work to my very best and more! I've set a goal for this transfer! Last transfer it was giving meaningful commitments that will help others exercise their faith in  the Savior and I think I accomplished this goal! This transfer my goal is asking inspired questions! I definitely feel that this is something I really need to work on. I know that with the help of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ I can become a better missionary and I can accomplish anything that I set out to do.

Love, Sister Dunn
 
P.S.  Believe it or not I'm getting cold! My blood has really thinned out and 60 degrees is freezing! I cannot wait for my blood to thicken again so I can really enjoy the cold! But at least it doesn't go above 100 degrees; I'm thankful for that!
 
I'm getting Facebook training tomorrow! So don't be surprised when you see me logged on! I have to hide EVERYTHING (old posts, pictures, everything) but I will be on there! I can only use it for proselyting purposes so no chats about how I'm doing. But if you have people for me to teach online let me know! I'm really excited to be on Facebook!

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Hello!

If I had to describe this week in one word it would be refocus. We are in a trio until the end of the transfer! I'm so grateful Sister Sacher joined us this week. I was devastated when Sister Nikitina ( her companion) had to go home, but I really needed Sister Sacher. I had been really stressed out Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. It came to a point where I was crying everyday and I couldn't think of an explanation as to why I was feeling the way I was. I knew I was using the Atonement and asking for help from Heavenly Father but I still felt hopeless. Then Sister Sacher joined and she had fun! I realized that I was not relieving my stress at all. I was just working and working and not taking care of my emotional needs. I learned a valuable lesson this week on the importance of taking care of yourself before you are able to take care of others.  This is something that I'm going to take into next transfer. 
 
I got transfer news!!! *drum roll* I'M TRAINING! I know. So cool! President Jenkins called Saturday afternoon and asked if I would be willing to do it. I humbly accepted the assignment. I just want to express how humbled and honored I feel to be called as a trainer. I was reading in the Handbook under "Missionary Leadership" and began to recognize how much I've grown in the past 12 weeks. I know how I want to train and it is by example. I'm a person of few words so I'm going to teach by my actions. I know that the Lord has called me to do this and He knows I'm capable of doing it. And I know that the Spirit will tell me the words I need to say; I just need to always be ready to open my mouth and take Elder Ballard's call to repentance and speak! I know I have a lot to learn and skills and attributes to develop but I know the Lord is right there with His arms extended. All I have to do is reach up and grab on tight!
 
Jesus is doing fantastic! He came to both sessions of General Conference on Sunday and loved them! He is so eager to learn and grow! We taught him the Law of Chastity and he is keeping it; which is really exciting! He is such an example to his family. His brothers (who ridiculed him for investigating the church) are more open and nice to him. If they have questions, Jesus answers them and he can see that the Spirit is touching their hearts. It's really amazing!
 
Since we now have four wards this week, we didn't have a lot of lessons in Northpoint and Estate Groves wards. But we have had a lot of lessons with members teaching them the five lessons. It's been a great way to get to know the member in the wards.
 
General Conference was absolutely amazing! I loved Elder McConkie's talk. I felt like he was talking directly to me. It was exactly what I needed. And Elder Ballard's talk was amazing. I'm going to follow up on his commitment! Can't wait to hear about the miracles that are going to happen! I noticed that this conference was one big call to repentance. Having a lot of talks be about missionary work is making me realize that this work is hastening faster than I can imagine. I know the Savior is coming soon. We all need to see this and act in faith that we will be able to give everyone the opportunity to accept the gospel. I know that the gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is at the head of it and will be here on earth to run it again! I can't wait!!

Love, Sister Dunn

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

Hello again!

This past week has been a week that I have used and appreciated the Atonement like I've never done before. 

This week was a hard week. We weren't getting as many lessons and lessons that we had planned with investigators, less-actives, and members were falling through and we were knocking on a lot of doors that remained unanswered. It was discouraging to have to keep walking away without sharing something. We did leave mormon.org cards with our names and numbers! This really brought me down. I felt like I wasn't as aware of the Spirit as I could have been and I worried too much about the little things and what I felt like I wasn't doing correctly or at all. I was focused on me and that ruined me this week!

