It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Wasilla, AK

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hey fam&friends. Happy December. Can you believe it’s December already?! What on earth. It’s so dark up here. The sun rises at 11am and sets around 3pm. We’re all just counting down the days until December 21 so it can start to be light longer. The weather in Wasilla this week has been garbage-rainy and upper 30s with those glacier wind gusts that rips the air of out your lungs.

This week. 
We drove up to the Willow chapel (bless) on Tuesday for District Meeting and had a training about having the faith to find the elect people whose hearts are open and ready for the gospel. We were talking about training and at one point an elder said, “what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? You get shot. That’s quick,”. Maybe it’s only one of those things that’s funny if you’re a missionary but Sister Melton and I have been joking about that all week #thingselderssay. 

There are a handful of girls that come to the Young Women’s activities on Tuesday nights regularly that are not members of the Church [yet] and the YW President wants us to start teaching them so she invited us to go to their Smoothie Wars on Tuesday. YW is the BEST. I want to be in YW for the rest of my life. All three of the YW that aren’t members showed up and we got to know them and set up lessons and it was just all good errywhere. I’m pumped. 

The weather on Wednesday wasn’t all that bad and so we got our tracting pants on and went crazy. We knocked out a whole neighborhood sharing the #lighttheworld video, inviting people to the Wasilla Ward Christmas party and the Messiah concert, and we’re giving the Book of Mormon out like Halloween candy. It was awesome. And it wasn’t even that cold. 

Thursday morning we had a Trainer/Trainee Meeting down in Anchorage so Sister Melton and I road tripped it down there, then stopped at the Mission Office to snag a box of Book of Mormons and other fun missionary things like that, then lunch with Sister Melton’s mom’s cousin in Beach Lake (who I had met last year in Lazy Mountain haha), and then made it back up to Wasilla in time to go and help an investigator couple decorate their Christmas tree. Someone needs to make a brilliant+genius invention that makes Christmas lights less of a struggle because those things are ridiculous. Every. Year. You start by having to untangle the knot ball of lights and then checking to see if they still even work and on the rare occasion that they do, then you have to risk your life by stringing them in the tree and try not to bleed to death. Someone should fix that. 

Sister Fa’anunu and I went on exchanges in the Colony Ward this weekend. I love that girl. I had to drive because she doesn’t have her license and I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that we spent the majority of our exchange being lost. She’s new to the area and I have no idea where stuff is in Colony. We survived. It was a good time.

The Wasilla Zone has started “Zone Blitz” where our entire Zone (the smallest in our mission #notmad) all comes out and tracts out a huge part of someone’s area together. It’s the best. On Saturday we planned to blitz in Wasilla so earlier in the week, Sister Melton and I had prayed about knowing where to take the zone and had felt prompted to go to this neighborhood that neither of us had been in before (#pinkwash). We drive over there to check it out and it was this grumbly trailer park in the boonies with shacks and little cabins built off the trailers. Someone was hanging out with these barrels on fire in their backyard. Someone was chilling in a field all by themselves doing who knows what. Someone had pushed their trailer INTO this dirt hill and it was just suspended there-probably illegal but AK has weird housing laws (aka like none, or at least none are followed and people just do whatever they want). ANYWAYS we decided this neighborhood was calling our names because everyone needs the gospel so Saturday afternoon we met up with the elders and started divvying out who goes where and they started freaking out because past elders that had served in Wasilla had been to chicken to tract this neighborhood. Listen kids, it’s going to be fine. So we’re all out there working hard [and praying harder] and at the end of it all, every companionship ends up with at least one return appointment. BOOM. 

Yesterday was a little crazy. We only had Sacrament Meeting because a huge part of our ward was involved in the community Messiah concert that day so there weren’t enough people to play the piano in Primary or teach the Sunday School lesson or things like that, so Bishop Walther just canceled the last two hours. There were two performances of the Messiah, one at 2 and one at 7, and some of our investigators said they were coming to the one at 2 and then others said they were coming to the one at 7, so we ended up going to both. Holla. In between them we watched the Christmas Devotional broadcast at the Stake Center and had twenty minutes to run home and break our fast with some mac+cheese (bad idea) before heading back out to the Messiah. Go team. Sundays as a missionary are insane. 

