Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 28, 2014


Well, transfers happened but they didn't........ I have a new companion! Sister Hamberger flew into the mission on Saturday and that's when we officially became companions! So, the trio I was in no longer exists. We just have Vista Peaks again and I have Georgina back! My beloved Chevy Cruze! I lost her at the beginning of the transfer when our areas were combined, but I have her back! YEAH!
Sister Hamberger is from Alaska. Yes, I am super jealous that she's from there because that's where I originally wanted to serve my mission. I joke around that the Lord got the "A's" mixed up ;)

Sister Hamberger is doing pretty well.... It's only been three days, but she's beginning to adjust back into missionary life (She had to leave for a little bit, but now she's back!). We're working on her staying awake during personal study! I swear she always falls asleep... So what we're doing is I am going to start my studies at 7:30 to get a full hour of studying in and then at 8:30 we read out loud what she is studying in the Book of Mormon and discussing it as we go. So far it's working and she's learning a lot more from the Book of Mormon than she did before! I hope and pray that she will do well on her mission and not get bogged down by what happened in the past.

There are a lot of good things beginning to happen in Vista Peaks! We had an amazing ward council that was focused on missionary work! A first since I've been here! We were able to talk about the needs of the people we are teaching and we received guidance as to how to help an individual and they in turn were able to do things to help us. It was great and very productive! Our ward mission leader is also stepping up to the plate in his calling and is taking initiative to get things done. It's really great to see him grow and fulfill his calling.  We've also been able to contact a lot of potentials and we've done a lot of street contacting the past two days.... more than we've done in the past 4 weeks! It was great! We've added a lot of really good potentials to our teaching pool and the members are excited to have us all to themselves again. We're working extra hard this week to find, find, find! The investigators that we have are doing great and we're excited to begin working with them more.

Hahaha.... So today we had a Nurf war as a zone..... I loved it! I am really good actually and I am a great protector of the flag! But every time I got shot I, for some reason, always screamed.... When the other team heard me scream they knew that they could storm the flag and take it to win the round.... But it was a blast and I'm grateful that games like that haven't been banned yet.... Hopefully other missionaries don't mess it up for the rest of us!

Well, real transfers are next week so you'll find out next Monday what is going to happen for the next 6 weeks! Live long and prosper!

-Sister Dunn

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 21, 2014


Another week has come and gone! Easter Pageant is over, summer is already here, and May is quickly approaching! Crazy stuff is happening here in Mesa!

Well, my week mainly consisted of Easter Pageant, Easter Pageant, and Easter Pageant! We went there three times this week. We worked the ground on Tuesday and Thursday and on Wednesday we came with an investigator. Even though we were gone from our area a lot we experienced a lot of sweet miracles to compensate :)

Many miracles happened on Tuesday while we worked the Pageant grounds. We were talking with a lot of people and it was CROWDED. I mean, there's only 10,000 chairs set up and people in every direction. It's crowded and loud so it was hard to talk to people and have a decent conversation with yelling "WHAT?!?!?" all the time. We had many sweet tender miracles because we got to see so many people that we love from past areas! Sister Hartley and I about died when we saw Jaimie and Clyde Bawden. We love them so much and it was so sweet to be able to see them again. Love them so much! Then, as we were trying to find a seat before the show started I saw my dear friend from Highgroves YSA Heather Frost!! I love her with all my heart! If I wasn't a missionary, we would be best friends. She's so kind and loving she makes my heart melt! Another tender mercy from The Lord! The Pageant was amazing as usual and we got to feel the powerful Spirit that is there. I'm comin' back next year and watching it everyday!

On Wednesday we came to the Pageant again with our investigator Preston! He loved it and really appreciated that we invited him to come. We were even more appreciative that he came and loved it! We got to go to the Visitors' Center before and see the new art exhibit by Annie Henrie that is about families and the love of Christ. It was stunning. I loved it!

Okay, super big awesome miracle happened on Thursday. Actually there are many.... Another of our investigators, Erica, came to the Pageant as well! She's older and very sweet. But she's stubborn! As we were getting everything ready for her to go (time, place, and a ride there...) she kept saying that she didn't want to burden anyone or make them go out of their way for her. We always had to reassure her that the couple that was taking her were planning on going and that they were happy to take her. But she kept being stubborn. Eventually we told her that we would see her there and what time the members would be at her house to pick her up! That stubborn woman. Well, she ended up coming and LOVED the pageant. She loved everything about it and loved the Visitors' Center. This was a miracle! OKAY. NOW HERE'S WHERE THE BIG MIRACLE HAPPENED.......