We had exchanges this week with Sister Brownell. We didn't get to spend a lot of time working with her because of the temple (which was absolutely amazing! I feel so blessed to have a temple so close that I have an opportunity to go once a transfer), but I learned a lot from her! As we talked, something that I wanted to work on was taking the lead. Taking the lead is so hard for me because my personality tells me to sit back and just listen! But I wanted to overcome that and grow. So that's what I did! I changed my attitude, overcame my fear, and took the lead all with the help of Jesus Christ. Without him I wouldn't have been able to do what I did this week. After Zone Conference, my zeal and fire for my mission was kindled again and my desire to have Jesus Christ in my life grew immensely! I know I have a lot to work on and it's easy for me to beat myself up for all of my short-comings, but I know it doesn't do me any good and I know it's something that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do not want me to do. I know they're proud of me and the only thing they expect me to do is not be perfect but keep progressing. I don't know why I got to this low point but I'm glad I did. I needed to learn this lesson and recognize that I need my Savior more than ever. I wouldn't have been able to learn this without my companion! She is amazing and is a wonderful example of what a true disciple of Jesus Christ looks and acts like. She sees what I can become and tries her hardest everyday to help me progress towards that goal. She is really amazing and I'm so grateful to have her in my life. I've learned so much from her in the past 4-1/2 weeks than I've learned ever! She pushes me to get out of my comfort zone and gives me wonderful words of encouragement that help me strive to do my very best. I love her!

Since we don't have a lot of investigators we are teaching the members and less-actives. We are really starting to focus on them and helping them strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ. We've asked our ward mission leaders to help us set up appointments with members and less-actives. We're trying to have dinners with less-actives, but they usually fall through. But at least we showed them that we want to meet them! We were successful when we were invited!
 
Jesus is doing great! He shared his testimony on Sunday and we had a wonderful lesson on the Plan of Salvation at the Knight's home Saturday night. We heard more of how he came to the church and how he came to know it is true. He is such an amazing young man and he's so humble too! He's still on track for his baptism date on November 2, 2013. I feel really blessed to be teaching him right now.
 
Sister Beckford hasn't been progressing. She's cancelled our appointments and hasn't asked the specific question "is the Book of Mormon true?" yet. I was beginning to think we should drop her soon but on Sunday we were talking to a member who takes two of her boys to church and she said that Sister Beckford and her daughter Tia were going to go to the General Relief Society Broadcast on Saturday but got the wrong address. She also said she was dressed and ready to go to church but then an emergency came up and she couldn't go. This is huge! This is the closest we've ever gotten her to coming to church! I'm sad that I doubted her. We still need to follow up on reading and praying, but she's making a huge effort to come to church! Her two boys who come are going to be an amazing example for her and they're going to also be a source of strength for her as well. 
 
I've had a good week. I've learned a lot and I've been humbled. I feel like the story of the Provo temple that was told at Zone Conference -- I feel like I've been burned and had my interior completely removed, but now the Savior can start working on me to build me into a beautiful, sacred temple.
 
Zone Conference was absolutely amazing! It changed my life! The theme for the conference was the Atonement. I played the hymns and one of the songs I chose, "Master the Tempest is Raging," pretty much summed up the conference. We are living in a world where the waves of life are crashing all around and we all are scared for the turmoils that are happening. But as we turn to the Savior and ask for help he will give it! Matthew 14: 22-33 is where the story happens; I encourage you to read it. We have life all around us and we see so many people, but as we take the time to recognize the Savior in our lives we can have the calm and peace we all desire! I felt like Peter when he started to walk on the water and let fear get the best of him. He began to sink but the Savior was right there to grab hold of him and helped him out of the water and they walked back to shore together. I hadn't been walking by faith. Rather, I was letting my fear of man get in the way of my ability to share the gospel with everyone. This Zone Conference on the Atonement helped me rekindle my fire for the gospel and my love for Jesus Christ has never been stronger. Everyday I make an effort to study him. I want to get to know him and who he is so I can try my hardest everyday to become like him. I've been studying "Jesus Christ" in the Topical Guide. Right now I just finished Jesus Christ, Appearances, Antemortal. It's amazing. I cannot even begin to write what I've learned in studying him. So do it for yourself so you can learn who he is and begin to strengthen your relationship with him and God. 
 