Hopefully it starts dumping snow soon so Alaska actually starts looking like Alaska. It looks like Break Up up here. Life is good though, I can’t complain. 
Read your scriptures and #lighttheworld. 
Love you all from Alaska and back. 

XOXO Sister Dunlop

Wasilla 11/27/17

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hi friends. 
Here’s a one minute update of this week: I dyed Bobbe’s hair blonde from a box, locked the keys in our apartment, survived three Thanksgiving dinners, helped a hoarder move a pile of stuff from her driveway and into her fourth storage unit, tracted in ten degrees+glacier wind+dark, ate a 1/2 lb Reese's pb cup #noshame, sat through a three hour meeting with Bishop and his counselor and a homeless lady that wanted to get a ride from Wasilla to Soldotna, and Zone Blitz tracted out Settler’s Bay’s area. Go team.

Use your life’s energy for good.

XOXO Sister Dunlop

WAZILLA - 11/20/17

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Facebook. So weird, but awesome. I found out that pretty much all I’ve missed from not being on Facebook over the last 15 months is that everyone got married while I was gone. Kids these days. At Zone Conference on Tuesday when they had us log on, I had no idea what my password was because I hadn’t been on for forever and a day and so that was a mess but shout-out to Dad for saving the day. Facebook as a missionary is sweet! It’s so much easier to contact members and investigators-share talks/videos/scriptures with them through group chats, teach lessons through video chat, etc. It’s another awesome tool that Heavenly Father has given us to help Progress the work even more. 

We are still working on finding people to teach; people who’s hearts are willing, people who are brave enough to ask God for themselves, people who are ready to build their lives into something better. It’s whatever. We are teaching this single mom and her two daughters that we tracted into a few weeks ago and they are the nicest people ever. They went up to Chena Hot Springs yesterday so they weren’t able to come to church but we had dinner with them last week and taught the Restoration and gave them the Book of Mormon and they are it right up. We love and adore them. 

Miracle. At Zone Conference, Elder Ryan told us about this part member family that he had taught a little bit when he was serving in Settler’s Bay that Sister McGee (#legacy) had found when she was serving in Colony. Long story short: we found them on Facebook (holla) but couldn’t get in contact with them to set up a time to meet them and all these things were just working against us and then yesterday we are sitting in sacrament meeting and they just casually WALK IN. Sister Melton and I flipped. They stayed for all of church and we got their phone number and they said we could come by for dinner some time and all this good stuff. God is good. 

Story time: we were force fed someone’s pet rabbit this week. No lie. There’s this super nice heart of gold lady that just moved to Wasilla and she asked us to help her unpack some things and clean her house. We go over there and she has this whole surprise lunch set up on the kitchen counter for us with this mystery meat. Then she tells us that it’s then have to be nice sister missionaries and put some on our plate (I took one tiny baby piece and then piled salad on top of it so I might be able to get away without having to eat it #ignoranceisbliss. We are enduring to the end of this meal and that little piece of rabbit is chilling on my plate still and Sis. Melton leans over and is like “try it” and so I put my big girl pants on and right as I put it in my mouth Sis. Melton asks the lady where the rabbit came from🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️. The lady tells us that it was their pet rabbit *Sis. Dunlop tries not to throw up and die all over their new apartment* and that they had butchered it the night before with their friend. Alaskans are insane humans. We survive lunch and then the lady has us go upstairs to start folding laundry and right as we get to the top of the stairs, there’s this empty rabbit cage #ripthumper. My life. She had signed up to feed us for dinner a few nights later and we go in the kitchen and there’s this new little rabbit in a box on the floor...probs our dinner for next week, stay tuned. 

“...take upon you the name of Christ; that he humble yourselves even unto the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place he may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that he LIVE IN THANKSGIVING DAILY, for the many mercies and blessings with he doth bestow upon you,” -Alma 34:39
Be thankful in all things. 
Wear your seatbelts & angels are real. 
Love y'all from AK and back. 

