Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

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


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.
Sister Dunn

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

Sis. Dunn an Sis. West

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

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Sis. Dunn, Sis. Sallstrom, Sis. Willahan   The dotted trio! We purposely dressed the same because we had matching clothing.

Sis. Willahan, Sis. Sallstrom, Sis. Dunn   2nd day in the MTC.

Sis. Dunn, Sis. Willahan, Sis. Sallstrom   Taking our first picture together outside the temple

District 53A

The Sisters in District 53A & D

This describes our companionship perfectly!

Can you see the mass of missionaries?  There were over 3,400 in the Marriott Center for the Tuesday evening devotional.

Sis. Willahan and Sis. Sallstrom are on a spiritual high after an amazing devotional on a Tuesday night at the Marriott Center.

The District as stick figures, drawn by Sis. Dunn.

The cream soda tree!  I'm not joking when I say this tree smells like cream soda!

We got 'owned' by Elder Foutz.  He's huge - 6'4" and 240 lbs.

The Elders in their mighty glory.

The MTC main courtyard area.

Last Sunday in the MTC.  Sis. Dunn, Sis. Sallstrom, Sis. Willahan, Sis. Turner, Sis. Fry

The view from the residence (we were on the fourth floor and faced west towards Utah Lake).

Arizona Mesa Missionaries:  Elder England, Elder Lynch, Elder Foutz, Elder Bartlett, Sis. Sallstrom, Sis. Willahan, Sis. Dunn and Bro. Rasmussen

Arizona Mesa Missionaries and Bro. Hainsworth

Sis. Fry, Sis. Dunn, Sis. Willahan had unintentionally dressed in the same color. Sis. Willahan clearly LOVES all the attention.

Sis. Dunn's pitiful, sore knees. The carpet is really rough!

Sis. Dunn and Sis. West (Louisville, Kentucky). First companion in Mesa, Arizona.

We get sunsets like these just about every night in Mesa. They are spectacular!

Monsoon!! These are the dust clouds that covered the sky before the flooding rain. They are so cool.  These don't happen every day, so they're pretty special and thrilling to experience.

My nerdy side was fed. I died and went to heaven when I saw this.
Missionaries of the Mesa YSA East Stake along with the Stake President and his wife (President and Sister Sandstrom)

 Missionaries from the apartment complex on the top of a random hill in Mesa.

Sister Dunn & Sister Sparhawk at Mesa Temple (in front of Mary & Joseph)

Jesus' baptism

Zone, playing softball

The world's largest beehive EVER. This thing was on the
side of the wind cave.

Northeast looking on the
Superstition Mountains!

The 'Zone' at the top of the mountain
where the caves are located.

Best member missionary ever!!

Bro. & Sis. Austin (WML in Adobe Villa)


The McClellan Family (Vista Peaks)