So, Mormon.org is doing a campaign on Facebook called "Because of Him" and they use #BecauseofHim to share the message of Easter with everyone. We got an email from the Assistants asking us to use the hash-tag on Facebook whenever we post something about Jesus Christ.All three of us were on board and we began thinking of ideas we could do to share this great easter message with everyone. Well, Wednesday afternoon we had an idea to create a banner that had #BecauseofHim on it and take pictures with members of the Easter Pageant cast and post them on Facebook. Later in the evening we had an idea that we should get the man who plays Christ to take a picture as well. How cool would that be to have a Christ sharing the easter message of Christ? We thought this was genius and so Sister Hartley messaged a member in the easter pageant and told her our plan and asked if she could talk to Christ and ask if he could stay in costume after the pageant so we could get a picture. Well, we get there on Thursday and we see the member that Sister Hartley messaged. This member had sad news for us.

She said that this is the only pageant in the world where Christ is actually in it (physically.... we can see him and hear him) and the Church has policies where people can't take pictures with anyone dressed as Christ.  She said that if we really wanted to do it we would have to ask the Visitors' Center Directors who would then have to talk to the Easter Pageant President to get permission. As much as we would have liked a picture with Christ, we didn't have the time to do that. We were a little disappointed, but we decided that we would still take pictures with cast members. After the show the member literally ran up to us, and out of breath she said that she doesn't know why but Christ is taking pictures RIGHT NOW, so GO!!!!!!!! We RAN to the Visitors' Center and grabbed our banner and RAN to the stage. And there he was! He was taking pictures with anyone who wanted one! We couldn't believe it. Our plan was going to work! We asked him if we could get a picture and told him our plan. He was so excited and he invited whatever cast members were around to get in the picture. We have some really good ones that are on Facebook (LDS Missionaries, Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors' Center Page, and more).  Afterward we were in shock of what just happened. This was a miracle from The Lord. This was not supposed to happen. We don't know why he was walking around taking pictures with people but we know that The Lord made this happen. There are thousands of people who have seen this picture and have been blessed by it. It is so amazing. I'm still in shock over what happened. AH! It's so exciting! Please! If you are on Facebook, take time and create a post using #BecauseofHim and share the message of our Savior with everyone! It's amazing to see how The Lord is using social media to hasten his work. Facebook, if used properly and done in the right spirit, is a powerful tool. I'm so grateful that The Lord has allowed this mission to use this tool. I see that if there's a righteous desire and faith is applied that miracles can happen. So wonderful!

That was a pretty big miracle. But wait! There's more! We had 5 investigators at church on Sunday (unheard of in our area)! Man, I wish there were holidays every week so that sweet miracles and tender mercies like these and happen more and more and more!

I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. He means the world to me. Knowing that he suffered for me and my sins, burdens, mistakes, and sicknesses so I would not have to brings peace to my soul. I know that as we keep the commandments, have faith in Christ, and do all the He has asked us to do will bring all the blessings of the Atonement into our lives. I do not know what I would do without the knowledge that I have a Savior and Redeemer and that #BecauseofHim I can have a second chance in life.

Love, Sister Dunn

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 14, 2014


This week has definitely improved from the past couple! That is making me happy. The weather is bearable (but I am not looking forward to the next couple of weeks... it's going to be crazy hot this summer!) and I am getting tan again! It's a wonderful time of year and it's only 90 degrees!

We had a really big miracle yesterday! We have a new investigator named Preston! He is one that previous missionaries were teaching, but nothing ever really happened with him. We began teaching him this week and we set a baptism date with him! May 31st! This lesson on Sunday was really long, but it was really good as well. The members that we had with us were filled with the Spirit and they asked Preston a lot of inspired questions and Preston was able to teach himself a lot if not most of the time. That was really special! We feel that he's definitely ready to be baptized. He's a miracle from The Lord!

The wards are doing pretty well! We FINALLY got an assistant ward mission leader in Vista Peaks! We had a stake training with all the bishops, ward mission leaders and missionaries, and full-time missionaries about how we can work together to hasten the Lord's work.
I hope and pray that even better things are going to start coming and everyone gets on the same page.