XOXO Sister Dunlop

Humble & Kind - Wasilla, AK 11/13/17

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I’ve come to a point where the weeks feel like months and the months feel like moments. This week felt forever long. Last Monday night Sister Melton & I were super brave and had dinner at this person’s house that we had tracted into the night before. I know that sounds really sketch but it turned out really good. They had pulled into the parking lot as we were finishing up tracting their apartment complex Sunday night and I was just mentally preparing for them to just sit in their car awkwardly until we walked away or something (but this was also right after a dude had just answered the door in a towel with shampoo bubble still in his hair so at this point, nothing really phased me). But they didn’t. They got out and recognized our little black name tags then started talking to us. It was a single mom and her two daughters and they have a friend living over in Palmer who is a Mormon and they had been to dinner at her house when the elders were over there once. Then they invited us in to their apartment and gave us a bunch of leftover Halloween candy and said that we could come over and have dinner with them whenever. No one had signed up on our dinner calendar for Monday night-another PSA to #feedyourlocalmissionaries2k17-and so we had to put our big girl pants on and eat dinner at a stranger’s house. It was amazing though, way worth it. The Palmer member came to dinner too and we all just got to chat about the gospel and Jesus Christ. They invited us over to their house again for dinner on Wednesday night so that should be exciting.

I’ve just got to say that God prepares people’s hearts for the gospel; I have such a testimony of that. And it’s been such a huge blessing to be an instrument in a little piece of it. Last week, the YSA branch president called us and asked for us to go and visit a lady named Erin, who wasn’t a member of the Church [yet] but was going through some rough patches in her life and had asked that the sister missionaries come and see her. Sister Melton and I are the only sisters in the Wasilla area so we get to go on all these “Sisters Only” adventures and experiences all of the time, sorry elders. We contacted Erin and set up an appointment to meet her on Wednesday afternoon. Sister Melton and I had picked some of our favorite scriptures that talk about God’s love (because you can never get too much of that) to share with her and then by the end of it, we found ourselves setting a baptismal date with Erin. Her heart was so ready and all we had to do was walk in there and invite her to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority. It was amazing as the Spirit buzzed in the room. God is so real. Plot twist: Erin is moving down to Kansas City at the end of November to live with her sister (who is a member of the Church) and so she will probably be baptized down there so some of her family can be there. We are going to teach her all the lessons and then get in contact with the Kansas City missionaries to pass her off to them. Church is true.

Last Sunday night, we went and met a potential investigator in our Area Book named Bobbe. She’s this cute little old lady who the elders had met years ago and we felt like we needed to try and stop by and meet her. We showed up and the apartment complex was locked but luckily by sheer miracle (but really God), someone had seen us try and get in and came and let us in the apartment #majorblessed. We knocked on Bobbe’s door and she let us right in and we talked to her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. She ate it all right up. This lady loves God and dogs more than anyone in the whole world and just wants to do whatever God wants her to do. She said we could come back and teach her more later in the week and so we come back and the apartment is locked again but luckily someone ordered a pizza and the pizza man snuck us in #againmajorlyblessed. Bobbe was being all weird and so we asked her what was going on and she told us that she had told her lady friends that she was meeting with us and they freaked out and started showing her a bunch of Anti-Mormon YouTube videos that scared Bobbe and left her with a lot of questions that we tried to resolve for her. Bobbe sat on the couch while we sat at her feet testifying and flipping from scripture to scripture showing her proof of what we taught. It felt like we were fighting for Bobbe’s soul, and we were. At one point Bobbe burst out, “why do you girls even do what you do?!”. And then the feels. I’m sitting on a dog hair covered carpet at the feet of this sweetheart old lady and in my attempts to convey just a sliver of what being a missionary has meant to me and done for me and why I knock doors in the Arctic cold and why I labor to love and labor to learn and every little aspect of missionary work, I totally start crying. Full on tears. It’s because of Christ’s peace. Eternal joy. God’s love. We all need it and so I’m out here to share it. Then Sister Melton drops her fire testimony and we are fighting for Bobbe because she needs the light of the gospel so bad in her life and we want nothing more than for her to receive it. She says the prayer at the end thanking God for her Mormon sisters and then tells us to save her a seat at church tomorrow. But she doesn’t show. I thought she was in it to win it with us. *only keep reading this paragraph if you want your heart to break too...Bobbe sent us a big long text this afternoon about how much she loves us but that she doesn’t want to disappoint her friends by letting us visit her. I know. It’s such a bummer. We’re so sad. Her heart is just not ready yet, it will be though. Eventually. Sister Melton after experiencing her first drop: “this feels like a breakup text!”.

