Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

Hello again!!

Just to let you know, it's a cool 100 degrees with no humidity!! YAY! Because it's been monsoon season the humidity had been unbearable plus the heat so I was one dead turkey! But I'm ok now :)

I'll tell you a little about my area. I work with family wards. Lazona is amazing. The week before I came here, they had 7 baptisms! And they're going to have two in the next two weeks! They are so missionary oriented and really understand that without the efforts of the members, the work would be stagnant. They are so cool and open to us and their neighbors. They make an effort to get to know their neighbors so when we come knocking on their doors they can give us referrals.

Cooper is on the rise. The work had been really slow there in the past, but we're working hard with them to get them excited about the work. We don't have anyone to teach there are very few less-actives and recent converts. We're working with the Bishop and he's working really hard just like the one in Lazona to get the work going again.

Emerald Acres is the frustrating ward. Their bishop does not care for missionary work. He hardly knows his own neighbors or who isn't a member in the ward. We are trying to spend time in the area but Lazona takes all of our time and energy!

I was struggling with not teaching investigators and having the ones we are teaching bail on us. I was thinking what else can I do? So during personal study, I asked Heavenly Father what He wanted me to do because I was frustrated. So I opened the Book of Mormon to wherever and it fell open to Alma 32. I almost didn't read it because I had read it yesterday and I was prideful; I forgot that this book isn't just stories, it's the word of God and He wanted to speak to me through this chapter. So, I just started reading from the beginning and got my answer is the first two verses, they read "And it came to pass that they did go forth, and began to preach the word of God unto the people, entering into their synagogues, and into their houses; yea, and even they did preach the word in their streets. And it came to pass that after much labor among them, they began to have success..." I needed this wake-up call! I needed to realize that even though I am serving members, doorways will be opened for those who are ready and prepared to receive the gospel. I can definitely say I was humbled by two verses.

That's been my week! Working with the members, helping Robert and Lisa prepare for their date. Lisa has been so awesome! She is so receptive to the Spirit and its guidance; it blows me away! She is so prepared. But Robert is struggling a little with the Word of Wisdom and Lisa wants to be baptized this Saturday but Robert wants them to be baptized together. We've been praying really hard for them to come to a decision together and you'll find out next week what happened!

I love you all so much!

-Sister Dunn

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 22, 2013


Sister Dunn with Pres. & Sister Jenkins
I’m in Mesa!!! Yay! I’m so happy to finally be here! So I flew from Salt Lake to Phoenix where President and Sister Jenkins greeted everyone. They are just the coolest people ever! We then went to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center where we took care of some business. And may I add that the temple here is absolutely breath-taking! The visitor’s center and temple grounds blow Temple Square out of the park! It’s just so beautiful here! For lunch, we went to the stake center next to the mission office where the stake Relief Society prepared lunch for us. Then I got to meet my day trainers Sister Homer and Sister Bolliger. We went around talking to people and said a lot of goodbyes because Sister Homer was being transferred. And in case you were wondering how on earth I feed myself, I don’t. We are fed dinner every single night here so we eat a simple breakfast and lunch because dinner is always filling and super yummy. 

The next day I got my companion! Her name is Sister West and she’s from Louisville, Kentucky. She’s been out for 4 months and has been an amazing trainer! We live with members, the Christensen’s, and have our own room to sleep and study in along with our own bathroom. The best part of living with them is that they have the cutest poodle/terrier mix dog named Max (we often call him Maxipad) who has become a close friend of mine. We run with him every morning and often sleeps with us. He’s just the cutest thing ever!

To give you an idea of how awesome my mission is, last Saturday we had 20 baptisms; that’s unheard of! And the work here is amazing! Right now I’m in the Liahona area and we’re working with the Cooper, Emerald Acres, and Lazona wards. We are in finding mode right now because we just had 7 baptisms, so work is slow. We’re trying to focus on working with the members and getting them excited to be a part of missionary work. Cooper ward hasn’t had a baptism in 5 years and we know there are prepared people out there; we just need the help of the ward to point us in the right direction. They just got a new bishop and we are excited to work with him because he sees the importance of missionary work and will start the initiative with the ward. One way we hope to get to know the ward members and get them excited about missionary work is to go with them on their ward campout!  If we can get permission from President Jenkins, we will go and teach a lesson and share experiences and help get the members of Cooper ward excited about the work!!