I love President and Sister Jenkins so much! I look up to them in everything! So after each meeting, we have what we call 10% which is dedicating 10% of the meeting to things that we can use after our mission. We had talked about education and how important it is to get as much as possible after our missions. It was great information that President Jenkins shared. Then cute Sister Jenkins got up and her ten percent was making sure your garbage disposal is on the correct side. We all got a good laugh out of that one. She is just the cutest thing ever!
 
I loved the General Relief Society Broadcast! I got to go and watch it at the Citrus Heights Stake Center and I was blown away. All I can say is I have a new found and deep appreciation for keeping my covenants and promises I've made with the Lord. After going to the temple on Tuesday, I have this new drive to live and remember my covenants as much as I can until I can go again and remember something more and get renewed strength to keep going.
 
So... Some super fun stuff now! So you know Elder Cook? Like, the Apostle Elder Cook?? Well, his daughter lives in Northpoint ward. So Cool!! Whenever I give her a hug I feel like I'm hugging her dad. She is just the greatest woman! She's the Young Women's President and is so cute and fun. We had a lesson at her house Saturday night with Jesus. She also has a Steinway & Sons piano. I about died when she said I could play it on P-days. We won't be able to go and play today, but we will definitely next Monday. I'm so excited!!!!!
 
Another random fact! I'm been keeping count and in the past almost 11 weeks I've gotten a total of 70 mosquito bites! Yay! These bugs are vicious here! They still bite me even when I spray myself with repellent. Gotta love bugs! I also saw my first scorpion yesterday. They are absolutely disgusting and I never want to see one again!

Love, Sister Dunn

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 23, 2013

Hello again!

We've been busy this week! So, Jesus got permission from his parents to be baptized! YAY!! That's a miracle because his parents are very Catholic and were not open to him becoming a member of the church. We've set a date of November 2. He is absorbing the gospel like a sponge and is growing stronger every time we meet with him. We have some work do to with the Law of Chastity, but I have faith that he can commit to living it and that he will find strength in Jesus Christ. 

We had an interesting teaching opportunity this weekend. On Friday, the Davis family in Estate Groves had a friend, Jason, who was coming from Texas to visit and he wanted to have the lessons while here. So, they set up the time and place (President Gulbranden's home) and we had lessons! President Gulbrandsen just returned from Argentina serving as mission president and he LOVES teaching the gospel. He loves it so much he practically taught the first lesson by himself. Sister Clemons and I did get some words in, but he extended all the commitments and invited him to be baptized. Afterward we were evaluating the lesson, trying to be positive because we really wanted to teach Jason! As we were sitting in the car I had made the comment that we were like witnesses to this lesson. Then Sister Clemons exclaims that we should be honored to have been witnesses to such an amazing lesson! And she was right! We were so prideful because we wanted to do everything. But we were humbled because Jason still felt the Spirit and began to have feelings that were nudging him in the right direction. The same thing happened on Sunday. We learned a lot and we are going to apply some of the things President Gulbrandsen did because they're valuable and effective. We're really going to start following up on commitments that we extend including every member we've had a lesson with. Jason is back in Texas now and the missionaries down there are aware of him and are going to continue what was started here.