A few more things: a lady just moved into Wasilla and she is a recent convert from Palmer and it turns out that Sister Christian, Sister Mataele, and I taught her when we were in Lazy Mountain together a year ago #smallworld. We have Wasilla Zone Conference on Tuesday and let’s just say that some big things are happening in AAM. Stay tuned. Super excited. Other than that, I have no idea what’s going to go down in Wasilla this week. Every day is an adventure, that’s for sure #alaskansaretheirownbreed.

Here’s some pep talk scriptures that have been keeping me alive these last few weeks:
Mosiah 24:14-16 “I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up there burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. And it came to pass that so great was their faith and patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: be of good comfort.”

Moroni 10:32 “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

Isaiah 41:10 “fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Doctrine & Covenants 121:7-8 “peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.”

Stay warm down there kiddos.
You can do hard things.
Lots of love,

XOXO Sister Dunlop

Jesus Take the Wheel - Wasilla 11/6/17

Thursday, November 9, 2017

In the MTC they always tell you “if you just make it to Sunday, you’ll be fine” and it was a “just make it to Sunday” kind of week this week. I feel like we’re running around with our heads cut off and we keep singing “Jesus Take the Wheel” whenever we start losing our minds (which is actually a lot) but Elder Ellis told us in General Conference that we’re strengthened in the struggle we are [tracting in the fresh foot of snow we got a few days ago #blessed]. First of all, my baby Sister Melton is a CHAMP. I’m such a fan. Early Wednesday morning, Sister Yeates and I drove down to Anchorage for transfer logistics in the craziest, thickest fog I’ve ever seen. The next twelve hours after that were just a blur. At one point there were like twenty missionaries slipping all over the parking lot loading luggage into mission cars and trucks and then I found myself sitting in this tiny room with President Toone and five other elders waiting to get our trainees and then Sister Melton and I were eating pizza and having our first companionship study and then I was with my departing missionary homies (you know who you are) and all the new kids at the temple. It was insane. Eventually, Sister Melton and I were road tripping it back up to Wasilla (which is normally about an hour and a half from Anchorage, but this time it took us three hours) in this crazy fog but once we get to Eagle River, we get trapped in the worst traffic jam Alaska has ever seen. The entire population of Alaska was on the road. Once we made it back up to Wasilla, we had to make a quick Qdoba stop because #hangry and then came home and slept like rocks.

Day #1 of pinkwashing in Wasilla wasn’t as rough as I thought it was going to be. It’s actually kind of nice because there’s so many things you can do-meet members, tract, contact investigators, etc. There’s a ton of potential investigators that have been sitting in the Area Book for who knows how long (literally some of them are +3 years) and so we decided to go through and meet everyone. We set up a lesson with a lady who ended up living super far out in the boonies (and we later found out she didn’t live in our area #oopsies) and when we get there, she pulls out her Book of Mormon (what) and has all these questions about God and prophets and life after death and tells us about how she wants to find truth out for herself and wants to do what God wants her to do and we invite her to be baptized and she is open to it and it was just miracles all over the place. We stopped by a members’ house and they invited us for dinner and let me just tell you that was an experience #freezedriedeverything. Then we went and tried to contact a potential investigator in this super sketchy apartment complex and I think I scared Sister Melton to death #welcometothemission. She’s a trooper.