And now to the good stuff! We are working with a couple named Robert and Lisa. They have four kids. Their oldest is Riley (13) and Austin (11) and they are both baptized and Riley holds the Priesthood and passes the sacrament. The girls are 5 and 3 and are absolutely crazy! Robert and Lisa had a date set earlier but had to miss it because of Word of Wisdom issues. But now they have a date set for the 8th. We go over to their house every day and read the Book of Mormon with them. Lately the girls haven’t been there so we’ve had some pretty amazing experiences with them. The latest happened Saturday. They had lots of questions but as we read they answered their own questions through the scriptures even though what we were reading had nothing about what they were asking! It was so amazing to see how revelation works in the lives of others. They are growing so much and every time we meet with them they learn and grow more. They are being prepared every day! We used to have to really encourage them to read and pray and now they do it willingly and are excited to tell us about what they read. I can’t wait to see them be baptized. We are going to try and get Robert baptized this week because he wants to baptize Lisa. Having him be earlier allows him time to get the Priesthood and do everything he needs to do in order to baptize Lisa. I love them so much and I am so humbled that they have opened up to me and Sister West and allow us into their home and that they want the Spirit to always be there. Up next is to teach their girls about reverence!

I love it here in Mesa so much! I keep lying about posting pictures, but I’m going to go get a SD card reader and pictures will be sent! It’s super duper hot here but it’s absolutely amazing here because it’s monsoon season! There’s rain and lighting and it’s amazing!

And if you send something to me, send it to the mission home! I'll definitely get it then!

Love you all!!

-Sister Dunn

July 18, 2013

Text message received last night (from a member):   "They're sending me to Jacksonville, Florida!!!!! Wow!

July 7, 2013

I'm still in a trio and it's the hardest thing about being in the MTC, but I love my Sisters and we learn and grow from each other every single day. I found a Washington D.C Temple recommend case/holder/thingy in the bookstore! That made me so happy! Just a happy thought :)

The MTC is flying by! I can't believe that I leave on Tuesday and fly down to Mesa! EEK! I leave Tuesday morning at 4:30 and my flight to Phoenix leaves at 8:30.  I've learned so much but I'm not overwhelmed because I'm starting to apply what I learn and move it from my mind to my heart. I am so grateful for the Atonement because without it I wouldn't be able to do any of this because I wouldn't have the strength.

My companions and I taught our first investigator on Monday and let me tell you it was so scary to think about. All throughout class and scripture study and even our progressing investigator's lesson I was so stressed out that I could not feel the Spirit. During scripture study, I was studying for our investigators and also for myself. I wanted to learn what God wanted me to know. As I was studying the Book of Mormon and Lesson 1 in Preach My Gospel, the Priesthood kept jumping out and the spirit was giving me impressions to get a blessing but I was so focused on me and my worries that I wasn't able to hear what God was trying to tell me. After working out, I was in the shower pondering what I had studied when a spiritual brick hit me on the side of the head. I realized I needed a blessing. I felt like Heavenly Father was saying (in my words) "You dummy! I've been trying to tell you that all day!" So an hour before we had to go teach, I asked Elder England to give me a blessing. The spirit just filled me and I could feel the immeasurable love of Heavenly Father. I have felt really close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the past week, but there is nothing like the power of the Priesthood and the ability it has to fill a person and a room with the pure love of God. Amazing! When we went to go teach, we were all filled with the Spirit and what we spoke didn't come from us, they were directly from God; words that our investigator Michelle needed to hear.

I'm learning what my purpose is and living it by HELPING others come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. I've learned the hard way to forget about myself and what I want and focus on what the Spirit is telling me to teach and learn. I've been humbled by this experience and I rely on the Lord everyday. Prayer is so important too. I've got calluses on my knees because I am on my knees praying so much! But without it, I would be without direction and I wouldn't be able to express needs and desires and my gratitude to Heavenly Father. Learning about Christ and His Doctrine have brought me closer to Him and being able to use the Atonement has really been a blessing in my life.