I got to go on exchanges with Sisters Taylor and Taylor! The exchange was FANTASTIC! Despite not having a car due to the recall of 2014 Chevy Cruzes we experienced a lot of miracles, taught lots of lessons, and saw a lot of people. I loved being on a bike and I'm sad that we can't bike this transfer.... maybe in the near future :)

I'm making my companionship work! It's hard creating flow and unity between the three of us, but it's working. I'm learning a lot about what it means to be truly humble and to be submissive and changeable.
I've spent a lot of time on my knees asking for strength to get through whatever comes my way. I'm amazed at the Atonement. It's something that I can't even begin to describe but I know it is real and the power that comes from it is tangible. I am happier because of it. I'm learning the power of patience and holding my tongue for the greater good, I guess you could say... I've found a lot of peace this couple weeks in my studies and in my personal prayers. I'm so grateful that The Lord has blessed us with precious time to give our full attention to him and learning what he would have us learn.

I got to go to the Easter Pageant TWICE last week and I get to go almost everyday this coming week. IT IS AMAZING. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it is. The music is beautiful (it's written by Rob Gardner, so you know it's going to be good...) and the dancing and acting is splendid! I have many favorite parts, but a few of my favorites are when Mary Magdalene is outside of the empty tomb of Christ and then He appears to her. Her love and excitement to see her Lord and Master again makes my heart sing! It's so beautiful!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 7, 2014


CONFERENCE WAS SO AMAZING! UGH! I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO TALK ABOUT HOW AWESOME IT WAS BECAUSE THERE'S TOO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT! I think this is the first time ever watching General Conference without getting tired or falling asleep once. It was so good! My favorite talk was by Elder Bednar. I can't put into exact words why that one is my favorite, but what he said brought me a lot of hope and peace. I appreciate my burdens and trials and I have a new perspective on why we need hard times. I appreciate them now. I still don't like them, but I know I need them :) I also loved Elder Hales talk on obedience. Our ultimate goal is to become like Christ so we need to be obedient like Christ.
My favorite quote from that talk is "Our love of the Savior is the key to Savior-like obedience." I love how Elder Hales taught that as we learn to love our Savior more, being obedient becomes easier in a way and is motivated by the right reasons. I love Conference!

Besides General Conference my week went ok. The beginning of the week was rough but near the end we experienced some very sweet miracles.
One night we were with a member trying to contact people in the Preston ward with no luck, but the final person was... a miracle. The person we saw was Shana who is an investigator. The previous missionaries had a hard time trying to contact her and to teach her so she hadn't been meeting with missionaries recently so we knew nothing about what we were going into. Shana is amazing though. She has lots of questions about the Plan of Salvation and she is wondering if she'll ever see family and friends that she loves that have passed on.
She was very receptive to what we were teaching and testifying to her about. She knows she needs to read the Book of Mormon and said that she would start reading it again. She also watched General Conference with members on Saturday! Miracles everywhere! Our goal is to get her progressing towards baptism this week.

Another miracle that happened was with another investigator named Shelly in the Preston ward. Shelly is the sweetest 80 year old woman.
She's been through so much (very aggressive cancer and more) and is actually very receptive to the gospel. She is Jehovah's Witness and she only has a few concerns. They are mainly about holidays and celebrating things the way the pagans do. But she says that she accepts the Book of Mormon, priesthood authority, Joseph Smith being a prophet, and more but she's getting hung up on little things. But they're big things to her. She has been a JW for a very long time and has kinda been brain washed, for lack of a better term, about things that honestly don't matter. This is the miracle. The member that came with us is a dear friend of hers and she bore the most simple, doctrine-packed testimony I've ever seen a member do. Shelly was touched and committed to read the Book of Mormon with the question and concerns that she has. We're praying really hard that she has a strong enough desire to find the truth. We have faith that she can start progressing towards baptism very soon. She's doing great and has made a lot of progress. We haven't been able to see her as often as we would like because of work and her health that is terrible, but the member keeps in contact with her. Thank goodness for members!