Our other investigator in Estate Groves is Sister Beckford. She's slowly progressing, but she reads the Book of Mormon and prays. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and I invited her to be baptized! I've never done that before and that was something we did not plan on doing. During the lesson, the Spirit kept prompting me to talk about baptism and that's what I did! She was surprised by the invitation. She has a solid foundation in prayer and knows she can receive answers to prayers. So we prayed with her and helped her recognize the answers she was getting through thoughts and feelings. She felt peaceful and happy after praying and we are praying that she'll recognize the answer to her prayers when they come. She also came to the conclusion that she needs to say prayers specifically about the Book of Mormon and baptism and not have them be combined with everything else she prays about. We are making daily contact with her and we're excited to hear about her experience!

I've learned a lot this week and I've done some things that I've never done before. I was really down this week and I could not figure out why I was feeling the way I was and nothing seemed to be working. Members were being too missionary minded and made teaching/dinner appointments absolutely miserable. I felt really lost after one dinner where a member took control of a golden teaching opportunity. The member kept saying "these girls know a lot about this stuff" but the non-member said "I'd rather hear this stuff from you..." Yeah, that was a blow. I felt like I was in limbo after that for the next 2-3 days and I was having a hard time working and being diligent. But reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and talking with Sister Clemons and working through whatever was happening worked! After getting out of this funk I have never been so happy and I have never felt the Spirit so present in my life before! I've experienced wonderful miracles the past 3 days and I'm humbled because I know that without the Atonement, I wouldn't have been able to get through that difficult time. I know that no matter how the work gets done, the Lord makes sure the work gets done; even if we're just witnesses!

Love, Sister Dunn
Sis. Clemons, Sis. Foster, Sis. Dunn

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Hello!

Life has been absolutely crazy the past two weeks. This transfer has been amazing. It's challenging but amazing.

Right now we only have a few investigators. Jesus is the best. He's so prepared and is so hungry to learn the gospel. Every time we teach him he just gets it and asks questions of the soul. He's been through a lot in the past three months and has found peace and joy in the gospel. We're working on setting a baptism date but his family is not supportive of that. They can accept him taking lessons and learning about the church but will not be ok with him being baptized. We're praying really hard to have the hearts of his family be softened. He just glows whenever he talks about the gospel and bears his testimony. I'm humble to be teaching him!

Our other investigator is Carolyn Beckford. She's an older woman who has four adopted sons who are 10, 11, 15, and 16. She's had a lot of contact with missionaries in the past and knows what we teach but doesn't know and feel that it's true. We've gotten to a point where all we can do is see her and testify. She knows she needs to take action and pray with real intent for an answer but she doesn't have the desire to do that. Her two youngest boys are amazing. They're involved in scouts and come to church every week with a member family and absolutely love church and what they learn. We're praying a lot for their family and will continue to work with them and teach them. It's really up to them if they want to continue investigating the church. 

I've been having a lot of back pain lately and it came to a point where I was going to physical therapy to help with pain. I got a blessing from the Elders in our zone who live in the same apartment complex we do. Every time I get a blessing I am amazed at these younger men who act on behalf of God. The priesthood is really amazing and I'm grateful that I can feel the power of the priesthood. We had a lesson on the priesthood in Relief Society in Northpoint ward and the teacher used a lamp to describe the priesthood. The outlet was the power of god and the cord was the priesthood holder. The lamp was the ordinance (whether it is baptism, blessings, or the sacrament) and the light bulb was the power or blessings we experience and can see. We all are given the ability to experience the power of the priesthood but only the worthy can receive the authority to administer that power. I'm grateful to have the power and authority of God here on the earth again to administer ordinances needed for salvation and exaltation.

Love, Sister Dunn

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013

Hello!

This week has been a week of new things! First off, my transfer went great! I love my new companion Sister Clemons. She is so dedicated to the work and does everything she can to work long and hard to serve the people in our area. We serve in the Citrus Heights Stake and we work with Northpoint and Estate Groves wards. These wards are awesome and the members are very active and many are missionary minded and there's like 20 families who have missionaries out serving! This area is crazy! There's a lot of work to be done here.

Right now we don't have any investigators and it's hard determining where we need to go. We are trying to gain the trust of the members to let us go and visit their referrals. Many members give us referrals but tell us not to go over until they've talked to them. We want to let them know that we can be trusted and we can go together to see their friends. We want them to exercise their faith in us and know that the Lord will make something happen. 