Day #2 wasn’t quite as gold. We had a struggle bus Weekly Planning session because we know like one person in our area and then we helped Peggy and Bobby with the Memory Lake elders hang up some Christmas lights and Bobby almost staple gunned our fingers to his house. Sketch. Then we had a referral to try but it ended up not being an investigator and instead it was actually was the first councilor in the bishopric, so that was awkward. We had a lesson with this new member who told us she served her mission to the Interior Lamanites and she has this greasy rat dog that watches tv and eats toast with her that was crawling all over the place and then there was this hungry dog in the backyard throwing itself against the door trying to get in and eat us. Love mission life. Then we tracted this street and the wind and snow was blowing all over the place. No one had signed up for dinner (PSA: the missionaries don’t care if you just feed them grilled cheese, they just like being fed #feedyourlocalmissionaries2k17) so we went to Wendy’s for some 4 for $7 (#alaska) and then Sister Melton had lost her allotment card so we went back to our apartment looking for it and in the process of our searching, our phone broke. Literally broke in half. The old Wasilla elders had given us this trash phone where the screen wasn’t totally attached to the keyboard because some screws were missing and so the next hour was this hot mess process of trying to find some elders that could get us a working phone and looking for Sister Melton’s allotment card. There have definitely been brighter days.
This email is getting ridiculously long so: we had Saturday morning crepes with the Young Women’s President, did some service with the elders at this Family Carnival Day that no one showed up to, tried to set up an appointment with an investigator and a recent convert showed up instead (#awk), survived church and met a few more people, tracted in the snow and dark, felt prompted to stop by a potential’s apartment complex but it was locked and we couldn’t get in and then #faith and someone let us in and we met this cute lady and talked to her for two hours about the Restoration and she was so excited and told us about the “warm fuzzies” of the Spirit. I love being a missionary.

XOXO Sister Dunlop 

Wasilla 10/30/17

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hi friends. 
Long story short: we went to the temple last week so we didn’t get to email and I’m pinkwash (where they take the elders out and put sisters in) training a new missionary in the Wasilla Ward starting Wednesday. Life is insane. But good.

XOXO Sister Dunlop

God is great, Cafe Rio is good, and Alaskans are crazy || Wasilla, AK

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hey friends hey. It was a good week. Like a really good and amazing week as I look back on it. I know I say this all the time, but seriously I adore being a missionary. Every time Monday rolls around and I get to share with y’all some of the lessons I’ve learned this week and the miracles we’ve seen, I’m just at a loss for how great Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, are. They are so amazing and I feel so lucky to be a teeny tiny part of His whole big plan. My heart is so full💕
For some reason this is a long one, sorry. 

Using my magic Sister Dunlop powers, I convinced some of the elders to come and hike the Palmer Butte with us last PDay and it was freaking amazing up there. I love Alaska. Throwback to when Sister Christian, Sister Mataele, and I climbed the Butte last December in -20 and froze our little toesies off [almost]. I love outside and am super enjoying the fact that I don’t have to bulk up in a parka & snow boots and cover my mouth with a scarf before I go out the door everyday...yet.
It’s coming though. 

On Tuesday morning our district went and helped one of our former investigators move. Didn’t know that going on a mission included being part of a moving company, but I guess it does. When we got to the new apartment and started unloading the truck, one of the elders was being a baby so I had to carry his share of couches and tables up the stairs #godunlop. There were all these skinny doorways and steep staircases that we had to squeeze all the stuff through so I think I got my workouts in for the rest of my mission just with this one moving day. I was sitting in one of these big fluffy chairs in the moving truck and all of a sudden the elders picked me up in it and carried me out. It was terrifying because one elder was really tall and the other was really short and I was just set up to fall out and die. Made it back onto Earth safely. 