Another miracle happened with Christian in the Vista Peaks ward. We went and played frisbee with his family and friends in the ward. We had a lot of fun and his mom Laura became much more comfortable with us around (a miracle right there!). After having fun we had a short lesson about prophets and Christian's friend from school (who is a member and is 9) bore the sweetest testimony about prophets and told Christian how amazing General Conference is. We invited them to watch a session with us and some members in the ward who are their main fellowshippers. HE CAME AND WATCHED IT WITH US! Miracle! We're seeing him today and we're excited to talk to him about it more. The members are really reaching out to the family and it is amazing to see.

Well, I'm excited for this coming week! I'm super excited about the things I'm going to do and change because of General Conference and to do what the prophet has asked us to do. It's going to be crazy and we're going to work hard to get a baptism date! We're praying extra hard for amazing miracles to happen. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

-Sister Dunn

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

March 31, 2014


I can't believe that another week has come and gone. It's hard to believe how fast time flies. Half the time I'm in denial that my mission is going by so fast...

 Well, this first week has certainly been interesting. After moving into another apartment in the same complex, losing a phone, car, and my sanity I think this transfer is going to be great! It started off it a bit rough though.... I was scared when I got my transfer news. I had never had experienced sister (sisters who have been out longer than I) as permanent companions, let alone two! I was intimidated and scared. I put up a wall because it's my natural instinct to go and hide when I'm scared. We had a hard time starting off. I was struggling opening up because my darn wall is too big! I have a 16,000 foot emotional wall, reinforced with rebar and 12 inches of hardened steel. For a while I have felt like I need to tear down that wall because I've felt that it is prohibiting me from freely talking, but I've realized now that I still need this wall. This wall doesn't just keep in the bad feelings or create a good place to hide from the world, it also holds in all the good. Being on my mission has helped me soften my heart. It's tender now and I'm more receptive to the spirit, but as a result I'm also more vulnerable and sensitive. I hurt on the inside more than I've ever hurt before. I've also never felt so much love, joy, and peace before. I need my wall to contain my tender heart and to protect it. Unfortunately, there are times when negative things are thrown over my wall and start to "beat up" my tender heart.

I don't have a way to get these negative things on the other side. I'm not strong enough to throw it back over. So, I'm working to create a door in my wall. My wall will still be solid, but it can also be opened to let out the "bully." I'm not quite sure how I'm going to start chiseling at my wall, but it will be slow and steady. Prayer and pouring my heart out to Heavenly Father has definitely helped me, the Atonement packet that President Jenkins gave the mission has strengthened my testimony of the Atonement and my resolve to use it more fully has increased, and having the strength to say what is hiding behind my wall will help. I feel so blessed that I have companions who are helping me deal with my struggles. I always thought that it was just me, Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I feel blessed to have companions who are helping me heal, open up, and letting me fully use the Atonement.

 I know you're probably shocked that I have problems and struggles, but I do. I keep them to myself and I hide them behind my almost impenetrable wall. I don't want to bother others with things that I think don't matter... but they do. I have wonderful companions.

Together we are healing from past experiences and letting the Holy Spirit guide. :)

 Combining wards has been harder than I had anticipated. Not being able to be together during sacrament has been a struggle because both wards start their meetings at the same time. This is also where I'm grateful for a trio because splits just became more feasible and we can divide and conquer to get the work done. We've spent a lot of time the past few days planning and getting ourselves organized. Both wards have lots of potential and other investigators that we're going to be contacting and working with. We have a lot of faith that miracles will happen. Our zone leaders want every companionship in the zone to have someone with a baptism date in the next two weeks. I have faith and hope that my companionship can do it and so can the zone. Hearing about how many baptisms (68 to be exact) that happened in March is exciting and I want to contribute. I don't know why I haven't been able to and sometimes it's discouraging, but I'm not going to let it get me down. After the planning meeting with the other zone leaders and STLs on Thursday I have a strong desire to work harder and find those that are ready to be taught and baptized. I want it. I've let Heavenly Father know, but whatever the Lord needs me to do I'll do it first.

 I'm super excited for interviews on Wednesday and to talk to President Jenkins about the Atonement study guide. The talks in the packet have been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I've learned so much and I can't wait to learn more. Because of my studies on the Atonement my understanding and desire to use the Atonement has increased... actually it has sky rocketed. It's been such a wonderful experience to get to know my Savior better.
 Well, that's all for now folks! I feel like my letters might be turning into therapy sessions... Oh well! I'll take therapy session any day over what is happening in the world right now.

-Sister Dunn