We do teach a lot of members though! One of our focuses is to help everyone go to the temple and receive exalting ordinances and to remember them. So we teach members and help them come closer to Christ. And by being in their homes, we hope that they will want and have a desire to give us referrals. We're exercising our faith a lot right now. But this month's theme is also finding with FAITH. This is going to be a great month to find people to teach.

We taught part of a lesson in Relief Society in Northpoint about what we can do to help the work progress in the ward. We talked a lot about faith and being a friend first. We used the story in John 21 where Peter and two apostles were fishing after the Savior's ascension to heaven and were having no success. The Lord happened to be on the shore and instructed the men to put the nets on the other side of the boat. They did as they were told and got so many fish the boats began to sink! It was then that Peter realized that it was the Savior and literally swam to the shore to greet him. When everyone arrived there was a fire there and the Savior provided a meal for his disciples before he began teaching them. There's a power lesson taught here. I learned that becoming a friend is so important when we want to introduce people to the gospel. Friendships are one of the things we take with us to the next life. If we establish a friendship first, then sharing the gospel becomes more natural because we want our friends to know about what makes us happy! I think the sisters learned that too and I can't wait to see what happens!

So the Saturday before I got here Northpoint had a baptism. A 66 year old man named Harry joined the church. Sister Clemons and I are teaching him new member lessons and each time I meet with him I'm amazed at his spiritual knowledge. Heavenly Father knew that he was ready and is blessing him with knowledge and strength. He has a son we were going to teach because he showed some interest but now he's asked us to delete his number from our phones and to never contact him again. I really believe that each person who is taught the gospel is prepared by God. Harry and his son Shawn are living proof! Harry was prepared and welcomed the gospel into his life while Shawn isn't ready and God knows that. 

 
Even though it's difficult not having a lot of people to teach, being able to study the Book of Mormon everyday has blessed my life immensely. I've been studying a lot about faith looking for patterns of strength received when faith was acted upon. Right now I'm studying Mormon and Mormon is such a role model to me! Even though Mormon was working with extremely wicked people, he never gave up on them. He had faith that one day their hearts might be softened and remember the teachings of the Savior. And even though that never happened, his faith made him stronger and he grew closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I feel the same way right now.

I'm grateful to be in the area I'm serving in and I know the Lord wants me here right now :)

Love, Sister Dunn

Lazona Ward Party

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Hello!
 
The past couple weeks have been absolutely crazy. So here's what's happening. I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED!! HUZZAH! I am so happy to be going to a new area and getting a new trainer. I'm being transferred to Citrus Heights. That's where I day trained and it's like 2 minutes away from the mission office. My companion is Sister Clemens. She's quite fantastic.  I'll be living with members again.  I'm super excited to be going to a new area and getting a new trainer. Sister West is staying, but is losing Cooper and Emerald Acres ward but is keeping Lazona and getting Solomon wards.
 

But I'm sad to be leaving my area. We just found an amazing investigator named Jose in Cooper Ward. So we got a referral from Church Headquarters Wednesday night. The referral said he had been taught by missionaries in North Carolina and had a baptismal date of August 24th. Sister West and I were so surprised because it was surprising! We texted him and set up an appointment the next day. When we met him, we didn't know how old he was or even his last name! We were going in pretty blind. When we met him, we discovered that he's in high school (he's 19 and a super senior), loves soccer, and is so ready to be baptized! His story of how he came into the church was an interesting one. While in North Carolina, he approached the missionaries and said he wanted to learn more because he had been reading the Book of Mormon on his own. He started taking the lessons but had to return to Mesa. So he was referred to us. He's currently enrolled in seminary (something he did on his own) and is coming to church. When we met him we had two prospective missionaries with us who are Jose's age (OT and Zach). They are insta-friends. :) Jose was really concerned that he wasn't prepared enough for baptism so we went over the baptismal interview questions with him and we feel he's ready and we let him know that! He committed to September 21 for his baptism date because on the 26th he's giving a devotional in seminary and he thought it would be cool to have it be about his baptism. But he doesn't have a supportive family. They recognize that he is old enough to make his own decisions but they won't be happy about it. When he was explaining that to us, I received inspiration to give a commitment to have him read the Book of Mormon out loud in a place in his home where his family can hear him. Even though they may not accept the gospel, their hearts will be softened and accept him accepting the gospel. When I extended that commitment, I remember how nervous I was because I hadn't given a commitment like that before and I honestly didn't know what would happen. But I got over my fear and told him what the Spirit was telling me to say. I remember how powerful the Spirit was and I know that he felt that. Even though I'm leaving him, the missionaries who are assigned to that area are lucky to have such a prepared son of God. I feel honored to have met him!