AWESOME MIRACLE #274 of this week: there’s this family, the Channers, that we’ve been working on getting back to church for the past little while but their lives are so busy and all over the place that it’s tricky for them to make it. Their oldest daughter hasn’t been baptized yet and so we’ve been working on that too but there’s a couple of things that need to be ironed out in their fambam before that can happen, so we’ve just been working on loving them and helping them have a DESIRE to come back to church. Everything starts with desire. One day we stopped by and caught them at home and planned a night that we could come back and have dinner with them #superblessed. Tuesday night we go over and Sister Channer’s dad had made us LEGIT chimichangas (@mamalaura they were so freaking good, cilantro in them and everything). Then we played games for a little while with the girls until Brother Channer came home from work. It was kinda awkward at first because we couldn’t tell if he wanted us to be there or not, but he started playing the game with us and all was well. Eventually we had to leave before our car turned into a pumpkin and this is where things became really amazing. Brother Channer gathered us all together and we knelt to pray. The Spirit was there as he prayed over each of his three little girls and asked Heavenly Father to help them be strong and courageous. My heart. I absolutely love the Channers. Hopefully things start piecing themselves together so we can help them get back to church and be sealed as a forever family someday. 

This weekend was just jam packed with spiritual awesomeness. I feel like the Spirit has just had me on this buzzing high for like four days-it’s amazing. We had interviews with President Toone on Thursday night and I know I rave about him all the time but seriously, I adore him and am so grateful for his love and council. AAM is the luckiest. We had Wasilla Zone Conference on Friday and it started out with all these spiritual pep talk trainings from the APs, Zone Leaders, and President Toone (always a fan) and then tender mercy of my life is that the Relief Society Presidency in the Big Lake Ward [#shoutouttoauntruthanne] made us CAFE RIO for lunch🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼. I haven’t had that cilantro ranch in like fourteen months and dang, it was good stuff. After lunch it was time for the Talent Show. We planned out district talent and skit the day before and never even practiced our companionship one. Luckily, nothing was too big of a hot mess. At least I don’t think so. Sister Toone has videos of our talents so I will have to snag those from her, but it was pretty awesome. For our companionship talent, Sister Yeates and I did that thing where one person is the face and the other person is their arms (hopefully you know what I’m talking about), but we did a makeup tutorial which resulted in eyeliner across my forehead, mascara in my hair, and lipstick down my nose. Super pretty. For our district skit we did a “mock district meeting” and was just making fun of all the dumb things that missionaries [sometimes] do. Then (this is the best part) we did a dance to this remixed Primary song and taped glow sticks all over our bodies so we looked like those glow stick people. It was pretty freaking awesome. Just the fact that I got the elders to learn and perform a dance was a big fat miracle. President Toone said it was his favorite talent he’s seen so far in the mission #duh. I’ll try and get video proof for you for next week...

Saturday morning was frosty and cold but we went out to district tract in Wasilla’s area before having lunch at Burger Jim’s for Elder Masters’ birthday. After that, we were driving along and passed Peggy’s (our former investigator who we helped rake her yard last week a ton) house and I felt prompted we needed to turn around and go invite her to Stake Conference this weekend. So we flip around and pull in her driveway but realize she’s not home and I’m like dang it, I swear we needed to come here and talk to Peggy! And then [as He always does], God provides. Peggy pulls in right behind us. Booyah! We invite her to the conference and she said she would try and make it! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaas. Love life. 

There’s a couple of people in Memory Lake that absolutely no one knows anything about and one of those is Brother Pack. Sister Yeates and I had stopped by his house late Friday night but his house was pitch black inside so we decided we would come back another time-probably in the daylight-and try and contact him. Saturday afternoon, after seeing Peggy, we were in the neighborhood again and figured “why not” so we stopped by. He let us right in #missionarymiracle. Brother Pack is an older man and he and his girlfriend were sitting at the kitchen table when he invited us in. They gave us chocolate chip cookies and OJ (with pulp, which I don’t think I’ve had for like a year #bless) and then Brother Pack jumped right into “Deep Doctrine” questions about exaltation and the Spirit World. It took us kind of by surprise but luckily we were able to answer his questions and ended up sharing the Plan of Salvation with them. We found out that his girlfriend isn’t a member of the Church [yet] but that her parents had both recently passed away (also not members) and she had heard from Brother Pack about eternal families and temple sealings wanted to know more. She even told us, “it’s so interesting that you two stopped by because Lloyd (Brother Pack) and I were talking about Mormon temples not even an hour ago,”...lolzies it’s like the Church is true and this is the Lord’s work or something. Then she started asking about our missions and I got all weepy when I was able to share with her just a fragment of all that I’ve learned so far and how I’ve come to know Christ in a way that I would’ve never been able to know Him without serving a mission and how I’ve seen His hand in my life each day and all these amazing miracles. Missionary work is God’s way of sharing His love with His children. We shared when video of President Monson announcing the age change of missionaries from General Conference a few years ago, and the Spirit was so strong. We said a prayer with them and then had to bounce for our dinner appointment before Stake Conference but they said we could come back anytime so that’s a good sign. 