New missionaries arrived on Wednesday! It was so much fun to say hello to everyone who had a little orange dot on their tags (we call them dork dots :P). I can't believe that was me last week! And I can't believe I leave for the field in four days! I have three full days in the MTC left, so freaky!

I love getting mail! It's fun and I love reading about everyone's life; reading lets me focus on others and gives me inspiration too! My mission home address is :

Sister Brianna Dunn
Arizona Mesa Mission
2525 N 32nd Street
Mesa, AZ 85213-1811

Please write!!

July 5, 2013

The MTC is wonderful. The teachers are amazing and so is the food (which really suprised me!).
When I first arrived here, I was welcome and was shown around. I met my teachers, Sister Call and Brother Rasmussen, along with the other members of my district. There are 8 elders and there should be 4 sister but my companion did not show, so now I'm in a trio with the wonderful Sister Willahan and spectacular Sister Sallstrom. We have been inseparable ;). Everyday we have personal study then companionship study. The Sisters and I are preparing to teach our first investigator named Courtney (she's an actor, but we get to have an experience teaching and inviting her to prepare to be baptized). We have class that's two to three hours long and have amazing discussions. I'm learning what the Doctrine of Christ is and how important it is to teach it to investigators.
Yesterday, we celebrated Independence day! And had an awesome time! We had classes and study time like normal. In the evening we had a partiotic devotional (which was amazing) sang all the patriotic song in the hymn book as an MTC and got to watch 17 Miracles! So cool! The spirit here is amazing and this movie just spoke to me as one of missionary service. I saw how hard missionaries stuggled for their beliefs, ridiculed even, and the miracles that took place because of faith in Jesus Christ. After bawling because the movies was amazing, we got to watch the fire works at the Stadium of Fire. We did have to stay within the campus, but we did have a good view.
There have been so many amazing spiritual experiences in the past few days that I had a hard time deciding which one was really meaningful and significant to me as a missionary. My experience was during a class discussion and we were talking about our purpose as missionaries of Jesus Christ. We had been talking about how to teach with the Spirit and how to know what to say and if we were really listening to the spirit. We had been talking about this when our teacher Brother Rasmussen said that we need to be learners of faith rather than teachers of the Spirit. Being a teacher and focusing on only what I think I need to say is selfish. We are here for our investigators and their needs, not our own. We need to listen to them and hear what they are needing so we can help them learn about the Doctrine of Christ. The Spirit spoke so strongly to me that I immediately began changing the way I think about teaching. Learning by faith shows that I trust God and Jesus Christ and if I am obedient and rely on them, teaching by the Spirit will come as a blessing of my faith. That experience meant to much to me and has made me a better representative of Christ.
I love my companions, Sister Willahan and Sister Sallstrom, so much! I'm so happy they are in my lives; they give me strength and encouragement in a time that is mentally and emotionally demanding. As a companionship, we always pray at meals and when we wake up and before we go to bed. Prayer has strengthed us and has brought us closer together. We always serve each other when ever possible, whether it be holding doors open or handing out trays. We love to serve from each other. We also share our testimonies with one another; that has let us open up to one another and be honest when we talk. I love my Sisters!
This has been the hardest thing I"ve done in my life, but I've felt so blessed. I can feel Heavenly Father showering me with blessings and with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I can't wait to learn and grow in the gospel! I'm wondering about our rooming situation (I really would like to be with my Sisters) so hopefully we can get things resolved. I am so grateful to be here.
Sister Dunn

July 3, 2013

Today, Sister Brianna Dunn entered the MTC in Provo, Utah to begin her 18 month mission to the Arizona Mesa Mission.

It was bittersweet leaving her at curbside. I know she will be fine, but I can't wait until our first letter from her.


Photo: MY CALLLLL!!!!!!!

Dear Sister Dunn,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Arizona Mesa Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language.

Photo: I was kinda excited after seeing where I was going on my mission! Thanks Jennifer for the picture!
(Just a little excited, I think!)

Photo: Arizona Mesa Mission!!!!!!

Missionary Picture