 
The past week has definitely been amazing and full of miracles and blessings. I know there's more to come!
 
Love, Sister Dunn
 

Another amazing sunset in Mesa
A game at a Lazona Ward party. This is the result.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013


Hello!

This week flew like the wind! We did a lot of planning and finding this week. Since Robert and Lisa were baptized, we are trying really hard to find people. We're getting lots of referrals and we are trying our best to follow up and contact them. But we're busy!

My new haircut!!

Yesterday, we had a missionary fireside in the Lazona ward. Brother Leavitt arranged it all and I think it was a success. We had some talks from converts and their journey into the church. The highlight of the evening was the testimonies of Robert, Lisa, Rilye, and Austin. They were so brave for accepting the invitation to speak in front of the ward. They are really using their faith. I learn more from them everyday.

I cut my hair this week! I cut 10 inches off. I feel free and light. I also feel like myself again. I've learned that I'm not a long hair person.
This week was busy but I don't have a lot to show for it in writing. But I've learned the power and strength that comes from personal study. I love studying and receiving revelation from Heavenly Father. That one hour in the day is for me to learn and address the needs of investigators, less-active, and active members. Being a missionary is hard, but study makes it a little easier. :)

Love, Sister Dunn


My new bike!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 13, 2013

Hola!       Aaaaaand that's my Spanish for now....

This week has been absolutely crazy!! Ah! More than half of this week has been preparing for Robert and Lisa's baptism on the 8th. What a roller coaster! They made it, but the journey was so difficult.
 So Robert and Lisa have not smoked for 3 weeks now and are going strong; they are working so hard on keeping the Word of Wisdom. Up until the 6th we thought we had experienced the worst of what was to come, but we were so wrong!

On Tuesday the 6th, we set up baptismal interviews at the Visitors' Center because we knew there would be things for the kids to do and we could celebrate by walking around the temple after hearing the good news. Our zone leaders Elder's Bowerman and Rountree did the interviews. Elder Bowerman came out with Robert and said he was good to go. We so were so excited because we were worried about Robert the most because he was struggling with the Word of Wisdom the most. We thought that Elder Rountree and Lisa would be out any minute. Twenty minutes passed and Sister West and I knew that something was wrong. I was the first to see Elder Rountree's face come around the corner and the second I saw his face I knew that something had happened. He talked to us and told us of an impression that he had to say no to the baptism. He didn't understand the impression and was scared to follow it but we were so glad he did!

We took Lisa aside and talked to her for two hours outside the temple trying to determine what was holding her back. After a lot of stories and many, many tears we got to the bottom of the situation and determined that she needed to forgive her mom. She was really bitter about being denied baptism because that was all she ever talked about but after bringing up feelings she didn't want to face, she got the courage and used her faith that Heavenly Father would be able to help work through this so she could be baptized.

After this exchange, Sister West and I thought we would have to post-pone the baptism. But after talking and praying, we decided to set up a follow-up interview with President Jenkins on Wednesday because we were going to do everything we could to help Lisa keep her date.