Wasilla Stake Conference was awesome. And want to know what made it even awesomER?! Sister Yeates and I were sitting in the front row of the gym (on the cold & hard chairs because apparently you have to show up 45 minutes early in Wasilla, not 30, to get a cushion pew) with Brother Lonnie Evans and in walks Miss Peggy. There’s this feeling you get as a missionary when an investigator comes to church that is one of the best feelings ever. She sits right next to us and eats the whole Conference up. Afterwords, a bunch of members that knew her came up to her and loved her and I just about melted inside. Go Church. PEGGY LET US TEACH YOU!

During Stake Conference on Sunday morning, President Toone was up at the pulpit speaking and being passionate about the gospel and inspiring the members to be better at missionary work and just doing his President Toone thing and then he asks for all the full time missionaries to stand up. Up pops Elder Kaibetoney, Elder Brown, Elder McGee, Elder Litchford, Elder Masters, Elder Stewart, Elder Hawkins, Elder Tauvalau, Elder Bauers, Elder Pullan, Elder Wright, Elder Pierce, Sister Yeates, and I. And I totally start crying. This is my team, my family. I love these people. We’re just a bunch of twenty year old trying to save souls and spread joy. When you think about it, it’s a pretty big and crazy job. But it’s God’s work, so even in our hands it’s all going to work out. And we have this amazing mission president who believes in us and he’s standing up there telling the members of the Wasilla Stake that we are here to help them share the love they feel with those around them and help them bring the truths of the gospel that they hold so dearly to their friends and family and coworkers and neighbors. It’s amazing, really. And I feel too lucky to put into words that I get to play a little part in it all. God is good. 

Awkward Sister Dunlop story for your week: Sister Yeates and I accidentally chaperoned a single adult lunch for two. Yikes. Before Stake Conference started, we ran into Sister Larger in the hallway. She’s the single adult rep in Memory Lake and is the sweetest lady ever. She said that after the meeting she was having a lunch at her house that a ton of the single adults in Wasilla were coming too and so she invited us over to have lunch and meet them. Missionaries love free food, so of course we were there. We drive out to her house after and see that no one’s there yet and don’t want to be awkwardly early, so we wait a few minutes and still no one has shown up. Eventually we just go inside and hang out with her and her two middle school boys for like fifteen minutes before this one random dude shows up. That’s it. It’s so awkward. But the food was good. The guy keeps hitting on Sister Larger and her boys are sitting right there and Sister Yeates and I are just at such a hard core loss as to know what to do so we finally escape our way out of there as soon as the guy starts showing off magic tricks. Oh man. Almost as awesome as Sister Fa’anunu and I crashing those weddings in Fairbanks. Almost. 

One more thing: we almost got charged by a moose while we were tracting this week, we came around a corner and it was this big mama moose with her ears back and the hair up on her neck and Sister Yeates pulled out her tablet to take a picture and I was like nope and had to drag her away from the moose as we power walked backwards to the car. Tourists. 

If you ever think you don’t make a difference, THINK AGAIN. God puts each of us in the right place and at the right time to inspire, lift, build, and love others. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Heavenly Father will NEVER EVER ask us to do something we can’t handle, He will ALWAYS provide a way for us to do what He asks. And often times, it requires a big huge leap of faith for those things to be accomplished, but that part of learning and growing into all that He knows we can become. 
1 Nephi 3:7. There’s blessons all over the place. God doesn’t “half-bake” in the miracle department. Ever. Things always work out better when you trust God, I can for sure promise you that much. 

XOXO Sister Dunlop