A couple of hours before the interview, we went to go speak with her and teach her from the Book of Mormon  about repentance and following the prophets. We seriously taught her for three hours. After much testifying, she knew that what the Spirit was telling her was true and she called her mom and told her she forgave her and took out ALL 16 piercings. She didn't even need to do that! I am so amazed by her faith and her desire to have the Holy Ghost with her.

We went with Lisa to the interview and she totally passed! We seriously jumped with joy!! We talked with President Jenkins afterward and he said that he was impressed with her faith and what she was willing to give up to be baptized. She didn't need to remove her piercings or forgive her mother, but she did because being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the desire of her heart.
 
So both Robert and Lisa were baptized on the 8th. My first baptism! After four months, 3 sets of missionaries, and a lot of prayers they finally made it and were confirmed on the 11th.
 
 
The service was amazing, the Spirit there was so strong. There really is a special spirit present only at baptisms. Even President and Sister Jenkins made it! They are really awesome :) 


Yesterday we had Mission Conference with Elder Cardon from the Seventy. He taught us for six hours. I have never felt so spiritually uplifted like that. Such an amazing man who taught with the Spirit. I learned the most about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion and how without it, people aren't really being converted. Ugh! I could go on forever about the things I learned. Another email for another day :)
 
But now that the baptism is over, we are in serious finding mode. We have no investigators right now! We are prayerfully using our area books and going out among the members to get referrals because we know there are prepared people to find. We have been fasting and praying as a mission to find 3 new investigators a week for every companionship during the month of August. We found two the other day, now it's time to use faith and work hard and be diligent to find the elect of the prepared people.
 
Love,
Sister Dunn

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

Sis. Dunn an Sis. West
Hello!

This week has been a crazy one as usual!

We had exchanges this week with Sister Finau. We learned a lot and saw improvement that we could make. We're working hard on Weekly Planning and Daily Planning because they're in Preach My Gospel for a reason and there's also a reason why there's a whole chapter on this stuff. So we're working hard to be diligent and we are reaping the rewards!

We found a new investigator this week! Her name is Gisella (pronounced Hisella). She's nine years old and her entire family is very inactive except her oldest brother who is planning on serving a mission. We have taught her the first and second lessons. She's very quiet and it's hard to know what her needs are, but at least the entire family is there so we get to teach them. We also saw them on Sunday! That's a huge success for the Cooper ward!

Just to let you know that the Shirt's son is in the Cooper ward. He is doing an amazing job as bishop and is super enthusiastic about missionary work. He does his best to get the other leaders in the ward excited and get us referrals! We are working super hard with the members and we know that they will lead us to the prepared people.

This week we had interviews with President Jenkins. He's phenomenal.

We took Lisa to a baptism Saturday that President and Sister Jenkins also attended. (It was neat seeing them so often this week.).

On Sunday we had Stake Missionary Correlation and President Jenkins came and that NEVER happens. I feel so blessed to have seen and talked with him so much! After the meeting he reminded us that we are human and make mistakes but the Lord is there with a shield and sword to protect us and clear the path for righteousness. Read 1 Corinthians 1: 25-27 and D&C 35: 13-14. Afterward we knelt in prayer. President Jenkins offered it. We were fasting as a mission to find investigators. He prayed that we would find three new investigators each week. WOW! I couldn't believe my ears but the Spirit told me that if I exercise my faith, we will find these people! I'm excited to see these miracles happen!

Last night we went to the Mission President's fireside and learned so much! There was beautiful music and the speakers were recent converts sharing their testimony and conversion stories. I hope Lisa and Robert learned something. President Jenkins spoke and what I got out of the meeting was that I am an instrument put in the hands of investigators to help them reshape their lives and grow closer to Christ. It's difficult but it's wonderful!

Lisa and Robert are getting baptized on Thursday! EEEK!! This is four months in the making! I'll let you know what happens this week!

Life has been packed with miracles and blessings. I feel so grateful to be here in this wonderful heat :)

Love, Sister Dunn
Sis. Dunn, Sis. Weedman, Sis. Finau, Sis. West, July 24, 2013